Opera buffa

comic opera from 1700, not about gods or heroes, and featuring characters from different social classes

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haydn and mozart

has ensembles

buffo characters

buffo patter


Mozarts, Don giovanni 

based on story of great lover and libertine don juan

‘dark comedy’; niether wholly dramatic or comedic


Mozarts way of writing opera

opera buffa

ensembles are very key to drama

many characters, with different social classes

action happens in ensembles 


piece in opera where there are more than one singer

 help move along the drama

setiments are presented more quickly and vividly

dont have to wait for entire aria for feeling to be shown

made opera much more dramatic 

buffo character
purely comedic character, ususally of lower social class
buffo patter
style of singing in opera buffo, short, quick notes with one syllable per note
music drama

wagners name for his version of opera

encompassed poetry, art, drama, philosophy


Wagners method of writing an opera

orchestra equals all drama


endless melody,music is accompanying all throuhout the whole opera

plot and dialogue have orchestra playing


ring cylce

sequence of 4 operas that make up a music drama, composed by wagner

the valkyrie: the second of the four


total work of art
wagners idea about how an opera encompasses all arts, distinction for him between his music drama and opera

dramatic- emotional themes that make up wagners music dramas

guiding motive: associatd with person, thing, symbol in opera and are reoccuring, guide listener through the opera 

Endless melody
wagners term for method of creating long stretches of un resolving music throughout opera, and leitmotives

system of harmony in which one pitch or group of pitches is heard more than others

cenral tonal chord, key throughout

homing toward a central pitch  


no sense of central pitch or harmony, no tonal center can be heard


tristan chord

wagner famous chord, signifies lack of resolution


emancipation of dissonance

schoenberg idea that bad sounding dissonace are gradually accepted over time and making music more dissonant then wont need resolution and that resolution would be a slightly less dissonant sounding piece


leading expressionist in music, breakdown of tonality




second viennese school

schoenberg, berg, webern

based on serial 12 note chromatic scale

atonal music



kind of declaration half way between singing and speaking

night and moonfleck


mahler, symphony no 1

funeral march

romantic nostalgia

symphony is entire world

frere jacuqes, march




debussy, clouds

impressionist music

flashes of tone color focused on shades of sound

sonority, parallel chords

no functional harmony-but is tonal

lack of tune, tonality is clouded 

functional harmony

there are audible rles about how harmonies relate to eachother

debusy doesnt focus on these but focuses on quality of sound of the pieece and each instrument 

parallel chords

all voices move in parellel, building on identical chord on a successin of different pitches

texture: overlapping, between strings and winds 

focus on quality of sound rather than functional harmonies
berg, wozzeck

his opera, he was a student of schoenbergs at 2nd viennese school


serial, 12 note composition

based on schoenbergs style of composition

12 note chromatic scale

based on sets 

folk song
traditional melodies and words passed from generation to gen by oral tradition

ballets, ballet russe

rite of spring-3rd composition

based on rhythm, movement and dance, wild unrestrained dissonance


rite of spring

stravinsky, violent and dissonant

caused riot almost was so provacative on stage

and violent 


music for strings, percussion, and celesta

hungarian folk music, earthy dissonant feel



rockstrewn hills


marching bands, hymns, ragtime

american nationalism, primitivist 



use of several tonal systmes and keys at once

ives: uses all very tonal music, puts them togethers sound slightly atonal, but polytonal 


pictures at an exhibition

russian nationalist

wanted to bring russian painting to music

paintings by hartmann


verdi opera

Aida:romantic, love triangle

very focused on human voice

orchestra part of his operas, not vey strong in duets and arias

dramatic-orchestra moves singers along and plot