What does the Symphony mean?
Symphony means a sonata for orchestra. It has four movements. First movement: Usually fast, and in sonata form.
Second movement: Usually slower and more song-like. It could be in sonata form or ternary form, and perhaps with variations. Third movement: Haydn and Mozart wrote a minute in trio at this point. Beethoven later turned this into a Scherzo (A direct translation is joke.) Fourth movement: Fast, often light hearted, perhaps in Rondo form, or sonata form, or with variations. Classical Period:
Firstly, the strings play the melody most of the time. In most classical symphonies, each movement is a self-contained composition with its own set of themes. A theme in one movement will only rarely reappear in a later movement. But a symphony is unified partly by the use of the same key in three of its movements. More importantly, the movements balance and complement each other both musically and emotionally. The classical symphony follows form and structure very meticulously. Romantic Period:
The Romantic Symphony is an expanded version of the Classical symphony. It is much larger in size and in length with the addition of many more instruments and sometimes more than four movements. During the romantic period, the woodwinds were favoured, and were given more opportunities to play the melody. There are more instruments in the Romantic Symphony as compared to Classical Period. There was freedom of form and design. It was considered to be more personal and emotional. They are much more expressive in terms of harmonization, rhythmic patterns, and dynamics. Many Romantic symphonies were examples of program music, a new instrumental form. Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastiqueis an example of a Romantic symphony.
Haydn’s Symphony 101 in D major: The Clock, movement 1
The strings play the melody mostly. However, the woodwind sometimes plays it. It is in Sonata form and is in 6/8 timing, an unusual timing during that period. The opening is...
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