A pedal point is sustained over several chords. Typically found in the bass voice, although not always, the pedal point remains the same pitch while the other voices of the chords shift around it. This instance is found in the sinfonia for the opera La Villana Riconosciuta by Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801), in the first movement, Allegro Con Spirito. This particular example exists in several octaves in the bass, cello, and viola parts, as well as both bassoon parts. The pedal point occurs between the seven and ten second marks in this recording.
A player begins to do several warm ups before practicing piece. An excerpt of the warm up is selected, here is a 3 octave A major scale. You can hear the player go higher and higher in the octave. As octave got higher, noise isn't as strong so the sound is begin to be lost. You can also hear squeaks and the bow isn't in a continuous motion so you can hear pauses in between. Recorded on an iPhone 6s.
Symphony was a popular genre of music in the eighteenth century. It was developed from the overtures (also called 'sinfonia'), which were played at the beginning of operas. When we think of 'symphony', we always think of an orchestra consists of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. However, the earliest symphonies in the world were actually consists of strings only. These symphonies were usually composed before 1760. Symphony in B flat major (Them. Index 65) by Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789) is one of the earliest symphonies. It was written for a string orchestra that consists of 2 violins, viola, and basso (most likely to be cello). Also, the composer wrote figured bass (some numbers under the score) so that basso continuo like harpsichord could be played with the string orchestra. The audio presents the beginning of the third movement of the symphony, which is the fast and the last movement of the whole symphony. Since the piece have not been recorded by anyone, the audio is produced by Sibelius 7 Sounds Chamber.
An overture is an instrumental work played before the beginning of a dramatic work. It was used to prepare the audience for the rest of the show and often used themes from later in the piece. An Italian Overture is an introduction to an opera or vocal work and has three simple sections of fast-slow-fast. Popular overtures in the eighteenth century would often be played outside of their operatic contexts in public concerts. This recording is from the beginning of a popular overture in the eighteenth from Paisiello’s overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia. The example uses flutes, oboes, bassoons, violins, viola, cello, and double bass.
Fortepiano is a dynamic marking used to denote an accent or stress in the music by suddenly being loud (forte) and then immediately soft (piano). The marking is written as “fp” directly underneath the note where it occurs. This marking appeared frequently in the eighteenth century as a more flexible system of dynamics was forming. In this example from Paisiello’s overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia, the fortepiano is heard every few seconds from the whole orchestra. This concept should not to be confused with the fortepiano, a keyboard instrument from the eighteenth century.
Ostinato is a short phrase, chord or melody that repeats continuously through a section or whole piece of music. It is generally a simple and easy to remember pattern. The name comes from the Italian word for “obstinate” because of its repetitious nature. It has been a popular musical element for centuries. In the example from Paisiello’s overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia, listen to the lower sounding string instruments for two different ostinato patterns. The first pattern is a single repeating note and the second is a melodic pattern.
'Symphony' is a new product in eighteenth Century Europe. It was developed from the overtures (also called 'sinfonia'), which were played at the beginning of operas. The first generation of the symphonies stayed closely to the movement structure of the overtures, which was fast-slow-fast. However, Johann Stamitz (1717-1757), a great composer at the time, tried to add a movement (Minuet and Trio) between the the second and the third movements. This addition of the movement influenced much on the composition of symphonies afterwards. Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789) was one of the composers who was influenced by this. Symphony in C major (Them. Index 11) is one of his symphonies with four movements. This audio presents the beginning of the third movement of the symphony, which is a Minuet and Trio. Since the piece have not been recorded by anyone, the audio is produced by Sibelius 7 Sounds Chamber.
A sudden dynamic change occurs in music when the volume drastically changes from soft to loud, or from loud to soft, without any gradation between the two. Eighteenth century composers often employed this effect in their music.
The violins play the complete initial statement of the main theme for this movement of the sinfonia. The main theme is the melodic idea which forms the compositional foundation of the movement; portions of it will be repeated in isolation, transposed, and varied with some repetitions of the complete idea over the course of the movement.
This typical string section of a galant/classical orchestra consists of first and second violins, viola, cello and bass. The string section of the orchestra plays an interlude between episodes of a movement. The first violins and violas play moving line in unison punctuated by second violins, cellos, and basses playing in unison.