What is Music?
1. existed before written history
2. every culture, regardless of isolation
3. enhances quality of life
duration (rhythm)
organization of sounds & silences
different rates of vibration (pitch)
shift from beat to offbeat
several pitches at once (chord)
harmonic progression
sequence of chords
specific sequence ending in a progression
series of pitches in sequence
tonal center
not on which melody seems to begin &/or resolve
collection of notes in a specific pattern
changing key during music
one line
one line with harmony (chords)
2 or more melodic lines (counterpoint)
arrangement of melody & harmony
Medieval Era
chants, monks, notation, some polyphony for the last 200 years, early notation, monophonic
Renaissance Era
Polyphony, use of printing press, homophony for important text, secular
Baroque Era
polyphony, ornamentation, expansion, bigger
Classical Era
-Reasoning & Scientific Thinking
-Music is organized & controlled
-emphasis on form
-better instruments, pianoforte
-larger orchestras
-music becomes lighter & has clearer texture
-becomes organized & controlled
-moving away from multiple layers of polyphony
-more emphasis on harmony
-quality & availability of musicians dramatically improved
-more variety & contrast within a piece
-printing press
Classical Composers
**MOZART= public concerts- limited to writing what people liked
**HAYDN= Patronage System- worked for wealthy people
Classical Forms
1. Sonata Allegro Form (Fast)
2. Theme & Variations (Slow)
3. Minuet & Trio (Dance)
4. Rondo (Fast)
Sonata Allegro
–exposition =
First theme in tonic key
Bridge containing modulation from home key to new key
Second theme in new key
Closing section in key of second them
New treatment of themes; modulations to different key
First theme in tonic key
Second theme in tonic key
Closing section in tonic key
Tonic Key
Theme & Variation
Theme is first presented and then repeated in different ways
With each new variation there is something new that has been changed – melody, rhythm, harmony, etc.
The main theme is often repeated during a variation
Minuet & Trio
Triple Meter
Moderate Tempo
A-B-A form
(Minuet – trio – minuet)
Main theme (tonic) returns after other sections
A-B-A-C-A-B-A (arch form)

Sonata Rondo
A-B-A – development – A-B-A

Romantic Era
-No Rules!
-rebellion against rules of classicism
-no definite style
-artists did no agree
-Intellectual & artistic movement
-political, economic, & social revolutions
-reaction against enlightment thought
-emphasis on emotion over logic
-larger ensembles
-thicker orchestration
-longer melodies
-broader dynamic changes & contrast
-more frequent & unexpected modulation
-sounds more like modern music
Historic events during Romantic Era
1. French Revolution (1789-1799)
-absolute monarchy to inalienable rights
-violent upheaval- power to middle classes
2. American Revolution (1775-1783)
-Rejection of British Monarchy
-Violent upheaval-power middle class
Romantic Composers & Performers
composers & performers (often same person)
-Liszt= virtuoso pianist-theatrical performance
-Paganini- virtuoso violinist- amazing technique, influenced composers worldwide & future violinists
Ludwig van Beethoven
(Bridged from Classical to Romantic) 1770-1827
Classical from 1770-1802
Romantic from 1802-1827
-often credited with virtually creating the Romantic
-responsible for freeing music from the harmonic, rhythmic, & formal constraints of classicalism
-Use of dissonance as functional part of harmony
-use of polyphonic procedures in thematic development
-changed & expanded sonata form & others
Late Romantic Era
-main focus on emotion & intuition
-mysticism, nature
-technological expansions: railroads, telegraph
-Middle class consumer
-Art, literature, music
Late Romantic Composers
1. Mahler
2. Strauss
3. Tchaikovsky
4. Puccini
Gustav Mahler
-often considered most important in Late-Romantic Era
-Austrian Composer/ conductor
-work received with skepticism
-mostly symphonies & songs
-mixed high & low aesthetic values as well as ethnic values as well as ethnic traditions- outraged conservatives
-conducted NY Philharmonic & NY Met @ different times
[Symphony No. 5: Trauermasch]
Richard Strauss
-Late-Romantic Composer
-most known for tone poems (one mvt. tells a story or depicts a scene)
-Follower of Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner
[Also Sprach Zarathustra]
Piotor Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
-Nationalistic but not part of Russian Five
-Lyrical melodies, incluenced by slavic modal harmonies of Russian Folk song
-widely popular
-symphonies & ballets
[Tchaikovsky Overture, 1812]
[Nutcracker- Sugar Plum Fairy]
Giaccomo Puccini
-opera composer
-verismo=everyday subjects less emphasis on traditional subjects & forms
[Turandot Non Piangere]
-Creates MOOD
-loosely organized group who believed impressions were more important in art than detail
-name created by art critic names Leroy in a review of a work by Monet
-emphasis on light & motion to create “impressions” or moods
-followed by similar movements in music & literature
Impressionist Music
-mood & atmosphere
-reaction to raw emotionalism & extremes of Romanticism
-subtle, elegant, indirect
-transparent orchestration
-short movements (often only one)
-unusual harmony
-melodic fragmentation
-little or no thematic development
Impressionist Composers
2. Ravel
-Impressionist, but didn’t like the term “impressionism”
-defined transition from late romantic to 20th century
-strongly influence by Monet
-tried to follow suit with painters & writers
-tried to capture effects of light & shade by using tone color & chord structure
-use of wholetone scale to create more subtle, vague quality in music
-use of unresolved dissonances
-parallel chord progressions
[Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un Faune]
-sometimes called a “post impressionist” (due to new-classical style)
-known for melody, orchestration & texture
-use of unresolved dissonance-not atonal
-use of rhythm & scale constructions often found in various music of Asia
-outstanding orchestrator
[Jeux d’Eau]
-combination of romantic techniques with form and/ or harmony of Classical
-Neo-Classical= classical or Baroque forms with Romantic harmony (more with less)
-Neo-Romanticism= back to Romantic aesthetic (emotionalism, long melodies, etc.)
-elements like tonality & form of Romanticism are still in use in modern music (direct result)
20th Century Music
Serialism, Expressionism, Neo-Classicalism, Impressionism, Jazz, Electronic, Modernism, Minimalism
Atonal Music
-reaction to romanticism
-does not have a tonal center
-serialism= music using all 12 tones
-Schoenberg= 2nd Viennese School, Weburn, Berg
Folk tunes in larger works
Influence of Jazz
U.S. = Gershwin, Colpland, Bernstein
Europe = Ravel, Weill
-Early 20th Century
-reaction to impressionism
-emotional experience
-distorting reality for emotional effect
-used throughout the arts
-emotional intensity or angst
-challenges traditions
-Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Weburn, Berg)
-Free form tonality
-delibrate suffering through dissonance
-Nietzsche was a fan, esp of musical expressionism
[Perrot Lunaire-Schoenberg]
[The Banshee-Henry Cowell]
1860s & 1870s
-reaction to impressionism
-reduced to only fundamental elements
-repetition & simplicity
-very short phrases which repeat
-consonant harmony
-steady pulse
-phase shifting-sound waves move out of sync
[Steve Reich]
[Phillip Glass]
1. reaction to predominant German music
2. Liberation & Freeedom
3. Countries involved:
-Russia: preferred romanticism over classicism; composer=Rimsky Korsakov=EXOTICISM
-Czechoslovakia: Dvorak
Why was america behind Europe?
puritans though art was frivolous
-“cultural inferiority” complex
Second Viennese School
-Schoenberg, Weburn, Berg
John Phillip Sousa
great American brass virtuoso
“Stars & Stripes Forever”
occurred during PROHIBITION