What was the Classical Era referred to as?
The age of enlightenment
when was the preclassical period
What happened to the preclassical period?
• Shift in musical taste
• Was developing even while Bach and Handel were
creating Baroque masterpieces
• Bach’s sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian
were early pioneers
• Polyphonic textures were neglected in favor of tuneful
melodies and simple harmonies
Where was the term “Classical” borrowed from?
The term “Classical” is borrowed from art history
What was the importance of Contrast of mood?
• Received new emphasis
• Classical compositions will ?uctuate in mood
• May change gradually or suddenly
• Great composers were able to impart unity despite the wide
range of emotions
What was the importance of Rhythm in the Classical Era?
• Wide ?exibility of rhythm
• Classical composers used a wealth of rhythmic patterns, v.
Baroque who repeated patterns
• Classical style uses unexpected pauses, syncopations, and
frequent changes from long notes to shorter notes, v. Baroque
who often had a sense of continuity and perpetual motion
What was the importance of texture in the Classical Era?
• Classical music is basically homophonic, however, it
is treated very ?exibly
• Pieces shift smoothly from one texture to another
What was the importance of Melody?
• Among the most tuneful and easiest to remember
• Tend to sound balanced and symmetrical because
the are frequently made up of two phrases of the
same length, v. Baroque melodies which are often
less symmetrical, more elaborate, and hard to sing
Importance of Dynamics?
• Gradual dynamic change
• Crescendos and diminuendos
• Led to the replacement of the harpsichord by the piano
End of the Basso Continuo
• Gradually abandoned
• More music was written for amateurs who could not
master the art of improvising a ?gured bass
• Classical composers wanted more control
Importance of the Classical Orchestra
Standard group of instruments (typically not as ?exible and
ensemble as during the Baroque)
How many sections did the Classical Orchestra have, detail.
Four sections
• Strings: 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double
• Woodwinds: 2 ?utes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
• Brass: 2 horns, 2 trumpets
• Percussion: 2 timpani
What did they do with the wind instruments?
They paired them
What did haydn and mozart use in Church and opera music
Haydn and Mozart used trombones, but only in opera and
What was the difference in regards to the amount of musicians
the amount of musicians were greater.
Who were the three greatest composers affected by changes in society
Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were three of the world’s
greatest composers, all were affected by changes in society
What was happening at the time of the classical period?
There was a great deal of upheaval.
What was Haydn considered?
Haydn – Considered a skilled servant
What was Mozart considered
Mozart – Tried his luck as a freelance musician in Vienna, died a pauper
Who was Beethoven?
Beethoven – Was able to work successfully as a freelance
composer in Vienna, thanks to a wider middle-class market for
music, treated as an equal by royalty
What happened during the second half of the 18th century?
Public concerts started to blossom
Who did the composers keep in mind
the public
What was important about Vienna
One of the musical centers of Europe during the Classical
Three composers who were active in Vienna?
Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven all were active there
What was the Aristocrats role in Vienna?
Aristocrats would often vacation in Vienna, often bringing
their own private orchestra
What was an important part of Court life in Vienna?
Music was an important part of court life, and a good
orchestra was a symbol of prestige
What was nobility considered?
Many nobility were excellent musicians
What form of music became popular.
Outside music.
What were Divertimentos and Serenades? Who wrote them?
Mozart and Haydn wrote divertimentos or serenades
which were early forms of wind music meant to
perform outside
What was Sonata Form
One of the mot important musical forms.
What does Sonata Form refer to?
Referrs to the form of a single moment,
What is the difference between sonata, and sonata form?
A Sonata Form is a single movement, a sonata is made up of several movements
Name and define the three sections of a sonata form
part 1. Exposition- Where the themes are presented

part 2. Development-Where the themes are treated in new ways

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part 3. Recapitulation-Where the theme returns to normal.

What is the importance of Exposition?
Sets up a strong con?ict between the ?rst theme
and the second theme

Starts in the home key, then moves through a transition to the
second theme in a new key

Harmonic tension between two keys

Usually repeated

What is the importance of the Development?
• Often the most dramatic section
• Moves through several different keys, rapid modulation and
harmonic tension
• The these are developed and are broken into fragments, or
• Builds tension that demands resolution
What is the importance of Recapitulation?
• Brings resolution
• First theme returns in the home key
• The ?rst theme, transition, and second theme all
return, but with one important different, they are all in
the home key
What is a Coda?
• Rounds off a movement by repeating themes or
developing them further
• Always ends in the home key