Thursday, November 26, 2009

Music of the Classical Period 1750-1820

I - Introduction
Classical Period is also called the Age of Reason. The period between 1750-1820 was marked by the rise of the lower and middle classes in a democratic spirit which asserted itself in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic War.

In music, the term classical refers to the period which extends roughly from the death of J.S. Bach in 1750 to the death of Beethoven in 1827. Because cultural life was dominated by the aristocracy, the art was subservient to the ruling class and became elegant, formalized, restrained, and impersonal. Many composers were employed by the aristocracy establishment rather than the churches ads had been common in the past.
II - Abstraction
Sonata Allegro Form
The sonata allegro form is a large that is very often used as the first movement of symphonies and solo sonatas. It is a large ternary structure consisting of three main sections.

A. Exposition – in which the themes are stated; contains the principal themes; in the simple classical structure, there are only two or three themes

* Principal Theme – in the tonic key
* Subordinate Theme – in a related key such as the dominant or relative major
* Closing Theme – also called codetta; serves to bring the exposition to a close

B. Development – in which the themes are developing; on or
both the themes may be developed often by modulating to new keys.

C. Recapitulation- a restatement of the exposition; all three sections in original tonic key

* Principal theme
* Subordinate theme
* Closing theme
Mozart and the sonata
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was considered by many as the greatest musical genius of all time. He was a child prodigy and was already composing music and playing he violin and harpsichord at the age of five. At the age of thirteen, he had written sonatas, concertos, symphonies,religious works, an opera buffs and the operetta “Bastien and Bastienne”. Mozart’s music is clear,delicate, and simple.

The sonata is a very important form during the classical period, and Mozart was one of the composers who wrote many sonatas. It is a piece for one or two instruments such as the Plano sonata,flute sonata, or sonata for flute and plano. It is usually in three or four movements.
Haydn and the symphony
Franz Joseph Hay din (1732-1809) was born in Austria to a poor family. A schoolmaster noticed how musical Haydn was and offered to support his education. At 17, he started to teach himself to compose music by studying the works of other composers. He served as Director of Music to the Esterhazy family for 30 years. He was known as a gentle man and best known for his symphonies. He was able to compose over 100 symphonies. He developed the symphony into a long form for a large orchestra, for it was during the classical period when the orchestra evolved with its sections of strings, woodwinds, brasses, and percussion.
The Classical Concerto
A concerto is a sonata for a solo instrumental and orchestra. The solo instrument can be a piano, violin, trumpet, or any instrument. It is composed of three movements, just like the sonata and symphony except that the minuet movement is omitted. Near the end of the first movement or sometimes in other movements as well is the cadenza. It’s a section for the solo instrument alone, consisting of brilliant virtuoso material which displays the technique of the performer.
The Music of Beethoven
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) was born in Germany to a family of musicians and studied music at an early age. He was a talented pianist and composer and was recognized as the “Prince of All Compoers”. Even if he began to go deaf in the year 1796, he was still determined to compose music. Among his compositions are thirty-two sonatas, twenty-one set of variations, nine symphonies, concertos and choral music.
The Classical Opera
The term opera usually implies a heroic or tragic drama. This was formerly called opera seria (serious opera) or grand opera. These kind of opera employs mythological characters.

Another kind of opera is the comic opera. There are several kinds of operas: the opera comique (France), opera buffa (Italy), balled opera (18th century English comics opera), and singsplei (Germany). These operas make use of spoken dialogue and the music is less profound.

Mozart was the foremost opera composer during the classical period. He made the symphony orchestra as an intergal part of the opera. His characters are real humans with feelings and emotions. He established a balance between the dramatic and musical elements.
III – Generalization
Classical concepts include, clarity, objectivity, balance and conformity, which resulted in an impersonal and relatively unemotional style.
IV - Application
To My Future: It relate me a wide imagination in my mind about the music of the classical period before behind now.

Connect to Life: We remember how the music relate as such as people before, and we can differentiate the classical period before and the classical period from now on
V - Bibliography
Berg, Richard C et. al. Music for young
American Book Company, 1963

Mcdonald, Dorothy T. and Gene M. Simons,
Musical growth and development, Birth Though Six, U.S.A
Schimer Book, 1989.

Moomaw, Sally. Discovering Music in early time
Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon. Inc. 1989.