Questions tagged [classical-music]

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.

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33
votes
7answers
13k views

Why is the key included in classical music titles?

I was always curious why classical composers use names like this Étude in E-flat minor (Frédéric_Chopin) or Missa in G major (Johann Sebastian Bach). Is this from scales of this songs? Weren't they ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Does improvisation in the classical idiom differ significantly from jazz and folk improvisation?

How do musicians who actually improvise in classical music, such as Robert Levine, JS Bach, Edgar Meyer, church organists and classical ballet pianists, compose in the moment? Are there any ...
26
votes
5answers
36k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
2
votes
3answers
447 views

Are the diminished chords not that common in modern popular music?

It seems like the diminished chord (vii° in major, ii° in minor) is not used as much in modern popular music compared to classical music and the remaining chords of the diatonic scale. Is it actually ...
7
votes
3answers
462 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
32k views

What forms can a classical composition be? [closed]

I'd like to learn the names of the different forms of classical musical compositions as compared to the literary work structure that has a beginning, the part where the plot thickens and the dramatic ...
25
votes
3answers
71k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
12
votes
4answers
29k views

How much digital piano polyphony is really needed for classical music?

I am looking for my very first piano to learn to play. I have only played a very little bit when I was a kid, and it was with a cheap acoustic upright piano at home. I'm not going to play ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

“The intervals considered dissonant have changed since the 'Middle Ages'”; How so?

In reading my new book 'Complete Classical Music Guide', I understand the following: If two notes are separated by a consonant the sound is pleasing to the ears. If they are of a dissonant ...
11
votes
1answer
756 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. ...
10
votes
6answers
23k views

How can I get a violin sound from my electric guitar?

I have composed a modern classical piece of music which has sections for violins, cellos, some horns and percussion. The problem is that I did all of that using an electric guitar, so I actually don't ...
5
votes
1answer
288 views

Turn above an X symbol in Chopin’s prelude in E minor

I am a self-taught pianist and thought I would pick this piece up relatively easily and quickly, but being self-taught I often run into unknown signs, symbols, and other things like that, that give me ...
4
votes
2answers
214 views

Calculation of a note's frequency in the 18th-19th century

Suppose you are trying to reproduce an A major scale from the early 18th or 19th century, when A4 was perhaps tuned to 429.3Hz. What is the correct frequency (in Hz) for the next C# up (assuming we ...
3
votes
1answer
353 views

Half oval 3 over notes

I'm a bit confused about this graphic, notice the half ovals on top with the 3 in the center: Is that a "triplet" and the same as this graphic in guitar pro? Please note that I have searched but I ...
54
votes
11answers
25k views

Why isn't there a classical composer like Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart today?

Why there aren't composers writing in a classical style today? Why don't we hear of classical composers today like we do of Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart? My question may be strange, but I am really ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Progression path from an apprentice to a guru in music theory?

I am a computer science major and have been practicing music (as a hobby) for the past 4 years now. I started digging into the basics of Music Theory a year ago and now wish to advance my knowledge so ...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

Why aren't chord names written in classical sheet music?

When I see classical sheet music I don't see the chords named, were chords not used back then? And if they were, do the notes that are under a bass clef generally outline the shapes of chords? I only ...
36
votes
12answers
4k views

Appreciating the music of J. S. Bach

I have been learning piano for many years and am able to really enjoy the music of Beethoven and Chopin. However, when it comes to Bach, I must shamefully admit, I can't see why he is held in such ...
19
votes
3answers
7k views

Classical examples of a 'fifth voice' or 'ghost soprano'

There is an interesting phenomenon in choral (and perhaps also instrumental?) singing in which typically four voices are arranges in such a way that a 'fifth voice' or 'ghost voice' can be heard. It ...
9
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
315 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Why was Brahms's music considered 'too academic'?

I posted on here before about learning to compose, after hearing some classical music that moved me enormously. I have been researching many of the famous composers from all over the world; Brahms ...
7
votes
1answer
12k 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 -- ...
6
votes
2answers
879 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys

As a search for specific questions for this broad question (Changing key in a song convincingly), I am asking for "mainstream" classical music examples (pre-modern era and movie scores can be included!...
7
votes
9answers
27k views

Digital Pianos vs Old Upright Pianos for classical music

What should I take in consideration to make my final decision on selecting a $500-600 price range digital piano or old upright piano for classical music (practicing at home). Some part of me tells me ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Retrograde and Inverted songs

As there is very few people that know about this, here is the only place I can ask. I am looking for retrograde and inverted remakes of classical songs. Even better if they are being played ...
5
votes
2answers
632 views

How many notes in a trill?

I’m playing a sonata by Beethoven (op. 78. No. 24 in F# major) and there are two of these trills (see the picture I’ve attached) in the left hand. My question is, how many notes should be in this ...
5
votes
2answers
622 views

How is initial “ps” pronounced in ecclesiastical Latin?

There are several ways to pronounce Latin. Ecclesiastical Latin is the one used when singing sacred music. I've found several guides for how to pronounce ecclesiastical Latin, but none have described ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Example of Partimento for improvisation?

I was watching this video about improvisation on partimento. In the video in the bottom I see terms such as Parstorella, Clausula ottocento, Scalino 7.1, Phantom Lancia, Queiscenza 1. What are those ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

What makes a piece a bagatelle?

Now I know length is part of the answer. Nobody wouldn't consider a 10 minute long rondo to be a bagatelle. Bagatelles tend to be around 3-5 minutes in length. Also, from my experience(though this is ...
2
votes
4answers
443 views

Who plays classical music by ear? [closed]

One of the things I'm working on is playing classical music by ear. I've figured easier things like Canon in D, Prelude in C. But I'm trying to work my way up. I'm wondering if it's possible to play ...