Classical Music

Classical Music
Mrs. Paolucci
Spring, 2009
Eighteenth Century Classicism
• Seeks order,
• Idealized the civilization
of Greece and Rome
• EX: Monticello
Eighteenth Century History
• French Revolution
• Advances in science
(steam engine,
electricity, oxygen, the
• The American
Revolution (1775-83)
• Age of Reason (BUT
using reason to attack
existing order)Enlightenment (Voltaire,
Classical Music
• Lyrical melodies
• Repetition of a pattern at
higher and lower pitches
• Clear harmonies
(homophonic texture)
• Steady temp (will stay in
the same meter until the
• Movement between keys
but returning to the
home key
Patronage System
• Gave musicians economic security
• Performances moving from palaces to concert
• Many composers conducted their own
symphonies (Haydn, Beethoven). Others
(Mozart) played own piano concertos
Chamber Music- The Golden Era
• Music for a small
ensemble (2-8) with one
player to a part
• String quartet (2 violins,
viola and cello); duo
sonata (violin and piano
or cello and piano);
quintet (combination of
string or wind
instruments or string
quartet and solo
instruments) Eine Kleine
Nachtmusik (1787)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)
• Austrian
• Began to compose
before he was five
(father was composer in
the court of the
archbishop of Salzburg)
• Rebelled against his
patron the archbishop
of Salzburg- dismissed
for quarreling with him
Antonio Salieri
• Established himself in
Vienna as a free-lance
musician at the age of 25.
• Struggled to win the
backing of Emperor Joseph
II (composer Antonio Salieri
was much more popular!)
Mozart’s Music
• The Marriage of Figaro (1786) (opera buffa- comic
Italian opera)
• Don Giovanni (1787) (opera buffa)
• The Magic Flue (ligher form of German opera
with dialogue)
• For Piano (the Fantasia in C minor, Sonata in C
• The Requiem Mass (died the same night
musicians got together to sing through a
completed version of it (December 4, 1791)
• Rooted in the opera overture (piece for
orcheatra in 3 sections fast-slow0fast)
• Rocket Theme (opening of Eine Kleine Nacht)aggressive rhythmic theme rising from low to
high register at “Rocket” speed
• Drawn our crescendo (Rising slowly to a
Qualities of Mozart’s Music
Chamber Music
• Sense of Drama
• Contrasting Moods (from
lively and playful to solemn
and tragic)
• Carefully weaving
orchestration with
interweaving lines
• Rich orchestration
• Depth of Emotion
Comic Opera- The Marriage of Figaro
• A servant Figaro outwits his master, Almaviva