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Baroque Era:

1600-1750

Orchestral Instruments:
-Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass (Cello and double bass share stave)
(Double bass rarely used unless in large scale work)
-Woodwind: Oboe, Bassoon, Flute (transverse)
-Brass: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone
-Percussion: Timpani (Generally used together with trumpet)
Keyboard Instruments (used for solo music and basso continuo parts):
-Harpsichord, Clavichord, Organ

Favourite Forms:
-Concerto Grosso
-Trio Sonata
Characteristics of orchestra:
-Basso continuo
-String family were the main body of orchestra

Musical Style:

1.Tonality
-Use of diatonic keys (major & minor keys)

2.Harmony
-Use of chords and inversions
-Use of basic cadences (perfect, plagal, imperfect & interrupted cadences)
-Free use of chromatic notes

3.Melody
-Melody/Theme usually appears in sequence
-Reappearances could be modified although the style is the same
-Use of chromatic melody lines at times

4.Texture
-Generally polyphonic/contrapuntal

5.Dynamics
-Terraced dynamics, narrow range of dynamics







Classical Era:
1750-1820

Orchestral instruments:
-Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass (established as standard member of
orchestra)
-Woodwind: 1 or 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons
-Brass: 2 Trumpets, 2 Horns, Trombone (less popular)
-Percussion: Timpani (in pairs - tonic and dominant)

Favourite Forms:
-Sonata Form

Characteristics of Orchestra:
-End of basso continuo
-First violin still carried melodic/thematic role
-Woodwind and Brass families gained importance
-Use of Clarinet established by Mozart
-Use of 'Double wind', Trombone, 4 Horns instead of 2, separate staves for Cellos
and Double basses by Beethoven
-More instruments used in the orchestra

Musical Style:
1.Tonality
-Use of basic diatonic keys (major & minor keys)

2.Harmony
-Principal chords (chords I, II and V) used more often
-Pattern of harmonic accompaniments are kept simple - Triadic, Broken Arpeggios,
Alberti Bass

3.Melody
-Simpler melody lines, more diatonic

4.Texture
-Generally homophonic in nature

5.Dynamics
-Narrow, but wider than Baroque







Romantic Era:
1820-1900

Orchestral Instruments:
Strings: (Same as Classical Era)
Woodwinds: Use of at least 2 of each of the 4 standard woodwind instruments
(Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon)+Additional instruments (Piccolo, English Horn, Bass
Clarinet, Double Bassoon)
Brass: 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 3 Trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), 1 Tuba
Percussion: 3 Timpanis (Many additional instruments)

Musical Forms:
-Less important
-More flexible structures
-More importance on emotional expression and manner in which orchestral
instruments were used

Characteristics of Orchestra:
-Increase in size of string family to balance woodwind and brass families
-Woodwind & Brass families developed
-New instruments added (for Woodwind, Brass and Percussion families)
-Special manner of performing for new expressive effects

Musical Style:

1.Tonality
-Basic diatonic keys used
-Feel of home key is less clear due to use of chromatic modulation and modulation
to distantly related keys

2.Harmony
-Freely used for expressive purposes
-Seventh and ninth chord more often used
-Dissonance & Chromatic notes used more freely
-Wide leaps in accompaniment pattern

3.Melody
-More lyrical and expressive

4.Texture
-Homophonic in nature, but more sonorous

5.Dynamics
-Much wider
-Expression marks used freely to convey a specific feel/mood