09/29/14 Music Is: Our Answers So Far

Some answers to “Music is…” that we can all pretty much agree on:

music is life

Music universal language

When words fail music speaks

awesome moment shiver spine

music is beethoven quote

At the same time, music has meant different things at different times and places. What have we seen so far?

Simplicity <------> Complexity
Logic <------> Emotion
Time and place for everything

Medieval period:
Simplicity
Serving a sacred purpose
Following the text

Renaissance period:
Increasing complexity: imitation, polyphony
Expressing meaning of the text: word painting
Tension between religious devotion and human expression

Baroque period:
Embracing extremes
Drama: does it require simplicity or complexity? Or both?

What happens in the Classical period?
Order and Logic idealized: does it require simplicity or complexity? Or both?
Will there still be emotion?
Structure, balance, symmetry become important too.

Joseph Haydn:
Father of the Symphony
Father of the Chamber Music
Father of the String Quartet

Worked under the Patronage System

Theme and Variations: Can you hear how the melody reappears?


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