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13.2 - Genres and Forms

Course video 71 of 140

Would you believe that once upon a time, musical compositions were viewed as disposable, one-time-use entertainment? Could you imagine an orchestra attempting to perform a beautiful piece over the sounds of noisy patrons in a casino? How about a violin being drowned out by a dog loudly barking outside of a café? Well, this was the reality before the turn of the 18th century. It wasn’t until around 1800 that people began to appreciate musical compositions, as they do today. This was the same time we started to see large concert halls created specifically for the purpose of listening to concerts. Not long after, music was seen as something to be elevated and studied, in other words it became, “High Art.” This week, we’ll start by listening to music by Haydn and Mozart, getting our grounding, so to speak, in musical form. As we proceed, we'll also see where and how they lived, compare how they wrote and performed their music, and even look at some of the exact instruments they performed on all those years ago.We’ll spend latter part of the module highlighting two figures that stand at the very heart of Western music.The first is Mozart, a well-dressed, confident, eccentric, and ever brilliant innovator. We’ll explore his music through the lens of three artistic masterpieces: a piano concerto, an opera, and the Requiem mass... We’ll delve into the unique features of the music that make it the gold standard for all music for centuries to come. Perhaps the high (or low) point arrives when your instructor is ruthlessness murdered on stage by the feckless Don Giovanni.We’ll then shift over to Beethoven– a passionate, conflicted, and oft-times disheveled genius. His physical appearance may very well have served as the prototype for the stereotypical, “struggling bard,” or “tortured genius.” We’ll study some of his most famous sonatas, including his Moonlight Sonata and then go beyond his music to explore his personal life, including his struggle with deafness and depression.

耶鲁大学
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