Musical Changes in Classical Music

500 Words2 Pages
Outline the major musical development of the classical period and the main characteristics of the classical style. Main characteristics of the classical style: Contrast of mood - Mood in classical music may change gradually or suddenly. Masters like Haydn and Beethoven were able to impart unity and logic to music of wide emotional range. Rhythm - In Classical music, there is a flexibility of rhythm. A classical composition has a range of rhythmic patterns. The classical style also can include unexpected pauses, syncopations, and frequent changes from long notes to short ones. Also they have a change from one pattern of note lengths to another, which may be either sudden or gradual. Texture - Classical music is basically homophonic. However, texture is treated as flexibly as rhythm. Pieces shift smoothly or suddenly from one texture to another. Melody - Classical melodies are one of the most tuneful and easy to remember. The themes of even highly sophisticated compositions may have a folk or popular flavour. Occasionally, composer simply borrowed popular tunes, but more often, they wrote original themes with a popular character. Classical melodies often sound balanced and symmetrical because they are frequently made up of two phrases of the same length. The second phrase, in such melodies, may begin like the first, but it will end more conclusively and it will be easier to sing. Dynamics and the piano - The Classical composers' interest in expressing shades of emotion led to the widespread use of gradual dynamic change - crescendo (gradually getting louder) and diminuendo ( gradually getting softer). The end of basso continuo - The basso continuo was gradually abandoned during the classical period. One reason why the basso continuo became obsolete was that more and more music was written for amateurs, who could
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