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A short introduction to

Classical Music

from 1450 to 1900

Osvaldo Glieca

© 2014 !
Historians usually divide it chronologically!
into three different phases !
The Renaissance Era (1450 – 1600)!
The Baroque Era (1600 to 1750) !
The Classical Era (1750 to 1820) !
The Romantic Era (1830 to 1900)!
During the Baroque Era, tonality was the basis of the !
Common Practice developed!
During the preceding era, known as The
Renaissance (1450 to 1600) harmonic theory had been
based on what we now think of as the Greek modes!
There are 7 Greek modes!
Dorian Phrygian Lydian!
Mixolydian Aeolian Locrian Ionian!
The modes actually used in the Renaissance were!
Dorian Phrygian Lydian!
Mixolydian Aeolian !
The plagal form of these modes refers to the
range of voices in choirs, a 5th below or a 4th above.!
During this era composers tended to write that each part of the choir could sing a
separate part in counterpoint, treating dissonance to create a momentary drama. !
To do this, they established!
Avoidance of parallel fifths, unisons and octaves!
Avoidance of overlapping between the parts!
Dissonances always arrived at by a suspension always resolved by !
downward movement by step!
This then becomes the basis of during the Common Practice Era in 1600!
Important points to consider!
By that time tonality had not yet been discovered!
The idea of a chordal “root” did not exist yet!
Chord progressions were confined mostly to the triads based !
on degrees of the mode!
They were regarded as vertical arrangements of intervals !
rather than chords!
Any diatonic chord of a mode could move to any other chord as long as the
basic rules were observed: the significance of strong root progressions (in 4ths
and 5ths) as were not thought of as more significant than any other progressions.!
Josquin des Prez and Giovanni da Palestrina achieved a style within these
constraints that later became known as Prima Pratica .!
Ideal for the expression, it was very beautiful but the only drama presented was
the dissonance allowed by suspension and resolution.!
A parallel in painting can be seen in the painting of Leonardo, Michelangelo
and Raphael. Classical artists had re-discovered Greek perspectives and natural
realism but treated light as uniform and bland, something that did little more
than provide colour.!
Josquin Des Prez (1450 - 1521)!
An exact contemporary of Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 - 1519) !
Both employed in Italy by the Duke Sforza at the !
Court of Milan in the late 1400s.!
Suggested listening !
Josquin Des Prez !
Ave Regina, (1510)!
for 5 Voices !

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Leonardo da Vinci (1508). !
Oil painting on wood. Louvre museum, Paris. !
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 - 1610)

The Calling of St. Matthew (1599) Oil painting on canvas. Church of St. Louis of the French, Rome.
Suggested listening!
Johann Sebastian Bach!
Mass in B minor (1724-1739)!

Conversion on the Way to Damascus. (1601) Caravaggio.

Oil painting on canvas. Cerasi Chapel, Rome.
All the composers we know of from before the Baroque Era wrote music for the
church and were usually in the employment of the church (e.g. Capellmeister) !
The main church genres in the Renaissance had been: !
The Mass!
Votive Antiphons!
Secular music was written in broadly the same style. Apart from keyboard music
the main secular genre was the madrigal. The Flemish composer Cipriano De
Rore was an inventive maverick active during the late 16th century who lived and
worked in Italy establishing an experimental, chromatic, and highly expressive
style which had a decisive influence on the subsequent development of secular
The main music “schools” of Europe in mid-1500!
Most of the music before the Baroque Era was for voices only. During late Renaissance many
new instruments were developed and perfected. During the Baroque Era there were many
keyboard instruments.
Organs (Only in churches and cathedrals)!
Violins and Violas and other string instruments were developed in Italy from the violin
family during the the late Renaissance and early Baroque. Amati, Stradivari and Guarnieri
were extremely skilled instrument makers.!
Andrea Amati (1505 - 1578) Cremona, Italy!
Antonio Stradivari (1644 - 1737) Cremona, Italy!
Giuseppe Guarnieri (1698 – 1744) Cremona, Italy!
Recorders, transverse flute, and oboe bassoon developed in mid 17th century. Trumpets were
now used for more than fan-fares and military music. Trombones were still used almost
entirely in church. !
In the late 1500s some Italian composers started to write in a new experimental
style that ignored many of the rules of Renaissance church polyphony and
harmonic practice.!
Carlo Gesualdo (1566 - 1613)!
Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday: (1611 for six voices)!
O Vos Omnes !
Gesualdo’s O Vos Omnes harmony and chord progression !
Harmonic exploration led to discovery of tonality during Baroque Era!
New tuning systems !
(leading eventually to equal temperament)!
Greater application of chromaticism!
Ability to modulate widely!
(flexibility allowed by new tuning systems)!
Keyboard instruments that allowed harmonic experimentation !
at home possibly a sort of what nowadays is DIY!
Recognition of chordal roots and inversion!
Abandoning of old modal and hexachordal system !
(these concepts were no longer needed)!
What started the developments leading to tonality?!
…part of a process started in middle ages!
…need for a greater expressive range (Italian development)!
…ideas of the Florentine Camerata about text setting!

Who were the Florentine Camerata?!

Founded by nobelmen in Florence interested in arts, sciences and new
ideas around the 1580-1600. Led by Count Bardi who had ideas about
music and included writers, artists, musicians and scientists all driven by
re-discovery of Ancient Greek culture ( classical Hellenic).!
The Monodic style!
Music to serve the text – not the other way round!
Continuo accompaniment!
Choice of subject matter in madrigal and opera!

The melody is harmonically conceived with a supporting bass to carry the

harmonies and accompaniment is homophonic, not potentially polyphonic!
The approach to the words is affective, the words and their emotive value
is all important. This is sometimes known as the stile rappresentativo
or recitative style. !
Jacopo Peri (1561 - 1633) !
Euridice !
The first world surviving Opera
premiered in Florence, 6 October 1600!
Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643)
Orfeo Favola In Musica !
written in 1607!
Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)
A pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial
transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of
music history.!
While a musical revolutionary, broadly in sympathy with the Camerata, he
did not consider himself a “monodist”.!
He wanted to promote, however, of the primacy of the text over the music
(i.e.: in agreement with Bardi, Peri, Caccini).!
Modern editions use key signatures, but Monteverdi’s use only staves with
or without B flat: this was not a key signature, but an indication of “hard”
hexachord and “neutral”.!
The Monteverdi - Artusi debate!
In the late XVI century there were many changes in music theory and
also a battle between traditionalist and modernist of that time. Composers
from around 1550 and 1600 were after to each other through polemics to
defend themselves and their theoretical belief. In books written in 1600s
Artusi criticized Monteverdi for the irregular harmonies, dissonances, and
melodic progressions. !
Giovanni Maria Artusi, (1540 – 1613)!
Italian composer who studied in Venice under Gioseffo Zarlino, he openly
attacked the new musical innovations that defined the early Baroque style
developing around 1600. Wrote several books about theory of harmony
and composition. L’arte del contrappunto (1586), Seconda parte dell’arte
del contrappunto (1589) and revised Zarlino’s Istituzioni Armoniche. !
Prima pratica (Stile antico)!
Italian"first practice” refers to early Renaissance music which looks more to
the style of Giovanni da Palestrina, or the style codified by Gioseffo Zarlino.
It is contrasted with seconda pratica music. !

Seconda pratica (Stile moderno)!

Italian “second practice” Stile moderno was coined as an expression by
Giulio Caccini in his 1602 work Le nuove musiche which contained
numerous monodies.!
The term "Seconda pratica" was coined by Claudio Monteverdi to distance
his music from that of e.g. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Gioseffo
Zarlino. He describes early music of the Baroque period which encouraged
more freedom from the rigorous limitations of dissonances and
counterpoint characteristic of the prima pratica.!
Orfeo: Mythological/ Psychological aspects!
Orpheus, a Demigod (half human), charms with his songs playing the lyre. He lives
with his emotions in the present moment and does not understand the fact that his
music has different effects on different people.!
Before the drama starts, we understand he has been pursuing Euridice in vain for
years. At last he has won her and they are about to be married!

Main characters:!
Orpheus = tenor or baritone Euridice = soprano or contralto!
Speranza = contralto Caronte (guardian of the river Styx) = bass!
Plutone = baritone Persephone = soprano!
Other crucial parts:!
La Messaggera (Sylvia)!
There are also a large number of nymphs, shepherds and spirits (forming a chorus)!

2 descant recorders Continuo instruments:

2 cornets. 2 Harpsichords
5 Trumpets 2 Archlutes
5 Trombones 3 Bass viols
2 piccolo violins 2 Archcitterns
4 violins 2 Wood organs
4 cellos 1 Regal organ (with beating reads)
2 double basses 1 Harp

Up to this point in history the mass had been the largest form.!
Desire to create an overall structural framework that would embody the
significance at background level. The Opera is in 5 acts, symmetry of
structure: acts 1 & 5 (“outer” acts) “frame” the work.!
System of transposition and modal transposition!

Monteverdi used thematic/motivic unity (here only represented by

“framing” of ritornelli). The use of a background tonal structure. The
points about methods of achieving a sense of unity reflect major
concerns throughout the era covered by the module.!
Caronte (bar 115), berates Orpheus for his rashness in attempting to enter hell.!

Jan Brueghel The Elder “Orpheus in the Underworld” (1594) !

Oil painting on copper. Palazzo Pitti, Florence.!
Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque Music!
(based on Manfred Bukofzer’s comparison chart)!

Renaissance Baroque
One practice one style Two practices, three styles
Restrained representation of the words Affective representation of the word
All voices equally balanced Polarity of outermost voices
Diatonic melody in small range Diatonic and chromatic melody in wide range
Modal counterpoint Tonal counterpoint
Intervallic harmony and intervallic Chordal harmony and dissonance treatment
dissonance treatment Chords are self contained entities
Chords are by-product of the part-writing Chord progressions are governed by tonality
Chord progressions are governed by modality Extremes of rhythm, free declamation and
No pronounced idioms, voice and instruments mechanical pulsation
are interchangeable Vocal and instrumental idioms, the idioms
are not interchangeable
“Baroque’s doctrine of the affections”!
Affect, in this sense refers to emotions in general. In the baroque there was a desire
to express a wider range of emotions, even those such as anger. They believed in the
power of music to heal the body and spirit.!
Love, fear, anger, joy, “poetry and music serving to arouse the passions of the soul”.!
Music attempted to reflect just one of these so called “affections” at a time!
before the Classical period you generally do not find attempt at expressing more
than one emotion within one piece of music.!
The Venice School!
(1530 – 1650)!
The Venetian “music school” was one of the finest in Europe, and their influence
on musical practice in other European countries was enormous. The innovations
introduced by the Venetian school, along with the contemporary development of
monody and opera in Florence, together had defined the end of the musical
Renaissance and the beginning of the musical Baroque.!
Major members of the Venetian school include:!
Adrian Willaert (c.1490–1562) Jacques Buus (c.1500–1565)!
Andrea Gabrieli (c.1532–1585) Nicola Vicentino (1511-c.1576)!
Cipriano de Rore (c.1515–1565) Gioseffo Zarlino (1517–1590)!
Baldassare Donato (1525–1603) Annibale Padovano (1527–1575)!
Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1555–1612) Giovanni Croce (c.1557–1609)!
Palace of Versailles, France. !
The Hall of the Mirrors!
Jean Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687)!

Born in Florence as Giovanni Battista Lulli.!

Discovered for his talents as a dancer and taken
to France to be a valet and Italian language
teacher for Madamoiselle de Montpensier.!
His talents at violin discovered later; as
composer later still found favour with Louis
XIV and held the most powerful position in
French music.!
He is considered the founder of French opera.!
To begin with, the French imported Italian Opera!
Cardinal Mazarin (1602–1661) was an important political/cultural force for
Italy in France.!
Louis XIV began as child king; Mazarin important in the regency government
of the king’s minority.!
The opera Ercole Amant by Francesco Cavalli (1602 – 1676) commissioned by
Mazarin in 1659, Cavalli failed to deliver on time and presented Xerse instead,
with ballet interludes by Lully to please French taste.!
Dance forms included in Operas
Bouree - usually quick duple metre with a single upbeat faster than gavotte or

Gavotte - moderate 4/4 upbeat of 2 quarter notes. Phrases start/finish mid-bar e.g.:
Gavotte from Lully s Atys!

Sarabande - slow dignified triple metre, Mexican or post Spanish origins (slow
minuet? According to some)!

Minuet - particularly associated with Lully, normally in 3/4 time ( but not always)
moderato tempo!
Gigue - compound duple, 6/8 some Italian examples even 9/8 or 12/8 originated in
Ireland and England, evolved differently on continent. Normally last in suite of 4.
Dotted rhythm, wide interval leaps full of dotted notes and syncopations.!
Chaconne - continuous variations in slow triple metre!

Passacaglia - like Chaconne except bass “ground” or ostinato continuously


Passpied - gay spirited dance in fast 3/8 or 6/8 may have originated in Brittany!

Canarie - wild dance, faster than gigue associated with 17th century view of
natives of Canary islands. Often in quick 6/8 or 3/8 time but often with melody
on: minim, crochet, crochet. !
Galliard - vigorous dance of Italian origin 6/8 with hemiola. Rapid decline in
Lully s time!
Riguardon - A folk dance in 4/4 from Provence often found in Lully’s operas/
Loure´ Moderato 6/4 time dotted rhythms leaning on strong beats!
Throughout this period Italian music was enormously influential in France, but in
love/hate relationship.!
Italian music was seen by the French as self-indulgent, exuberant and eccentric. !
French took pride in the supposed virtues of restraint and refinement, cultivated
by Jean Racine, Pierre Cornielle and Moliere.!
Irony is that it will be an Italian, Lully, who should help to bring about the
change of style to suit French tastes.!
Lully was favoured by the King to naturalize music for French tastes. !
The pioneering thoughts for rationality, valued over emotionalism: consequences
for the mature development of tonality ?!
For most of his career Lully collaborated with Philippe Quinault (1635 - 1688). Lully
alienated Moliere at an early stage of his career. He had a natural flare for comedy, but this
was not favoured in France (in late XVII century opera buffa was developing in Italy).!
Cardinal Mazarin commissioned Lully in 1656 for a ballet to be performed at the Louvre for
the King in carnival season.!
Ballet de la Galanterie du Temps, the main role, that of a gallant, performed by Louis XIV.
Lully was inclined to make the inner parts as important as treble and bass. !
Ballet d Alcidiane, first performed in 1658 is the first ballet by Lully (N.B.: he did not
compose all this music to this, however) that is regarded as forming the link between the
ballet s and later tragedie lyrique. !
Performed on more than 80 instruments including 36 violins, flutes, viols, harpsichords,
guitars, lutes and theorbos. It features a “combat music” with trumpet flourishes, etc.
prefigures military “divertissement” to be found in later works. !
Meeting musicians by François Puget. This painting was donated by the
artist to King Louis XIV in 1677-1678. Traditionally the two main figures
have been identified as the composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and the
librettist Philippe Quinault (Musée du Louvre, Paris). !
Overture with its wide interval leaps and dotted rhythms and fugal central section
“bears the classical stamp of all French overtures to come”. !
Another example of this type of overture is from Atys.!
At start shows clear sense of tonal rationalism: Gm – Cm – F – Bb – G7/B – Cm –
Gm/Bb - Cm/Eb – Gm 6/4 - Gm – D7 working either with strong 4th root
progressions, pivot notes (eg, the d in common between the Bb and G7) and the
suspensions. Then Bb, D7/C, D7/F#, Am, C7, melody emphasizing the tritone.!
Then note the fugato of middle section a feature sustained forwards into the time
of Rameau.!

Suggested listening: Overture from Atys!

Synonyms for early opera in Italy and France:!
Pastorale, Italian dramatic pastorale with its love of classical mythology, often, as
with Orfeo, featuring rural scenes, shepherds and nymphs!

Ballet Comique might not be comic, may even be a tragedy (as comedy was a
word that at one time simply meant drama).!

Tragedies Ballets, Tragedies des Machines and finally Tragedies Lyriques were
further genre terms used, leading to the development of French Opera. !

Tragedies des Machines stage machinery, developed first in Italy, allowed figures
such as Venus to float down on clouds ballets featured all manner of animals !
(live animals very often) owls, peacocks, monkeys etc. or people in animal
Acis and Galatee, Lully’s last opera in 1687. Comparison of overture with that !
of Atys. !
More decorative accompaniment, elegant, light rococo style. More confident,
less experimental use of tonality. Lully thought to be somewhat conservative in
his string writing than composers in Germany and Italy at this time.!
However, the Vingt Quatre Violons du Roi represented the start of a new era,
laying the foundations of the modern orchestral ensemble.!
Method of string playing, as if with deeply curved bow, more pressure mid-note,
towards centre. By this time viols all but vanished.!

Suggested listening: Vingt Quatre Violons du Roi

Jean-Philippe Rameau 1683- 1764

Lully influence on French Opera was incomparable. !

Jean-Philippe Rameau replaced Lully as the dominant !
composer of French Opera, and was also considered !
the leading French composer for harpsichord alongside !
François Couperin.!

Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie of 1733!

Traite d Harmonie (1722) Theoretical treatise that was!
ground-breaking in presenting idea of chordal!
In his time attacked for innovative harmony, despite the influence of Lully.
Ouverture of Hippolyte et Aricie reflects foundation laid in Lully’s overture. !
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)!

Purcell s Dido and Aeneas of c. 1689 regarded as

first English Opera written for a girls school in
Note the heavy chromaticism, reflecting
developed tonality.!

Note that this opera is late in Purcell s career!

He revised many of his earlier works to reflect the

advances in harmony that he learnt from studying
sources from the European mainland.!
Word Painting!
Tone painting of words goes at least as far back as Gregorian chant.!
Word painting developed especially in the late 16th century among Italian and
English composers of madrigals. !
Word painting flourished well into the Baroque music period.!
A musical technique of composing music that reflects the literal meaning of a
song's lyrics. !
Ascending scales would accompany lyrics about joy; slow, dark music would
accompany lyrics about death.!
The Rise of Baroque Instrumental Music!
Handel’s Israel In Egypt!
Keyboard Music!
William Byrd (1540 - 1623) (English)!
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643) (Italian)!
Francois Couperin (1668 - 1733) (French)!
Johan Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) (German)!
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685 - 1757) (Italian)!
William Byrd (1540 - 1623)!

As much associated with Renaissance era as Baroque and !

wrote church music in prima pratica style.!
Served at court of Queen Elizabeth 1st; his catholicism !
was tolerated as he was “only a musician” (more important !
people were executed).!
Wrote masses for private (and secret) acts of worship for !
Duke of Norfolk but wrote forward-looking keyboard music!
that had big influence on Baroque era.!
Byrd was influenced by the Italians!
Made use of dance forms such as: !
Pavane: a slow stately dance originating in Padua!
Galliard: lively dance in compound duple time with hemiolas!
Byrd carried this over into instrumental music in The Carman s Whistle.!
Byrd developed variation, even within dance forms “The Earl of
Salisbury” Pavane and Galliard are famous examples!
Byrd made much use of variation forms (chaconne, passacaglia) but
also variations on famous themes such as the In Nomine from the mass
on the plainchant Gloria Tibi Trinitas (from upper part of Sanctus in
the mass by John Taverner).!
In Nomine also forms the basis of a large number of English
instrumental pieces by a large number of composers of this era (and
in XX century revived by Sir Peter Maxwell Davis)!
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643)!

Like Byrd there are many variation works but mainly !

on Chaconne and Passacaglia and often the bass !
lines were set formulas, embellished. !
Among contrapuntal works were ricecars, canzonas, !
fantasias and capriccios. !

Organs in 17th C Italy did not have independent pedal boards so the writing is
indistinguishable from that for harpsichord in notation and musical idiom. !

Toccatas, Partitas (variations) canzonas, ricercars, fantasias, and dances played

on either instrument. !

An example of Frescobaldi Chaconne!

The canzona tends to be a livelier movement but also contrapuntal. !
Has movements consisting of rhythmic and melodic variations on single
theme. !
By “quarti toni” understand a mode in relation to a particular system laid
down at the time in which “toni” means in effect mode, with a particular
treatment of pitches within a three octave span. So this is fourth mode in
a system in which:!
Mode one is D Dorian!
Mode two is D Dorian plagal (on G)!
Mode three is E Phrygian!
Mode four is Phrygian plagal (on A)!
Plagal cadence is D minor triad in first inversion, D rises a whole step up
to E and lower F drops a semitone to E. !
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685 - 1757)!
Youngest son of the celebrated opera composer !
Alessandro Scarlatti.!
Domenico is mostly known for his keyboard sonatas. !
He wrote over 600 sonatas. Some of them are !
regarded as highly eccentric as they are influenced !
by the Flamenco music he heard while in service to !
the princess in Seville. !
Having secured a top position in Rome as !
Cappelmeister, he mysteriously accepted a position !
as private tutor to Portuguese Princess Maria Magdalena Barbara, first in Lisbon,
later he moved with her to Madrid when she married into the Spanish royal family.!
The sonatas were collected and edited in the 20th century by Kirkpatrick.!
Usually binary form. Note modulation to dominant, losing home key before double
bar, then second half modulation back to tonic. !
Baroque Concerto and Concerto Grosso in Italy and Germany!

Antonio Vivaldi (1677 - 1741)!

Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713)!
Joahn Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)!
Concerto Grosso!
Thought to have been invented by Arcangelo Corelli in or around 1682.
Originated in the canzonas of Giovanni Gabrielli, (c 1554 – 1612)
particularly the chaconnes in which you find simple alternations of trios
and full ensemble. !
The Concerto Grosso as a genre more firmly established by Alessandro
Stradella (1639 - 1682).!
Note distinction between Concerto da Chiesa and Concerto da Camera.
Concerto da Chiesa would be used in Church mass. !
Tutti sections gained the name ritornelli for the way they would return.
Structural interest was added to these in the works of Giuseppe Torelli (d.
1708) who ensured that each return would appear in a contrasted key.!
Trio seems to have a lute while ensemble a harpsichord. Sometimes in
earlier works there were simple passing to and fro of some phrases, a
short span echoing even here there is little more sophistication. !
It is notable that Gabrielli was one of the first composers to make use
of instrumental spacing (St. Mark works for brass) and this idea finds a
natural place in the Concerto Grosso. !
Corelli would divide into two orchestral groups the literal “concerto
grosso” refers to the larger ensemble of instruments while the smaller
is referred to as the “concertino”. !
Corelli would provide both with their own continuo section,
distributed at some distance from each other. !
Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)!

In Vivaldi’s Concertos you find a further level of development in the idea of!
tutti and solo alternation. Concerto more often with solo virtuoso instrument. !
There are 3 types of possibility in currency during this period: !

1)  virtuoso figuration not related to the tutti theme (but note that we are talking
here of figuration only, not a separate idea). !
2)  soloistic figuration and expansion of the tutti idea. !
3)  a solo idea distinct from that of the tutti (ritornello) idea.

Oboe Concerto in A minor, RV. 461, I. Allegro non molto

Oboe Concerto in C major, RV. 451, I. Allegro molto

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

The Brandenburg Concertos written between 1718 and 1721 demonstrate an

approach in which continuo based homophony is often heard simultaneously with
a complex contrapuntal weave of instruments. !
This is courtly music and generally of a lively and cheerful character.!
Often there are strong thematic contrasts between concertino and grosso groups. !
Note tendency towards continuing rapid modulation. Counterpoint in Bach's
concertos is different from his practice elsewhere. It is limited mostly to simple
note-against-note counterpoint involving pitch only; the rhythms are in
mechanical quaver movement.!
Note here the use of clarino trumpet, recorders and violins.!
Tendency of the Germans to feature much woodwind in their concerti. !
Early Baroque Religious Music

Particular mention should be made of Heinrich Shutz (1585 – 1672) who studied
with Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice. He showed an interest in both the Netherlands
polyphonic style and seconda prattica style of Monteverdi.!
Most phrases, however, seem to consist of short motives (unlike either Netherland
schools or Italian – unless you count Josquin Des Pres)!
The counterpoint is limited to that within a certain antiphonal activity
reminiscent of Gabrieli (activity, almost hocketing with subgroups of choir some
supported by strings some by brass).!
Harmony seems to have clearly advanced to the point that the main progressions
seem to be around circle of fifths in strong root progressions.!
Late Baroque Religious Music!
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)!
Much of Purcell’s development is concerned with an English version of
the polyphonic style, note the coming together at cadence points in
homophony. !
Tendency to contrast the virtuosic soloist with simpler chorus lines.!
Idea of religious text interspersed with ”Pastorale” “Sinfonia” and
choruses with alternation of polyphony and homophony (which have
influence on Handel later). Note use of “Hallelujah” here. !
George Frederick Handel !
(1685 - 1759) !

Portrait of Handel circa 1726 by Balthasar Denner. Oil painting

on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, London.
German composer from Halle, Saxony, who made his career in London.!
Learnt Italian operatic style while touring Italy as a young man.!
Brought this style to London and had a great success with his early operas, and
became immensely wealthy.!
The financing of the operas was dependant on the patronage of aristocracy.!
The style, and opera as a genre, went out of fashion in the 1730’s however.!
Personally devastated, Handel went on rest cure, traveling in Europe.!
While on the cure he had a vision in which God seemed to be calling on him to
write oratorios on religious themes.!
The religious oratorio became a new style, particularly associated with Handel
and Britain.!
He was partly influenced by the English contrapuntal style of Purcell, but was
also influenced by innovative developments on the mainland Europe.!
Illustration of Handel’s house at Lower Brook Street !
in London (1839) in which Handel lived and died. !
The Great Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace, London. !
The Illustrated London News, 27 July 1857.!
Like J.S. Bach, a direct contemporary, Handel can be seen as a great
contrapuntalist and leading figure in the mature Baroque harmonic
style. A larger part of his output is for the stage, however. !
These works naturally evince at a type of inspiration more concerned
with narrative and imagery. !
This carries through to the oratorios a type of illustrative irregularity
that would have been improbable in Bach. Both composers are
associated with a rich, highly detailed, chromatic musical language,
characteristic of the high Baroque.!
Important Composers!
George Philipp Telemann 1681 - 1767 (German)!
Johann Pachelbel 1653 – 1706 (German)!
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi 1710 – 1736 (Italian)!
Tommaso Albinoni 1671 – 1751 (Italian)!
The Age of Enlightenment !
General points on early Classical Music!
Italy remains leading musical nation at start of era!
Overlap of styles at the end of baroque era!
Classical with a capital “C”!
Materials of tonality now well established!
Different vision of what could be done with it!
Contrasts, particularly in terms of key!
The “galant” style: a lightness of touch!
Comparisons with Rococo decoration!
Rococo Style!

Associated with court of Louis XV, in stark contrast to Louis XIV. !

Smaller modest scale. Term possibly derived from word for shell rocialle,

combined with ‘baroque’. Portraits now more friendly and domestic. Wish to

indentify with rustic scenes. (later Marie Antoinette dresses as milk made, not that

she actually went the whole way and milked a cow). Decoration now more likely to

involve natural objects such as leaves, shells, etc. Court now preferred small town

houses rather than Versailles; taste for simplicity and charm. !

Rococo Style!


The Music Room from Norfolk House, St James's Square, London. Matthew
Brettingham (architect), Giovanni Battista Borra (designer). The House was built
in 1722 and demolished in 1938. The interiors have been acquired by the
Victoria & Albert Museum in the same year. Original picture from 1937.!
Reproduction of c.1780!

Czapski Palace, Warsaw, Poland (1705)!

National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal (1727)!
Kurfürstliche Palais, Trier, Germany (1794)!

 Jean-Baptiste Greuze,  The Milkmaid, (1784) !

Oil on canvas Musée du Louvre, Paris!
Francis Hayman, Dancing Milkmaids, (1741) !
Oil on canvas, Victoria & Albert Museum, London!
Late 18th : Intellectual and political background!

The “Age of Enlightenment” (or the “Age of Reason”)!

Divine right of kings now questioned!

Idea that reason, logic, scientific method could be taken into realm of politics!

Influence of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1788) !

Discourse on Inequality (1754) critical of fencing of land!

The French Revolution of 1789 & overthrow of feudalism!

The plays of Beaumarchais (Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais 1732 - 1799)

inspire Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte to write The Marriage of Figaro!
Later Classical Era!
Idea of “musical absolutism” (or “spiritual absolutism”) associated with
philosopher/writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) and E.T.A. Hoffman
(1776 – 1822).!
Expressed this way: “music has no subject beyond the combinations of notes we
hear, for music speaks …nothing but sound” by Eduard Hanslick (1825 - 1904) in
The Beautiful in Music.!
The object of music seen to be elevating the listener to a higher, abstract plane!
Motivation for the reforming aristocrats and wealthy merchants of Vienna to give
support to music in this era.!
The Classical Era saw the rise of two new genres: The String Quartet and the
Symphony. Alterations made to others genres: Concerto, Sonata etc. and the
virtual disappearance of baroque genres. String quartet origins particularly
associated with Haydn. !
The symphony originated largely as an outgrowth from operatic overtures.!

The era’s main formal triumph is sonata form. Note that the word “sonata” is used
for both a form and a genre. Sonata form is a.k.a. “first movement form” as it is
invariably the form used in first movements of symphonies. It is also used for first
movements of most string quartets.!
Sonata form developed out of binary form. The most essential features are key
contrast, development and return to home key: these must be present.!
Outline of binary form in major key!
Outline of Sonata form in major key!
Outline of Sonata form in minor key!
Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700 - 1775)!
Nicknamed as the “father of the symphony” and quickly became a famous
composer outside of Italy by the 1730s. !
Mostly praised for his innovations in the development of the symphony,
his approach to composition was unique taking influence from the trio
sonata and concerto forms, in contrast to other composers during the
time that modeled symphonies after the Italian overture which was
typically in a three-movement structure: the outer movements are quick,
the middle movement is slow. !
Sammartini was a prolific composer: 4 operas, about 70 symphonies, ten
concertos, and a significant collection of chamber music.!
Sammartini Symphony in G major!
Good example of his most inventive music of middle years!

Galant: style commences clearly in G major !

1st movement lasts not much more than 4 mins.!

The exposition is repeated (as with A section of binary form)!

At end of repeat of exposition, opening material is repeated in D!

The whole of development and recapitulation is repeated (as with B of

binary form - this soon dropped in sonata form)!

Sammartini Symphony in D major

Note clarity of “canalized” monodic lines!

2nd subject group, in dominant, becomes richly harmonic!
Similar pattern to G major symphony, inventive but repetitious!
1st movement not much more than 2 mins.!
Note that in both these pieces a harpsichord is used!
Extension of Symphony in terms of movements!

Early classical 3 movements: !

1st Allegro!
2nd Adagio (or Andante) !
3rd Presto (or Allegro con Spirito)!
Haydn adds a minuet to this pattern (he introduces a French dance
movement). Sometimes a ländler, an Austrian folk-dance, is in place of
the Minuet. Beethoven often replaced the minuet with a scherzo.!
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)!

Son of a wheelwright and a cook from Rohrau on the Austro-Hungarian

border. Gained place in St. Stephen’s choir school in Vienna.!
Kicked out aged 17; fended for himself on streets. Studied Gradus Ad
Parnassum a study of counterpoint by Johann Joseph Fux (1660 – 1741).!
Also studied the music of Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach (1714 - 1788)
known for a transitional style based on ideas derived from literary
rhetorical forms, somewhat more dramatic than the galant style.!
In 1756 Haydn’s talent was discovered by Baron Furnberg to be then
recommended to Count Morzin.!
Morzin keen on the (then) new string quartet genre. !
Early quartets show progression towards equality of parts rather than
tune and accompaniment. !
In 1761 Morzin fell into financial hardship. Haydn employed by Prince
Nikolaus Esterhazy (1714 - 1790).!
Leading of Esterhazy’s private orchestra included in duties and obliged
to compose many new pieces on a weekly basis.!
The Prince’s Palace “Esterhaza” built on a remote marshland. This
geographical isolation from cultural life forced Haydn into originality
of invention.!
Sturm und Drang!
Many Haydn symphonies written in the years 1760 to 1770 are associated
with the “Sturm and Drang” style.!
This was mainly a literary movement and something of a reaction against
the dominance of reason in the new thinking, sought to promote
subjectivity in expression. In some ways pre-figured romanticism and the
idea of the “suffering artist”.!
In later years at Esterhaza Haydn was treated less as a servant and was
allowed to publish in his own right.!
His international reputation grew and he traveled to Paris and London,
writing new symphonies for these cities. He was given an honorary
doctorate at Oxford University.!
When Prince Nikolaus died in 1790 the new heir was less interested in
music and Haydn was more-or-less free. !
He met and influenced Mozart (who dedicated a set of 6 string quartets to
him). Beethoven moved from Bonn to Vienna and sought Haydn as a
teacher after Mozart died.!
Haydn and Sonata form!
Many of Haydn’s examples of sonata form demonstrate “monothematicism”!
The “2nd Subject area” is contrasted only in terms of key, the material used for the
2nd subject will have already appeared in the 1st subject area.!
The term conceals sometimes quite complicated thematic writing and quite
extensive “bridge” passages between the thematic groups.!
Example of String Quartet Op. 50, 5 in F!
Note that the first subject is in two parts, contrast of materials is present within this
group. There is a long transition to second subject area where there is the
expected key contrast.!
This is said to be “monothematic” in that the second subject uses material from the
first subject group, but it is only the second part of first subject that is used.
However, some examples of so-called “monothematicism” in Haydn are often
complicated and do embrace contrasting material.!
Contrast is the essential feature of the classical style!
A very different idea from that of the “doctrine of the affections”!
Setting two keys (tonic and dominant) in contrast to one another is
an important part of it. Contrast present at all levels of a piece,
textures, dynamics, figurations, counterpoint, etc.!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791) !
Mozart’s idea of sonata form is the one that corresponds most closely
to 19th century theorists idea of what it sonata form should be.!
His forms are clearer in that the 2nd subject group provides not only a
contrast in key but also thematic material and character.!
Theorists see his first subject groups as typically energetic and
rhythmically dynamic.!
Mozart’s string quartet in Dminor K421 !
(from the set of 6 dedicated to Haydn)!
Provides an example of another important feature of Classical era music:
structural dissonance: something that is harmonically disruptive that will
later be “composed out”.!
Also provides a good example of the way that a 2nd subject is “twisted”
out of character in recapitulation in a minor key sonata form piece.!
Haydn is known mainly for his string quartets and symphonies, while
Mozart mostly for his operas and concertos.!
Mozart piano concerto no 24 in C minor K 491 - Allegro, is an example of
Mozart writing in “Sturm und Drang” style with a lengthy introduction by
orchestra typical of the genre at this time.!
Cellos and basses “darkened” by sound of the bassoon, woodwinds “float”
on tide of horns and bassoons. Piano enters solo, with new thematic
material in home key of C minor and the orchestra seems almost to!
“comment” on piano material. Woodwinds given role of “mimicking”
piano as if Mozart wants to draw attention to similarities of piano and
woodwind sonority.!
Piano given role of “triggering off” series of modulations: F to Bb (the
standard route round the circle of 5ths to land on dominant of relative
major). Sonata form adapted to concerto: the piano presents the new
and contrasting theme in the relative major Eb. When the orchestra
restate their opening (1st subject theme it is in the tonic minor of the
relative major: Eb minor).!
The development section’s objective is not so much to lead back to first
subject group as to the cadence where the piano has free reign to
improvise impressively before 1st subject group returns: this is called a
Pedal bass at end shows how important classical composers thought it
was to “ground” a piece at home in tonic.!
Early Classical Orchestra!
Flutes !
Horns (French Horns)!
Strings !
(violins I & 2, violas, celli, basses doubling celli at 8vb)!

Note the continuing presence of harpsichord. French horns were

introduced around 1710: they were natural instrument and could play
only the harmonic series available. These instruments did not have the
piston valve system which was developed in 1800s.!
Late Classical Orchestra!
Horns (French Horn)!
Strings !
(violins I & 2, violas, celli, double bass doubling celli at 8vb)!
Note the addition of clarinets, trumpets and trombones. Exclusion of harpsichord.
The pianoforte was invented by the Italian Bartlomeo Cristofori in 1720. Later
used as a primary keyboard instrument through the mid-1800s by many classical
composers, including Joseph Haydn and Ludwig Beethoven. !
The instrument had 48 keys and expanded to up to 64 keys.!
Mozart and the Opera!
Opera buffa (comic opera) was an established Italian form by this time.!
Cosi Fan Tutti, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni are considered to
have aspects of both opera buffa and opera seria: they have buffa characters
(Figaro and Leporello in Don Giovanni).!
The reason for studying The Marriage of Figaro closely has largely to do
with understanding the ingenious way that Mozart adapted sonata form to
meet the dramatic and comic requirements of the story.!
The lightness of style is characteristic of the Classical Style at its most
developed, yet shows the galant origins. The chromaticism and somewhat
ornamented lines are particularly characteristic of Mozart.!
Chrisoph Willibald Gluck (1714 – 1787)!

German composer, best known for his operas, including Orfeo ed

Euridice (1762), Alceste (1767), Paride ed Elena (1770), Iphigénie en Aulide
(1774), the French version of Orfeo (1774), He was knighted in 1756.!
Gluck is thought of as an “early Classical” composer; he studied in Italy
with Sammartini for many years. He particularly admired Handel but,
inexplicably, avoided any real study of counterpoint.!
He was seen to play a central role in the forging of a new operatic style in
towards the Romantic Era.!
Antonio Salieri 1750 - 1825!
Known for his arch-rivalry with Mozart, Salieri was a
pivotal figure in the development of late 18th century
opera. He had the status of a cosmopolitan
composer writing operas in three languages (Italian,
French, German). Salieri helped to develop and
shape the new operatic compositional vocabulary,
toward the Classical era, his music was a powerful
influence on contemporary composers.!

Even as his works dropped from performance, and he wrote no new operas after
1804, he still remained one of the most important and sought-after teachers of his
generation, and his influence was felt in every aspect of Vienna’s musical life. !
Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, and Ludwig van Beethoven were among the most
famous of his pupils.!
The Classical Era!

Ludwig Van Beethoven!
Sadak in Search of the
Waters of the Oblivion!
Oil On Canvas!
(1812) John Martin!
The Classical Era (1750 to 1820)

Mainly driven by an intellectual and philosophical ideas that dominated

the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century.!
Composers reflected the socio-political and literary scenario of Europe!
Effectively flourished during the French revolution and afterwards. The
art produced during the Enlightenment was about a search for morality
that was absent from previous art.!
Concerts started gradually to be public as emerging middle class could
now afford to pay and music was not only for the noble ones. !
Music gains dramatic expressions through contrasts, dissonance, climax
and suspense.!
List of Classical genres!

Opera (seria, buffa)!

Concertos (succeeded the Concerto Grosso)!

String Quartets (succeeded trio sonatas)!

Divertimenti and Serenades: (see Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik)!

Songs (Lied) !

Piano sonatas (and other chamber sonatas)!

Oratorios (carried on from baroque)!

Masses (the Catholic ceremonial form still existing since middle ages)!
Classical Piano Sonatas!

Early Sonatas, was not always clear whether written for the piano (then
very new) or clavichord or harpsichord.!

Even though Haydn very clearly preferred to think of piano, music

publishers had their own reasons for not making this clear.!

The main difference had to do with the ability to make large differences
in dynamics.!

Haydn’s early sonatas written in galant style.!

Usually monothematic: Haydn’s stated intention to make much of little

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Beethoven was to study with Mozart in Vienna, !
but Mozart’s early death intervened.!
The idea that Beethoven was to "receive the spirit of !
Mozart from the hands of Haydn" reflects this!
aspiration; yet Beethoven felt frustrated with Haydn’s !
Yet, considering Beethoven’s structural thinking and use of !
motif, it is as if the influence of Haydn had been deply absorbed.!
The idea of building a work from a single motivic building block seems more fully realized in
Beethoven, particularly in works such as the 5th Symphony and the Hammerklavier piano
Although Beethoven is often seen as an early romantic composer, and as a strongly egotistical
personality, this does not take into account the values at the basis of his commitment.!
Values such as integrity, wanting to work for the good of mankind, etc. (which were combined
with a mistrust in organized religion).!
Beethoven “Moonlight Sonata” (no.14 opus 27)

Before Beethoven the idea of structural unity seems to have been confined to single
movements. Another example of a Classical sonata that does not have a sonata first
movement. The first movement melody is the result of the uppermost voice in the compound
line of arpeggios.!

The fast final movement is a virtuosic tour de force comparable to the last movement of
Mozarts’ Sonata K331.!
Sonata Rondo example of form:!
A - Bridge - B (dom ) - A – C (subdominant: development section) - A (recap)- Bridge B (home
key) - A (variations and developments and coda) In which A is the rondo theme.!

It is generally considered that Beethoven’s most innovative symphonies were the 3rd, 5th , 6th
and 9th.!

The 5th symphony is regarded as an extreme example of a piece generated from one motivic
fragment. Note, however, that it is the rhythmic proportions of the motif, rather than its pitch
content, that allows it to appear in so many apparent transformations. Consisting of three
short notes and one long one it is more malleable than any arrangement of pitches.!
Opera of the Age of Enlightenment (1750-1830)!

Two developments ended the hegemony of serious opera (opera seria). The first was
the success of G. Battista Pergolesi 1733 Neapolitan comedy, La Serva Padrona. !
Comedies (opera buffa) such as this made opera seria look old fashioned. !
The second from a desire to re-organise opera along the Age of Enlightenment
agenda (science, philosophy, literature, paintings). Gluck provided the guidelines for
this new age focusing on dramatic truth. !
At the end of the 18th century, Mozart composed a sequence of comedies all sung
in Italian (Nozze di Figaro 1786, Don Giovanni 1787, and Così fan Tutte 1790).!
Italian famous Opera composer such as Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini developed
the “bel canto” style later flourished around Europe. !
The main features of the “bel canto” style!
“Bel canto” refers to the Italian-originated vocal style that prevailed throughout
most of Europe during the 18th century and early 19th centuries. !
•  Prosodic singing, use of accent and emphasis of rhythmic patterns used in the lyrics!
•  Matching register and tonal quality of the voice to the emotional content of the words!

•  Complex articulations of phrasing and insertion of pauses for dramatic purposes!

•  A delivery varied by several types of legato, staccato and portamento!

•  Frequent alteration of tempo through rubato quickening and slowing the overall time!

•  Introduction of a wide variety of refinement of both arias and recitatives!

•  Gesture as a powerful tool for enhancing the effect of vocal delivery!

•  Use of vibrato for expression of certain words and for gracing longer notes!
Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868) !
Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as
some sacred music, songs, chamber music, and
piano pieces. His music is sensuous, brilliant and
rhythmically energetic.!
His best-known operas include the Italian
comedies, The Barber of Seville, The Italian Girl in
Algiers and Cinderella. He wrote serious operas in
Italian: Tancredi, Otello, and Semiramide. The
Thieving Magpie is one of his most celebrated
overtures. !
Rossini introduced innovations that transformed Italian opera, and would influence
generations of French and Italian composers.!
He had a natural ease of composition and gift for melody, showing obvious
influences of Beethoven and Chopin. Rossini was an outstanding pianist whose
playing attracted high praise from Franz Liszt and Camille Saint-Saëns. !
Influenced Meyerbeer, Offenbach and even Wagner in the second half of the 19th
Gaetano Donizetti 1797 - 1848!

One of the most important composers in the !

history of Italian opera, a leading composer !
during the first half of the nineteenth century. !
Donizetti was closely associated with the !
“bel canto” style!
He was undoubtedly an influence on other !
composers such as Giuseppe Verdi. !
A prolific composer, is best known for his operatic works, but he also
wrote music in a number of other forms, including some church music, a
number of string quartets, and some orchestral pieces. Altogether, he
composed about 75 operas, 16 symphonies, 19 string quartets, 193 songs,
45 duets, 3 oratorios, 28 cantatas, instrumental concertos, sonatas, and
other chamber pieces.!
Vincenzo Bellini 1801 - 1836 !
Italian operatic composer with a gift for creating vocal
melody. His influence is reflected not only in later
operatic compositions, including the early works of
Richard Wagner, but also in the instrumental music of
Chopin and Liszt. !
Bellini’s fame was closely bound up with the “bel
canto” style of the great singers of his day. His ideals
were Haydn and Mozart, and he strove for clarity,
elegance of form and melody, and a close union of
words and music. !
Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian “bel canto” era of the early
19th century, also hugely influential, as much admired by other composers as he
was by the public. Verdi raved about his “long, long, long melodies”. Liszt and
Chopin professed themselves fans. Those musicologists who consider Bellini to be
merely a melancholic tunesmith are now in the minority!
The transition from Classical to Romantic!
A recent development in painting. Caspar David Friedrich, John Martin. !
Nature as a new ideal, possibly a new refuge.!

Friedrich Schlegel (1772 – 1829) German poet/philosopher.!

Jena School of Romanticism; ideals of complete individual freedom. The first
phase of Romanticism in German literature represented by the work of a group in
Jena from about 1798 to 1804. The movement is considered to have contributed to
the development of German idealism in late modern philosophy.!

Novalis (Georg Philipp Freidrich von Hardenbourg 1772-1801) Philosopher-poet.!

Idea of the artist as creative hero (Liszt and Wagner, particularly salient examples)
which is part of the reason why concerto becomes such a popular form.!

Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856) important poet for 19th c composers of !

Lieder (set by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Hugo Wolf).!
1815 – 1848 sometimes regarded as the true Romantic era !
The late works of Beethoven (d. 1827)!
Virtually the entire career of Schubert (d. 1828)!
Works of Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856) Frederick Chopin (1810 - 1849) !
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)!
Also the era of virtuosi such as Niccoló Paganini (1782 - 1840) !
Liszt retired from concert touring after this time!
The term “romantic” said to originate with argument between the German writers
Johan Wolfang Goethe (1749 - 1832) and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schille
(1759 - 1805) !
John Martin British painter (1789 -1854)!
Caspar David Friedrich German painter (1774 - 1840)!
John Martin, The Assuaging of the Waters (1840) Oil on Canvas, Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, USA !
John Martin, !
The Bard (1817)!
Oil on Canvas,!
Laing Art Gallery, !
Newcastle, UK!
Caspar David Friedrich!
The Wanderer Above!
The Sea of Fog (1818)!
Oil on canvas, !
Hamburger Kunsthalle!
Hamburg, Germany!
Caspar David Friedrich, The Abbey in the Oakwood, (1809) Oil on Canvas,
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
Caspar David Friedrich, The Sea of Ice (1823) Oil on Canvas, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Refers to work of literature, arts, and furniture in the period between the !
years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and !
1848, the year of the European revolutions.!
Early 19th century in Germany and Austria continues the Neoclassical !
development first in the Greek and Roman revival style, followed by a !
more eclectic approach of the Italian Renaissance, and Byzantine.!
Re-adapt the French Empire style replacing formality and majesty with !
comfort and function.!
1815 – 48 also known as the Biedermieir era, yet this tendency can be !
seen as a counterbalance to the wildness of romantic ideals.!
Artistic repression: discouraged from political engagement.!
Most often refers to the kind of peaceful domesticity that was encouraged !
particularly seen in the style of furniture in central Europe/Germany.!
Mendelssohn’s name associated with this, unfairly according to Charles !
Rosen (American Pianist and musicologist 5th May 1927 - 9th Dec 2012).!
Jakob Alt (1789 - 1872) !
A Lady At Her Writing Desk in a Biedermeier Sitting Room, (1821)
Watercolors on paper. !
Beidermeier interior, Chrzanów Museum, Chrzanów, Poland!
The Propylaea, (1846 - 62) Munich, Germany. Architect: Leo Von Klenze!
Berlin Konzerthaus, (1818 - 1821) Berlin, Germany. Architect: Karl Friedrich Schinkel!
Walhalla, (1830 - 1842) Regensburg, Germany. Architect: Leo Von Klenze !
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
A native of Vienna, discovered and helped as a child prodigy by Antonio Salieri
(1750 – 1825), who noticed some unusual and daring harmonies in his early
Particularly known for the genre of Germanic Lied. Set poems by Goethe,
Muller, Schiller, Heine, etc.!
Despite the poetic, refined imagery of his music he was something of a !
hell-raiser and died of syphilis. Early 19th Century. Germanic preoccupation
with folk poetry.!
Der Erlkonig, a poem by Goethe, piano accompaniment unusually elaborate for
Schubert. Alternations of disturbed child answered by his father in a calming
manner. Rhythmns reflecting riding on horse, and increasing sense of panic.!
Schubert started writing symphonies in his early teens and there are three mature works
including the B minor symphony no. 8, the Unfinished written in 1822 but not known
widely until some time after his death.!
It is “unfinished” only in the sense that it does not conform to the 4 movement pattern.
The first movement exposition presents three themes, rather than just two. The opening
slow theme introduces the movement in a manner unprecedented in symphonic
writing. The themes are all of a strongly melodic nature and so contrasted from one
another that the whole teeters on the brink of being a medley.!
After Schubert the Lied seen as having a substantial new tradition as genre.!

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1846) ; influence of literature and philosopy.!

Influence of Friedrich Schlegel and the Jena school of philosophy; !
the Aethenium journal. Idea of unity of the artwork now tacitly questioned by
notion of the fragment.!
Schumann married Clara Wieck (1819 – 1896) one of the leading !
romantic piano virtuosos, also a composer (as Clara Schumann).!
Robert Schumann tended to concentrate on one genre at a time and in !
the year of his marriage (1840) wrote a large number of Lied.!
Hugo Wolf (1860 - 1903)

His songs are considered particularly innovative and significant in the late 19th
With Mahler he was a student of at the Vienna Conservatoire where he studied
with Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896).!
Caught syphilis at the age of 18 which eventually led to his early death (aged 42)
and led to bouts of depression. He earned money as a music critic and used this
role to attack Brahms for his lack of faithfulness to the texts he set.!
Mahler regarded Wolf’s Lieder as even more significant than his own. Wolf’s lieder
include settings of Heine and Goethe among others.!
Use of leitmotif and exotic harmonies often reminiscent of Wagner. Example of
the setting of Goethe poem “Ganymed”.!
Hector Berlioz (1803- 1869)

Celebrated also as great conductor. Original !

and unusual composer in that he was not a !
keyboard player, but a he played guitar and !
flute; his orchestral conceptions completely !
free of piano influence.!
The programmatic idea of music influenced by literature of the times !
reflected in his first two symphonies in particular. Symphonie Fantastique was
written and performed only three years after Beethoven’s death. !
It would appear to be of an entirely different species of symphonic conception
to that of a classical symphony. Berlioz wanted to coin the term “dramatic
symphony” for his novel conception. !
With the Fantastique we are introduced for the first time to a pamphlet printed
out and distributed to the audience for them to comprehend the programmatic
intentions of the composer.!
Autobiographical and self-confessional in a form that was familiar from
contemporary French and English literature of the time. Another feature is that
of what might be regarded as a forerunner of the leitmotif, the idée fixe.!
This also seemed a reasonable concept for writers of abstract instrumental
music: one theme running with clarity throughout!
May have partly stemmed from the artificiality of the Symphonie!
Fantastique as a structure: most of the material stemmed from sketches !
Berlioz had made for other works, particularly one based on Goethe s Faust!
Berlioz stretches ideas of what a symphony can be, introducing operatic aspects.
The Symphonie Fantastique is one of only two bearing the actual title symphony
but he also regarded two subsequent pieces Harold in Italy based on a work by
Lord Byron (in which a solo viola characterises the character Harold witnessing
various scenes)!
Romeo and Juliette (a seven movement piece) as well as the Grand Symphonie
funebre et triomphale (1840) as symphonic works. !
Like Beethoven before him and Mahler after him, he saw little problem in
introducing choral movements. !
Most of Berlioz’s early works are more stylistically (classically) conservative than
the novelty of the programmatic conceptions would tend to suggest.!
Frederick Chopin!
Franz Liszt!
Frederick Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Very different conception of piano to Beethoven, more closely related to Mozart.

Lightness of texture; lines often written out between the hands as if it were four
part polyphony.!
Chromaticism (influence of Mozart?)!
Innovative harmony (influence of Beethoven?)!
No interest in any other instrument than the piano. As a virtuoso performed
particularly in Paris. First composer who saw harmonies in isolation as musical
colours, this influenced the future French impressionists era composers.
Introduced Polish traditional elements Mazurka (folk dance) and Polonaise
(aristocratic dance). Well known for Nocturne in A-B-A (ternary) form with B
usually faster and louder and significant coda sections.!
Example of Nocturne no. 15 in F minor, Opus 55 no 1,  middle section increases
drama, introduces aspects of the “brilliant style”.!
Invented the Ballade, based in sonata form.!
Wider range of modulations, sometimes introducing a considerable amount of
Chopin associated with literary figures particularly the Polish poets Norwid and
Mickiewicz; reluctant compared to many composers of his time to indulge in
specific programmes.!
Ballad, however, refers to an ancient literary form; Chopin hints at the idea.!
Of a narrative in the most oblique general terms by the name he gives the genre.!
Example of Ballade no.1 in G minor!
Introduction !
(1st Subject) G minor (Siciliano) !
(2nd subject) E flat!
Development section: !
A minor/Major: (3rd subject) in Eflat  (Waltz episode)!
Recapitulation: !
(2nd subject) E flat!
(1st subject) G minor!
(4th subject) G minor!
In the long dominant preparation to the return to
Eb Chopin makes use of octatonic (half step,
whole step) figuration. The structure changes the
Classical notion of sonata form into something
closer to an “arch” structure, returning to its
opening nearer the end.!
The popular appeal of the melodic aspect !
masking intellectual rigor.!
Acknowledged by both progressives !
(Liszt and Wagner) and figures such as !
Mendelssohn and Schumann (associated with
Chopin in 1849!
more conservative Classical tendencies).!
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

My sole ambition as a composer is to hurl !

my javelin into the infinite space of the future
Franz Liszt

Hungarian virtuoso pianist – composer !

Nationalist tendencies reflected in Hungarian
Rhapsodies yet heavily stylized.!
After retiring from concert touring in 1848
concentrated on composing.!
Much of his output has an experimental, forward
looking aspect.!
Identified with Goethe’s Faust, seeing himself as a
musical alchemist. Helped develop the “tone poem”
genre, e.g.: Orpheus.!
B minor Piano Sonata!
This piece tends to be admired, even by detractors who see Liszt’s talent as showy
and facile (but see Charles Rosen s account in The Romantic Generation).!
1853, early example of single movement sonata form. Also embraces the idea of
cyclic form. After slow introduction has an allegro theme cantando espressivo !
seen as slow movement theme.!
Concept of structural unity seen as significant in this piece due to resemblances
between pieces of material used for very different expressive purposes.!
Faust Symphony

Programmatic, yet not in the sense of a tone poem. In the legend Faust trades his
soul for the magical powers Mephistopheles offers him, but this would take him
away from Gretchen.!
Important: Twelve note theme. !
Note resemblance of Faust movement (I) opening aug triads and viola, cello,
clarinet of page 166 in Mephistopheles movement (III). Brass section fully valved;
early example of brass able to fully participate in chromaticism.!
Liszt style it becomes apparent perhaps for the first time that big orchestral
effects, relations of tessitura, combinations of instruments, contrasts of
instrumental groups, texture, gesture, etc. can bestructural shaping forces in
music. !
The Symphonist: Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler!
The Opera Greatest Masters: Wagner and Verdi!
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1896)!
Identified as the most conservative of prominent
composers during the 19th century.!
Liszt’s Allgemeiner Deutsche Musikverein
associated with New German School of
programmatic composers - to some extent an anti-
Brahms alliance.!
Photo of a young Johannes
Brahms (circa1853).! Although leader of the opposing camp even Wagner
acknowledged that Brahms did new things with the
old forms. Later, in 20th C, Schoenberg was to
identify the innovative “developing variation” in
Brahms’ music.!
Championed by Schumann and Clara Wieck.!
Brahms received great encouragement from Robert and Clara Schumann at a
young age. He was a piano virtuoso brought up in Berlin in dire poverty. His
father was a popular musician who was often unable to provide for his family so
that even as a child Johannes often had to play to support the family. !
Some of the praise that Robert Schumann, in his role as music critic, lavished
upon the young Brahms gave him a lot to live up to, so that for many years his
production might have been inhibited: it was quite slow.!
Brahms, more than any other composer active in the late 19th century, is seen as
continuing the Classical tradition of Beethoven. Yet he evolved what Schoenberg
has referred to as “the developing variation”.!
Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896)!
He is especially famous for his nine symphonies.
All very long and are written in a late Romantic
style for a large orchestra. Moved to Vienna where
he became Professor at University!
founding life difficult - regarded as a naïve
peasant. Taught Hugo Wolf, Hans Rott and
befriended Mahler. Also taught Schenker (but S.
disparaged Bruckner’s music)!
His earliest symphonic attempts date from his late
30’s. Influence of Beethoven’s symphonies for
their grandeur gestures.!
Bruckner’s symphonies show a wonderful ability to develop ideas slowly over a
long period of time. Some of the slow movements last about 30 minutes. !
His music builds up in stages to big climaxes in a similar way to organ music. His
scherzos (third movements) are tuneful dance movements which often sound like
country dances. His music shows great harmonic and polyphonic skills. !
Bruckner often made revisions (changes) to his music. This often makes a
problem for conductors today as they have to decide which version to use. Many
musicians think that often Bruckner’s first versions were the best. !
The revisions were often cuts to make a symphony shorter so that orchestras
would be more likely to play it, but the cuts spoil the flow of the music. !
Nowadays we recognize Bruckner as one of the greatest writers of symphonies as
well as a great composer of choral music.!
As with Liszt’s Faust symphony the time-scale is expanded!
Lack of programmatic element; different kind of sonata structure!
Also known for his motets, E minor mass!
One string quintet in F (a rare example of a commission)!
Recently discovered early string quartet!

2 crochets followed by 3 triplet crochets known as the Bruckner rhythm!

Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911)
From Austrian Bohemia, family later settling in Moravia!
From a German-speaking Jewish Czech ancestry. !
A child prodigy, virtuoso pianist who became best-known
as conductor. By the time Bruckner knew him at the Vienna
Conservatoire he was 17.!
Friendship with Hans Rott, Influence of the anti-Habsburg
leftist politics of the time. He was against the conservatism
of bourgeois liberalism.!
Saw aesthetics as influenced by aristocracy (via, e.g.:
Hanslick). New youth-orientated Germanic culture (state
created in 1871).!
Influence of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer on the Leseverein
der deutschen Studenten Wiens (Reading Society of Viennese
German Students).!
Mahler at 25!
Influence of the Nietzsche prodigy Siegfried Lipiner (1856
– 1911) who wrote The Unbound Prometheus and was mentor
to Mahler.!
Mahler’s Symphonies!
9thsymphonies and unfinished 10th. Works on an expanded scale, even beyond Liszt and
Bruckner. Use of folk tunes and popular music, often adding deliberately vulgar touches to
suggest, for example, mockery !
Enormous eclecticism, full of references to other music!

Symphony no. 6 in A minor!

March rhythm, suggestion of walk in mountains!
“Fate motif”: A major turns to minor, accompanied by timpani!
Grotesquery of “mocking” xylophone!
Idyllic moment of bells in first movement when momentarily !
There is suggestion of mountain scenery!
“The symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything”!
Mahler in conversation with Jean Sibelius!
Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra for the American
premiere of Mahler's 8th Symphony (1916) One of the largest-scale works in
the classical repertoire. Because of the huge instrumental and vocal forces it is
frequently called the “Symphony of a Thousand”.!
Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)!
Known almost exclusively for his operas, in his terminology music Dramas. !
Believed that the future of art resided in combining of its different forms. !
Wrote his own librettos and other extended poems.!
A Catholic who, none-the-less, interested himself in Buddhism and the !
philosophies of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.!
Extensive interest in myths, particularly in Germanic and Nordic !
Legends. He was a controversial figure. Held some extremely noxious views that
appear to have helped to inspire Hitler (including anti-French and antisemitic
Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)!
If Verdi’s fame and success were translated into !
today’s standard he would be a rock star. !
Apart from being a leading musical figure, he !
was a political figure highly admired in Italy.!
His music is used outside of the opera house !
around the world; his “Triumphal March” from !
Aida is used in many ceremonies. !
Often mistaken for being simplistic. He wasn’t !
an admirer of Wagner’s complexity. His Operas !
were seen as straightforward in this regard, but !
musically they were not, Nabucco was groundbreaking in its harmonic complexity,
Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore were some very lengthy, complex pieces. !
The Opera of the Romantic era!
The French Revolution impacted on opera, works of the Paris-based Italian Luigi
Cherubini. However, later France preferred the grand style of Meyerbeer and the
soft one from Gounod and Massenet.!
Verdi dominated the next generation. Over five decades he demonstrated a
vigorous commitment to drama in Rigoletto (1851), Il Trovatore and La Traviata
(both 1855), gradually honing his technical skills to perfection in Otello (1887) and
Falstaff (1893). !
Verismo (circa 1890 - 1920)!
(End of Romanticism transition to Modern era)!
At the end of the 19th century, Italian opera renewed itself under the battle-cry of
verismo, adopting a realistic approach to subject matter and treatment: Puccini
(1858-1924) represented this tradition at its most diverse and accomplished,
producing works such as La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly
(1904), whose popularity remains undiminished.!
Music and Nationalism!
Towards the XX Century!
Russian and French composers!
Russian Nationalism!
Russian Orthodox choral tradition, Vigorous folk tradition!
Lines of development in isolation from European classicism!
Most concert music in 19th Russia imported from Paris, Vienna, etc. !
The foreign music was not welcomed by all, however European influence
was felt strongly by its native composers. Tchaikovsky as crucial example. !
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (top left) and The Five (counter-clockwise
from bottom left): Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Modest
Mussorgsky, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.!

The Five had differing opinions as to whether

Russian classical music should be composed
following Western or native practices.
Tchaikovsky wanted to write professional
compositions of such quality to transcend
national barriers, yet remain distinctively
Russian. !
The Five, sought to produce a specifically
Russian kind of art music, rather than one that
imitated older European music or relied on
European-style conservatory training.!
Mikail Ivanovich Glinka (1804 – 1857)!
Brought up in very sheltered circumstances as his mother feared for his health!
Composed Kamarinskaya, (1848) a short piece for orchestra based on a Russian
dance song (that gives it the name) and a wedding song.!
Like others outside the European his approach to orchestration is fresh, often
featuring lively counterpoint and light in texture.!
Kamarinskaya was to have a great influence on the development of a national
style. Glinka also known as operatic composer.!
Influence on other Russian composers of the younger generation: Balakirev,
Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.!
Mily Alekseyevich Balakirev (1837 – 1910) !
Became something of a self- appointed mentor for the Russian nationalists.!
In the 1850’s – 60’s he brought together a group of composers known as “the
five": Borodin, Cesar Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and himself.!
He sought out Tchaikovsky (Pyotr Ilyich 1840 – 1893) and influenced him in the
writing of Romeo and Juliet (1870) programme piece and Manfred symphony.!
He held somewhat mystical beliefs and tried to influence Tchaikovsky’s dream life !
(in the end Tchaikovsky got tired of his attempts at influence and told him he had
had enough).!
Refused a post at the Moscow Conservatoire partly because he distrusted the
Vienna-regarding established academies.!
Fell out with Rimsky-Korsakov (Nikolai Andreyevich 1844 1908) for accepting a
post at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire in 1871.!
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839 – 1881)!
Could be regarded as the most successful Russian from the viewpoint of
establishing a distinct non-European nationalist identity for Russian music.!
His influence stretches widely from both a geographic viewpoint (influence on
Debussy and French music) and in time (influence on much 20th century
An collector of Russian folk-song, travelling widely to collect and transcribe the
music from village people. He was born to an aristocratic family and so obliged
to take up a post as an army officer.!
The army demanded shows of manhood by enforced drinking sessions !
in the officers’ mess. This had a disastrous results for Mussorgsky as he ended
up an alcoholic, dying an early death in an insane asylum.!
Many of his masterpieces were left unfinished. Many of Mussorgsky’s
unfinished scores were completed by Rimsky-Korsakov who did what he could
to complete such works as the opera Boris Godunov.!
Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908)!
One of the group of nationalist composers. Question as to whether Rimsky-Korsakov
maintained the mission of Russian nationalism. Like Tchaikovsky, generally seen as
orientated towards Europe.!
An ex-naval officer took the post of Professor of Music at St. Petersburg Conservatoire.!
Particularly known for his command of orchestral colour inspired by Berlioz’s approach
to orchestra. Like Berlioz, wrote key works on orchestration (his works quoted by Berlioz
in his treatise).!
Thought of music in terms of colours. E major represented for him the colour blue, or
the sea. Use of it in “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship” in the four movement Scheherazade.!
Example of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espanol (originally to have been a violin
concerto) Fandago Asturiano.!
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)!
Russian composer of the romantic period who wrote some of the most popular
music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose
music made an international respected reputation. Not a nationalist composers
like many of his Russian contemporary. !
His music has always had great appeal for the general public in virtue of its
tuneful, open-hearted melodies, impressive harmonies, and colourful,
picturesque orchestration, all of which evoke a profound emotional response. !
Was the leading exponent of Romanticism which owes as much to the French
and Italian musical traditions as it does to the German. !
Major works: Symphony No. 5 in E Minor (1888), Serenade for Strings in C
Major, Opus 48 (1880), Capriccio Italien (1880), the 1812 Overture (1880),!
one-act opera Iolanta (1891), two-act ballet Nutcracker (1892), Symphony No. 6
in B Minor (Pathétique), which was destined to become his most celebrated
masterpiece (1893).!
Late 19th Century French Music!
Paris was the main European capitalist city and the most important creative
center for arts, music and literature.!
Other types of music that became important in the 19th century were grand
opera, small pieces for piano; piano sonatas, often with the exploration of new
harmonic and tonal ideas. !
Composers began exploring different, looser approaches to tonality. During this
era, French composers such as Debussy and Ravel developed a style called
Impressionism, which emphasized tone “colors” and which used chords purely
for their sound (as opposed to for their harmonic role).
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)!
Leading French composer of his generation trained as an organist with
Camille Saint-Saëns.!
Importatn link-figure between Romanticism and French modernism of early
20th century. Fine example of lightness and extended harmony French
characteristics. Example of Apres Un Rêve (Véronique Gens and Roger
Vignoles version).!
Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, Sicilienne, nocturnes
for piano and the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”. !
Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his
earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his
later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.!
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)!
An important composer arguably a founding father of 20th century Modern style
(together with Schoenberg and Stravinsky).!
Aquainted with, and possibly influenced by Fauré. He is sometimes seen as the
first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term, mainly
because of use of short overlapping phrases, reminder of bright painterly spots of
colour in some impressionist paintings.!
Influence of symbolism, literary movement in part associated with the poet
Mallarmé, world as manifestation of spirit.!
Example of “Jeux de Vagues” from La Mer, Inspiration of the sea: once considered
becoming a sailor. La Mer composed while staying in Eastbourne, England. New
level of orchestral detail and blending of colours.!
Thinking primarily of sounds rather than instruments?!
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)!
Often associated with impressionism along with Debussy, although both
composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally
regarded as France’s greatest living composer.!
Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity,
incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. !
Was fascinated by the dynamism of American life and its advanced technology.!
Experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which
repetition takes the place of development. He made the orchestral arrangement of
of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (1922).!
Fauré was his teacher and main supporter. Ravel studied for three months with
Vaughan Williams as well. !
Symbolism VS Impressionism!

Odilon Redon 1840 - 1916 Claude Monet 1840 - 1926

Symbolism, Odilon Redon !
← 1840 - 1916!

→ ←

Impressionism, Pierre August →

Renoir 1841 - 1919!
Other important Romantic French composers !
Erik Satie (1866 – 1925)!
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921)!
Paul Dukas (1865 – 1935)!
Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875)!
Charles Gounod (1818 – 1893)!
Europe in 1500!
Europe in 1500!
Europe in 1700!
Europe in 1800!
Europe in 1900!