Chapter14 - Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition...

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By Barbara Russano Hanning Based on J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music , Eighth Edition Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition Chapter 14 The Early Classical Period: Opera and Vocal Music
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PRELUDE
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International musical style International culture spread throughout Europe during the Enlightenment. Composers often traveled and worked in international centers. Flutist Johann Joachim Quantz suggested that ideal music had features from all nations.
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The new Classical style had a universal appeal It depended on a logical flow of ideas. Music that followed speech was thought to be more natural. Music should communicate expression without artifice. Writers distinguished between the learned style of counterpoint and the freer galant style, which became the foundation for the Classical style.
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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW STYLE
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Melody Baroque phrasing Baroque melodies were spun out of single melodic-rhythmic subjects. Baroque melodies embodied a single affection. Sequential repetition of phrases with infrequent cadences created integrated movements without sharp contrasts.
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Melody Periodicity The new melodic style broke up the melodic flow with a succession of short distinct phrases of two to four measures in length. A period, consisting of two or more phrases, formed a complete musical thought. This melodic style is characterized by frequent cadences. Principles of rhetoric and grammar were applied to music.
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Harmony Frequent cadences support the periodic melodic structure. Harmonic movement was slower than in the Baroque era. The Alberti bass set chords in repeating patterns to animate harmonies without distracting from melodies.
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Alberti, VII sonate per cembalo
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Emotional contrasts In the Baroque era, strong and invariable states of affection were thought to dominate human emotions. Newer knowledge of the human condition suggested that emotional states were constantly changing. The music of the Classical era began to incorporate contrasting moods rather than project only a single affection.
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COMIC OPERA
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Opera buffa Stylistic features of the Classical era first appeared in Italian opera. Comic opera was most open to the new stylistic trends.
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Opera buffa General characteristics of Italian opera buffa A full-length work that was sung throughout Six or more characters Plots caricatured the faults of both aristocrats and commoners.
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Characters often resembled the stock characters of the commedia dell’arte. Dialogue was set in rapidly-delivered
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Chapter14 - Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition...

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