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History Of Music


Course Outline
Introduction to the Class
Musical Links
What is Classical Music?
Elements of Music
The Middle Ages
The Renaissance
The Baroque
The Classicism
The Romanticism
About your Teacher
Contact Me

Whole Study Guide



-to heighten your enjoyment of music by

-improving your listening skills,

-increasing your knowledge, and

-exposing you to new styles and forms of music.



Most courses concentrate on what is commonly known as "classical" music; symphonies, sonatas, chamber music, opera, and other forms of art music. Many course, though, also introduce music from different parts of the world as well as more "popular" music styles like jazz, rock, or musical theater.

Why do I need to learn about music in order to enjoy it?

Music listening is a skill, and some kinds of music are an acquired taste. In a sense music is like wine. Your first few sips might not be enjoyable, but as your experience grows you find your palate growing more and more discerning. Eventually, you develop your own taste in wine.

In music appreciation, your listening palate will become more discriminating as well. You may learn that you like some kinds of music that didn't previously appeal to you. You may also learn to hear much more in the music you already know and enjoy.

What is the difference between listening and hearing?

Hearing is an involuntary activity that requires no active participation on your part. If you're awake and your ears are exposed to the air you WILL hear the sounds around you. When you start to pay attention to those sounds, you move from hearing to listening.

Listening itself can happen at different levels of intensity. You may carry on a conversation with a friend while still listening to music or the television. However, the amount of information or satisfaction you get from either activity is directly related to the amount of focus you give to it.

In the same way, listening to music can provide many different kinds of experiences. Listening to the radio as a background to study is much different that listening to a recording through headphones or attending a live concert.

 Music Appreciation Class

What is classical music? Why is it called classical?

Classical: is a term that has two different meanings when it comes to music. In the broadest sense, classical music refers to music of certain forms and genres (symphony, string quartet, sonata, etc.) for certain instrumental combinations (solo violin, symphony orchestra, string quartet, etc) and intended for concert performance.

In a narrower sense "classical" refers to a specific period in music history and a specific set of stylistic traits. This is the dominant music style of the late 18th century in Europe as exemplified by the music of Haydn, Mozart, and the young Beethoven. The hallmarks of this style are balance, clarity, and proportion. These qualities reflect  the artistic sensibilities of of ancient Greece and Rome, the so-called "Classical" civilizations.

Elements of Music:

Sounds may be perceived as pleasant or unpleasant.

What are these sounds that we hear? What is "sound"? What causes it, and how do we hear it?

-Sound begins with the vibration of an object, such as a table that is pounded or a string that is plucked.

-The vibrations are transmitted to our ears by a medium, which is usually air

-As a result of the vibrations, our eardrums start vibrating too, and impulses, or signals, are transmitted to the brain. There the impulses are selected, organized, and interpreted.

 -Music is part of this world of sound, an art based on the organization of sounds in time.

Properties of musical sounds:

-We distinguish music from other sounds by recognizing the four main properties of musical sounds: pitch, dynamics (loudness or softness), tone color, and duration.

Duration: the length of time a musical sound lasts

Pitch is the relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound

-The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of its vibrations.

-The faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch; the slower the vibrations, the lower the pitch.

-Vibration frequency is measured in cycles per second.

-On a piano the highest-frequency tone is 4,186 cycles per second, and the lowest is about 27 cycles per second.

In general, the smaller the vibrating object, the faster its vibrations and the higher its pitch. All other things being equal, plucking a short string produces a higher pitch than plucking a long string. The relatively short strings of a violin produce higher pitches than do the longer strings of a double bass.

In music, a sound that has a definite pitch is called a tone. It has a specific frequency, such as 440 cycles per second. The vibrations of a tone are regular and reach the ear at equal time intervals.

Noiselike sounds (squeaking brakes or clashing cymbals) have an indefinite pitch because they are produced by irregular vibrations.

-Two tones will sound different when they have different pitches.

-The "distance" in pitch between any two tones is called an interval.

-          When tones are separated by the interval called an octave, they sound very much alike.


The distance between the lowest and highest tones that a voice or instrument can produce is called its pitch range, or simply its range.

-The range of the average untrained voice is between 1 and 2 octaves;

 -A pianos range is over 7 octaves.

-When men and women sing the same melody, they usually sing it an octave apart.

Though most music we know is based on definite pitches, indefinite pitchessuch as those made by a bass drum or by cymbalsare important as well. Some percussion instruments, such as gongs, cowbells, and wood-blocks, come in different sizes and therefore produce higher or lower indefinite pitches. Contrasts between higher and lower indefinite pitches play a vital role in twentieth-century western music and in musical cultures around the world.

Dynamics: Degrees of loudness or softness in music are called dynamicsour second property of sound.

-Loudness is related to the amplitude of the vibration that produces the sound. The harder a guitar string is plucked (the farther it moves from the fingerboard), the louder its sound. When instruments are played more loudly or more softly, or

when there is a change in how many instruments are heard, a dynamic change results; such a change may be made either suddenly or gradually.

Crescendo: A gradual increase in loudness.  It often creates excitement, particularly when the pitch rises too.

Decrescendo: a gradual decrease in loudness. It can be used to convey a sense of calm.

When notating music, composers have traditionally used Italian words, and their abbreviations, to indicate dynamics. The most common terms are:

For extremes of softness and loudness, composers use ppp or pppp and fff or ffff. The following notations indicate gradual changes in dynamics:




Tone Color

We can tell a trumpet from a flute even when each of them is playing the same tone at the same dynamic level. The quality that distinguishes them our third property of musical soundis called tone color, or timbre (pronounced tam-ber). Tone color is described by words like bright, dark, brilliant, mellow, and rich.

Like changes in dynamics, changes in tone color create variety and contrast. When the same melody is played by one instrument and then by another, it takes on different expressive effects because of each instruments tone color. On the other hand, a contrast in tone color may be used to highlight a new melody: after violins play a melody, an oboe may present a contrasting one.

Tone colors also build a sense of continuity; it is easier to recognize the return of a melody when the same instruments play it each time. Specific instruments can reinforce a melodys emotional impact: the brilliant sound of a trumpet is suited to heroic or military tunes; the soothing tone color of a flute fits the mood of a calm melody. In fact, composers often create a melody with a particular instruments tone color in mind.

A practically unlimited variety of tone colors is available to composers. Combining different instrumentsviolin, clarinet, and trombone, for exampleresults in new colors that the instruments cannot produce by themselves. And tone color can be changed by varying the number of instruments or voices that perform a melody. Finally, electronic techniques developed in recent years allow composers to create colors completely unlike those of traditional instruments.

ELEMENTS OF MUSIC: Rhythm,Melody,Harmony,Key,Texture,Form.

Rhythm is the flow of music through time.

Rhythm has several interrelated aspects: beat, meter, accent and syncopation, and tempo.

Beat: is a regular, recurrent pulsation that divides music into equal units of time. When you clap your hands or tap your foot to music, you are responding to its beat.

A note may last a fraction of a beat, an entire beat, or more than a beat. More specifically, rhythm can be defined as the particular arrangement of note lengths in a piece of music. The rhythm of a melody is an essential feature of its personality.

Meter: In music we find a repeated pattern of a strong beat plus one or more weaker beats. The organization of beats into regular groups is called meter.

A group containing a fixed number of beats is called a measure. There are several types of meter, which are based on the number of beats in a measure.

When a measure has 2 beats, it is in duple meter; we count 12, 12,

The first, or stressed, beat of the measure is known as the downbeat.

A pattern of 3 beats to the measure is known as triple meter. All waltzes are in triple meter, we count 123, 123, etc.

Another basic metrical pattern is quadruple meter, which has 4 beats to the measure. As usual, the downbeat is strongest; but there is another stress on the third beat, which is stronger than the second and fourth beats and weaker than the first: 1234, 1234.

Upbeat: It is an unaccented pulse preceding the downbeat.

Sextuple meter contains six rather quick beats to the measure. The downbeat is strongest, and the fourth beat also receives a stress: 123456.

Quintuple meter, with 5 beats to the measure, and septuple meter, with 7 beats to the measure, occur frequently in twentieth-century music and are found occasionally in earlier music. Each of these meters combines duple and triple meter. In quintuple meter, for example, the measure is subdivided into groups of 2 and 3 beats: 123/45 or 12/345.

Accent and Syncopation: An important aspect of rhythm is the way individual notes are stressedhow they get special emphasis. A note is emphasized most obviously by being played louder than the notes around it, that is, by receiving a dynamic accent.

When an accented note comes where we normally would not expect one, the effect is known as syncopation.

A syncopation also occurs when a weak beat is accented, as in 1234 or 1234.

Tempo: is the speed of the beat, the basic pace of the music.

A fast tempo is associated with a feeling of energy, drive, and excitement. A slow tempo often contributes to a solemn, lyrical, or calm mood.

A tempo indication is usually given at the beginning of a piece. As with dynamics, the terms that show tempo (at the left) are in Italian.


very slow, broad


very slow, solemn




moderately slow, a walking pace




moderately fast






very fast


as fast as possible

Qualifying words are sometimes added to tempo indications to make them more specific. The two most commonly used are molto (much) and non troppo (not too much). We thus get phrases like allegro molto (very fast) and allegro non troppo (not too fast).

A gradual quickening of tempo may be indicated by writing accelerando (becoming faster), and a gradual slowing down of tempo by ritardando (becoming slower).

An accelerando, especially when combined with a rise in pitch and volume, increases excitement, and a ritardando is associated with less tension and a feeling of conclusion.

Metronome, an apparatus which produces ticking sounds or flashes of light at any desired musical speed. The metronome setting indicates the exact number of beats per minute.


Melody: After hearing a piece of music, we usually remember its melody best. melody is a series of single tones which add up to a recognizable whole. A melody begins, moves, and ends; it has direction, shape, and continuity. The up-and-down movement of its pitches conveys tension and release, expectation and arrival. This is the melodic curve, or line.

-A melody moves by small intervals called steps or by larger ones called leaps. A step is the interval between two adjacent tones in the do-re-mi scale (from do to re, re to mi, etc.). Any interval larger than a step is a leap (do to mi, for example). Besides moving up or down by step or leap, a melody may simply repeat the same note.

-A melodys range is the distance between its lowest and highest tones. Range may be wide or narrow.

-Melodies written for instruments tend to have a wider range than those for voices, and they often contain wide leaps and rapid notes that would be difficult to sing.

How the tones of a melody are performed can vary its effect, too. Sometimes they are sung or played in a smooth, connected style called legato. Or they may be performed in a short, detached manner called staccato.

Spiccato: it is a technique used only by string instruments to performe very short notes.

-Many melodies are made up of shorter parts called phrases.

-A resting place at the end of a phrase is called a cadence.

Incomplete cadence:  sets up expectations; the second phrase ends with a Complete cadence:  gives an answer, a sense of finality.

Often the highest tone of a melody will be the climax, the emotional focal point.

-A repetition of a melodic pattern on a higher or lower pitch is called a sequence. This is an impelling device of varied repetition that gives a melody a strong sense of direction.

Frequently, a melody will serve as the starting point for a more extended piece of music and, in stretching out, will go through all kinds of changes. This kind of melody is called a theme.

When folksingers accompany themselves on a guitar, they add support, depth, and richness to the melody. We call this harmonizing. Most music in western culture is a blend of melody and harmony.

Harmony: refers to the way chords are constructed and how they follow each other.

-A chord is a combination of three or more tones sounded at once.

Essentially, a chord is a group of simultaneous tones, and a melody is a series of individual tones heard one after another.

Consonance and Dissonance

Some chords have been considered stable and restful, others unstable and tense.

-A tone combination that is stable is called a consonance. Consonances are points of arrival, rest, and resolution.

-A tone combination that is unstable is called a dissonance.

-A dissonance has its resolution when it moves to a consonance. When this resolution is delayed or accomplished in unexpected ways, a feeling of drama, suspense, or surprise is created. In this way a composer plays with the listeners sense of expectation.

-Dissonant chords are active and move music forward. Traditionally they have been considered harsh and have been used in music that expresses pain, grief, and conflict.

Now that consonance and dissonance have been defined, be aware that they can exist in varying degrees. Some consonant chords are more stable than others, and some dissonant chords are more tense than others. Dissonant chords have been used with increasing freedom over the centuries, so that often a chord considered intolerably harsh in one period has later come to seem rather mild.

The Triad

A great variety of chords have been used in music. Some chords consist of three different tones; others have four, five, or even more. Depending on their makeup, chords sound simple or complex, calm or tense, bright or dark.

The simplest, most basic chord is the triad (pronounced try-ad), which consists of three tones.

The bottom tone is called the root; the others are a third and a fifth above the root.

-A triad built on the first, or tonic, note of the scale (do) is called the tonic chord.

The triad built on the fifth note of the scale (sol) is next in importance to the tonic. It is called the dominant chord (sol-ti-re). The dominant chord is strongly pulled toward the tonic chord. This attraction has great importance in music. A dominant chord sets up tension that is resolved by the tonic chord.

A progression from dominant chord to tonic chord is called a cadence. The word cadence means both the resting point at the end of a melodic phrase and a chord progression that gives a sense of conclusion.

Broken Chords (Arpeggios): When the individual tones of a chord are sounded one after another, it is called a broken chord, or arpeggio. Arpeggios may appear in the melody or in the accompaniment.

-The central tone is the keynote, or tonic, of the melody. When a piece is in the key of C, for example, C is the keynote, or tonic. The keynote can also be E, or A, or any of the twelve tones that fill the octave in western music.


Key: involves not only a central tone but also a central scale and chord. A piece in the key of C has a basic scale, do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do, with C as its do, or tonic. Key, then, refers to the presence of a central note, scale, and chord within a piece. Another term for key is tonality.

After 1900, some composers abandoned the traditional system, but even today much of the music we hear is built around a central tone, chord, and scale.

Practically all familiar melodies are built around a central tone. The other tones of the melody gravitate toward this central one. Since the central tone is especially stable and restful, a melody usually ends on it.

Modulation: Change of Key

Shifting from one key to another within the same piece is called modulation. A modulation is like a temporary shift in the center of gravity. When the music starts out in the key of C major, for instance, C is the central tone, and the C major scale and chord predominate. With a modulation to G major, G temporarily becomes the central tone, and the G major scale and chord are now the main ones. Though modulations are sometimes subtle and difficult to spot, they produce subconscious effects that increase our enjoyment of the music.


Texture: homophonic, Polyphonic, Monophonic

Polyphonic Texture

Simultaneous performance of two or more melodic lines of relatively equal interest produces the texture called polyphonic, meaning having many sounds. In polyphony several melodic lines compete for attention. (When several jazz musicians improvise different melodies at once, they produce polyphony.)

The technique of combining several melodic lines into a meaningful whole is called counterpoint.

The term contrapuntal texture is sometimes used in place of polyphonic texture

Polyphonic music often contains imitation, which occurs when a melodic idea is presented by one voice or instrument and is then restated immediately by another voice or instrument.

Homophonic Texture: When we hear one main melody accompanied by chords, the texture is homophonic.

Monophonic Texture: When we hear one main melody without accompaniment, the texture is monophonic.



Form: in music is the organization of musical elements in time. In a musical composition, pitch, tone color, dynamics, rhythm, melody, and texture interact to produce a sense of shape and structure. 

Techniques That Create Musical Form

Repetition, contrast, and variation are essential techniques in short tunes as well as in compositions lasting much longer. Repetition creates a sense of unity; contrast provides variety; and variation, in keeping some elements of a musical thought while changing others, gives a work unity and variety at the same time.

 Repetition: In music the repetition of melodies or extended sections is a technique widely used for binding a composition together. Through repetition, a melody is engraved in the memory.

 Contrast: Forward motion, conflict, and change of mood all come from contrast. Oppositionof loud and soft, strings and woodwinds, fast and slow, major and minorpropels and develops musical ideas. A composer can emphasize the power and excitement of one musical idea by contrasting it with another idea that is calm and lyrical

Variation:In the variation of a musical idea, some of its features will be retained while others are changed. For example, the melody might be restated with a different accompaniment. Or the pitches of a melody might stay the same while its rhythmic pattern is changed. A whole composition can be created from a series of variations on a single musical idea.

Types of Musical Form

Three-Part (Ternary) Form: A B A. During the last few centuries three-part form (A B A) has probably been used most frequently. This form can be represented as statement (A), contrast or departure (B), return (A).

Two-Part (Binary) Form: A B. A composition subdivided into two large sections is in two-part form (A B). Two-part form gives a sense of statement (A) and counterstatement (B).

The Instruments of the Orchestra:


We can divide the instruments of the orchestra in four families:(This classification is made by the way the sound is produced)


            -The String Family:      




                        -Double bass


            -The Woodwind Family:

                        -Flute and Piccolo

                        -Clarinet and Bass Clarinet

                        -Oboe and English Horn

                        -Basson and Contrabassoon


            -The Brass family:

                        -Trumpet and cornet

                        -French Horn and baritone Horn





-The Percussion Family

                        Definite Pitch:

                                    -Timpani (Kettledrums)






                        Indefinite Pitch:

                                    -Snare Drum

                                    -Bass Drum




                                    -Gong (tam-tam)



Middle Ages: (450-1450

            The Middle Ages refers to a period of European history spanning from about 450 to 1450. During the middle ages, there were two important artistic periods:

                        -The Romanesque (1000-1150)

                        -The Gothic (1150-1450)

            The period of history also known as The Dark ages in Europe began about 450 with the disintegration of the Roman Empire.


            During the middle ages, most important musicians were priests. Avirtual monopoly on learning was held by monks in monasteries.


            -During the middle ages, women were not permitted to sign in church.

            -An important women composer of the Middle Ages was Hildegard of Bingen. She is the first woman composer to leave a large number of works that have survived. Hildegard of Bingen was an abbess of the convent at Rupertsberg, she was a visionary and mystic active in religious and diplomatic affairs. She composed the earliest extant liturgical moraity play, Ordo Virtutum (Play of the Virtues).



            -Most medieval music was vocal.


            -The view of the later medieval church on music during religious services was that it should be used as a discreet accompaniment.

            -The Gregorian Chant: was the official music of the Roman Catholic church for more than 1,000 years.

-It is set to sacred texts.

-The Gregorian Chant retained some elements of the Jewish synagogue of the first centuries after Christ.

-The Gregorian Chant is monophonic in texture a melody sung without accompaniment.

-It conveys a calm, otherworldly quality.

-Its rhythm is flexible, without meter.

-Its melodies tend to move stepwise within a narrow range of pitches.

-The Gregorian Chant is named after Pope Gregory I. Pope Gregory the Great reorganized the liturgy of the Catholic church during his reign from 590 to 604He organized and edit them. Because of that, he was credited by medieval legend with having created it, even though it evolved over many centuries.

-The earliest surviving chant manuscript date from about the ninth century.

            The Second Vatican Council of 1962-65 decreed the use of the vernacular in church services. Because of that the Gregorian Chant is seldom heard today.


Church Modes: They were the basic scales of western music during the Middle Ages. They are like the major and minor scales in that they consist of seven tones and an eight tone that duplicates the first an octave higher.



            -We know from paintings and literary descriptions that instruments were used.


-During the Middle Ages, the organ was a prominent church instrument. At first, this instrument was a primitive instrument whose keys were operated by heavy blows of the fist.



Renaissance: (1450-1600)


The Renaissance may be describe as an age of Curiosity and individualism, Exploration and Adventure, The rebirth of human creativity.


-The Renaissance is the time of the Humanism. The intellectual movement called humanism focused on human life and its accomplishments. The humanists were captivated by cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The humanist treated the Virgin Mary as a beautiful woman.


Many prominent Renaissance composers, who held important posts all over Europe, came from Flanders.


Due to the lost of power of the church and the new humanistic ideas, musical activity gradually shifted from the church to the court. Education was considered a status symbol by aristocrats and the upper middle class. Also, every educated person was expected to be trained in music.


Musically, the Renaissance period is sometimes called the golden age of  a capella choral music because the music did not need instrumental accompaniment. The texture of the Renaissance music is chiefly polyphonic. Renaissance composers often used  word painting, a musical representation of specific poetic images.

Certain elements made Renaissance music sounds fuller than medieval music:

            -Composers considered the harmonic effect of chords rather than superimposing one melody above another.

            -Typical choral pieces have four, five, or six voices parts of nearly equal melodic interest.

            -The bass register is used for the first time.

            -Renaissance melodies are usually


A Capella: refers to unaccompanied choral music.





The two main Forms of sacred Renaissance Music are the mass and the motet

            The Motet is a polyphonic choral work set to a sacred Latin text other than the ordinary of the mass.


Josquin Desprez:

            -He spent most of his life in Italy

            -Josquin Desprez  was a contemporary of Christopher Columbus.

            -Josquins composition strongly influenced other composers, and were enthusiastically praised by music lovers.

            -Josquins compositions include masses, motets, and secular vocal pieces.

            -In his works , like for example Ave MariaVirgo Serena, Desprez uses polyphonic imitation, a technique typical of the period.


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina:

            -His career centered in Rome

            -His music includes 104 masses and some 450 other sacred works

            His Pope Marcellus Mass sounds fuller than Josquins Ave Maria because it is set for six voices instead of four.



The Council of Trent attacked the church music of the Renaissance because it used secular tunes, noisy instruments, and theatrical singing. As a result of the deliberations of the Council of Trent, an attempt was made to purify Catholic Church music.



-Renaissance secular vocal music was written for groups of solo voices and for solo voice with instrumental accompaniment.

-Secular music contained more rapid changes of mood than sacred music.

-A wealth of dance music published during the sixteenth century has survived.   


The Madrigal:

            -Is a vocal composition that combines homophonic and polyphonic textures.

            -The madrigal is a piece for several voices set to a short poem, usually about love.

            -The Renaissance Madrigal began around 1520 in Italy.

-It differs from the motet in that it uses a vernacular rather than latin text.

It also differs from the motet in its often use of word painting and unusual harmonies.

-The development of the English Madrigal can be traced to 1588 and considered a result of the publication in London of a volume of translated Italian madrigals.

-The Madrigal anthology The Triumphes of Oriana was written in honor of Queen Elizabeth I

-Thomas Weelkess As Vesta Was Descending is notable for its word painting.



            -Much of the instrumental music composed during the Renaissance was intended for dancing.

            -Lute: A versatile plucked string instrument with a body shaped like half a pear, was popular during the Renaissance.

            -Terpsichore: A collection of over 300 dance tunes, arranged for instrumental ensemble by Michael Praetorius

            -Passamezzo: Is a stately dance in duple meter, similar to the Pavane  





Baroque Period: 1600-1750

Baroque :

            -Indicates a particular style in the arts.

            _Baroque means:          -elaborately  ornamental



            -Baroque Art is a complex mixture of    -Rationalism





Baroque painters:

            -Gian Lorenzo Bernini

            -Peter Paul Rubens

            -Rembrandt Van Rijn.

Baroque painters exploited their materials to expand the potential of color, depth, ornament and detail to create totally structured worlds.


Baroque Composers:

            The two giants of baroque composition were J.S. Bach  and George Friederick Handel.

            Other Baroque composers were:           -Antonio Vivaldi

                                                                        -Arcangelo Corelli

                                                                        -Claudio Monteverdi.


-Early Baroque composers favored homophonic texture over the polyphonic texture typical of Renaissance Music.

-Baroque music features contrats between bodies of sound.


-The  early baroque: was characterized by homophonic texture.

            -Is considered to be one of the most revolutionary periods in music history.

-Composers favored homophonic texture


Claudio Monteverdi:  (Early baroque composer)

            -His music was passionate and dramatic.



-Middle Baroque: A diffusion of the style into every corner of Europe

            -Composers favored writing compositions for instruments of the string family.


By about 1680, major and minor scales were the tonal basis of most compositions.


Late Baroque:

-Instrumental music became as important as vocal music for the first time.


Musical Characteristics of the Baroque Period:

            -Affections in baroque usage refers to emotional states or moods of music.

            -A baroque musical composition usually expresses one basic mood within the same movement.

            -The baroque principle of unity of mood may be temporarily suspended in vocal music when drastic changes of emotion in a text inspires corresponding changes in the music.

            -The compelling drive and energy in baroque music are usually provided by repeated rhythmic patterns.

            -Baroque melodies often are elaborated and ornamental. They give the impression of dynamic expansion.

            -Melodic sequences: A successive repetition of a musical idea at higher or lower pitch levels.

            -A characteristic often found in baroque melodies is a short opening phrase followed by a longer phrase with an unbroken flow of rapid notes.

            -Terraced dynamics: The sudden alternation from one dynamic level to another. -Sudden alternations between loud and soft.-


-The most characteristic feature of baroque music is its use of basso continuo.


-Basso continuo: is a bass part together with numbers (figures) that specified chords to be played above it.


-The orchestra evolved during the baroque period into a performing group based on instruments of the violin family.


Movement: A piece that sounds fairly complete and independent but is part of a larger composition.


-A large court during the baroque might employ more than eighty performers, including the finest opera singers of the day.

-The music director of a baroque court was usually responsible for :

                                    -Supervising and directing musical performances

                                    -Composing much of the music desired.

                                    -The discipline of the other musicians.


-In Italy, schools were often connected with orphanages.


-Church musicians in the baroque period earned lower pay and had less status than court musicians.


-Frederick the Great, King of Prusia, was a a flutist, a composer and a general.


-The position of the composer during the baroque period was that of a high-class servant with few personal rights.


-In the baroque period, the ordinary citizens opportunities for hearing music usually came from the church.


-To get a job, a musician hat to pass a difficult examination.


Concerto Grosso:

- It most often has three movements.

-         The tempo markings for these three movements usually are fast, slow, fast

-         The first and last movements of concerti grosso are often in ritornello form..

            -  It has two groups of players.

-         The large group of players is known as the tutti.

-         It normally involves two to four soloists, and anywhere from eight to twenty or more musicians for the tutti.

-         It presents a contrast of texture between the tutti and the soloists, who assert their individuality and appeal for attention through brilliant and fanciful melodic lines.

-         The principal and often recurring theme of a concerto grosso movement is called the ritornello.

-         Bachs Brandenburg Concerto N0. 5 is unusual in that it gives a solo role to the harpsichord. The solo instruments in this concerto are the flute, violin and harpsichord.



Fugue: A cornerstone of baroque music. This is a polyphonic composition based on one main theme. This main theme is imitated by different voices through the whole piece. This main theme is called the subject.

            - The answer: it is the subject presented in de dominant scale. 

-In many fugues, the subject in one voice is constantly accompanied in another voice by a different melodic idea called a countersubject.

            -Episodes: Transitional sections of a fugue that offer either new materials or fragments of the subject or countersubject.

            -Stretto: it is a musical procedure in which a fugue subject is imitated before it is completed.

            -Pedal Point: It is a single tone, usually in the bass, that is held while the other voices produce a series of changing harmonies against it.

            -Inversion: is a musical procedure consisting of turning the subject of a fugue upside down, or reversing the direction of each interval.

            -Retrograde: It is a musical procedure consisting of presenting the subject of a fugue going from right to left, or beginning with the last and proceeding backward to the first note.

            -Augmentation: It is a musical procedure consisting of presenting the subject of a fugue in lengthened time values.

            -Diminution: It is a musical procedure consisting of presenting the subject of a fugue in shortened time values.

-Prelude: is a short piece of music used to introduced a fugue.


Opera: Is a play, set to music, sung to orchestral accompaniment, with scenary, costumes, and action.

            -Libretto: It is the text, or book, of a musical dramatic work.


            -Voice categories in opera are divided more finely than in other musical genres.

            -Operas may contain spoken dialogue, but most are entirely sung.

            -Opera soloists must create a wide variety of characters, and so need acting skills as well as vocal artistry.

            -Basso profundo: Is a singer with a very low range and powerful voice, who usually takes roles calling for great dignity.

            -Basso buffo: Is a singer with a low range who usually takes comic roles.


            -Aria: A song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment.

            -Recitative: Refers to a vocal line that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech.

            -Duet: Is a musical number for two solo voices with orchestral accompaniment.

            -Ensemble: Is an operatic number involving three or more lead singers.

            -The conductor: is the person who beats time, indicates expression, cues in musicians, and controls the balance among instruments and voices.

            -Ouverture: An orchestral composition performed before the curtain rises on a dramatic work.


Camerata Fiorentina: Members of the Camerata wanted to create a new vocal style based on the music of the ancient Greek tragedies. Most early baroque operas were based on Greek mythology and ancient history.

            -They wanted the vocal line of their music to follow the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech.

            -Polyphony was rejected by the Camerata because different words sounding simultaneously would obscure the text.

            -The earliest opera that has been preserved is Jacopo Peris Euridice.

            -Most early baroque operas were based on Greek mythology and ancient history.

            -The first opera house in Europe to offer entry to anyone with the price of admission opened in 1637 in Venice.

            -The stage machinery of baroque opera bordered on the colossal.


            Castrati: Were male singers who had been castrated before puberty. Combined the lung  power of a man with the vocal range of a woman. Received the highest fees of any musicians.


            -Secco Recitative: Is a speechlike melody accompanied only by a basso continuo.

            -A Typical baroque operatic form was the dacapo aria in ABA form in which the singer was expected to embellish the returning melody with ornamental tones

            -Embellishments: are ornamental tones not printed in the music that seventeenth-and eighteenth-century performers were expected to add to the melody.


Claudio Monteverdi: Spent the greater part of his career in the most important church post in Italy: St. Marks, Venice.

                        -To achieve intensity of expression, Monteverdi used dissonance with unprecedented freedom and daring.

                        -To evoke angry or warlike feelings in some of his texts, Monteverdi introduced new orchestral effects, including pizzicato and tremolo.

                        -Monteverdis vocal music ordinarily was supported by a basso continuo and other instruments.

                        -Monteverdis Orfeo, written in 1607, is considered to be the earliest operatic masterpiece. In this work, Monteverdi creates variety by using many kinds of music, combining recitatives, arias, duets, choruses, and instrumental interludes into one dramatic whole. In the Opera Orfeo, Orpheus goes to Hades in the hope of bringing Eurydice back to life.

                        -Monteverdis works form a musical bridge between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and greatly influenced composers of the time.



Henry Purcell:

            -Purcell mastered all the musical forms of the late seventeenth-century England, including church music, secular choral music, music for small  groups of instruments, songs, and music for the stage.

            -Purcells music is filled with lively rhythms and a fresh melodic style that captures the spirit of English folk songs.

            -Dido and Aeneas, which many consider to be the finest opera ever written to an English text, was composed by Henry Purcell. This work was inspired by the Aeneid, an epic poem by Vrigil. Dido, in Virgils epic poem that Purcell used as the basis for his opera Dido and Aeneas, was queen of Carthage.

            -Some indications of the acclaim and respect given Henry Purcell by his fellow Englishmen can be seen from the fact that he is buried in Westminster Abbey.


Basso Ostinato: A musical idea  repeated over and over in the bass while melodies above it constantly change. A common variation form in the baroque is based on the use of a ground bass


Sonata: The sonata in the baroque period was a composition in several movements for one to eight instruments.

            -The sonata originated in Italy but spread to Germany, England and France during the seventeenth century.

            -Sonatas were played in palaces, in homes, and even before, during and after church services.

            -Baroque trio sonatas usually involve four performers.

Corellis Trio Sonata in A minor, Op3, no 10 is scored for two violins and basso continuo. It consists of four short movements, all in the same key. As characteristic of baroque trio sonatas, the second movement of this Corellis  work is fuguelike.


            -Sonata da chiesa: A sonata intended to be played in church, and therefore dignified and suitable for sacred performance.


-Sonata de Camera: A sonata to be played at court, and therefore dancelike in character.



The abbreviation Op. stands for opus, Latin for Work.


Antonio Vivaldi:

            -Spent most of his life working at an institution for orpfhaned and illegitimate girls in Venice.

            -He is closely identified with the musical life of Venice.

            -He was famous and influential as a virtuoso violinist.

            -Some of his instrumental concertos were arranged by Johan Sebastian Bach.

            -He wrote approximately 450 concerti grossi and solo concertos.

            -A Vivaldi concerto usually has three movements

            -Vivaldi wrote concertos for a great variety of instruments.


Trill: A musical ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of two tones that are a whole or half step apart.



            -Of Bachs twenty children, four went on to become well-known composers.

            -The longest period of his professional life was spent as director of music at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.

            -While at Leipzig, Bach taught organ and composition, gave recitals, and was often asked to judge the quality of organs. He was responsible for the musical education of some fifty-five students in the St. Thomas school. He rehearsed, conducted, and usually composed an extended work for chorus, soloists and orchestra for each Sunday and holiday of the church year.

            -Bachs music uses operatic forms such as the arias and recitative.

            -Bach created masterpieces in every baroque form except opera.

            -Bachs music is unique for its combination of rich harmony and polyphonic texture.


            -Bach was recognized as the most eminent organist of his day.

            -Bachs personal music style was drawn from Italian concertos, French dance pieces, German church music.

            Bach achieves unity of mood in his compositions by using an insistent rhythmic drive.

            -Well-Tempered Clavier: A collection of twice twenty-four preludes and fugues, one in each major and minor key, basic to the repertoire of keyboard players today. This collection of composition displays all the resources of fugue writing.




Improvisation: is music created at the same time as it is performed.


The Baroque suite:

            -Baroque suites often begin with a French overture.

            -A baroque suite is made up of different movements that are all written in the same key but differ in tempo, meter, and character.

            -The various dances of the baroque suite are usually in AABB form.

            -Although All the movements of a baroque suite are written in the same key, they differ in meter, national origin and tempo.

            -Baroque suites usually begin with a French ouverture. The French ouverture: has two sections: slow-fast


Church Music:

            -In Bachs day, the Lutheran church service lasted about four hours.

            -The chorale is a Lutheran congregational hymn tune.

            -The Lutheran chorale tunes had been adapted from Catholic hymns. They were composed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They had been adapted from folk songs.

            -A Chorale prelude: is a short instrumental composition based on a hymn tune that reminds the congregation of the hymns melody. It is an instrumental composition.


Cantata: A sung piece, or choral work with or without vocal soloists, usually with orchestral accompaniment..

            -In their use of aria, duet, and recitative, Bachs cantatas closely resembled the operas of the time.

            -In a sense, the cantata was s sermon in music that reinforced the ministers sermon.

            -The cantata of Bachs day might last 25 minutes and contain several different movements, including choruses, recitatives, arias and duets.



            -Oratorio differs from opera in that it has no acting, scenery, or costumes.

            -An oratorio is a large-scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra, usually set to a narrative text.

            -The first oratorios were based on stories from the Bible.

            -Pieces of an oratorio are usually connected together by means of a narrators recitatives.

            -The chorus in the oratorio  is especially important and serves either to comment on or to participate in the drama.

            -In oratorio, the story is carried forward by the narrators recitatives.

            _Oratorios first appeared in Italy

            -George Friederick Handels Messiah is an example of an oratorio.


George Friederick Handel:

            -He was born in 1685, the same year as J.S. Bach

            -Handel spent the major portion of his life in England.

            -He wrote the Messiah, an oratorio.

            -Ion addition to being a composer and opera impresario, Handel was a virtuoso organist.

            -Although Handel wrote a great deal of instrumental music, the core of his huge output consists of English oratorios and Italian operas.

            -Handels oratorios are usually based on the Old Testament.

            -The focus of the Handelian oratorio is sually the chorus.

            -Handels Messiah, set to a text compiled by Charles Jennings from the Old Testaments, is meditative rather than as dramatic as Handels other oratorios.


            Handels oratorios include: Messiah, Israel in Egypt and Joshua




                                                            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.


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


-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



                                                                                                -string quartets

                                                                                                -and others.

                        First movement: -fast tempo- (Allegro )

                                                   -called sonata form


                                                -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.




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


                                    It took on the shape of the sonata cycle.

The Orchestra:


-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.


                        -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.



                        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





                                    Mozart wrote 25 piano concerti

                                                            8 violin concerti

                                                            Others for -violin and viola



                                                                            -flute and harp




                                    Beethoven wrote          -5 piano concerti

                                                                        -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


                                                                        -Luigi Boccherini





                                                                        -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


                                                -Haydn: 12 violin sonatas

                                                -Mozart: 35 violin sonatas

                                                -Beethoven: 10 violin sonatas



                                                                ROMANTIC PERIOD


The Romantic Period flourished during 1820-1900.



                -A fascination with fantasy.

                -An enthusiasm for the culture of the Middle Ages.

                -An interest in exoticism and the past.

                -Emotional subjectivity

                -Interest in the strange and unknown.

                -Wide ranges of emotional expression


                Other characteristics:

-Exoticism, idea or scene.



                                -Nationalism (deliberate intent to draw creative inspiration from the composers own homeland)




The most important inspiration for romantic art was Nature.


Nationalism: (deliberate intent to draw creative inspiration from the composers own homeland).


Composers expressed musical nationalism in their music by:

                                -using the rhythms of the dances of their homelands

                                -By using their national legends as subject matter

                                -By basing their music on the folk songs of their country.


Exoticism: Drawing on colorful materials from foreign lands.



Romantic Composers:

                -Giuseppe Verdi                     -Robert Schumann

                -Frederick Chopin                  -Clara Schumann

-Niccolo Paganini                 -Franz Liszt


-Because of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, many aristocrats could no longer afford to maintain private opera houses, orchestras, and composers in residence


-Romantic composers wrote primarily for a middle-class audience whose size and prosperity had increased because of the industrial revolution.


-The rise of the urban middle class led to the formation of many orchestras and opera groups, and the development of regular subscription concerts. Also, the piano became a fixture in every middle-class home.


-The New York Philharmonic, created during this period, is tied for third place as the oldest orchestra in the world. 


-Many Music Conservatoires were founded during the 1860s. In America, Music Conservatories were founded in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Oberlin, and Philadelphia during this time.


-When music conservatoires were founded, women were at first accepted only as students of performance, but by the late 1800s could study musical composition.


-Ludwig van Beethovens career was a model for many romantic composers.


-The Nineteenth-century public was captivated by virtuosity. Clara Schumann, Niccolo Paganini, Franz Liszt, and Frederick Chopin were romantic composers who also were virtuoso instrumentalists.


-Franz Liszt earned his living as a touring virtuoso.

-Niccolo Paganini earned his living as a violin virtuoso.


-Music critics became a profession during this period. Music criticism was a source of income for both Hector Berlioz and Robert Schumann.


-In the 1830s, Paris was considered the artistic capital of Europe and the center of romanticism.

                                                                                INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC


Program music: Programmatic music is a new development during the romantic period. Program music is instrumental music associated with a story, poem.


Absolute Music: Nonprogram music. It is instrumental music written for its own sake, and for which the composer did not intend a program.


Program Symphonie: An instrumental composition in several movements based to some extent on a literary or pictorial idea.


Symphonic Poem: a one-movement orchestral composition based to some extent on a literary or pictorial idea. The symphonic poem was developed by Franz Liszt.


Incidental Music:  Music intended to be performed before and during a play to set the mood for scenes or highlight dramatic action. (Todays movie scores may be regarded as examples of Incidental Music.


The Orchestra: The orchestra was larger and more varied in tone color than the classical orchestra. The orchestra grew in number of instruments during the romantic period. Toward the end of the Romanticism, an orchestra might include close to 100 musicians.

The Piano:  During the romanticism the piano technology and resistance were improved. A cast-iron frame was introduced to hold the strings under greater tension. The pianos hammers were covered with felt. The damper pedal was developed allowing a sonorous blend of tones from all registers of the piano.


Musical Elements:

-In 1844 Hector Berlioz wrote a Treatise in Modern Instrumentation and Orchestration. This book signals the recognition or orchestration as an art in itself. 


                -Romantic music puts unprecedented emphasis on self-expression and individuality of style.

                -Romantic composers relied upon a more prominent use of chromatic harmony, or the use of chords containing tones not found in the prevailing major or minor scale.

                -A romantic composition tends to have a wide variety of keys and rapid modulations.


Characteristic technichs of the romantic performance:

-Ritardando: A slight slowing down of the tempo.


-Accelerando: A slight speeding up of the tempo.


-Rubato: A slight holding back or pressing forward of tempo. It is used to intensify the expression of the music.


-Thematic transformation: Altering the character of a melody by changes in dynamics, orchestration, or rhythm.


The Romantic Art Song: A musical composition for solo voice and piano. The accompaniment of a romantic art song is an integral part of the composers conception, and it serves as an interpretive partner to the voice. The mood of an art song is often set by a brief piano introduction and summed up at the end by a piano section called a postlude.

                -When the same music is repeated for each stanza of a poem the form is known as strophic

                -When a composer writes a new music for each stanza of a poem the form is known as through-composed


Song Cycle: Is a set of romantic art songs that may be unified by a story line that runs through the poems, or by musical ideas linking the songs.


Lied: A romantic Art Song with a German text.

                -The German composers of Art songs favored, among others, the lyric poetry of Johann Wofgang von Goethe and Heinrich Heine.


Franz Schubert:

                -Schubert was the first great master of the romantic art song.

                -At the time of his death, Schuberts reputation was mainly that of a fine song composer.

                -In addition to symphonies, operas, string quartets and other chamber works, Schubert composed over six hundred songs.

                -He wrote in every musical genre except for concertos.

                -He wrote a number of symphonies and chamber works that are comparable in power and emotional intensity to those of his idol, Beethoven.

                -His primary source of income came from his musical compositions. He led a

bohemian existence, living with friends because he had no money to rent a room of his own.


Robert Schumann:

                -He was also writer and a critic. He founded and edited the New Journal of Music . He discovered and made famous some of the leading composers of his day. At the time, he wrote appreciative reviews of young radical composers like Chopin and Berlioz.

                -His music works are intensely autobiographical, essentially lyrical in nature, and  usually linked with descriptive titles, texts, or programs.

                -During the first ten years of his creative life, Schumann published only piano pieces.

                -Schumanns genius is most characteristically expressed in his songs and short piano pieces, both of which he usually organized into sets or cycles.

                -His symphonies are romantic in their emphasis on lyrical second themes, use of thematic transformation, and connections between movements.


Clara Wieck Schumann:  

                -Wife of Robert Schumann

                -Also a composer and concert pianist. She was also the mother of a large family.

                -She frequently performed the works of her husband and of her close friend Johannes Brahms.

                -She was a child prodigy and later one of the leading concert pianist of the nineteenth century.

                -She stopped composing at the age of thirty-six when her husband died.

                -As a composer she wrote songs, piano pieces, a piano concerto, and a trio for piano, violin, and cello. She considered herself primarily a performer.


Romanze: term used for short lyrical pieces for piano or solo instrument with piano accompaniment. 


Frederick Chopin:

                -He was shy and reserved. He disliked crowds and preferred to play in salons rather thanin public concert halls.

                -He expressed his love of Poland by composing Polonaises and Mazurkas. (A Polonaise is a dance in triple meter that originated as a stately procession for the polish nobility.

                He wrote a set of nocturnes. (A nocturne is a slow, lyric, intimate composition for piano, associated with evening.

                He wrote two set of 12 etudes. (A Etude is a study piece, designed to help a performer master specific technical difficulties. For example Chopin'

                While in Paris he earned a good living by teaching piano to the daughters of the rich.

                More of his pieces are exquisite miniatures.


Franz Liszt:

                As a youth, he was influenced by the performance of Niccolo Paganini

                -During his teens and twenties, he lived in Paris.

                -He toured Europe as a virtuoso pianist until the age of thirty-six.

                -Liszt abandoned his career as a traveling virtuoso to become court conductor at Weimar, where he championed works by contemporary composers. He became a champion of modern music during his time.

                -His work was inspired by the literary works of Johan Wolfgang von Goethe.

                -Liszt typified the romantic movement because he was an innovative composer and stupendous performer with a charismatic personality.

                -To display his incomparable piano mastery, Liszt composed his transcendental Etudes and made piano transcriptions of Paganinis violin pieces.


                -Liszt created the symphonic poem, a one-movement orchestral composition based to some extent on a literary or pictorical idea.

                -In many of his works, Liszt unified contrasting moods by a process known as thematic transformation.

                -His piano works are characterized by :

                                                                -an unprecedented range of dynamics.

                                                                -rapid octaves and daring leaps



Felix Mendelssohn:

                -By the age of thirteen, he had written vocal works, sonatas, symphonies and concertos of astounding quality.

                -Mendelssohn is known as the man who rekindled an interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

                -The high point of his career was the triumphant premiere of his oratorio Elijah in England.

Mendelssohn wrote in all musical forms except for operas.

                -Today, one of his most popular piece is the Violin Concerto. The three movements of this work are played without pause. Another unusual characteristic of this piece is that in the opening of the concerto, the main theme is presented by the soloist. The cadenza of the first movement appears at the end of the development section as a transition to the recapitulation.


Hector Berlioz:

                -In 1839 the Paris  Conservatory awarded Berlioz the Prix de Rome

                -In his young years, his works were influenced by the writings of William Shakespeare.

                -On of his most important works is the Fantastic Symphony. This work reflects Berliozs love for the actress Harriet Smithson. At the time, Parisians were startled by Berliozs Fantastic Symphony because of its sensationally autobiographical program. The work makes a vivid description of the weird and diabolical. Musically, this work presents an amazingly novel orchestration. The contrasting episodes of this work are unified by the recurrence of a theme known as the idee fixe

                -Despite his success, Berlioz turned to musical journalism in order to support his family.

                -Outside France, Berlioz enjoyed a great career as a conductor. Hi was extraordinarily imaginative in treating the orchestra creating tone colors never before heard.