The Classical Period 1750-1820
The Classical Period • What’s going on in the world? • 1756- Seven year’s war (French and Indian war) • 1776- Declaration of Independence (Revolutionary War) • 1789- French Revolution Begins • 1799- Rosetta Stone Discovered • War of 1812 • Rise of the middle class
The Classical Period • What’s going on in Music? • Piano takes the place of the harpsichord • Orchestra is expanded • Opera takes off • Vienna is the musical capitol of the world • Transition from the patronage system to the freelance system
Characteristics • Mainly homophonic • Greater range of dynamics • Variety and contrast • Simple, balanced and symmetrical • “absolute music” • Not necessarily about anything
Forms • Binary • Ternary • Minuet • Rondo • Theme and Variation (Surprise Symphony)
Composers • Haydn • Mozart • Beethoven
Haydn • Difficult youth • At age 8 he left home to become a choirboy at St. Stephen’s in Vienna • After he lived in an attic and scratched out a living as a musician- performing on the street and writing songs for the theatre • “fake it ‘till you make it” • Gigs with nobility • Lessons • Finally commissioned works
The Esterhazy Family • Haydn was employed by the family in 1761 • Had their own puppet theatre, orchestra and opera house • Wrote music, conducted, recruited and managed musicians and cared for the instruments
His own fame • By 1780 he was known all over Europe • Wrote a TON of music • 108 symphonies • 65 other orchestral works • 707 chamber pieces • 101 solo instrumental pieces • 25 operas • 88 choral works • 101 songs • That’s 1,195 works.... WOW!
Symphony in G major no. 94 no. 2 • Country: Vienna • Genre: Orchestral • Form: Theme and Variation • Theme: subject/ main melody • Variation: alteration of the theme through one or more elements • Symphony: Long musical work for orchestra. Usually has many movements/ parts • Nickname: The Surprise Symphony • See if you can tell why!
How can we create a variation? • Brainstorm with your neighbor- what can we change about a melody or how its played to make it slightly different, but still recognizable?
Write! • You are a person living in the classical period • You have just gone to see Haydn’s surprise symphony in concert! • Write a letter to a family member about the performance • What were some instruments? (2 pts.) • What were some of the variations of the melody? (2 pts.) • What was the surprise? (2 pts.) • Who was the composer (2 facts! 2 pts.) • Spelling and grammar (2 pts.)
Mozart • Child prodigy • So was his sister • Learned most of his skills from his father • Wrote his first piece at age 5 • Was a freelance composer • Was friends with Haydn • His popularity lessened later in his life and he was forced to take jobs that didn’t pay well • Died a poor man
Fugue • A fugue is like a round • The main theme of a fugue is called the subject • The development section of the fugue is called an Episode
Fugue on a theme by Lady Gaga • By Giovanni Dettori • Based on the theme from “Bad Romance” • Raise your hand every time you hear the “subject” enter, no matter what voice it is in! • During the development (which I will point out) something about the melody changes... What is it?
Kyrie from Requiem in D Minor • Written in Austria • A requiem is part of a funeral mass • See if you can figure out who sings each entrance of the subject!
Mass in D minor • Mozart was writing this on his deathbed! • He felt as if he was writing his own requiem... • There is a mystery/myth surrounding it! • AnthonioSalieri • Mozart died before he was able to complete the mass • Was actually completed by Franz Xavier Sussmayr
Write! • You have attended a concert of Mozart’s requiem • The Kyrie section was a fugue. What is a Fugue? (2 pts) • What are the 4 voice parts in the chorus? (and in which order did they present the theme?) (2 pts.) • Tell me about the condition Mozart was in while writing it (2 pts.) • Give me one other fact about Mozart’s life. (2 pts.) • Check spelling and grammar! (2 pts.)
Beethoven • Was a gifted child from a young age • His father thought he would be the next child prodigy, like Mozart. • His father taught him music • First performance at 7 ½ years old • His father told the audience he was 6 • Because of this Beethoven always thought he was younger than he was • His father’s knowledge only went so far, so Beethoven looked to other teachers and learned the art of composition and how to play the Organ.
Beethoven • At 14 became the organist for a Prince who recognized his talent and sent him to Vienna • Took lessons from both Haydn and Mozart • After gaining fame he wrote a letter home discussing his fears that he was becoming deaf (1802- Heiligenstadt Testament) • Always took care of his family • Even took custody of his brother’s son upon his brother’s death • Went deaf near the end of his life • Eventually caught a cold which put too much strain on his body and died surrounded by family and friends during a thunderstorm. • they claim there was a giant peel of thunder the moment he died... Creepy!
Symphony No 5 in C minor • Fate motif: how many notes? • Motif: A short musical idea on which a melody is based • Sequence: when a motif is repeated starting on a different note • What does Beethoven do to make this piece particularly dramatic?
Write! • Pretend the Heiligenstadt Testament had never been written. • You are Beethoven, writing about your life. • Tell me a few facts from childhood (why was it hard?), about living in Vienna (who did you study with), about your hearing loss and your final days. Be dramatic... Remember, you ARE Beethoven. • What makes Beethoven’s music more dramatic than other composers of this period. Give 2 examples