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History Of Music

The Classicism

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History, Music and Arts

       The Classical Period

Classicism implies the ideals of the Apollonian cult of ancient Greece: objectivity, ethos, emotional restraint, and balance and clarity of form.

In music was reflected on the development of the musical forms and the homophonic texture.

   Form:

       -Principles of sectional structure, particularly in sonata form, were firmly established in the late eighteenth century.

   Texture:

       -Classical textures were typically homophonic, with a single melodic line accompanied by nonmelodic or less melodic materials.

         -A much favored accompanied pattern was the so-called Alberti-bass (a broken chord figure)

         -Predominance of thin, light sonorities as opposed to the predominantly massive sonority of Baroque music.

 

Major composers:

   Gluck (1714-1787)

       -The least versatile of the four, was a master of opera and opera reform.

   Haydn (1732-1809)

       -Was the most prolific of the major composers.

       -He established the form and instrumentation of the Classical symphony and developed the string quartet.

       -His principal fields were: symphony, chamber music, concerto, piano sonata, oratorio, church music, and opera.

   Mozart (1756-1791)

       -One of the most fertile musical minds of all times.

       -Rebelled against the system of patronage and attempted to fashion a living from commissions for and royalties from his music.

       -His principal fields were symphony, concerto, chamber music, sonata, and mass.

       -His operas represent the pinnacle of the genre.

Beethoven (1770-1827)

       -One of the most im portent composers of Western art music.

       -He guided the transition from late Classical to a Romantic style

       -He expanded the concept of sonata form and made it a vehicle of powerful expression.

       -He was unsurpassed in the techniques of thematic development and variation.

       -His main areas of composition were symphony, concerto, string quartet, and piano sonata. He wrote an oratorio, an opera and one festival mass.

 

Instrumental Music: The most significant changes in form and genre during the classical era took place in instrumental music:

   Sonata Form: Means a basic plan in 3 or 4 movements.

       -It applies virtually to all instrumental genres:

                                                                                                -solo sonata

                                                                                               --symphonies

                                                                                                -concertos

                                                                                                -string quartets

                                                                                                -and others.

 

   First movement:

       -fast tempo- (Allegro )

       -called sonata form

        includes:

         -An optional introduction in slow tempo.

         -The Exposition: here the two first themes are introduced

         -Development: here themes are developed and new ideas will be introduced.

         -Recapitulation or Re-exposition: General restatement of the exposition.

         -Coda: a closing section.

 

   Second movement:

       -Usually in slow tempo

       -More melodic than the other movements.

 

   Third movement:-Minuet-

 

   Fourth Movement: -Finale-

       -Sonata form, rondo or a combination.

 

 

   Symphony:

            The development of the Classical symphony was on of the najor musical achievements of the eighteenth century.

   Form: It took on the shape of the sonata cycle.

 

The Orchestra:

   Instrumentation:

       -By the end of the 18th century the symphony orchestra consisted of four woodwind instruments in pairs (flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons)

       -Trumpets, horns, and timpani, also in pairs

       -String choir consisting of the first and second violins, violas, cellos, and string basses.

       -Orchestration:

         -Strings were the dominant color:

            -1st violins carried the thematic material.

            -2nd violins and violas most often have harmonic materials.

            -Cellos and basses consistently doubled, written as one part on the same staff, but with the basses sounding an octave lower than the cellos.

            -Woodwinds became more important. Generally scored in harmonic passages.

            -Brass instruments, combined to tutti passages, and to harmonic rather than melodic material.

 

   Composers: The enormous output of orchestral literature by Preclassical composers provided the foundation on which the classical symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were created.

Haydn: (1732-1809)

       -Wrote than 100 symphonies (The earliest represent the Preclassical form and orchestration.

       -He wrote slow introductions to his first movements.

 

Mozart: (1756-1791)

       -41 symphonies ex: Prague Symphony no. 38 in D Major

              -Jupiter Symphony no. 41 in C Major

 

Beethoven (1770-1827)

       -His nine symphonies transcend Classical form and style. (Only the first and the eighth follow the conventions of form and structure.

       -He expanded the sonata cycle and infused it with his dynamic personality.

      -In symphonies 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9th, he added new instruments to classical instrumentation.

      -Symphony no. 6, Pastoral, in five movements, was one of the first programmatic symphonies.

      -The 9th symphony, have a number of additional instruments (piccolo, contrabassoon, four horns, three trombones, triangle, cymbals and bass drum), and solo voices and chorus in the finale.

 

Concerto:

   -Carried over from the Baroque concerto but it differed in style and in structure of movements:

   -Form: A sonata cycle

 

 Composers: the principal literature was composed by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

       -Haydn: wrote -20 concertos for piano,

                             -9 for violin

                             -6 for cello

                             -also for -flute

                                          -barytone

                                          -horn

                                          -clarino

                                          -trumpet

  

       -Mozart wrote -25 piano concerti

                             -8 violin concerti

                             -Others for -violin and viola

                             -basson

                             -flute

                             -flute and harp

                             -horn

                             -clarinet

 

       -Beethoven wrote  -5 piano concerti

                                    -1 violin concerto in D major

                                    -Triple concerto for violin, cello and piano.

 

   Chamber Music

       It was an especially significant category of music literature in the Classical period.

         -Divertimento:  (divertimento, serenade, feldpartita, notturno and cassation)

               -Intended for informal entertainment and outdoor performances.

              -Lighter and less sophisticated than symphonies

              -Written for small chamber ensembles to small orchestra

              -3 to 10 movements, including minuets, dances, marches, and standard sonata-form movements.

              -Haydn wrote over 60 and Mozart over 30 compositions in this category.

 

         String Quartet:

              -A most favored during the classical period

              -Consisted of 2 violins, viola, and cello

              -4 movement sonata cycle form

              -Composers:

                   Luigi Boccherini

                   Haydn

                   Mozart

                   Beethoven

  

            -Combinations:

                   mixed string quartet (3 string instruments and one other instrument, usually piano, flute, clarinet, or oboe.

                   -String trio

                   -Mixed trio

                   -String quintet

                   -Mixed quintet

 

    Sonata for violin and piano:

       -became important during the classical period

       -the piano more often assumed the dominant role

       -composers:

           -Haydn: 12 violin sonatas

           -Mozart: 35 violin sonatas

           -Beethoven: 10 violin sonatas