Baroque aesthetic
-massive scale/grandiose theme
-overabundance of small, decorative detail
-vigorous energy
Early Baroque
Bass Continuo
musical element that remained constant through Baroque era; small ensemble of at least 2 instrumentalists who provide a foundation for the melody
Instruments in bass continuo
1 instrument (harpsichord, organ/large flute_ plays chord progression; another (cello, viola de gamba/bassoon) plays the bass line, which doubles the lowest note played by the keyboard
Early Baroque musical style
Melody- wide range reflects influence of virtuosic solo singing

Harmony- major and minor scales, repeating rhythms, sudden shifts in dynamics reflect dramatic quality

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Opera literally means
Opera emerged in
Opera’s purpose
secular entertainment
Opera’s performance location
Opera’s performance style
fully dramatized
Opera’s subject
Classical mythology, ancient history
opera’s musical form
recitative aria
opera is accompanied by
opera’s story
musically heightened speech accompanied by brasso continuo
Recitatives consist of
rapidly repeating notes followed by one of 2 long notes at the ends of phrases
expresses emotions resulting from preceding portion of the drama; more passionate than recitative
Dido and Aeneas (1689)
-one of the first operas written in English

-composed by Henry Purcell

-Dido’s Lament “When I’m laid in Earth” begins with a recitative, then aria- chromatic descent/cadence symbolizes grief

Ritornello Form/ Rondo Form
Characteristics of rondo form
-all/part of main theme returns

-played by the tutti

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
– most influential violinist of Baroque concerto (wrote more than 450)
The Spring (1725)
-Vivaldi’s concerto in E major

-sonnet accompanies each concerto that interprets event/emotion

-poems written before music

-1/4 concertos entitled “The Seasons”

Late Baroque
Late Baroque Aesthetic
-refinement; old fomrs polished and perfected

-drama through contrast; sound placed in opposition

Late Baroque Musical Style
Melody- continuing development; irregular phrases

Rhythm- most distinctive/exciting of Baroque music

Texture- return of counterpoint

Late Baroque orchestra
-rarely more than 25 players

-strings form core of ensemble

-known as great organist in his lifetime

-brought cantata to highest point of development

-greatest composer of contrapuntal music in history of western music

Organ Fugue in G Minor
theme that serves as fugue’s primary musical idea
Opening section of fugue during which each voice presents the subject for the first time
Sections where subject not heard in its entirety
-composed 3/more parts

-exposition, alternating episodes

-perhaps the finest composer for chorus who ever lived

-composed water music for public entertainment

Handel’s dance suite
intended as concert music, not to accompany dancing
Handel’s horn pipe
energetic dance derived from country jig; triple meter w/ syncopations
Handel’s minuet and trio
-moderate, triple meter dance

-trio is shorter

Messiah (1741)
-tells story of Christ- prophecy and incarceration of Messiah, triumph of Gospel, victory over death
Cantata’s purpose
part of a church service
cantata performance location
Cantata performance style
concert style
Cantata subject
Gospel reading
Cantata musical form
Cantata accompanied by
Oratorio purpose
sacred entertainment
Oratio performance location
Oratio performance style
Concert style
Oratio subject
Biblical subject
Oratio musical form
Decapo aria
Oratiorio accompanied by
Halleluiah chorus

-Text based on passages from Revelation of John

Classic Period
starts in 1750
Classic period aesthetics
Enlightenment/Age of Reason
-pursuit of truth/discovery of natural laws


-gave way to Age of Revolution

Musical manifestation of social change
-comic opera

-public concerts

-the piano

comic opera
-opera of the middle class


public concerts
-classical music gradually moves to concert hall

-middle class

-replaced harpsichord

-played by amateurs, esp. women

classical style
melody- antecedent/consequent phrase

harmony- irregular changes, simple chords

rhythm- driving, greater rhythmic variety

strings remain the core

antecedent phrase
opening, incomplete-sounding phrase
consequent phrase
second phrase that brings the melody to a point of response and closure
rules of classical music
1. short simple melodies

2. more influenced by vocal than instrumental style

3. frequent cadences

capital city of old Holy Roman Empire
Importance of music in Vienna
-spent nearly entire ilfe in Austria

-freelance during 1750’s

-worked for Esterhazy family

-invented string quartet

-most famous child prodigy in history

-played for royalty and aristocracy

-1781 freelance musician

genre of dance w/ constant triple meter
Minuet-trio-Minuet created a _______ form (___)
ternary; Aba
A Little Night Music
Mozart…four movements

-fast (sonata-allegro)
-slow (rondo)
-minuet & trio (ternary)
-fast (rondo)

Sonata- Allegro form
only form to originate during Classical period

-exposition of first theme (memorable musical idea in the tonic key), transition (lacks thematic identity), second theme (memorable music idea, generally contrasts first)

-themes return in original order, condensed form, tonic key
added at end of the movement, gen after all other theme have been heard
Horn Concerto in E-Flat major
Kochel (K) numbers
means of identifying hundreds of Mozart’s compositions
natural horn
French horn w/o valves…not easy to play chormatic notes
Surprise Symphony No. 94
Rondo Form
oldest forms…similar to Baroque Ritornello form

-5 part/7 part

general type of music distinguished by quality of musical style, performing medium, and place of performance
Classical period genres
symphony, string quartet, sonata, concerto, opera
expanding, adding a fourth movement
String quartet
2 violins, viola, cello

on person/part

no conductor

genre of chamber music

created by haydn


Hayden & Mozart’s quartet
Hayden played first violin, Mozart played viola
Opus 76, No. 3, the “Emperor’s” Wuartet
national anthems for Austria and Germany

composed in response to military and political events

Baro opera v. classical opera
heroic characters, only 1 emotion per aria v. comic opera, social change voice, natural characters, mood changes w/in aria
Marriage of Figaro

Don Giovanni

Thys do They All

The Magic Flute

Ludwig Van Beethoven
-deafness began 1794, 1817 no longer heard music…gave him the freedom to experiment with new forms; excluding piano narrowed outlet for his creativity
Piano Sonata, Opus 13, “the Pathetique”

Symphony No. 5 in C minor

Beethoven adds new instruments
motive unity between 4 movements