History of Classical Music

Classical Symphony

(Classical 4)
For the first time, instrumental music was more important than vocal music. The modern symphony orchestra is born, with fuller sounding strings, plus clarinets, bassoons, oboes, and flutes. Although trumpets and horns were still valveless, they acquired the harmony role which made the harpsichord obsolete in the orchestra. Trombones, tubas, and the extensive percussion we use today were not yet introduced to the orchestra setting.

A symphony is a long composition for orchestra, usually with three to four movements. To achieve a variety of sounds, composers strive to make each movement different by changing the mood, tempo, or style.

Franz Joseph Haydn is considered to be the father of the symphony and he composed 104 symphonies during his life. Beethoven composed nine symphonies with his fifth and ninth being the most famous.

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MIDI Example Real Audio Example MP3 Example

Sound Examples

Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 1st mvmt
Mozart, Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 "Haffner"
MIDI     Beethoven, Ninth Symphony, 4th mvmt "Ode to Joy"


Fifth Symphony, 1st mvmt, MIDI sequence by R. Sierra
    from Classical MIDI Connection
Ninth Symphony, 4th mvmt, MIDI sequence by William C. Yu
    from Classical MIDI Connection
Beethoven, "Symphony No.5 in C minor, Mvmt. 1"; The SAMPLER; Classical Treasures
    ©1993 Madacy Music Group Inc. (MH-2-8400)
Mozart, "Symphony No.35 in D Major, K.385, 'Haffner'"; Mozart: Symphonies 35, 40; Julius Rudel, Virtuosi di Praga; Musical Heritage Society;
    ©1994 MusicMasters Inc. (513904Z)

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