“The latter half of the 18th century saw a greater diversity of stringed keyboard instruments in general use than at any other time in history.” This time of diversity happens to coincide with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s short life from 1756 to 1791. He was known to play and compose for the clavichord and harpsichord, and later, for the fortepiano, which became his favorite. Mozart wrote an astonishing number of great compositions by any standard but his achievement is particularly impressive because he died at the young age of 35. During his lifetime, Mozart wrote over 600 compositions, including around 100 surviving solo piano works. Among these are: eighteen sonatas, seventeen sets of variations, works for four hands, Fantasies, and many easier works including Minuets. Musicologists agree that the works from Mozart’s childhood and adolescence seem to have been written for clavichord or harpsichord, and works written after 1777 were intended for fortepiano. There are some differences in each of the keyboard instruments which had an effect on the style of the music. In order for today’s pianist to interpret this music on the modern piano, it is necessary to understand how these differences among the three keyboard instruments, such as dynamics, distinct timbres, and sustaining power, affected the music written for them. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, during the time in which the classical style was growing and developing. This time of development, known as the Pre-Classical period, lasted from around 1730 to around 1770. During this early classical period, many musical characteristics were developing which reached their peak during the years from around 1770 to around 1820, which are known as the high classical period. The music of the classical period was a reaction to the formalism, rigidity and seriousness of the Baroque. Seriousness was avoided and polyphony of the Baroque was replaced by a homophonic texture. During the early classical period, the basso continuo of the Baroque gradually declined, and the fortepiano, which doesn’t gain in popularity until the 1770’s, was only occasionally used. The dynamics of this early period were terraced as well as gradual. During the classical period, composers wrote pieces with contrasting mood changes within the same movement resulting in more variety. There are contrasting themes and contrasts within the theme itself. Rhythm is also flexible and may vary suddenly or gradually throughout the piece. The texture of the music during this period is mostly homophonic, but this too is subject to variety. A piece may change from homophonic to a polyphonic texture within a single movement. The melodies of the classical period are short, clearly defined and easy to remember. They are often made up of two phrases equal in length. There is a greater range of dynamics in the high classical period and the use of crescendo and decrescendo emerges. The pianoforte replaced the harpsichord around 1775 due to the gradual dynamic changes and the desire to have a more expressive instrument than the harpsichord. The size of the orchestra increased and evolved as a standard group of four sections: string, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. A new emphasis was given to tone color of individual instruments, resulting in variety and rapid changes of tone color. During the Classical Period, several new forms became widely used. They are Theme and Variations, Minuet and Trio, Rondo, and Sonata form, also called Sonata-allegro form. In a Theme and Variations, the theme or basic musical idea, is repeated and changed each time. The Minuet is in ABA form and originated as a dance in ¾ during the Baroque period. The Trio originally was intended for three instruments in the Baroque, but in the Classical, more than three could be used. A Rondo has a main theme which alternates with other themes. For example,…
What is evolution?
The word evolution can be used in many ways, but in biology, it means descent with modification. In other words, small modifications occur at the genetic level (i.e. in DNA) when a new generation originates from an ancestral population of individuals within a given species. Over time the modifications basically change the characteristics of the whole population. When the population gathers a large number of changes and conditions are right, a new species may appear.
“The Piano Lesson” by August Wilson successfully exemplifies Family Heritage and Economic Prosperity, two very important branches of the “American Dream.” Taking place in 1930’s in Pittsburgh, it also shows how times have changed, and the naïve idea of the American Dream can sometimes be a farther reach for different heritages. The Piano Lesson touches upon different aspects of life including the economy, family, and the ever-so suspicious supernatural.
In the time frame that the “The Piano Lesson”…
10 December 2013
Evolution vs. Intelligent Design
“Evolution is a broad, well-tested description of how earth’s present day life-forms arose from common ancestors reaching back to the simplest one celled organisms almost four billion years ago”. (AAAS) The theory of Evolution really became of rapid acceptance when Charles Darwin published a evolutionary theory in his work, “On the Origin of Species”. "Intelligent design" consists of two hypothetical claims…
The piano is a musical instrument, one of the most popular in the world. Used mostly in classical music, solo performances, backing music, ensemble use, dance music, hip-hop and much more. Although the piano isn’t portable and often really expensive, the piano’s wonderful sound has made it one of the world’s most familiar musical instruments.
Pressing a key on the piano’s keyboard causes a felt-covered hammer to hit steel strings. The hammer rebounds, allowing the strings to continue…
they had, even if that meant selling years of family history in carvings or killing children so they wouldn’t feel the pain of slavery.
Bernice’s decision to keep the piano though she never used it herself was so that the pain it took to get that piano where it was would never be forgotten. Their father died to save that piano and their mother polished it every day of the rest of her widowed life with her sweat, tears, blood. Bernice didn’t want this foolishness of thievery and murder to ever be…
DIS 1K: Kristina
December 3rd, 2012
The Father of Hot Piano
The 19th century gave rise to some of the most renowned jazz musicians of all-time—one of those being the charming Mister Jelly Roll Morton. Born in 1885 and raised by a Creole family in the vivacious city of New Orleans, Morton found his attachment to jazz music at a young age. Ferdinand Lamonthe, enshrined as Jelly Roll Morton, became the first great composer and ragtime piano player of jazz. He was adored not only for his musical…
Dewana S. Hunt
Composition I, English 1010, Extra Credit
Ms. Beverly Mitchell
12 November 2013
My daughter and I attended the “Dueling Pianos” concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee on October 25, 2013 at 8 p.m. which is a classical series of concerts sponsored by AEGIS Sciences Corporation. We were very excited about going to the Nashville Symphony. The Nashville Symphony Chorus included: Kelly Corcoran, chorus director, Christina and Michelle…
Steinway Pianos. Discussed will be how the Steinway Piano company set up their system, smaller subsystems and how they use the systems perspective of input, transformation and output. Behavioral and operations management will also be discussed along with the universal and contingency perspective.
This discussion on Steinway Pianos will be highlighting their processes and how their subsystems and system work together to produce their high quality piano cases…
Critical Essay on Jane Campion’s The Piano.
My thesis is that: Although being directed by a mold-breaking female and despite being littered with feminist tropes, Jane Campion’s The Piano is not a feminist film.
Their opinion vs. mine
Interview Magazine, Jane Campion by Katherine Dieckmann, (January 1992)
As the director she hold s a omni-conscious view, aware of all possibilities of interpretations. Thus she both agrees and disagrees with me.
She is a very…
Prepared By: Maria Darbinian
Prepared For: Professor Daniel Moser
Introduction to Humanities
DeVry University Online
In the 1700’s the piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence, Italy first introduced to the world as the "pianoforte" meaning “Soft loud”. “In the last quarter of the 18th century the piano had become the leading instrument of the western art of music that still lives on till today as an exotic instrument played by talented people in the…