2 Characteristics of the Classical Period MELODY - Short and clearly defined diatonic musical phrases with 2 or more contrasting themes. Melodies are often developed from a short motive.RHYTHM - A classical composition has a wealth of rhythmic patterns. The classical style also includes unexpected pauses, syncopations, and frequent changes from long notes to shorter ones. However, the tempo is steady, uses one of the four basic meters – 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and if a piece begins in a certain meter, it is apt to stay there.HARMONY - Shorter phrases and well defined cadences became more prevalent. A favorite accompaniment pattern was the Alberti bass (name for Dominico Alberti), which featured a broken chord or arpeggiated accompaniment. Tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords were often used. Diatonic harmony was more common than chromaticTEXTURE - Mostly homophonic - one melody line with accompaniment made up using notes of the chord, or a texture where all parts keep in step with each other (chordal style or homorhythmic).MEDIUM - Symphony orchestra - arranged in 4 sections Harpsichord seldom used. Piano in use but not normally in orchestral music, except when it is a piano concerto.
3 Characteristics of the Classical Period – Cont’d WORKS –Choral music - sacred mass and oratorioSecular – opera, symphoniesChamber music - trios, quartets, quintets etc.DYNAMICS - Greater range of dynamics, use of crescendos and diminuendos,FORM - Sonata form, rondo form, fugue, minuet and trio form.END OF BASSO CONTINUO: 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 judgment of improvisers.COMPOSERS - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Gluck, Paganini
4 The classical orchestra Standard 4 sections: brass, woodwind, strings, percussion1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons2 French horns, 2 trumpets2 timpaniTrombones in opera and church musicMore musicians than a baroque groupTone color more importantStrings most importantWoodwinds given melodic solosBrass brought power, harmony, but didn’t play melodyTimpani for rhythmic emphasis
5 The classical melodyMotive – melodic ideas, fragments, or themes used as building blocks in a composition.Thematic development and variations are used to expand the melodic idea.ExtensionContractionRepetitionSequence – a motive repeated at a higher of lower levelBeethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor
6 Classical formsSeveral movements that contrast in tempo and characterFast movementSlow movementDance-related movementEach movement could have different formsABA or theme and variationsCould have 2, 3, 4 contrasting themesSections balance each other
8 Summary of Sonata-Allegro Form Exposition (Statement)DevelopmentRecapitulation (Restatement)Slow introduction (optional)First theme (or theme group) and its expansion in tonicBridge – modulates to a contrasting keySecond theme (or theme group) and its expansion in contrasting keyClosing theme, cadence in contrasting key(Exposition repeated)(b) Fragmentation and manipulation of themes and motivesBuilds up tension against the return to tonic by:(a) Frequent modulation to foreign keys, andTransition back to tonicFirst theme (or theme group) and its expansion in tonicBridge (rarely modulates)Second theme (or theme group) and its expansion transposed to tonicClosing theme, cadence in tonicCoda, cadence in tonic
9 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik This is one of Mozart’s most popular works. It was written in 1787 for a fourpart string orchestra with two violin parts, one viola and the cello and double basses playing the same music. It is one of a number of ‘serenades’ written to entertain out-of-doors on a warm summer’s evening.EXPOSITIONFirst subject, tonic key (G major) Bars 1 – 55Strong and important character, based on broken chordsBridge - G major - D major Bars 18 – 27Second subject, dominant key (D major) Bars 28 – 35Soft, dainty, more smooth and flowingCodetta Bars 35 – 55End of Exposition. Repeat from the beginning of the pieceDEVELOPMENTBegins by developing the first subject, but from bar 60 Bars 56 – 75concentrates on part of the second subject.RECAPITULATIONFirst subject, tonic key (G major) Bars 76 – 93Codetta - G major Bars 93 – 100Second subject, tonic key (G major) BarsCoda BarsEnd of movement. Repeat Development and Recapitulation
10 Other FormsTheme and variations – the fundamental theme is altered during repetition – Haydn Symphony No. 94, second movementMinuet and trioMinuet is a social dance of French origin for two persons, usually in 3/4 time. The name is also given to a musical composition written in the same time and rhythm, but when not accompanying an actual dance the pace was quicker. The minuet and trio eventually became the standard third movement in the four-movement classical symphony.- Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, third movementRondoIn rondo form, a principal theme (sometimes called the "refrain") alternates with one or more contrasting themes, generally called "episodes,”. The overall form can be represented as ABACADA ... The number of themes can vary from piece to piece, and the recurring element is sometimes embellished or shortened in order to provide for variation. - Mouret Rondeau from Suite de symphonies (Baroque?)
11 Chamber Music - The String Quartet The most influential chamber music genre of the Classical period.Follows the four-movement scheme of the multi-movement cycleAllegro in sonata-allegro formSlow, lyrical often in ABA or theme and variationsMinuet and trioSonata-allegro or rondoHayden’s String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 2 (Quinten) Fourth MovementFolklike characterStrongly syncopated dance rhythmsOpening them introduced by 1st violin, stated in 2 parts, each repeated (AABB).1st violin dominates the melodyShift from d minor to D major
12 The Classical Symphony Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, First MovementExpositionTheme 1 in g minor built from 3 note motive in violinsBridge – modulatesTheme 2 in B flat played by woodwinds and stringsDevelopmentShort, built on 3 note motive in various guisesReturns to tonicRecapitulationTheme 1 in g minorTheme 2 in g minorCoda in g minor
13 The Classical Concerto 3 movementsFast - adapts the principles of the Baroque concerto’s ritornello procedure to the sonata-allegro formOrchestra plays exposition - theme in tonicSoloist plays a second exposition in new keyDevelopment section offers soloist virtuosic displayIn the recapitulation the soloist and orchestra bring back the themes in the tonicSolo cadenzaCoda brings the movement to a close with the tonic keySlow – often composed in a key closely related to the home key (for example, from C major to F major)Fast – often in rondo form, with features of sonata-allegro form. Often has a candenzaCadenza – a solo passage in the manner of an improvisationMozart’s piano concerto in G major, K. 453Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, Third Movement
14 The Classical SonataSet for either one solo instrument (the piano) or for duos (violin and piano, for example)3 or 4 contrasting movements.Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331 – Third MovementBeethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (Moonlight)
15 Sacred Choral Music Mass Requiem – a musical setting for the Mass of the DeadOratorioMozart, Dies irae, from Requiem
16 Classical Opera Opera seria – serious or tragic Italian opera Comic opera (opera buffa) – sung in the vernacularDown-to-earth plotsFarcical situationsHumorous dialoguePopular tunesImpertinent remarks of the buffo – spoke to the audience in a bass voice with a “wink and a nod”Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) Overture and Act I, Scenes 6 and &.
17 Joseph HaydnOne of the most prominent composers of the Classical period, and is called by some the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". A central characteristic of Haydn's music is the development of larger structures out of very short, simple musical motifs, usually devised from standard accompanying figures. The music is often quite formally concentrated, and the important musical events of a movement can unfold rather quickly. Haydn's musical practice formed the basis of much that was to follow in the development of tonality and musical form. He took genres such as the symphony, which were at the time shorter and subsidiary to more important vocal music, and slowly expanded their length, weight and complexity. Haydn's work became central to what was later described as sonata form. One of Haydn's important innovations (adopted by Mozart and Beethoven) was to make the moment of transition the focus of tremendous creativity. Instead of using stock devices to make the transition, Haydn would often find inventive ways to make the move between two expected keys.
18 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart A prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment. The central traits of the classical style can all be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks, though a simplistic notion of the delicacy of his music obscures for us the exceptional and even demonic power of some of his finest masterpieces.
19 Ludwig van BeethovenHe is generally regarded as one of the great composers in the history of music, and was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music. Beethoven was also one of the first composers to work freelance — arranging subscription concerts, selling his compositions to publishers, and gaining financial support from a number of wealthy patrons — rather than seek out permanent employment by the church or by an aristocratic court.
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