is a term used to describe a time in Western philosophy and cultural life, centered upon the eighteenth century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority.


comic opera

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a genre of opera that originated in the eighteenth century, portraying everyday characters and situations , and using spoken dialogue and simple songs



opera buffa
(italian for comic opera) a genre of opera featuring light, often domestic subjects, with tuneful melodies, comic situations, and happy endings.
the original name for the piano
alberti bass
a pattern of of accompaniment whereby, instead of having the pitches of a chord sound all toghether, the notes are played in succession to provide a continual stream of sound.
during the “viennese schoool”, or classical period, vienna was then the capital of the old Holy Roman Empire, a huge expanse covering much of Western and Central Europe. In 1790, the heyday of Haydn and Mozart, vienna had a population of 215,000, which made itthe 4th largest city in Europe.
esterhazy family
the richest and most influential among the German-speaking arsitocrats of Hungary, with extensive landholdings southeast of Vienna and a passionate interest in music.
london symphonies
the twelve symphonies composed by Joseph Haydn for performance in London between 1791 and 1795; Haydn’s last twelve symphonies (nos. 93-104)


the mountain town of Austria that Mozart was born in.
leopold mozart
a violinist in the orchestra of the archbishop of Salzburg and the author of a best-selling introduction to playing the violin; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father.
a fraternity of the Enlightenment that possessed a belief in tolerance and universal brotherhood.
ternary form
a three-part musical form in which the third section is a repeat of the first; hence ABA.

relative major


the major key in a pair of major and minor keys; relative keys have the same key signature, for example, E major and C minor (both with three flats)

a moderate dance in 3/4, though actually danced in patterns of six steps, with no upbeat but with highly symmetrical phrasing; not a form, but rather a genre.


A (minuet)              B(trio)             A(minuet)

Arepeat BA         CrepeatDC      ABA

an ensemble, vocal or instrumental, with three performers; also, a brief self-contained composition contrasting with a previous piece, such as  a minuet or a mazurka; originally, the trio was performed by only three instruments; it is also composed in ternary
a light, multimovement piece for strings alone or small orchestra, one intended for public entertainment and often performed outdoors.
sonata-allegro form
a dramatic musical form that originated in the Classical period involving an exposition, development, and recapitulation, with optional introduction and coda.
in a fugue, the opening section, in which each voice in turn has the opportunity to present the subject; in sonata-allegro form, the principal section, in which all the thematic material is presented.
transition (bridge)
in sonata-allegro form, the unstable section in which the tonality changes from tonic to dominant (or relative major) in preparation for the appearance of the second theme.
the center-most portion of sonata-allegro form, in which the thematic material of the exposition is developed and extended, transformed, or reduced to its essence; often the most confrontational and unstable section of the movement.
a short fugue set in some other musical form, such as sonata-allegro or theme and variations.
the end of the development section, where the tonality often becomes stabilized on the dominant in preparation for the return of the tonic (and first theme) at the beginning of the recapitulation.
in sonata-allegro, the return to the first theme and the tonic key following the development.
(italian for “tail”) a final and concluding section of a musical composition.
an ancient musical form (surviving into the twentieth century) in which a refrain alternates with contrasting material.
the last movement of a multimovement composition, one that usually works to a climax and conclusion.
kochel (k) number
an identifying number assigned to each of the works of mozart, in roughly chronological order, by ludwig von kochel (1800-1877)
a one-movement (later three- or four- movment) orchestral work that originated in Italy in the seventeenth century.

a genre of instrumental music for orchestra consisting of several movements; also the orchetral genre that plays this genre; 4 movements;


2. slow

3. danc


string quartet
a standard instrumental ensemble for chamber music consisting of a single first and second violin, a viola, and a cello; also the genre of music, usually in three or four movements, composed for this ensemble.
(italian for “joke”) a rapid, jovial work in triple meter often used in place of the minuet as the third movement in a string quartet or symphony.
originally “something sounded” on an instrument as opposed to something sung (a “cantata”); later, a multi-movement work for solo instrument (usually the violin), or instrument with keyboard accompaniment.
solo concerto
a concerto in which an orchestra and a single performer in turn present and develop the musical material in the spirit of harmonious competition.
double exposition form
a form, originating  in the concerto of the Classical period, in which first the orchestra and then the soloist present the primary thematic material.
a showy passage for the soloist appearing near the end of the movement in a concerto; usually incorporates rapid runs, arpeggios, and snippets of previously heard themes into a fantasy-like improvization.
vocal ensemble
in opera, a group of four or more solo singers, usually the principles.
(german for “singling play”) a musical comedy originating in Germany with spoken dialogue, tuneful songs, and topica humor.
don giovanni
has been called not only Mozart’s greatest opera, but also the greatest opera ever written; critical of the aristocracy
diminished chord
a triad or seventh chord made up entirely of minor thirds and producing a tense, unstable sound.