66

There are composers like Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart out there today--you just haven't looked hard enough. On YouTube, I've found Shuwen Zhang, who has some Asiatic and ragtime influences in his music but otherwise composes somewhat like Chopin. He nails the classical musical forms, and he's written some of the most memorable scherzos I've ever heard. On ...


33

Why the past tense? How do classical (or rather, orchestral) composers write music? How does any composer write music for instruments they don't themselves play? Although a composer doesn't necessarily need to be able to play an instrument to a high standard, they do need to understand the mechanics of the instrument, its limitations and capabilities. This ...


33

In the vast majority of classical music, the player is tasked with playing exactly the notes that the composer wrote. It's not very important for the player to understand the theory behind the piece, and a great number of classical players know little to no theory (at least until they reach conservatory, if they go that route) and don't suffer for it. Let's ...


31

First, a history lesson: Peter Cornelius originally claimed that these "Three Bs" were Bach, Beethoven, and Berlioz. It was Hans von Bülow that then replaced Berlioz with Brahms, and Bülow did it with a little pun: since "B" in German means "B♭," he said that "My musical credo is in E♭ major, with three Bs in the key signature: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms!" ...


29

There are. Beethoven pushed musical boundaries a bit in his later career, but mostly he wrote accessible music that people enjoyed listening to - he HAD to, in order to make a living! Today's musical craftsmen feed the film and TV markets more than the concert hall perhaps, but their job is not to challenge or disturb TOO much (and many of them COULD turn ...


28

Just to expand on Pat's answer, there is a figured bass symbols for all type of inversion including root position. The picture above shows the complete figured bass symbol and how it will be denoted in analysis. As you can see root position triads and 7th chords have their own complete figured bass symbols, but reduce drastically because how common they ...


27

I believe two factors are at play here: The democratisation of music The proliferation of genre The Democratisation of Music In its day, classical music was tied in to the main influence structures of society: nobility, and the church. This meant that classical composers who made it in the day were akin to Michael Jackson or The Beatles today. ...


26

I'd say 2. is likely the closest, but it may just be as simple as personal taste. You're just not that used to hearing it and as you say, there's no emotion associated with it. I doubt I'd be capable of appreciating the subtle nuances and emotions in Indian Raga and I can't imagine such a melody stirring any great emotion in me. We have sounds and ...


25

Many classical composers frequently used this method that you stated. Bach wrote over 1120 pieces. Naming 1120 pieces, each with a unique name can be hard. Some were named for where they were performed e.g. the Brandenburg Concertos. It was also common for a composer to number his pieces of the same format. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is also known as Serenade No....


24

Yes, but also due to the changes in piano construction. In some ways, a classical piece played on a modern piano might sound more true to the composer's original intent than the piano it was originally played on. Modern pianos are generally louder and brighter than the ones in the late 1700s and early 1800s. So loud passages, such as might be found in some ...


22

But there are rhythms, harmonies and melodies in nature. When you walk, you establish a nice solid beat. Two beats to the bar, at its most basic level - but by adjusting your gait or the way you count, you can think of it as four beats, or three, or as many as you like. Skipping brings in different rhythms. The musical intervals that make up melodies are ...


22

Of course it is. And most people do. And, while any piece more extended than a simple song probably does involve a 'journey' of some kind, there's no need to invent a storyline.


21

The difference, in short, is because one of the ensembles is using historical tuning practices. The modern pitch standard is A440, meaning that A4 (the A above middle C) is 440 Hertz. Not everyone uses this; last I heard, the San Francisco Symphony uses an A a little higher (442, perhaps), and some push it down to, say 438. But A440 is nevertheless the ...


20

Out with the old, in with the new. Seeing just how huge the amount of progress of each of the schools of western music has had, you as a 21-century composer are not going to compose contrapuntal piano music to the standard that Bach or Handel did. You may, on the other hand, become a master in a new modern style that has not yet have three-and-a-half ...


20

Disclaimer: I omit a bunch of hedging about what I'm referring to when I say "classical music" below; think Bach or Brahms It sounds like you might be coming from a pop/rock background and are familiar with, say, guitar tabs as a way of notating the structure of a song. Other answers have pointed out that: in classical music, notation is almost always (...


18

Le quattro stagioni is the original title of this work, which translates to 'The four seasons'. This title was indeed chosen by Vivaldi himself, who deliberately composed the pieces to reflect the mood of each season. The wikipedia article sums the titles up pretty nicely!


16

There may be a small amount of "performance practice fad" about that, but for the most part it does serve a purpose. Breath is used in many styles of music as a cue. If you think about wind instrument players, for example, every phrase is preceded by a breath, and experienced players will take that breath in rhythm. As a rhythmic gesture, it can be used to ...


16

When asked about how "masterworks" are created, Nadia Boulanger, a French composition pedagogue during the 20th century, had this to say: "I can tell whether a piece is well-made or not, and I believe that there are conditions without which masterpieces cannot be achieved, but I also believe that what defines a masterpiece cannot be pinned down. I ...


15

Baroque music was all about expressiveness, and the rhythm was not necessarily meant to be held as strictly as the Renaissance tactus. Wheat Williams has mentioned historically informed performance, and as he says, these things are debated academically. But there is some good indication that Baroque composers did think of slowing down at the end of pieces. ...


15

OK, so first a clarification of the contexts: The quoted materials are mostly concerned with Western European music. The music of the Middle Ages almost certainly refers to the liturgical music of that time and place, so we're mostly talking about Gregorian Chant, organum, motets, etc. When talking about changes in the later eras, I suspect they're mostly ...


14

I think your terminology is a bit off here. Nothing about a chord progression requires repetition although a lot of more modern pieces will use progressions that repeat, it does not speak for all progressions. In fact a lot of famous chord progressions like the one in the B section I Got Rhythm, which even has its own name - "rhythm changes" - does not ...


14

Define "like classical music"... Classical music itself has moved on, via Stravinsky, Debussy, Britten, Glass and so on. There are wider influences available today than Beethoven had, partly by virtue of wider cultural range, but also simply by the passage of time and the work done by successive composers. Even your examples show the history involved. ...


13

I don't consider the "classical music" criteria to be a determining factor. A piano is a piano is a piano, and though digital pianos generally do have some feature overlap with things like electronic keyboards and synthesizers and midi controllers, the reason for buying a digital piano should only be because an acoustic piano is impractical for whatever ...


13

Some audience members will be familiar with the piece. It is also possible to pick up visual body language cues from the performers (if they are continuing to ignore the audience after finishing a movement, that's a good sign that there is more to come). But more than all of this, is the fact that the performance programs (handed out by ushers or available ...


13

To answer the parts of your question specific to the piano, it's entirely acceptable to allow the sound to die away. Silence is a part of music too, or we wouldn't have rests. One way to get more sustain, though, is to use a concert grand piano. (I'm being a bit facetious, of course--I don't have $50,000+ kicking around and you probably don't either--but ...


12

The basic idea of the style is that it's in 3/4 time (or other triple meter), with accents on beats TWO and THREE. The accents are what makes it feel unbalanced. You are probably used to waltz style, where the accents are on ONE and THREE. As such, it may be easy to mistake beat 3 of a mazurka for beat 1 of a waltz, since those accents are in the same place ...


12

"Fundamental differences" is something that is open to interpretation. Jazz, a great-great-great-great step-grandchild of classical music certainly shares some of the rich musical heritage of European and African traditions which gives it "hybrid vigor." Nevertheless, classical music improvisation delves into many areas that jazz only hints at. Here's ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible