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Music in the Classical Period

Music in the Classical Period

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Music in the Classical Period

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  1. Music in the Classical Period Franz Joseph Haydn & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  2. General Characteristics ofClassical Music • It is meant to be easy on the ear. • Direct reaction to the complexity of Baroque music. • Balance, clarity, accessibility. • Melody with accompaniment (homophony). • Melodies are tuneful and catchy (2-4 measure phrases). • Harmony is simple, logical and clear (few dissonances). • No basso continuo (walking or Alberti Bass).

  3. Three Main Qualities • Melody is most important part. • Tuneful and balanced. • Simple harmony. • Light accompaniment.

  4. Classical Opera • Opera buffa – comic opera. • Simple music, amusing plot, real characters. • Performed in palace and public opera houses. • Reaction to problems with Baroque Opera. • Mythology/historical • Not real people or situations • Music too heavy and complex.

  5. Symphony • Most important instrumental genre. • Began as sinfonia (overture to opera). • Three movements (Fast, Slow, Fast) • Begins to look like the modern symphony.

  6. Mannheim, Germany • Center of symphonic composition and performance. • Johann Stamitz, conductor • Expanded sinfonia to four movements • Mvt 1 – Fast and serious (sonata form) • Mvt 2 – Slow and lyrical (aria form) • Mvt 3 – Graceful and moderate (dance form) • Mvt 4 – Fast and lively (Rondo form) • Structure of the orchestra expanded • Full strings, woodwinds (flute/oboe, horn), trumpets and drums, later added bassoons and clarinets. • Mannheim Steamroller - Crescendo

  7. Chamber Music • Music for the Middle Class to play at home. • String Quartet – Violin I & II, viola, cello • Ideal balance to match SATB voice types. • Followed the symphonic patterns. • Sonatas • Solo keyboard or keyboard + solo instrument. • 1775 – pianoforte replaces harpsichord. • Composers wrote and improvised from the keyboard (often performing their own music).

  8. Mvt. 1 - Sonata Form Exposition – state the two themes (firs in tonic, second in dominant). Development – develop the themes by changing keys, etc. Recapitulation – replay the two themes, both in the tonic key. Coda – optional ending Used for the most serious musical ideas. Mvt. 2 – Aria Form Lyrical and song-like. ABA form Triple meter Contrasting keys with new material. Less serious than Sonata Form Strict Conventions and Forms

  9. Mvt. 3 – Minuet and Trio Form Minuet – Dance in Binary form (AABB usually in ¾ time) Trio – Different music in binary form (CCDD) Return to original Minuet (AB) Makes for an overall ternary form (ABA). Mvt. 4 – Rondo form Simplest of all forms (most accessible). New music always returns to a main theme. ABACADA……. Forms (cont.)

  10. Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) • Began musical career as choir boy in Vienna (learned to play harpsichord and violin). • 1761 – hired as assistant music director to Prince Esterhazy • 1762 – Palace Esterhaza built • 2 large music rooms and 2 opera theatres. • 1766 – promoted to Music Director

  11. Haydn’s Musical Duties • As music director he was expected to write, direct or perform 2 operas and 2 concerts each week, extra concerts for important visitors, dinner music and chamber music for the Prince’s rooms. • As a result he wrote over 100 symphonies, 70 string quartets, 50+ keyboard sonatas, and numerous choral and solo voice pieces. • Last 12 symphonies written in London.

  12. Haydn’s Music • Operas – Wrote many, but few are still performed today. • Symphonies – Wrote well over 100. • Expanded the size by emphasizing brass, clarinets and percussion. • Added crescendos and accents. • Father of the String Quartet • First to develop the genre • Masses • Oratorios – The Creation & The Seasons • Musical Jokes • Credited with inventing the false recapitulation • Surprise/Farewell Symphonies

  13. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart1756-1791

  14. Leopold Mozart • Mozart’s father was a performer, composer, author and music theorist. • Wrote one of the most important contributions to music theory. • Sacrificed his own career to further his son’s. • Domineering personality who took Mozart on tour at a young age.

  15. The Child Prodigy • Age 4 – Learned to play harpsichord and violin. • Age 6 – wrote his first compositions and started touring (10yrs). • Age 10 – First Symphony • Age 14 – First Opera • Age 17 – Hired by Archbishop of Salzburg

  16. Mozart’s Family • Mother died while he was very young. • Sister, Nanerl, also was musically gifted. • 1782 Married Constanze Weber

  17. Mozart’s Early Music • Released by the Archbishop for disorderly conduct and began freelance composing. • Considered too young and overqualified for most jobs. • Moved to Vienna • 1782 – First major opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio • Wrote string quartets to emulate Haydn. • Made a living by performing his piano concertos.

  18. Mozart’s Late Music • Losing fame and poorly managed money. • Late works are the most impressive. • Symphonies 37, 40, 41 • Operas • 1786 – Marriage of Figaro • 1787 – Don Giovanni • 1791 – Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) • Requiem

  19. Mozart’s Characteristics • Accessible and highly refined. • Instilled a sense of drama in all of his music. • Master of melody, tuneful and catchy. • Mastered all Classical genres. • Wrote more than 800 compositions in 35 years.