A2 Music Revision - Haydn

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Background Info

  • Dubbed 'Father of the String Quartet' due to the large amount that he wrote
  • First performed 1781
  • Intended for private / semi-private performance of 4 accomplished players (chamber music)
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Instrumentation

  • Violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello
  • Violin 1 frequently plays higher than 2
  • No doubling
  • Double stopping notably in the adagio
  • All instruments play arco throughout - stacatto helps create light, playful effect
  • Most passages are p, with use of crescendo and diminuendo
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Structure

  • Rondo form ABACA1
  • A = 0-36 refrain + repeats
  • B = 36-70 = Episode
  • A 71-107 Refrain
  • C = 107-140 Episode
  • A1 = 141-172 Refrain (substantially altered)
  • A section is in rounded binary form
  • Episodes labelled B and C however violin 1 part is almost identical and the violin 2 part is identical
  • Each episode ends with dominant 7th chord which gives lack of finality, emphasises completeness of refrains
  • Monothematic
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Melody

  • Monothematic - based off motifs x, y and z.
  • Periodic phrasing - first 8 bars use perfect 2+2+4 classical phrase structure
  • Much use of scales and arpeggios e.g. 17-21
  • Mainly diatonic with some chromaticism
  • Ornamentation is rare however acciaccaturas e.g. b7
  • Articulation e.g. slurs and stacatto bring music to life
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Texture

  • Mainly 4 part

Parts usually independent - no doubling. However, violins do play in thirds, sixths and 10ths e.g. bar 9

3 part in second phrase of refrain

  • homophonic

Very occasional chordal / homorhythmic e.g. 39-40

usually v1 dominates with other parts accompanying with same rhythm (mel dom hom)

  • Aforementioned double stopping creates denser textures e.g. 5 part b50, 6 part bar 49.
  • Pedals are common e.g. sustained 87-92 / repeated note 28-31.
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Tonality

  • Functional harmony reinforced by p cadences and pedals
  • each section firmly centred in Eb major
  • Modulates to related keys e.g. 37-47 Ab major, 48-53 F minor, 64-68 Bb major
  • Avoids obvious move to C minor, staying in happy joyful keys with much reference to the Bb major. Underpins a joyous move.
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Harmony

  • Functional
  • Tonic and dominant chords used frequently e.g. first phrase I-V-I
  • Frequent perfect cadences
  • Pedals
  • Limited chromatic harmony - diminished triad b69
  • Harmonic sequence 59-61
  • Suspensions rare e.g. 14 (Bb)
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Rhythm & Metre

  • Unusual for rondo form to change metre but compound duple interrupted at Adagio for slow simple metre
  • Simple rhythms of crotchets (usually dotted) and quavers
  • Longer notes in lower parts
  • V1 has passages of endless and often 'breathless' quavers e.g. 54-67
  • Rhythmic diminution e.g. Motive x quaver crotchet quaver becomes three crotchets in 22-23
  • General pauses fragment the music
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