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The Classical Era (1750-1820) Year 10 IGCSE October 2009
The Age of Enlightenment Believed in progress, rising middle class American and French revolutions Humanitarian Ideals/reason and knowledge Liberty, Equality and fraternity!
Musical Style Polyphonic texture to simple melodies Light and graceful music (style gallant) Epitome of classical music 1770-1820 Music printing and increase amateur performances Opera and concerto grosso becomes symphony Suite became sonata
Elements of Music Characteristics Changes of mood ▫Can be sudden (unlike Baroque) but unified Rhythm ▫Flexible (sudden or gradual) Texture ▫Homophonic – but can change, more vertical schemes Melody ▫Tuneful and sometimes borrowed ▫Balanced and symmetrical Dynamics ▫Range and not just terraced dynamics, crescendos used ▫piano instead of harpsichord (1775) – forte piano Basso Continuo ▫Obsolete – more amateur friendly – rid improvising
Standard Orchestra Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion Larger number of musicians (25-60) Specific timbres considered Continuo disappeared Conductor with baton and clarinet! More balanced between strings and winds Orchestra more like that of today
Form 4 movements usually ▫1. Fast ▫2. Slow ▫3. Dance-related movement ▫4. Fast Symphony = 4 movements, orchestra string quartets = 4 movements, 2 violins, viola, cello Sonata = one or two instruments (most formal, developed by Haydn and Mozart) CONTRASTING THEMES in one movement BALANCE OF SECTIONS (tension resolved)
Life in Classical Period Composers affected – breaking free from control ▫Haydn ▫Mozart ▫Beethoven More public concerts – spread through Europe Middle class people started playing instruments More demand for printed music More comic, vulgar
Sonata Allegro Form Single movement form – usually the form of the 1 st movement of symphony, quartet or sonata 3 sections:ABA ▫Exposition: ▫Development ▫Recapitulation ▫CODA Listen to Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G Minor 4 th Movement
Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G Minor 4 th Movement Notes:
Theme and Variations Independent piece or as a movement of a symphony, sonata, or string quartet BASIC IDEA repeated and changed This idea can be borrowed or composed BASIC STRUCTURE: Listen to: Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major 2 nd Movement
Notes from Listening
Minuet and Trio Usually as the 3 rd movement of symphonies and quartets Triple meter and moderate A(m)B(t)A(m) - trio quieter usually STRUCTURE: Listen to Mozart’s Eine kleine Nactmusik 3 rd Movement
Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major 2 nd Movement Notes:
Rondo Independent or as a movement Lively, regular and conclusive Tuneful main theme (usually simple) that returns in alternation STRUCTURE: Sonata-Rondo STRUCTURE:
Classical Symphony Origin from 17 th century opera overtures Extended – 20-45 minutes Haydn wrote many of the early symphonies Usually 4 movements with range of contrasts ▫1. fast dramatic (usually sonata form) ▫2. slow lyrical (sonata form, ABA, or T+V), diff key ▫3. dancelike ▫4. fast heroic (sonata or sonata-rondo)
Classical Concerto 3 movement work for instrumental soloist and orchestra ▫Fast (cadenza) (sonata form with 2 expositions) ▫Slow ▫Fast (cadenza improvisation) (rondo or sonata-rondo) ▫then CODA (short) Interplay of melody lines and cadenzas Mozart and Beethoven wrote many (star in each on piano) 20-45 minutes
Classical Chamber Music Imitate room setting 2-9 musicians – entertain guests No conductor STRING QUARTET – a fine art ▫Usually 2 violin, viola and cello Usually 4 movements ▫Fast ▫Slow ▫Minuet ▫Fast OR sonata (violin/piano), trio (piano, violin, cello), quintet
Sacred Choral Music Oratorios and masses were most elaborate in 18 th century ▫MASS – Haydn wrote most exuberant masses Classical sacred music mixes classical MELODY- HARMONY and POLYPHONIC IMITATION ▫Oratorios – musical setting of sacred text Comic Opera Opera Buffa – Comic Opera (ie La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi, Mozart`s Don Giovanni)
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