Classical Period-Symphony and the Novel

Write a four-page paper (at least 1000 words) that discusses the political definition of the age—
rationalism, Enlightenment, and revolution—and how that political definition came to be defined in
the music of the period. The period is often referred to as the “Age of the Symphony”, which also
coincides with the changes happening in the literary world, which refers to this period as the “Age of
the Novel”. Both reflect a desire to represent a complex, real-life world that appeals to a publiccraving
distraction from worries and to escape into entertainment. In both the novel and the symphony, order,
universal justice, and balance always win out to counter act violence, conflict, and dissonance to argue
for a moral ideal for society. The two, the symphony and novel, demonstrate this ideal through each
movement or chapter, from beginning to end. In this make-up paper for the Listening Test over the
Classical Period, I would like you to discuss the genre of the Classical symphony and how this genre
reflects the display of balance, logic, form, and order in an age filled with chaos, war, revolution,and
disorder, similar to that found in the novel. Try to discuss terms such as form (e.g., sonata form, theme
and variations, minuet/scherzo and trio form, and rondo form), sections of the orchestra (e.g., brass,
woodwinds, strings, percussion), harmony, motive, homophonic texture, varieties in rhythm. All of this
you can discuss with any of the three symphonies in your textbook: Mozart’s Symphony No. 40,
Haydn’s Symphony No. 94, or Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. You must analyze at least one movement
from whatever symphony you choose. Remember to talk about the composer of the piece in relation to
the period. And, remember to include a title to your make-up assignment that captures your argument
(i.e., not just “make-up paper”). You must include at least one written source in your paper, which of
course can be your textbook; the source must be cited in your paper as well as listed in a bibliography.
For your convenience, the article on the Classical Symphony from Oxford Music Online (a research
database on the library’s website and the source to use for your live-concert essay) is attached.

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