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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
83k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
15k 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 -- ...
26
votes
5answers
41k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
12
votes
7answers
28k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
820 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
38k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
866 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
521 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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
433 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
376 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What are the audition repertoire requirements for a U.S. undergraduate classical piano performance degree?

What music should one expect to prepare to get an undergraduate degree in classical piano performance at a U.S. school? I know that U.S. schools generally offer two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (BA) ...
54
votes
11answers
33k 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 ...
20
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 ...
38
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
46k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
13k views

How does a advanced classical pianist start to play pop music?

I consider myself an advanced classical pianist, being able to play many Etudes, Ballades and Sonatas by Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin, for example. However, I have been struggling to play pop music for ...
8
votes
5answers
5k 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
349 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
7answers
3k views

Playing a classical piece at full speed

I can play a certain classical piece (specific tune is not important, I don't think) very well at a relaxed speed with proper fingering, even tempo, etc. It sounds just fine. However, when I listen to ...
18
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
8k views

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

In most of the pianos that we see today, the Sostenuto pedal does not exist. Only the pianissimo (una corda) and the sustain (damper) pedals can be seen. Throughout the time that I've been studying ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this particular type of chord progression, common in classical music, called?

I don't know anything about music theory but I am a fanatic when it comes to listening to classical music. For a while I have been curious about a type of chord progression which is very common in ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Why are subdominants unstable?

In music theory, the subdominant is unstable and need to be resolved to the mediant. Similar resolution happens to the leading note and other notes that are not in the tonic triad. (Of course, I am ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
29k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Use of diminished—major seventh chords

Could someone please describe how and when a diminished-major chord would be used. How would one lead up to it, resolve it, and are there any rules about inversions with it? An explained example usage ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Who were the first “classical” composers to be recorded playing/conducting their own music?

The phonograph was invented in 1877. While the first versions of the technology had low fidelity and short playback time by modern standards, these limitations gradually lessened, and eventually ...
5
votes
2answers
826 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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!...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Serialism and the the twelve-tone period

I'm really confused about 'Serial composers'. While studying Igor Stravinsky, in his later life, he was regarded as a 'Serial composer'. I would love to know if composers despised this categorisation ...
15
votes
3answers
925 views

Voicing in the Finale of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

In the opening bars of the last movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th, the strings have some four-part writing with a melody "F# E D C# B C#." However, the score reveals that the first and second ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the word to describe the aspect of a chord being either minor or major?

I am looking for the noun that is the thing that is either major or minor in respect to a chord such as a triad. I suppose it could also be an adjective. It would be 'x' in the following question: "...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Retrograde and Inverted songs

I am looking for retrograde and inverted remakes of classical pieces. Even better if they are being played simultaneously with the origina, like Pachelbel's Canon, Original Version and Retrograde ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
439 views

What notes in these mordents?

I can't work out which notes are actually played in these mordents, it seems (from the specified fingering) to include more notes than in a typical mordent?
3
votes
1answer
320 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
1k 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
1answer
71 views

Piano CPE Bach - Solfegietto - cross-hand playing style?

Many years ago, my piano teacher taught me a cool variation to this piece whereby I cross my hands over to play for one or two measures. I don't remember exactly which part though. All I remember is ...