Classical Period
Music had Clarity, balance, and accessibility.
Time of invention, not perfection
Melody Focused
Major and minor keys used
For solo piano or solo instrument plus piano
made up of 3 (sometimes 4 movements)
Movements are typically fast, slow, fast.
Hayden and Mozart.
Beethoven experimented with 4-movement form. Added Scherzo.
Large scale of work, written for orchestra
Piano concerto popular in classical period
Mozart and Beethoven prolific in this genre
Usually 3 movements
Usually has a Cadenza at the end of a movement
Written for soloist only.
In concerto
A place for a virtuoso to show their stuff. More complex music, free flowing, etc.
Chamber Music
Music for small groups of performers. 2-10.
meant to be performed in a room or chamber as opposed to a theater or church
Never requires conductor.
ALWAYS ONE instrument per part.
Most popular forms are sting quartet, piano trio, and piano quartet.
All three, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were prolific in this genre.
String Quartet
2 violins, viola, cello.
Piano Trio
piano, violin, cello
Piano Quartet
piano, violin, viola, cello.
most common vocal genre
Speaking words but singing. advance the plot.
is a commentary in the form of a song. expresses feelings.
Mozart’s Operas
Mozart is the greatest classical opera composer. His operas include, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni
Means that a movement consists of 3 primary developments
And usually a Coda, or a very short ending.)
ABA, however B does not go crazy, rather has a new melody.
Usually very lyrical
usually used in slow movements.
Minuet and trio
ABA (Triple Meter)
Minuet is a stately, graceful dance, always in triple meter.
Trio is usually lighter in sound and character.
Minuet is always played again after trio
Haydn and Mozart used this form a lot as the 3rd movement of 4 movement works.
Beethoven preferred scherzo
Literally means Joke
Like the minuet, it is usually in triple meter and has a contrasting Trio section
It is faster and more energetic than minuet, not at all dance like.
Themes and Variations
A A1 A2 A3 ect.
Theme is a simple tune, which may be composed or borrowed from another sources.
Variations are altered version of the theme
This form can be used as a movement of a piece, or as a piece complete in itself.
Rondo Form
Uses the principle of contrast and return.
the main theme (A section) serves as a refrain. Simple Melody.
In between (the b and c sections) are changes in mood, melody, or tonality called episodes.
Often used by Haydn Mozart and beethoven.
Form by movement
I. Sonata
II. Aria Form
III. Minuet and Trio/ Scherzo
IV. Rondo/ Theme and variation.

(For three movement pieces, you would leave out Minuet and trio / Scherzo.)