Classical Era of Music. Mrs. MaFritts. Characteristics of the Classical Era. Contrast of Mood. A Classical composition will fluctuate in mood. Mood in classical music may change gradually or suddenly, expressing conflicting surges of elation and depression.
A Classical composition will fluctuate in mood.
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The Classical composers' interest in expressing shades of emotion led to the widespread use of gradual dynamic change. During the period, the desire for gradual dynamic change led to the replacement of the harpsichord by the piano. By varying the finger pressure on the keys, a pianist can play more loudly or softly. Although the piano was invented around 1700, it began to replace the harpsichord only around 1775.
The basso continuo was gradually abandoned during the classical period. One reason why the basso continuo became obsolete was that more and more music was written for amateurs, who could not master the difficult art of improvising from a figured bass. Also, classical composers wanted more control; they preferred to specify an accompaniment rather than trust the judgement of improvisers.
Major classical form standardized by Mozart and Beethoven
Exposition, Development, Recapitulation
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