Music Appreciation Essay

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Identify the distinctive stylistic features of Classical music. A classical composition will fluctuate in mood. Dramatic, turbulent music might lead into a care free dance tune. Not only are there contrasting themes within a movement, but there may also be striking contrasts within a single theme. Mood in classical music may change gradually or suddenly, expressing conflicting surges of elation and depression. But such conflict and contrast are under the firm control under the classical composer. Flexibility of rhythm adds variety to classical music and has a wealth of rhythmic tatters.
It also includes unexpected pauses, syncopation, and frequent changes from long notes to shorter ones. Changes from one patter of note lengths to another may either be sudden or gradual. Classical music is basically of homophobic texture; however, texture is treated as flexibly as rhythm. Pieces shift smoothly or suddenly from one texture to another. A work may begin homicidally with a melody and simple accompaniment then change to a more complex polyphonic texture that features two simultaneous melodies or melodic fragments initiated among the various instruments. Classical melodies are the most tuneful and easiest to remember.
They tend to sound balanced and symmetrical because they are frequently made up of two phrases of the same length. Classical composers’ interest in expressing shades of emotion led to the wide spread use of gradual dynamic change – crescendo and decrescendo. Most of the mature keyboard compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were written for the piano rather than the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ, which had been featured in Baroque music. The basso continuo was gradually abandoned during the classical period because more ND more music was written for amateurs who could not master the difficult art of improvising from a figured bass. Examine 156-157) 2. Describe the orchestra of the Classical era? The classical orchestra evolved during the classical period. It was a standard group of four sections; strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. In the late instrumental works of Mozart and Haydn, an orchestra might consist of the following; Strings: 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses; Woodwinds: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons; Brass: 2 French horns, 2 trumpets; Percussion: 2 timpani. Each section of the classical orchestra had a special role. (Examine 157-158) 3.
Discuss the role of music and the composer in classical society. Composers in the classical period worked during a period of violent, political, and social habeas. Musicians were strongly affected by changes in society and in the careers of the three classical masters and the slow emancipation of the composers can be traced. In some cases composers had spent most of their lives serving wealthy aristocratic families. Joseph Hayden was considered a skilled servant or game keeper. He wore a uniform and composed music for His Highness as ordered.
Mozart born twenty-four years later could not bear being treated as a servant so he broke from his court position and went to Vienna to try his luck as a freelance musician. He was successful for years, his popularity declined and he died in debt. Beethoven, a few years later, was able to work as an independent musician in Vienna. He was successful through a wider middle-class market for music and a commanding personality that prompted Music Appreciation Mark By Dorian advanced, more people made more money. Merchants, doctors, and government officials could afford better homes and better food.
The prospering middle class anted more than material goods and sought out theatre, literature, and music. Because palace concerts were usually closed to the middle class, towns people organized public concerts where they could hear the latest symphonies and concertos. During the second half of the 18th century public concerts mushroomed throughout Europe. In London a concert series ran from 1765 to 1781 conducted by one of Bach’s son, Johann Christian Bach, who had settled in England. Composers in the middle-class period wrote pieces that were easy for armature musicians to play and understand.
They turned from serious to comic opera. From the heroic and hydrological plots deer to the nobility to middle-class subjects and folk like tunes. (Examine 159) 4. Discuss the four main sections of sonata form. A sonata form movement consists of three main sections; the Exposition, where the themes are presented; the Development where the themes are treated in new ways; and the Recapitulation, where the themes return. These three themes are often followed by a concluding section, the coda. (Examine 161) 5. What are Theme and Variations, Minuet and Trio, and Rondo?
The form called Theme and Variations was widely used in the classical period, either has an independent piece or as one movement of a homophony, sonata, or sitting quartet. In a theme and variations, a basic musical idea – the theme – is repeated over and over and is changed each time. This form may be outlined as theme A-variation 1 (A’)- variation 2 variation 3 (A”), and so on; each prime mark indicated a variation of the basic idea. The form known as Minuet and Trio, or Minuet, is often used as the third movement of classical symphonies, string quartets, and other works.
The minuet originated as a dance. The Minuet was a stately, dignified dance in which the dancing couple exchanged courtesies and bows. The Minuet movement of a symphony or string quartet is written for listening, not dancing. Many musical movements are in Rondo form. A rondo features a tuneful main theme (A) which returns several times in alternation with other themes. Common rondo patterns are A BAA C A and A BAA C A B A. The main theme is usually lively, pleasing, and simple to remember, and the listener can easily recognize its return. Examine 165, 168-170) 6. Describe the form of the Classical Symphony. A symphony is an extended, ambitious composition typically lasting between 20 and 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded range of tone color and dynamics of the classical orchestra. The classical symphony usually consists of four movements that evoke a wide range of emotions through contrasts of tempo and mood. A typical sequence (1) a vigorous dramatic fast movement; (2) a lyrical slow movement; (3) a danceable movement (minuet or scherzo); and (4) a brilliant or heroic fast movement.
The opening movement is almost always fast and in sonata form, usually the most dramatic movement and stress an exciting development of short motives. (Examine 171) 7. Describe the form of the Classical Concerto. The classical concerto is 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. Emerging from this encounter is a contrast of ideas and sound that is dramatic and satisfying.
The soloist is very much the star and all of his/her can be seen in the concerto, because soloist and orchestra are equally important. Between them there’s an interplay of melodic lines and a spirit of give-and-take. Like symphonies, concertos can last anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes and classical concerto has three movements: (1) fast, (2) slow, and (3) fast. (Examine 172) 8. What s Chamber music and name the most popular genre? Classical chamber music is designed for the intimate setting of a room (chamber) in a home or palace, rather than for public concert hall.
It is performed by a small group of two to nine musicians, with one player to a part. It is lighter in sound than classical orchestral music. During the classical period it was fissionable for an aristocrat or a member of the well-to-do middle-class to play chamber music with friends and to hire professional musicians to entertain guests after dinner. Chamber music is subtle and intimate, intended to please the performer as much as the listener. A chamber music group is a team. The most important form in classical chamber music is the string quartet, written for 2 violins, a voila, and a cello. (Examine 173) 9.
Discuss the emergence of the piano as the favored keyboard instrument during the classical era. Classical composers’ interest in expressing shades of emotion led to the wide spread use of gradual dynamic change – crescendo and decrescendo. Most of the mature keyboard compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were written for the piano rather than the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ, which had been featured in Baroque music. The basso continuo was gradually abandoned during the classical period because more and more music was written for amateurs who could not master the difficult art of improvising from a figured bass. Examine 156-157) 10. Discuss the life of Joseph Haydn and his music. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was born in a tiny Austrian village called Aurora. At the age of 8 he went to Vienna and served as a quire boy in the Cathedral of SST. Stephen. When his voice changed he was dismissed, penniless, gave music lessons to children, took odd Jobs including playing violin in street bands. Aristocratic patrons began to notice him and at age 29, his life changed for the better permanently. He entered the service of the Stretchers, the richest and the most powerful of the Hungarian noble families.
For almost 30 years his music was composed for performance in the palace of the family especially Stargaze which contained an opera house, a theatre, two concert halls, and 126 guest rooms. Hayden, a highly skilled servant was to compose all the music requested by his patron, conduct the orchestra, coach singers, and oversee the instruments and the music library. There were usually 2 concerts and 2 opera performances weekly. Haydn was a pathfinder for the classical style, a pioneer in the development of the symphony and string quartet. Both Mozart and Beethoven were influenced by his style.
His music like his personality is robust and direct; it radiates a healthy optimism. He had a love for nature and was a master at developing themes. He could build a whole movement out of a single main theme, creating contrasts of mood through changes in texture, key, rhythm, dynamics, and orchestration. He produced comic effects from unexpected pauses and tempo changes from sudden shifts in dynamics and pitch where a soft them is suddenly punctuated by a loud horn. He produced 104 symphonies along with 68 string quartets are considered the most important part of his enormous output. Examine 173-174) 11. Discuss the most amazing child prodigies in history born in Salisbury, Austria. At 6 he could play harpsichord, violin, improvise fugues, write minuets, and read music perfectly at first sight. At the age of 8 he wrote a symphony, at 11 an oratorio, and at 12 an opera. Between the age of 6 and 15 he was continuously on tour. He played for aristocrats, empresses and kings in Vienna and London. At 15 he returned home, which was ruled by a new prince-arch bishop. The arch bishop was a tyrant who didn’t appreciate Mozart music and gave him a subordinate seat in the courts orchestra.
He tried repeatedly over the next decade to find suitable position elsewhere with no success. The tragic irony of Mozart life is that he won more acclaim as a boy wonder than as an adult musician. Having begun his life as an international celebrity and he could not stand being treated like a servant. The prince-arch bishop forbade him to give concerts or perform at the house of the aristocracy and his relationships with his patrons went from bad to worse. At age 25 he broke free and traveled to Vienna to be freelance musician. The first few years were successful.
Mozart was among the most versatile of all composers. He wrote masterpieces in all musical forms of his times, symphonies, string quartets, piano concertos, and operas. His music conveys a feeling of ease, grace, and spontaneity, as well as balance, restraint, and perfect proportion. Yet mysterious harmonies bring dark moods that contrast with the lyricism. Mozart fuses power and elegance in a unique way. His compositions sound effortless and were created with miraculous rapidity. He completed his last 3 symphonies in only three weeks. Examine 176-178) 12.
Discuss the life of Beethoven and his music. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in Bonn, German into a family of musicians. By the age of 11 he was serving as an assistant to the court organist, at 12 he had several piano compositions published, at 16 he played for Mozart. Shortly before his 22 birthday he left to study piano with Haydn where he spent the rest of his life. Although his studies with Haydn were not entirely successful he went secretly to another teacher. In 1889, three noblemen committed themselves to give him an annual income the condition – he had to remain in Vienna.
Disaster struck during his 29th year where his hearing was weakened and the doctor could not do anything to halt it. As his hearing weakened so did his piano playing. By the time he was 44 he had stopped playing in public. Beethoven’s demand for perfection meant long and hard work. Sometimes he worked for years on a single symphony, writing other works within the same period of time. He carried a music sketch book everywhere Jotting down ideas and revising and refining old ones. His most popular works are the nine symphonies written for larger orchestras than Heyday’s and Mozart. Each is unique in character and style.
There is a curious alternation of mood between his odd-numbered symphonies which tend to be forceful and assertive than his even-numbered numbers which are calmer and more lyrical. His 32 piano sonatas are far more difficult than the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart and exploit the stronger, tonally improved piano of Beethoven’s time drawing many new effects from it. While most of Beethoven’s important works are for instruments, his sense of drama was expressed in vocal music, including two masses and his only opera, Fidelity. (Examine 188-191) Examine, Roger. Music: An Appreciation. De. Seventh. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Kick. 20 June 2013.

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