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Study Guide: Classical Era
1. Identify the main tenets of the Enlightenment
2. List the 5 most important philosophers of Enlightenment
3. With regard to music composition and music performance, what were some of the results of
enlightenment thinking and the revolutions that accompanied this thinking
Chapter 11
1 In your own words, explain what Bond means when he describes the aesthetic of the
Classical era as “a preference for the natural over the excessively artful, or artificial”.
2 What are the elements of Classical style that Bond delineates?
3 What do the terms gallant and rococo mean in the context of music from this time?
4 Define the German term Empfindsamkeit and describe what it means in music of this
5 What are some of the historical antecedents to sonata form?
6 What is a fantasia?
7 What are the stylistic characteristics of the Classical period?
8 Be able to explain sonata form and identify it in context on a piece of music
Chapter 12
1. Name the important instrumental genres of the Classical era.
2. To what does the term “Sturm und Drang” refer? What are the musical characteristics.?
3. What features of the Classical string quartet distinguished it from earlier chamber works
written for four instruments?
4. Who wrote the earliest independently composed symphonies, according to Bond?
5. How does Bond define the use of the term “sublime” in the Classical era?
6. How would you define “concerto” as used in the Classical era?
7. How would you describe the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra in the
Classical concerto compared with that relationship in the 19th century?
8. Write a brief summary of Haydn’s life-work. (Does not need to be in complete
9. Write a brief summary of Johann Christian Bach’s life-work. (Does not need to be in
complete sentences.) p. 310
10. Explain the form and characteristics on Sonata, String Quartet, Symphony, and Concerto
in the classical era.
Chapter 13
Write a thorough description of opera buffa.
What distinguishes sonata form from binary form?
What was an intermezzo?
What is the famous intermezzo by Pergolesi?
What was the War of the Buffoons? Why was this such a big deal?
6. What did Gluck say in the preface to his opera Alceste that was so significant and
7. In what ways does Mozart’s Don Giovanni retain certain elements of opera seria?
8. Bond states that Mozart’s operas are “justly celebrated as his greatest
achievements”. Why is this so?
9. Describe the type of song writing that flourished throughout the Classical era.
10. Please read Composer Profile: Mozart p. 349 and summarize his life, and principal
works. Why was his life significant in the Classical era?
11. Explain the Quarrel of the Gluckists and Piccinnists.
12. Explain the reform of opera, who helped to change it? What were the reforms that took
13. How was sacred music different in the Classical era?