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Classical Music

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Classical Music
Oct 24th
Classic Era


Dates shift over the course of: a) An individual’s output b) A given work c) Throughout areas of Europe (and its colonies)
In Transition 1720’s-1750’s

Attuned to nuance, we look at detail, instead of amount of detail
Baroque vs Classical Music: * Over Statement vs Understatement * Obscurity vs Clarity
Ornamentation and Decoration = bad in classical
Nature vs Music * Genius – technique * Inspiration – Craft * Unconsciousness – Consciousness * Effortless – Hard work * Divine – Human * Not teachable – Teachable * Proportional Clarity * Balance * Naturalness * Greek and Roman Influences

Elements of Classical Style: a) Basso Continuo disappears b) Obbligato Accompaniment: all performance parts were written out and you must play exactly what was written c) Periodic Phrase Structure: Start out with a phrase that has question, then next has an answer d) Paratactic to Syntactic: We move to a formal, set, pattern e) Slowing of Harmonic Rhythm
Sonata Form: Not to confused with an actual Sonata, this is a structure of a piece
Rondo Form: What Ritornello form is when the Classical musicians get their hands on it.
Harmony controls form
Illusion of Order * Establishing or Thwarting expectation
The Age of Enlightenment * The philosophes * War/revolution/industrial revolution * Encyclopedia’s, histories of music, biographies of musicians
Composers on the edge * Johan Shammsitz * Sonata form (almost) * Domenico Scarlatti * Binary keyboard works with hints of sonata form in them * C.P.E. Bach (“Belin Bach”) * Fantasias * J.C. Bach (“London Bach”) * Keyboard works drastically different from “Baroque” style keyboard pieces

Instrumental Music...

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