The Classical Era
Terms in this set (47)
Time period of the classical era
What is a significant parallel between classical music and neoclassical art?
The emphasis on balance and clarity of structure
Characteristics of the Classical Style
Contrast of Mood: Great variety that creates drama but could also lead to a dance tune. There are also contrasting themes in a movement as well as contrasts in the theme itself.
Rhythm: Flexible rhythm with unexpected pauses, syncopation, and changes in note length.
Texture: Basically homophonic. Texture is treated as flexibly as rhythm.
Melody: Balanced and symmetrical because they are frequently made up of two phrases of the same length.
Dynamics on the Piano: Widespread use of gradual dynamic change- crescendo and decrescendo. Led to the replacement of the Harpsichord.
End of Basso Continuo: Harpsichordists did not need to improvise an accompaniment. More music was written for amateurs.
Classical Orchestra (p.200)
Orchestra became a standard group of four sections:
Strings: Violin I and II, Violas, Cellos, Basses
Woodwinds: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
Brass: 2 French horns, 2 trumpets
Percussion: 2 timpani
Were trombones widely used during the classical period? (p. 200)
No, they weren't used in solely instrumental works. They were used only in opera and church music
How were instruments treated in the Classical Orchestra?
Describe Classical tone color
Instruments were not treated equally as they were in the Baroque period. The strings were the most important section and Violin I held the melody most of the time. Lower strings provided accompaniment
Classical tone color had more rapid changes and variety. Woodwinds added contrasting tone colors and often had melodic solos.
What was the use of the timpani?
To provide rhythmic bite and emphasis
The four movements are:
1. Fast movement
2. Slow movement
3. Dance-related movement
4. Fast movement
They can have many vivid themes. A movement can have a number of themes.
*At the end of a classical movement, musical tensions have been resolved.
What kinds of songs follow the classical forms?
Classical symphonies and string quartets
Written for an orchestra;
written for two violins, viola, and a cello
for one or two instruments
Composer, Patron, and the Public in the classical period (p. 202) *Key notes
-Patrons of the art hired musicians like Handel and Mozart to work for them like servants and not like musical masters.
-The middle class was becoming larger, meaning merchants, doctors, and government officials could afford to hire musicians and bring the music home or begin to learn the music for themselves.
-Middle class had influenced the times by encouraging public concerts (which they could attend, instead of palace concerts)
-Composers wrote pieces that were easy for amateurs
-Composers turned form a more serious style to a comic opera.
-Increasing folk influence
-Vienna was home to rising musicians.
refers to the form of a single movement; consists of three main sections:
The exposition, the development, and the recapitulation, and oftentimes, though not required, the coda.
First theme in the tonic (home) key
Bridge containing modulation from home key to new key
Second theme in new key
Closing section in key of second theme
-sets up a strong conflict between the tonic key and the new key. The second theme often contrasts in mood with the first theme. There is usually a repeat sign at the end of the exposition (think Beethoven's 5th)
New treatment of themes; modulation to different keys.
Often the most dramatic
Broken into motives, or short musical ideas developed within a composition.
First theme in tonic key
Second theme in tonic key
closing section in tonic key
Basis for tension at the exposition is now resolved in the recap
IN tonic key
Example of Sonata form
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Theme and Variations
Can be used either as an independent piece or as one movement of a symphony, sonata, or string quartet.
Theme is repeated over and over and changed each time. May be outlined as (A)- variation 1 (A')- variation 2 (A'')--Variation 3
-Each variation is the same length as the theme, s unique, and may differ in mood or theme. The chances in rhythm, harm,accomp,dyna,or tone color can be used to give the variation its identity.
*Composer can invent and original melody or borrow one for the theme.
Example of Theme and Variations
-Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise; 1791) by Haydn. The second movement is a theme and variations.
(p.209 for details)
When the original melody is accompanied by a new one. These two distinctive melodies result in polyphonic texture.
Minuet and Trio
A kind of form that is often used as the third movement of classical symphonies, string quartets, and other works.
Is the minuet form meant for dancing?
No, a minuet is for dancing, but minuet FORM is written for listening.
Meter of a minuet trio
Triple meter and usually in a moderate tempo.
Form of a minuet
A (minuet), B (trio), A (minuet)
The trio (B) is oftentimes quieter than the minuet section and uses less instruments. Most trio sections feature woodwind solos.
The minuet parts (A) include smaller sections a,b, and a' (variation of a). In the opening minuet, all the smaller parts are repeated.
*see p. 212 for more information
Da capo (p. 212)
"from the beginning" In reference to minuet form, the entire A (minuet section is repeated)
Example of Minuet form (p.212)
Third Movement of Eine Kliene Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Scherzo (p. 212)
Many of Beethoven's songs have a third movement that is not a minuet, but related. This is called scherzo. A scherzo is usually in ABA form and triple meter but it moves more quickly, generating energy, rhythmic drive, and rough humor.
A work that's usually light in mood, meant for evening entertainment. It is written for a small string orchestra or for a string quartet plus a double bass
A main theme returns several times in alternation with other themes. Common patterns are ABACA or ABACABA.
It can be used independently or as one movement of a symphony, string quartet, or sonata.
Why does the rondo form often serve as the finale of a movement?
Because of its liveliness, regularity, and buoyancy that bring happiness and a sense of conclusion.
When a rondo is combined with elements of sonata. It has a development section that is outlined as ABA--development section--ABA
Example of Rondo (p.214)
String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No.3 (1798-1800), by Ludwig van Beethoven.
-Outlined as ABACABA.
The Classical Symphony (p.215)
An extended, ambitious composition typically lasting between 20-45 min. usually has four movements with a wide range of emotions through contrasts of tempo and mood.
Common sequence: 1- dramatic and fast movement
2- lyrical and slow movement 3-a dance-like movement (minuet or scherzo) and 4- heroic and fast movement
How many symphonies did Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven each write? (p.215)
at least 104; over 40; 9
The opening movement of a Classical symphony is always... (p. 215)
FAST and IN SONATA FORM;
It is also usually the most dramatic movement and stresses an exciting development of short motives.
Where will you find the slow, song-like melodies of a classical symphony?
The second movement. The slow movement is usually NOT in the tonic key. It is either in sonata form, ABA form, or theme-and-variations form.
*read more on p.216
The third movement of a classical symphony is usually...
In the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn the third movement was usually a minuet and trio, which could be in a moderate or fast tempo. Beethoven liked fast, energetic scherzos for his third movements.
A three-movement work for an instrumental soloist and orchestra. It combines the soloist's virtuosity and interpretive abilities with the orchestra's wide range of tone color and dynamics.
Unaccompanied showpiece for the soloist in a Concerto.
Orchestra suspends forward motion by sustaining a dissonant chord; announces the entry of the cadenza
How many movements does a concerto have?
3; (1) fast (2)slow (3) fast
There is no minuet or scherzo
First is usually sonata form. Second is a slow song that can take any form. Third is usually in quick rondo or sonata-rondo form.
What is special about the sonata form in the first movement of a concerto?
It has two expositions, one played by the orchestra in the home key and another that begins with the soloists first notes and later adds the whole orchestra
Classical Chamber Music
Is designed for an intimate setting of a room. It is subtle with about two to nine musicians. The most important form in chamber is the string quartet. It has four movements that are like the symphony (fast, slow, min or scherzo, and fast ; sometimes 2 and 3 can be switched)
Other popular forms of classical chamber music can include
sonata for violin and piano
piano trio (violin,cello, and piano)
string quintet (two violins, two violas, and cello)