Questions about the music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music during a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
1answer
922 views

What is texture, according to classical music theory?

Texture in a sound-design, acoustic, and sound engineering context refers to the harmonic content of a sound, its timbre. Now that I'm starting to dive into classical music theory, it seems that ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do string players tend to breathe heavily in performance?

Recently, I've started to develop an interest in classical music, specifically chamber music and, more specifically, piano trios. Having listened to a few performances now, I can't help but notice ...
7
votes
4answers
343 views

How to recognize the end of a piece of music

I'm a philistine, myself, but on the few occasions I've attended a classical-music performance, the audience seemed to know to applaud immediately after a piece ended, but to not applaud between ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

How to determine the pitch of the auxiliary note in an ornament

I thought that the auxiliary note of a lower mordent (or other ornaments) was simply the note before in the scale unless the mordent had an accidental on top of it. However, I ran into this ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Placement of F# on Alto Clef

For the past four or so years now, I have been playing the Viola. Y'all know what that means: Alto clef. Up until just a few weeks ago, I have always seen an F# displayed in a key signature like this: ...
2
votes
1answer
712 views

Piano--Sight Read vs Memorising

Any correlations and meanings here? I find that people who are good at sight reading are bad at memorising, and people who are bad at sight reading are good at memorising. I also find that some ...
2
votes
1answer
582 views

Rapid chromatic scales

What is a good fingering to use to be able to play through chromatic scales of a run-like-nature on the piano? For instance, I find that using the usual 1-2-3-1-3-1-3 fingering (assuming I'm using my ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

What is the difference between dolce and cantabile techniques on the piano?

I find it difficult to make dolce (sweetly) and cantabile (singing/songlike) sound different when I'm playing the piano. How should my technique differ from one to the other?
21
votes
3answers
8k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
7
votes
3answers
537 views

Difference between variation and development

The question concerns western classical music. I have tried reading about and understanding the difference between variations and development, and what I understand is that development is more ...
4
votes
3answers
393 views

How to compose a simple “introduction” to a short musical piece?

I would like to add some music to a video clip I made (it lasts about 2 minutes). The video is basically some panoramic view of nature sights, nothing fancy. I am going to play a simple Sor's etude in ...
6
votes
2answers
857 views

Cello: Is it possible to play a double stop of a major 9th on the I and II strings?

The cello is using scordatura, the tuning is Cb Ab Eb Ab (from the fourth to the first string). I want to know if the following passage is possible, tempo is around 220~240 quarter notes per minute: ...
7
votes
1answer
394 views

What is the process by which singers identify their voice type/fach?

I am trying to gain insight about the process by which vocalists identify their voice type or fach. I am not looking for any discussion about the basic distinctions between, say, soprano and alto. ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Are repeated octaves permissable in a fourt part SATB?

I am writing a four part SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and wanted to know if repeated (that is, successive) octaves are permissible? I know that parallel fifths/octaves are not allowed, but what ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is “Sonata-Allegro form” and what other similar forms should I be aware of?

There are lots of classical pieces called "Sonata", and they usually have 3 movements. But there are guitar Sonatas by Paganini that only have 2 movements! And I heard there's a crazy Tchaikovsky -- ...
1
vote
3answers
627 views

Piano Concerto Evolution

So I'm currently studying piano concerti, and I'm kind of stuck on a certain aspect of it. How has the piano CONCERTO evolved from the classical period to the romantic period? I always find ...
8
votes
1answer
195 views

Did Rostropovich ever play his Humoresque himself?

"Humoresque" op.5 for cello and piano is the only piece composed by Mstislav Rostropovich himself. Did he ever play Humoresque himself? From some sources I know that he didn't, whereas other sources ...
7
votes
2answers
274 views

Physiological basis for note durations?

For some reason (probably read something like this a long time ago), I have it in my head that there was some sort of physiological basis for some note durations. This may have been something like, a ...
2
votes
2answers
801 views

Interpreting ornamentation in Haydn Piano Sonata in G Major Hob. XVI: 8

This is the first movement of sonata in G Major Hob. XVI: 8 by Haydn: In bars 6, 8 and 12 there are trills (presumably in 8), but each one is represented a little bit differently. In bar 6 there ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I play these broken chords on a piano?

I have attached the starting of a waltz (A Flat Major Op. 39 No. 15) by Brahms. As you can see, the left hand plays broken chords while the right hand plays the chords normally. There are two ...
4
votes
1answer
564 views

Is there such a thing as “pop music theory”?

There is large body of work describing the theory of Western classical music; I'm unaware of the state of analysis of popular music forms. Are the differences between, say post-50's American ...
2
votes
2answers
449 views

Hannon or Czerny

What are the best exercises for someone who had played the piano for 3 years but has had a 4 year break and wants to get back into playing, Hannon or Czerny?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can you help me expand this trill in Mozart's Sonata 16 (k545)?

I wonder if I am reading it wrong, or if i need much more practice on this segment. It simply doesn't sound right when I play it. Can you help me expand this trill into actual notes on the sheet ...
4
votes
3answers
754 views

What are some examples influences from external cultures on the development of Western classical music?

So, I think it's largely safe to presume that the core of Western musical theory developed almost entirely within Europe -- Greece in its very early history, mainly Italy and also the Franco-Flemish ...