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The Classical Period
When was this historical period?
1750 - 1820
• The symphony became a popular musical
• This period called for balance, contrast, and
uniformity – in art, music, etc.
• The American & French Revolutions (1775
& 1789) affected art and politics.
• The most impressive instrumental sound was
that of the pianoforte, now popular
throughout Europe.
• The Industrial Revolution began and
continues to impact the world.
Instruments a
1. The piano (pianoforte)
is a stringed instrument
that is played by
depressing keys that
cause hammers to strike
tuned strings and produce
sounds. This hammering
technique was innovative
because it allowed for a
dynamic range (unlike the
Instruments b
2. The string quartet is
established in a tradition
that first appeared
during the 18th Century
and remains for many
music-lovers the
pinnacle of all classical
music. It is made up of
two violins, a viola, and
a cello.
Instruments c
Sonata (aka ABA form)
– A formal structure common to first
movements of instrumental works from the
Classical period forward, involving a typical
thematic and harmonic scheme of
• Exposition - Development - Recapitulation
String Quartet
– Chamber groups are identified by kind and
number of instruments involved.
• Violin I - Violin II - Viola - Cello
Terms b
– An extended work for orchestra, usually in four
movements (fast, slow, dance form, fast), the
principal form of orchestral composition.
– Work for soloist(s) and orchestra. In the Classical
period, particularly with Mozart's piano concertos, the
solo concerto became the second most significant
branch of orchestral music, after symphonies.
Theme and Variations
– A movement type where the given theme is modified
in a series of variations.
Sonata (aka ABA form)
• Exposition - Development - Recapitulation
– One main theme keeps returning amongst several
different musical sections
Theme and Variations
– A movement type where the given theme is modified in
a series of variations.
Composer & Recording a
• Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet,
Op. 76, No. 3:
Second Movement
Composer & Recording b
Mozart (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni: Act I,
Scene 5: Ah, chi
mi dice mai and
Madamina! Il
catalogo e questo
Composer & Recording c
• Beethoven (17701827)
Piano Sonata, Op.
13: Third
Composer & Recording d
• Schubert (1797-1828)
Lied from Winterreise:
Der Lindenbaum