Classic Period- Structure
Suggested listening: Mozart, Hayden
The Classic period involved vast amounts of sturucture and planning. Let's start off simply...
Binary: two sections, A & B
Ternary: three sections, A B A
Theme and Variations: the theme (original melody/ section) in vaired in a second section. Uses added notes, change of tempo, inversion, retrograde (think of this as backwards and upside down), pitch, instrumentation and time signature.
Classical Period- Structure
This next bit is not as easy to remember sadly...
Minuet and Trio: A:||: B A :||: C :||: D C :|| A B A
Sonata Form: Exposition, Development, Recapitulation
Exposition: two main subjects or themes (we'll call there S1 and S2)
Development: S1 and S2 are, surprisingly enough, developed.
Recapitulation: S1 and S2 repeated almost in exactly the same way as the Exposition, but it the relavtive key, so for example, if the Exposition is in C major, the Recapulation is in A minor.
Classic Period- Instruments
Small groups were used, as music was only for the rich and privileged (back in ye olde days, when you really did have to be posh to be privileged)
Brass: French Horns, Trumpets
Woodwind: Flutes, Obeos, Clarinets, Bassoons
Strings: 1st & 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, Doublebasses
At this time,brass instruments did not yet have any valves, and so (like modern cornets) were rather useless.Woodwind instruments were seen as inferior to Strings, so something to listen out for in the Classic period is a large use of the Strings, specifically the violin, on any main parts.
Classic Period- Texture and Variations
Very simple, easy listening, pleasing to the ear. Mainly homophonic (all parts are similar). Also used a simple, easy to count time signature.
Modulation: movement from one key to another using the circle of fiths to jump
Cadences: a way to finish pieces, usually perfect cadences (V-I)
Retrograde: again, think upside down and back to front
Augmentation: makes the tune longer, e.g.double the note length
Diminusion: makes the tune shorter, e.g. halve the note length
Classic Period- Concertos
Concertos: Usually a solo and accompniment. 3 movements- Cadenza: naccompnied bit, like an improvisation, played by the soloist
Symphonies: 4 movements, no soloist, just orchestra
Sonatas: 3 or 4 movements, solo or duet with piano accompniment
Each movement had it's own structure.
Usually followed this pattern:
1st- Sonata form, purposeful
2nd- Variation or Ternary, slow
3rd- Minuet or Dance, and guess what, you could dance to it
4th- Sonata, Ronda or Variation, cheerful and fast