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The trombone was still a relatively new instrument, having only developed from the sackbut sometime in the late 1600's/early 1700's, when Michael Haydn composed his Serenade. Because of how new the instrument was the trombone was rarely featured as a…

An arioso is a style of delivery in singing that is more melodic than a recitative while being less formally structured than an aria.

Sound recording of a tenor soloist, accompanied by orchestra, singing an elaborate vocal passage. The term "coloratura" specifically refers to a complex melody with runs, trills, wide leaps, or similar virtuosic material. This musical feature is…

Da Capo, or "from the beginning", is a musical form that involves a return to the beginning of a section of music. In vocal music, the return is generally ornamented in some way.

In this excerpt, the opening of the aria is heard followed by the…

Detaching the bass line from the melody and using repeated notes instead of contrapuntal ideas was a compositional technique commonly used in 18th century galant style music. This excerpt shows a bass line that is doing just that. Often the bass…

In Galant style music commonly there was only on melodic line present at a time, often accompanied by fast rhythmic harmony. In this example the Flute has the melody while being accompanied by the strings. After several seconds, the two switch…

A half cadence is a musical gesture which can begin with any chord, in this case the tonic chord of D Major, and ends on the dominant chord, A Major (I-V). Usually the half cadence calls for a continuation of the piece, due to its sounding incomplete…

In the galant and classical periods, taste moved away from the layered polyphony of the Baroque period toward homophony, which the melody is played over a subordinate harmony. In this clip, a dreamy lyrical melody played by a solo cello float on…

This recording demonstrates a horn solo with lip trills. Rare was it for the horn to be featured so prominently in an 18th- century composition and rarer still were soloists of the horn required to perform extended technical demands such as the lip…

An example of how horns were utilized in 18th century sinfonias. Composers in Vienna, Dresden, and other German cities had used horns in their orchestras for some time, and introduced them to Italian instrumental music after the War of Spanish…

An sound clip taken from Michael Haydn's "Divertimento in D Major" featuring a solo violin performing in a vocal recitativo accompagnato style . Since recitative was usually used to advance the plot of an opera adopting the rhythms of ordinary speech…

Modulation is when the music changes from one key to another. For this example, the main attraction is the string section (Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass). This segment of the movement starts in D major and moves to D minor, with a slight movement…

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,…

A melisma is a series of notes set to a single syllable of text.

Serenades are typically calm, light music. In this clip,the solo flute begins a simple sweet phrase, with the solo cello answering back, and functions as a secondary melody. A gentle pizzicato accompaniment pulsing through, the conversation between…

The definition of a melody is a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying. Melody is built upon many concepts, such as rhythm, shapes, color, timbre, etc. In this case, the melody is passed around the diferent parts of the ensemble. First…

A menuet is a dance, typically in 3/4, that was typically in ABA form, but each section had its own smaller form that it followed. The A section was the menuet, the dance. It would have a very strong down beat and would be written in two smaller…

This clip presents a melodic interchange between solo brass (horn and trombone) and the violins, while other voices join force establish harmony, and rhythmically push forward. It also shows the musical contrast between the solos and tutti.

Excerpt from the introduction of the Sinfonia in Bb major by Domenico Cimarosa, which shows a clear example of a parallel binary musical form. Parallel binary is a term used for a musical phrase which consists of 4 sections, generally two…

Recitativo accompagnato (accompanied recitative) involves the orchestra as a means of accompanying a vocal line in eighteenth-century large scale vocal works, both sacred and secular. It is often characterized as emotional in quality and songlike…

Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. In this case, the rhythmic repetition is happening at the opening theme. It's built upon the first 4 measures and the rhythmic repeption happens between the instrumentation. In the…

Secco recitativo (“dry” recitative) is a means of accompanying a vocal line in eighteenth century large scale vocal works, both sacred and secular, utilizing only continuo, the group of instruments that plays the basso continuo part, usually…

The Sinfonia Concertante is an 18th Century musical form which incorporates a mixture of symphony and concerto genres. Instruments can be heard performing solo lines, but they still discernibly remain a part of the total ensemble. This is opposed to…

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…

Subito dynamic changes are a common musical effect, where the music suddenly becomes much softer, or louder. This excerpt was taken from the Sinfonia in Bb major by Domenico Cimarosa. Subito dynamic changes arose in popularity in the eighteenth…

Violins play tremolo over moving ensemble line. Tremolo is a bowing technique for effect achieved by rapidly switching the direction of the bow while sustaining a specific pitch.