Approaching Musical Classicism—Understanding Styles and Style Change in Eighteenth-Century Instrumental Music

October 1, 1980


Historical/stylistic periods in music are both useful and perplexing concepts; they simultaneously clarify and hinder one's perception of a given period and a given work. Part of the difficulty arises from a general lack of agreement as to what constitutes these epochs. Attempts to mix characteristics of geographic areas, great and not-so-great men, social trends, politics, Zeitgeist, related and unrelated arts, and place them into a frame of time have met with understandably different results and mixed reactions.

The presently established historical/stylistic epochs (i.e., Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and twentieth-century) are not equal in time, ingredients, or articulation. Few historians would quibble about their basic ingredients at the time of their full flowering, but many would disagree as to the nature, length and strength of the transition from one era to the next. The latter situation seems to be due to a difference in perspective between the specialist and the generalist. The former would tend to view change as a lengthy, gradual process whose origins can be seen in the recesses of the previous era. For example Claude Palisca traced the beginnings of the Baroque to the middle of the sixteenth century with the movement from Platonian to Aristotelian thought,1 while others have found stirrings of Romanticism in some of Mozart's Viennese compositions.2 On the other hand, the generalist would focus on a single event which articulates with a historical flash the beginning of an epoch, e.g., the activities of the Florentine Camerata in the years 1600-1601, and the first performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in Vienna during January, 1805.

The era enclosed by the Baroque and Romantic periods, the so-called Classic, has proved difficult to grasp for both the generalist and the specialist; we have not yet been able to agree on what it includes, let alone how and when it began. The period has been seen by some as beginning as early as circa 1720 with the operas of Leonardo Leo and Leonardo Vinci,3 while others prefer to use the term "Classic" only in reference to the music of Haydn and Mozart beginning circa 1780.4 Although to some degree this is a problem of semantics with classic, classical, classicism and the nuances associated with their German counterparts, it also reflects a basic problem in perceiving the era itself. As a result the configuration of eighteenth-century musical history has been viewed according to two basic theses: (1) the period consists of a transition beginning as early as 1720 or as late as 1750 which culminates in the Classic style of Haydn and Mozart sometime between 1770 and 1781; and (2) since the period spans no more than 80 years as compared to the 150-year cycle which demarcates the other eras, it should be viewed either as a transition between the Baroque and Romantic or as a part of a larger era extending from the late eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth century.

Both of these theses have been buttressed by a number of traditional historical viewpoints. First and foremost is the "great man" theory exemplified in the two pairs of Bach and Handel, Haydn and Mozart, who represent not only the Baroque/Classic dichotomy found in the century itself but also different stylistic tendencies within the two eras. The fact that the works of these men have been accessible and recognized for their extraordinary craft makes it nearly impossible for the historian not to consider them as central to any discussion of the century. Secondly, tied to the "great man" approach has been the focus on musical styles and forms which reach their idealized structure in selected works of the Viennese masters. Thirdly, those who view history as cyclic emphasize a transition period in which the complexities of the Baroque are rejected for the simple and the expressive for the pleasureful, resulting in a synthesis of these polarities in the Classic style. Fourthly, during the early part of the twentieth century a number of scholars claimed Priorität for and influence upon the Classic style of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven in the works of composers from their own geographic/national areas: Riemann for the Mannheimers, Adler for the Viennese, Torrefranca for the Italians, and Helfert for the Czechs.5 Finally, the application of concepts from other disciplines under the general rubric of Zeitgeist has resulted in the use of numerous terms borrowed from art and literary history such as rococo, Sturm und Drang, and galant.

Although efforts to synthesize these points of view into a historical narrative result in many difficulties, this is precisely how the authors of textbooks and general surveys have explained activities during the latter part of the century. What follows is the "accepted" narrative of the development of musical classicism.

In 1781 two great men came into contact in Vienna: Mozart took up residence in the imperial city after his dismissal from the employ of the Archbishop of Salzburg and Joseph Haydn was in town intermittently according to the desires of Prince Esterházy. In that year Haydn published his Quartets Opus 33, which he described as "in a wholly new and special style" and Mozart's study of these works resulted in the younger man's six "Haydn" Quartets. These events closed an important gap in musical history created by the deaths of J.S. Bach and Handel. During these three decades many styles had been evident, with the insipid style—frequently referred to as galant, rococo and pre-classic—representing one extreme, and the expressive Empfindsamkeit and Sturm und Drang the other. For Haydn and Mozart the expressive style came to the fore circa 1770 and diminished toward the end of the decade. During the 1780's both composers achieved the perfect blend of emotion and elegance, style and form called "Classicism." A link from the "great man" of the Baroque, J.S. Bach, to the "great men" of the Classic Period is provided by two of his sons: Johann Christian to Mozart, Carl Philipp Emanuel to Haydn. Johann Stamitz and G.B. Sammartini are also frequently mentioned as decisive personalities "on the road to" musical Classicism.

Particularly disconcerting in these textbook scenarios is the use of numerous labels to explain the activities during the interstice as well as after 1780: galant, rococo, Sturm und Drang, Empfindsamkeit, post-baroque, pre-classic, high classic, late classic, and pre-romantic or even, for example, pre-classic galant. At best some of these terms are merely left unexplained. Nevertheless, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century specialized studies on these terms have been published, with galant and Sturm und Drang receiving the most extensive treatment.

The concept of galant was first sketched in 1924 by Ernst Bücken.6 Returning to the writings of Scheibe, C.P.E. Bach, Quantz, and others, Bücken's twelve-page exploration of the concept only touched on a number of points without adequate development. Nearly four decades later, Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht believed the term was still in need of clarification and discussed examples by Telemann, Krebs, and Görner. Although both Bücken and Hoffman-Erbrecht deal with the etymology of the term as well as musical citations, the most precise and complete discussion is to be found in David Sheldon's "The Galant Style Revisited and Reevaluated" from 1975.

Fascinated with its possible role as an adumbrator for nineteenth-century romanticism, many writers have found the Sturm und Drang in music to be a fertile field to cultivate. The first application of the concept is found in an article written in 1909 by Théodore de Wyzewa to explain in a most imaginative manner the intensification of Haydn's instrumental style in the early 1770's. Despite subsequent articles by Brook, Eggebrecht, Hoffmann-Erbrecht, H.C.R. Landon, and Marks as well as master's theses by Peckham and Friedland, I find the results to be tenuous at best. Perhaps the finest discussion of the subject was published by the German-American conductor and literary enthusiast Max Rudolf, who concluded that "the type of music which has been given the classification 'Storm and Stress' and the German literary movement called Sturm und Drang developed independently at different times." Indeed, the basic stylistic ingredient, the minor mode, which according to the supporters of the hypothesis suddenly appeared with unusual frequency during the late 1760's and early 1770's has been shown by Rey Longyear to have increased steadily in use during the second half of the century. However, I do find the term appropriate to describe certain works, movements or sections that possess highly extroverted and serious expressive affects regardless of their date of composition.

Although it has no real separate bibliography of its own, the term Empfindsamkeit has also been a major source of confusion. Ernst Bücken in his Musik des Rokokos und der Klassik associates the term with mid-century German composers including those with such diverse styles as Johann Stamitz and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. Efforts to link the style to Stamitz seem to misrepresent this aesthetic movement that should probably be limited to keyboard music (clavichord) and small chamber works with obligatory keyboard from North and Central Germany particularly in some of the works of Emanuel Bach. More recently Darrell Berg, in a stimulating dissertation on C.P.E. Bach's keyboard music, determined that the term Empfindsamkeit has a weak background with regard to eighteenth-century writings on music and it is less applicable to C.P.E. Bach's music than the term mannerism.

Within the last generation of scholarship two eminent students of the period, William S. Newman and Jens Peter Larsen, have tried to alleviate this confusing situation, although with diametrically opposing prescriptions. In his Sonata in the Classic Era Newman defines some of these terms more precisely with particular reference to keyboard music: the "galant style" is divided into first and second galant styles, the former parallel or coincidental to rococo style in music and painting during the late Baroque, the latter distinctly anti-Baroque in character, flourishing during the 1750's and 1760's; Empfindsamer Stil is defined as the musical expression of the Sturm und Drang spirit and an intensification of the galant; and the high classic style is characterized by the "most purposeful coordination of classical style traits." Newman's approach is largely derivative but unlike most other surveys he concentrates on the enumeration of style traits and thus renders some of these terms more viable. On the other hand, Larsen in "Some Observations on the Development and Characteristics of Viennese Classical Instrumental Music" rejected these labels as meaningless and advocated the more neutral term "mid-century style" to define the span of time from the end of the Viennese Baroque—marked by the deaths of Fux and Caldara as well as the Holy Roman Emperor Karl VI in 1740-41—until the intensification of expression which characterized the music of Haydn in the early 1770's. While I do not believe these terms should be banned from discussions of eighteenth-century style, they must be used sparingly in contexts less constrained by chronological developments. However, the late eighteenth-century style and its development continued to be a series of dialectics in nearly every context and dimension. As examples one might cite the dualities of learned versus galant, which is perhaps a conceptual continuation of the prima and seconda practica; Haydn versus Mozart, who are representative of the two contentatial approaches of homogeneity and contrast; characteristic versus abstract music; and seria versus buffa styles. We should remember that Mozart was imitating the style of J.S. Bach in some of his works at the same time the traditionalists view him as having achieved the "Classic style."

In support of the above I have developed an outline that presents a series of characteristics representative of the two stylistic extremes observable in music called Baroque circa 1720, probably best exemplified by the works of J.S. Bach, and called Classic circa 1780, as represented by Mozart. It certainly is possible to object that the music of Handel and Haydn would be more appropriate, since each represented in their time a mixture of popular and intellectual approaches to their art that held the admiration of both connoisseurs and amateurs. But the "ideal" work by Handel or Haydn is more a mixture of progressive and regressive traits which fails to delineate the style of their respective epochs. Indeed, few works produced by any composer in 1720 or 1780 are pure examples of either Baroque or Classic styles, but we can assume that most of the products from circa 1720 possess a larger number of Baroque characteristics than Classic ones. The taxonomy therefore can also be used to judge the relative conservativeness of a style within the context of a given time.

The following comparison of Baroque and Classic style characteristics does not pretend to present anything new; its purpose is to systematize, stimulate and guide one's thinking about style change. In addition to the author's own observations, it owes much to the works listed in the bibliography, particularly those of Edward T. Cone, Jan LaRue, Leonard Ratner, and William S. Newman. LaRue's work also provided the framework for the presentation.




Late Baroque High Classic


A. Texture A. Texture
1. soprano/bass polarity or trio texture (2 + 1): continuo homophony 1. melody plus rudimentary accompaniment
2. motivic play to complex polyphony 2. mixture of homophony and polyphony
3. thick, active fabric 3. transparent fabric
4. concertante (i.e., free bass line, upper voices participate in motivic play) and concertato (i.e., all voices participate in motivic play) 4. sectionally specialized according to orchestration
5. linear-chordal 5. chordal-linear
B. Timbre B. Timbre
1. middle and small dimension changes 1. changes at all dimensions
2. tutti/solo contrasts 2. contrasts of instrumentation to underline tonal plateaus
3. harpsichord as fundament instrument 3. pianoforte in solo and obbligato chamber settings
4. orchestra 4. orchestra
a) strings a 3, a 4 a) standard: 2 oboes, 2 horns, and strings
b) winds, when present, as soloists or doubling strings b) full: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings
c) increased use of winds in soloistic roles within orchestra
C. Dynamics C. Dynamics
1. terraced dynamics 1. terraced and graduated dynamics
a) registration changes a) structural (e.g. Italian sinfonia crescendos)
b) solo versus tutti b) ornamental
c) forte versus piano
A. Tonality and Mode A. Tonality and Mode
1. key: broad key usage 1. key: signature usually does not exceed 3 sharps or flats
2. mode: major and minor frequent 2. mode: major predominates; minor rare and for special effects
3. structure: migrant and bifocal* 3. structure: stabilized key areas maintained and established by cadence; bitonal and tritonal directionality; hierarchy of key
B. Chordal Vocabulary B. Chordal Vocabulary
1. broad and expressive 1. develops from primary triads toward more chromaticism late in century
C. Harmonic Progression C. Harmonic Progression
1. sequences of dominant and mediant harmonies which drive to cadence, frequently coupled with suspensions 1. sequences reserved for transition passages and development sections
2. enharmonic and chromatic modulations during last years of century
D. Dissonance D. Dissonance
1. controlled resolution 1. freer treatment of resolution
E. Cadences E. Cadences
1. clear but undifferentiated in weight 1. hierarchy of weight within section and movement
2. covered by rhythmic movement 2. important cadences highlighted by rests
A. Morphology A. Morphology
1. spinning out of motive through sequences, transpositions and inversions in seamless continuity (equals classic concept of development) 1. motives grouped into modular, complementary, balanced sub-phrases and phrases emphasizing repetition, response and contrast in 4-8 measure units; Baroque processes reserved for transitional and developmental functions
2. homogeneous motives emphasize beat 2. contrasting motives grouped into sub-phrases which culminate in architectonic formations (i.e. 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4, etc.)
3. rhythmic energization of motive 3. activity versus lull within phrase and sub-phrase
4. open-ended punctuations 4. closed punctuations
B. Contour B. Contour
1. ornamented and elaborate 1. folk-like with primarily step-wise movement and uncomplicated rhythms
2. stepwise intervallic activity within small ambitus 2. intervallic activity more scattered
3. idiomatic melody, especially for strings and keyboard 3. keyboard idioms continue, others more neutral
C. Typologies C. Typologies
1. dance 1. sigh
2. fanfare 2. rocket
3. chorale 3. hunt
4. French overture 4. Turkish and eastern European
5. toccata
6. stile antico
7. "stringed instrument" idioms
A. Tempo A. Tempo
1. in tempo ordinario or tempo giusto 1. faster tempo more viable
2. greater freedom in choosing tempo 2. tempo markings more explicit; eventually metronome indications
B. Measure and Meter B. Measure and Meter
1. beat marking, undifferentiated accents 1. hierarchical accents subdivide and establish measure
2. rhythmic activity independent of bar line 2. one dimension of activity confined to bar
3. metric mixing: hemiola in triple meter 3. rhythmic displacement in all meters by various types of accents and syncopation
4. metric typologies dance-associated 4. specialization of meters within cycle (e.g., 1st movements and finales)
5. stress achieved by dissonance and ornament 5. strategic enlargening and dwarfing of metric/phrase unit (e.g., 4 + 4 mm. + 3 + 3 mm. + 2 + 2 mm. + 1 + 1 mm.)
C. Surface Rhythm C. Surface Rhythm
1. uninterrupted surface flow of homogeneous motive 1. frequent changes in activity
2. layered but homogeneous flow 2. layered but both homogeneous and differentiated by layer
3. anacrusic 3. downbeat emphasis
4. rhythmic/melodic articulations emphasize small units 4. rhythmic/melodic articulations emphasize broader span
D. Harmonic Rhythm D. Harmonic Rhythm
1. rapid, with several changes in the metric unit: usually on the beat or half-beat 1. slow: usually at half-measure or larger
2. uniformity of motion 2. differentiated patterns underline functions
3. active bass line: walking and running bass lines 3. stabilizing function of harmonic rhythm and less active root motion compensated for by bass activators: Alberti bass, patterned quadruplets, rolling triplets, murky bass, drum bass
A. Affection A. Affection
1. single affection for movement: monothematicism, homogeneous and undifferentiated materials 1. multiple affections for movement: differentiated and contrasting units
B. Articulation B. Articulation
1. overlapping 1. coordinated
2. closing section for ritornello 2. closing activity for several or all functions (i.e. Pk, Tk, Sk)7
C. Structural Tension C. Structural Tension
1. provided by series of cadential expectations 1. counteractivity of style components provides sustaining tension in middle dimensions
D. Structural Functions D. Structural Functions
1. underlined by sound 1. specialization
(e.g., exposition and ritornello versus episode) a) Primary: balanced sub-phrase, triadic melodies, strong and unaltered harmonies, accelerating surface and harmonic rhythmic activity
[Note: Baroque growth processes similar to transitional and developmental functions in Classic era] b) Transitional: motivic play, migrating tonality, increase in surface rhythmic and textural activity, regularity of harmonic rhythm and root motion provide directionality
c) Secondary: new key areas underlined by new material or repetition of P in a stabilized form, balanced sub-phrase lengths
d) Closing: rapid oscillations of tonic and dominant chords often stabilized by pedal point of tonic in a drum or murky bass
E. Movement Forms E. Movement Forms
1. fugue and ritornello with predominantly migrating tonality and open-ended subjects 1. sonata and part forms with key areas; tonic areas are often closed sections
2. ostinato variations 2. strophic variations with melodic embellishment; non-strophic developmental variations mixed with strophic later in century
3. synthesized forms: sonata rondo, rondo variation
F. Cyclic Forms F. Cyclic Forms
1. aesthetic stress evenly balanced 1. aesthetic stress on first movement and later also slow movement
2. monotonal or extended cadential tonalities 2. functionally related tonality
3. types: 3. types:
a) sonata: slow-fast-slow-fast a) sonata/symphony:
b) sinfonia: fast-slow-fast b) divertimento
c) suite

*See Jan LaRue, "Bifocal Tonality: An Explanation for Ambiguous Baroque Cadences," Essays on Music in Honor of Archibald Thompson Davison (Cambridge: Department of Music, Harvard University, 1957), pp. 173-84.


Since the taxonomy is but a list of abstract traits, four musical examples have been chosen for discussion: the Allemande from Johann Sebastian Bach's first French Suite BWV 812 (Example 1), the first movements from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's "Württemberg" Sonata Wq. 49/2 (Example 2) and his Sonata in A Major from the Kenner und Liebhaber set Wq. 55/4 (Example 3), and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Sonata in C Minor K. 457 (Example 4). To support the selection of these four examples, it should be noted that: (1) they are all initial movements of their respective cycles, (2) they are all first parts of basically binary structures, and (3) they are all keyboard works with the earliest being a fine example of the harpsichord idiom, the latest exemplifying pianoforte writing, two instruments which by their very musical properties seem to represent the essence of the Baroque and Classic styles. In addition, the two chronologically central works by C.P.E. Bach challenge our stylistic orientation toward melody as one of the dominating elements in style classification. Furthermore, it has been postulated by some commentators that the Allemande is the dance type whose structure often relates rather closely to the sonata form concept.8 Perhaps most importantly, these four examples represent a frame of time that encompasses a sixty-year period from circa 1720 to circa 1780, with each following the other at twenty-year intervals. The suite movement was composed by 1722, Wq. 49/2 in 1742 but not published until 1744, Wq. 55/4 in 1764 but not published until 1779, and K. 457 in 1784. It should be emphasized that these excerpts are also linked historically in that during the period of K. 457's composition, Mozart was participating in the Sunday musicales at the home of the Baron van Swieten, the leading advocate of the music of J.S. Bach and his eldest son. The selection of these examples makes more sense than tracing this change through the music of Fux, Reutter, Wagenseil and Haydn; the difference in quality between and within the two poles would obscure the thrust of the argument itself.9



Considering the texture of these four examples, one is immediately struck by the Allemande's use of a single type: polyphony. Yet the texture and sonorities are constantly changing from linear to imitative polyphony, concertante to concertato voicings, and a Freistimmigkeit that encompasses from two to six simultaneities. Except for the first and last two measures of the first part, an overall impression of homogeneity of sound is present.

Comparing this with Wq. 49/2, we can also observe a generally thick two- and three-voice fabric. But instead of the continuity offered in the excerpt by the elder Bach, decisive changes occur at measures 1-7, 8-12, 13-18, 19-22, 23-28 and 29-30. Note that in the first seven bars Emanuel Bach is still thinking in terms of Baroque polyphony; however, it is confined only to the rhythmic element. Furthermore, the musical line seems decidedly less significant in controlling the harmonic activity than seen in the Allemande.

The relationship of line to chord in the Kenner und Liebhaber Sonata exposition is more thoroughly homophonic. Unlike the "Württemberg" Sonata, in this instance linear activity contributes a strong directionality to the exposition. Whereas in both of the earlier examples the fabric was relatively thick, the effect here is more transparent, although the same number of voices is present. Changes in the various components of sound both underline functional aspects of the structure and provide ornamental stress.

For Mozart the homophonic and polyphonic areas parallel the stable and active areas; i.e., the homophony of measures 1-20, 23-70—the Primary (P), Secondary (S), and Closing (K) areas of the exposition—provides a deep contrast to the polyphonic texture in measures 21-22, 71-74 and the main portion of the development section. Within the homophonic sections one is impressed with the variety of sonorities and fabrics that help to articulate sentences, phrases, and sub-phrases. Looking at the initial section, the alternation of octaves and harmonic simultaneities (measures 1-2 + 3-4 and 5-6 + 7-8) binds the opening sentence and differentiates it from the remainder of P. Compared to any of the earlier examples, Mozart's treatment of texture defines the shape of the movement more clearly. Indeed, it is the manner in which homophony and polyphony are mixed in K. 457 that seems so characteristic of mature musical Classicism.

The use of dynamics in these examples seems especially indicative of the change from a harpsichord to a pianoforte idiom. In the excerpt from 1720's, there are no explicit dynamic markings; this does not preclude the possibility of registrational changes for the repetitions of each part. The "Württemberg" Sonata movement employs the dynamic markings of pianissimo, piano, and forte in a Baroque way: dynamic change at the middle and large dimensions—often following a fermata—imply a registrational function. In the A-Major Sonata composed two decades later, however, the younger Bach synthesizes functional and registrational dynamics (measures 5-12) with ornamental ones (measures 1-4) without breaks in the musical activity, despite the two dynamic levels of forte and piano. To this vocabulary of dynamic nuance Mozart adds not only the ornamental crescendo, but a series of dynamic patterns that serves to delineate each section of the structure more decisively:

Primary (P) section: f p f p f p
Transition (T) section: f
Secondary (S) section: p cresc. f p f p f p
Closing (K) section: p f


Although three of our examples are uncharacteristically in the minor mode,10 the treatment of tonality and harmony within each of the works remains indicative of style change in the eighteenth century. In the suite movement Sebastian Bach touches on a series of secondary keys without ever fully establishing them. Beginning in D Minor, the subdominant is alluded to in measures 3-4 and 7; the relative major is touched on in measure 9 followed by an extended close on the dominant. However, the articulatory significance of the cadences found in these twelve measures is minimal since all but the last is obscured by movement in other voices, resulting in an unbroken rhythmic flow.

In the "Württemberg" excerpt, the harmonic movement is somewhat reminiscent of the migrating tonality associated with Baroque style. Notice how the cadences are arranged: in measure 4 a half-cadence occurs on the tonic, then in rapid succession authentic-imperfect-strong cadences on E-flat and F in measures 6 and 7 followed by a tumble through the circle of fifths in measures 8 and 9; after a parenthesis of activity in measures 10-13, another sequence commences with an authentic-perfect-strong cadence in the dominant, only to revert back to the dominant seventh of A-flat in measure 22 and of B-flat in measure 28, not settling in the tonic until the final measure at the double bar. In this exposition it is difficult to speak of tonal areas, and in those sections where it might be appropriate (i.e., measures 19-21 and 23-27), confirmation of any single tonality is incomplete.

Within the A-Major Sonata the harmonic motion is highly Classic: cadences are sparingly used to establish the two key areas. The careful differentiation of strength between the end of measure 2 and the beginning of measure 3 compared with the end of measure 4 and the beginning of measure 5 underlines the balanced format of the opening. The following eight measures of two four-measure groups conclude with an open punctuation. Note how measures 9-12 relate to measures 5-8; in the latter group the dynamic level as well as the relative continuity of the figuration seem to accentuate its function as a harmonic link. The ensuing transition, beginning in measure 13—in contrast to the "Württemberg" example, beginning in measure 5—is well directionalized, arriving with dispatch at the dominant of the dominant in measure 17, which is prolonged until measure 23, and further established by the descending motion of the bass to measure 26, ending in a covered half-close on the dominant. The relative stability of the next four measures forms a harmonic parenthesis that, unlike the "Württemberg" example, does not interrupt but further strengthens the dominant key area in measures 31-38 which culminates in a full close, followed by a rest.

More than any of the previous examples, the Mozart C-Minor Sonata emphasizes long sections of harmonic stability so typical of full-blown Classicism, with only six measures (21-22 and 71-74) having a transitory function. Such a description, however, does not do justice to the subtleties of harmonic articulation found in many works written during the last decades of the century. The harmonic materials, as in Emanuel Bach's A-Major Sonata, do more than establish tonal areas; Mozart's thematic ideas contain deep as well as surface contrasts which serve gradually to weaken the tonic and strengthen the related key area. More specifically the strong tonic orientation of the first eight bars is weakened by the first inversion tonic of measure 8. In the following measures the dominant pedal point, the suspensions, the chromaticism and the eventual regular movement of the bass line provide movement toward the dominant that is only thwarted by the piano dynamic in measure 17 and presentation of the initial material with a thinner sonority in measure 19. While this process confirms the tonic, the endings of each harmonic sentence remain open-ended. Thus the last portion of the tonic area functions as a pretransition.

In the related key area the articulations at measures 22-23, 27-36 and 44-58 with their increasingly lengthy harmonic upbeats strengthen the relative major as the exposition progresses. This lends to the S section both stability and movement. The final cadences (measures 63-71) balance the very beginning of the exposition by consolidating the tonal resources of the related key. Then the tonality is permitted to unwind for the repetition of the exposition or the beginning of the development.11 Therefore, while the concept of tonal area is a valid one, total stability is replaced by large dimension directionality that produced a large harmonic curve stabilized by two plateaus.



Within the Allemande a series of homogeneous ideas whose characteristic rhythmic module is the beat are elaborated by Fortspinnung and motivic play. The intertwining of these motives throughout this dance-styled movement presents an intellectual tour de force: the intervallic flexibility and its relationship to motivic shape—which seem almost Schoenbergian—defy description. To divide the movement into smaller sections in terms of melody is not possible and indeed would do a disservice to the musicality of J.S. Bach's style.

In contrast, the "Württemberg" excerpt can be divided into six melodic units beginning at measures 1, 8, 14, 19, 23, and 28, all of which depend to a greater or lesser degree on Fortspinnung as a means of expansion.12 The new figure in measure 8 is interrupted at measure 13 only to be resumed at measure 19, so that essentially the melodic material is dominated by three contrasting ideas: those beginning at measures 1, 8, and 23. Although the contrasts found here may be considered a Classic trait, the means of expansion are strictly Baroque. While the passage beginning at measure 23, with its harmonic stability and two-way division of the statement (measures 23- 25 and 25-28), comes closest to a Classic style, the fact that it is in the subdominant of the dominant rather than the dominant results in its being functionally ambiguous.

In the A-Major Sonata the melodic materials are more homogeneous than in the 1742 example; if this movement had been penned by Joseph Haydn, it would certainly be described—rightly or wrongly—as "monothematic." While one might wish to characterize this homogeneity as a Baroque trait, Emanuel Bach's treatment of the toccata-like material is thoroughly Classic. The opening and closing sections are not only balanced by pedal points, but also length: i.e., the opening statement is an a + a' of 2 + 2 measures, while the final statement consists of a two-measure subphrase, followed by a two-measure closing. Even within the central transitional area, where most Classic composers would employ a Baroque syntax, measures 17-20 have a thoroughly architectonic layout.

The identity of melodic function, character and syntax is thoroughly integrated in the Mozart sonata exposition. The effect of this synthesis is what LaRue refers to as specialization: "certain types of themes fitted into formal functions particularly well."13 Deep internal contrasts characterize the material of the primary area; the secondary material—in the words of Abbé Vogler—is the "gentler, which relieves the heated commotion and bolsters the ear with pleasing contrast";14 while that of the closing is activated by the repetition of cadentially-oriented ideas. The brief transition touches only momentarily, albeit effectively, on the opening primary material. Special note should be made of how P, S, and K maintain their own identity by means of differing intervallic content, degree of chromaticism, range, structure and rhythmic profile.



The elder Bach's treatment of rhythm is also strongly representative of Baroque style. Here, the main unit of activity is not the measure with its hierarchical stress on the down-beat and third quarter of each bar, but the beat which is frequently emphasized by anacrusic rhythms. While this is indicative of a harpsichord style it is also characteristic of Baroque works in general. In this example the up-beats are of unequal length; groups of one, three or more sixteenths thrust the melody toward the quarter beat. Additional rhythmic stress is achieved through the use of ornamentation, dissonance and duration. The end result is a small dimension motivic drive unified by homogeneous surface rhythmic activity.

An expected mixture of elements of both Baroque and Classic rhythm is found in the "Württemberg" sonata. On the Baroque side anacrusic rhythms are prominent, the bar line doesn't always control the initiation or close of a phrase and the metric organization is in part achieved by the use of dissonance and ornaments. The rhythmic contrasts and the alternation of large and small rhythmic units on the other hand point to a later eighteenth-century style. The harmonic rhythm is Baroque in its rapidity but Classic in its patterning. In contrast to the Allemande, small dimension continuity is achieved but is undermined by a larger dimension discontinuity due to a series of differing tempos. This combination results in a rhythmic energy whose drive is frustratingly interrupted. In sum the example lacks both the ubiquitous beat-marking of the Baroque and the skillful rhythmic interactions associated with Classicism.

It is in Emanuel Bach's later sonata that a Classic approach to rhythm is skillfully realized. The sonority of the first beat and its staccato articulation contribute throughout the course of the exposition to rhythmic flexibility. A two-measure unit is established at the opening, while in measures 5-7 the unit of activity is a single measure which is further subdivided by changes in sonority and surface rhythm. By the ninth measure the surface rhythms delineate the half-measure. The component which seems to contribute the most to this acceleration is the harmonic rhythm. Underlined by a pedal on A the first four measures present two similar harmonic rhythmic patterns. Notice how the change on the final beat of measure 4 energizes the following downbeat. By measure 5 the chord rhythm accelerates from the half-note to the quarter, and then in measure 8 to the eighth. More remarkable is the interaction of the various rhythmic elements in the middle section of the exposition (measures 13-38), which begins with an echo of the first idea. At measure 17 Bach presents us with the largest module of chordal repose (i.e., two two-measure groups) enunciated by the same articulation and sonority of measure 1. Each two-measure group is underlined by dense melodic figuration followed by relaxation in the seventh and eighth quarters. Within measures 21-26 the melodic contour, harmonic rhythm and sonority contribute to dwarfing the unit of activity to a single beat. After four measures of rhythmic repose the momentum created in measures 21-26 is intensified by (1) the change in harmonic rhythm from the half-note in measure 31 accelerating to the quarter in measure 34, (2) an increase in surface rhythmic activity, and (3) the melodic descent from e3.

In K. 457 the harmonic, textural, phrase and surface rhythms together reveal a central characteristic of the fully developed Classic style: complementary strata of activity. In the opening measures the slowly accelerating harmonic rhythm complements the somewhat rapid changes in range and sonority. As the movement of range and sonority operates at a slower rate the harmonic and surface rhythms become more active (measures 9-12). With measure 13 the rhythmic components become more coordinated; the bass line moves more rapidly and the phrase/motivic unit diminishes from three quarters to one half-note by measure 17. Complementary operations resume at measure 21 as the upper voice accelerates to triplets and the harmonic rhythm returns to that of the opening measures. Much the same sort of process continues in the secondary key area but without the strong internal contrasts of P. Beginning at measure 51, which provides a link to the closing of the exposition, Mozart presents us with a more intensive version of the complementary activity of measures 21-22; descending lines move in triplet values, ascending ones in eighths. Following the variation of measure 59, which begins in measure 63 with an activated anacrusis, measures 65-70 also employ this same principle.

It is also instructive to isolate and examine the surface rhythm in all four examples. The two earliest movements emphasize anacrusic rhythms. However, in the 1764 sonata movement down-beats play a more significant role in the articulation of phrases, sentences and paragraphs. While the 1720 and 1742 examples have the same range of durations (i.e., and respectively), the 1764 exposition—although possibly appearing more homogeneous—has a broader range . The Mozart example extends the range of rhythmic values: the smallest duration is a thirty-second and the largest a half-note. Furthermore, Mozart's control of these durations outclasses the impressive A Major Sonata of Philipp Emanuel Bach; note how in measures 1-22 Mozart gradually increases the surface rhythmic activity from which affords a foil for the relatively stable eighth notes in the related key area (measure 23).



Looking at the resulting shape in these various excerpts, the J.S. Bach and Mozart examples, as expected, present us with stylistic polarities. In the most traditional descriptions of form these would constitute the first part of a binary structure and the exposition of a sonata form movement. The limitations of these terms for structural stereotypes have already been widely discussed; they have set artificial standards by which compositions have been evaluated both historically and aesthetically. However, it is not the shape itself that is of primary importance but rather how the shape came into being during the course of its composition and performance.

There are a number of different ways by which this process of growth can be described. Jan LaRue's interest might center on the different sizes of the characteristic module and aspects of structural articulations from the smallest to the largest dimensions. William Newman would probably refer to the opposing generative processes of motivic play and phrase groupings; and Leonard Ratner would probably explicate the consistencies and contrasts of style and expression based on his extensive studies of contemporary theoretical treatises. All of these approaches have their own validity in that they concentrate on the music itself rather than a stereotype of shape which tells little about an individual composition, genre, or an historical period.

In dealing with stylistic conglomerates and their structures it is often helpful to approach them in relation to the two stylistic polarities. The 1742 sonata by Emanuel Bach provides us with growth processes that are syntheses. Like the Mozart example it has an exposition of multiple affects but without the absolute functional clarity of K. 457. Compared to the elder Bach's Allemande both have clear closings, but the "Württemberg" Sonata effects internal contrasts by materials reminiscent of the figurations we associate with a Baroque style. The 1764 sonata has at the surface level a homogeneity not unlike the elder Bach's Allemande but with primary, transition and closing functions whose clarity is closer to Mozart's approach. If we confine our examination to the structural articulations, these conglomerates pair themselves with the other two examples; in the two earlier works the articulations tend to overlap and be open-ended while in the later pair they are coordinated and carefully weighed.


A great deal of emphasis has been placed on content and formal analysis in late eighteenth-century music. Yet we should not totally rely on the observation of single elements in isolation for the determination of style classification; it is the multifaceted interaction of these components that must be considered. Indeed, it may be beneficial to relegate certain of the traditionally emphasized characteristics of the Baroque and Classic styles (i.e., terraced versus graduated dynamics, homophonic versus polyphonic textures, elaborate versus folk-like melodies) to a place of contributory importance. Greater concentration on those aspects that more directly affect musical movement (i.e., articulatory gestures and phrase morphology as well as the various aspects of rhythm) should result in a more meaningful perception of the development of style in eighteenth-century music.

This study does not pretend to provide solutions to a challenging musicological problem; it does attempt to offer an outline of the historiography, terminology and style characteristics, as well as a bibliography that can serve as a basis for future discussion. Until many more works of disputed paternity are attributed to their rightful composers, until we discover and adopt more accurate means of determining dating and chronology, until we use more powerful methods of style analysis, until more studies of individual schools, genres and composers are undertaken, and until more music from the period finds its way into available editions the stylistic development of the century cannot be historiographed in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.


EXAMPLE 1. J.S. Bach. French Suite No. 1, BWV 812. Allemande. Part.

© G. Henle Verlag. Used by permission.

EXAMPLE 2. C.P.E. Bach. Sonata Wq. 49/2 (Württemberg). First movement. Exposition.

EXAMPLE 3. C.P.E. Bach. Sonata Wq. 55/4 (Kenner und Liebhaber). First movement. Exposition.

EXAMPLE 4. W.A. Mozart. Sonata K. 457. First movement. Exposition.

© 1956 Theodore Presser Company. Used by permission.



The scope of the publications selected for this bibliography is as follows: (1) all surveys devoted to musical classicism regardless of merit except for those with extreme political or nationalistic biases, and (2) a select list of more specialized publications which the compiler felt either contributed to the definition of the Classic style or provided methodologies for solving the style problems of the period. Intentionally omitted, therefore, are significant historical and bibliographical studies of a different scope such as Barry Brook's Symphonie Française and Bathia Churgin's The Symphonies of G.B. Sammartini. Contemporary composition methods, Formlehren, and instrumental methods have also been excluded, as numerous citations to individual theorists and their treatises are found in many of the studies listed.



1. Blume, Friedrich. Classic and Romantic Music: A Comprehensive Survey. Translated by M.D. Herter Norton. New York: W.W. Norton, 1970.

Essentially views the two style epochs as one. Probably the best survey of the many facets of Classic music.

2. Bücken, Ernst. Die Musik des Rokokos und der Klassik. Handbuch der Musikwissenschaft, Vol. 4. Potsdam: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, 1928-34.

The first important and independently published survey of the period. Contains numerous illustrations and musical examples. Now somewhat dated, but still useful.

3. Bukofzer, Manfred. Music of the Classic Period: 1750-1827. Rev. ed. University of California Syllabus Series. Berkeley: University of California, 1960.

A short guide to musical Classicism. Strongest aspect remains its clear diagrams of various instrumental and vocal formal stereotypes.

4. Engel, Hans. "Die Quellen des Klassischen Stiles," Report of the Eighth Congress of the International Musicological Society: New York 1961, I, 285-304. Edited by Jan LaRue. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1961-62.

An extensive but at times controversial view of the sources of the Classic style. (This lecture with some changes was also published as "Haydn, Mozart und die Klassik" in Mozart-Jahrbuch [1959], pp. 46-79.) For a reply to Engel's assertion about the thematic unity of multi-movement works, see LaRue, "Significant and Coincidental Resemblance between Classical Themes" (Item no. 67).

5. Fischer, Wilhelm. "Instrumentalmusik von 1750-1828," Handbuch der Musikgeschichte, II, 795-833. Edited by Guido Adler. Berlin-Wilmersdorf: Heinrich Keller Verlag, 1930.

6. Hadow, William Henry. The Viennese Period. The Oxford History of Music, Vol. 5. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904.

An important barometer of the view of late eighteenth-century style at the beginning of this century.

7. Heger, Theodore: Music of the Classic Period. Dubuque: Brown, 1969.

An undistinguished survey for the general student.

8. Landon, H.C. Robbins. Essays on the Viennese Classical Style: Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. London: Barrie & Rockliff, Cresset Press, 1970.

Chapters 1 (Rococo in Music) and 2 (The Viennese Classical Period), originally written for HiFi-Stereo Review, present the traditional view.

9. Lang, Paul Henry. Music in Western Civilization. New York: W.W. Norton, 1941.

Still remains the best general treatment of eighteenth-century music in a humanistic context.

10. Larsen, Jens Peter. "Some Observations on the Development and Characteristics of Vienna Classical Instrumental Music." Studia Musicologica Vol. 9, Nos. 1-2. (1967): 115-39.

An important introduction to its topic, but with a somewhat dated orientation. Similar articles on this same topic are found in Der junge Haydn (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1972); Symbolae Historiae Musicae, Hellmut Federhofer zum 60. Geburtstag (Mainz: Schott, 1971); Current Musicology 9 (1969); Händel-Jahrbuch (1971); and Report of the Eleventh Congress of the International Musicological Society: Copenhagen 1972, Vol. 1 (Copenhagen: Edition Wilhelm Hansen, 1974).

11. Lowinsky, Edward E. "Taste, Style, and Ideology in Eighteenth-Century Music," Aspects of the Eighteenth Century, pp. 163-205. Edited by Earl R. Wasserman. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1965.

Although traditional in approach, one of the finest syntheses of stylistic, historical and humanistic ideas.

12. Newman, William S. The Sonata in the Classic Era. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1972.

From the stylistic viewpoint, the most explicit and detailed treatment of late eighteenth-century music.

13. Pauly, Reinhard G. Music in the Classic Period. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1973.

Another undistinguished survey for the general student.

14. Ratner, Leonard G. Classic Music: A Handbook for Analysis. New York: Schirmer Books, In press.

15. Ratner, Leonard G. Music: The Listener's Art. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966.

Although written for a beginning course in music appreciation, this text provides the ideas of a distinguished scholar of eighteenth-century music.

16. Rosen, Charles. The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. New York: W.W. Norton, 1972.

Although not really concerned with defining the Classic style, contains valuable critical essays on selected genres of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Highly perceptive and always stimulating.

17. Stephenson, K. The Classics. Cologne: Arno Volk Verlag, 1962.

Traditional textbook survey with unsatisfactory editions of the musical examples.

18. Szabolcsi, Bence. Aufsteig der klassischen Musik von Vivaldi bis Mozart. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1970.

A casual survey based on the author's A History of Melody (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1965).

19. Wellesz, Egon, and Frederick Sternfeld. The Age of Enlightenment: 1745-1790. The New Oxford History of Music, Vol. 7. London: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Series of essays on various genres and settings by various authorities. Generally weak on the instrumental works of Haydn and Mozart. Only the chapters on the symphony and concerto are oriented toward stylistic developments.



20. "18th-Century Studies in Honor of Paul Henry Lang," Current Musicology 9 (1969), 47-189.

Relevant contributions on 18th-century music historiography and the problems of writing a history of the Classic style by Gerald Abraham, Vincent Duckles, Daniel Heartz, Jens Peter Larsen, Jan LaRue, Leonard G. Ratner, and J.A. Westrup.

21. Finscher, Ludwig. "Zum Begriff der Klassik in der Musik," Bericht über der Internationalen Musikwissenschaftlichen Kongress: Leipzig 1966, pp. 103-61. Edited by Carl Dahlhaus, Reiner Kluge, Ernst H. Meyer and Walter Wiora. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1970; Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1970.

Comprehensive view of the possible meanings of "Klassik." Republished in a slightly modified form without discussion in Deutsches Jahrbuch der Musikwissenschaft 11 (1966), 9-34.

22. Geiringer, Karl, Daniel Heartz, Gerhard Croll, Pierluigi Petrobelli, and Tomislav Volek. "Critical Years in European Musical History: 1740-1760." Report of the Tenth Congress of the International Musicological Society: Ljubljana 1967, pp. 159-193. Edited by Dragotin Cvetko. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1970; Ljubljana, Yugoslavia: University of Ljubljana, 1970.

See especially the contribution of Heartz: "We should be searching the period around 1720 rather than 1740-60."

23. Krummacher, Friedhelm. "Klassizismus als musikgeschichtliches Problem." In Report of the Eleventh Congress of the International Musicological Society: Copenhagen 1972, II, 518-26. Edited by Henrik Glahn, Søren Sørensen, and Peter Ryom. Copenhagen: Edition Wilhelm Hansen, 1974.

Extends Finscher's essay on the meaning of "Klassik."

24. "(Musikalischen Epochenbegriffen des 18. Jahrhunderts)." Händel-Jahrbuch 17 (1971).

Contributions by Walther Siegmund-Schultze ("Epochenbegriffe der Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts"), Jens Peter Larsen ("Epochenstil-Generationsstil"), Johanna Rudolph ("Über das Verhältnis von Aufklärung und Klassik bei Händel"), Percy M. Young ("Zur Bedeutung von Barock und Rokoko im England des 18. Jahrhunderts"), and Werner Rackwitz ("Georg Philipp Telemanns Stellung in der Epoche der Aufklärung").

25. Webster, James. "Towards a History of Viennese Chamber Music in the Early Classical Period," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer 1974), 212-47.

Discussion of eighteenth-century generic titles such as Divertimento, Cassation, Notturno, and Partita.

26. Westrup, Jack A. "The Paradox of Eighteenth-Century Music," Studies in Musicology: Essays in the History, Style, and Bibliography of Music in Memory of Glen Haydon, pp. 118-32. Edited by James W. Pruett. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969.

"The function of words is to impart information, to sustain argument, and to excite emotion. Too often, however, they are used as a substitute for thinking. . . . Here are a mere handful of the terms which are currently in use: Baroque, Aufklärung or Enlightenment, Empfindsamkeit, style galant and Sturm und Drang." See also Westrup's similar article in Current Musicology Vol. 9 (1969) (Item no. 20).




27. Alanbrook, Wye Jamison. Dance as Expression in Mozart Opera. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1974.

See pp. 2-145 for a comprehensive discussion of the affective qualities of dances as viewed by eighteenth-century writers.

28. Kamien, Roger. "Style Change in the Mid-18th-Century Keyboard Sonata," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 1966), 37-58.

A statistical approach using a controlled sampling based on the author's 1964 Princeton Ph.D. dissertation.

29. Kirkpatrick, Ralph. Domenico Scarlatti. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1953.

Contains a flexible approach to musical structure and style which should be emulated.

30. LaRue, Jan. Guidelines for Style Analysis. New York: W.W. Norton, 1970.

Although a comprehensive approach to analysis, the insights of the author into the Classic style make this an indispensable reference work for students of eighteenth-century music.

31. LaRue, Jan. "Mozart or Dittersdorf—KV 84/739." Mozart-Jahrbuch (1971-72): 40-49.

Explanation and demonstration of LaRue's "correlation analysis," which determines the "metabolism" of a work. See also his brief article "New Directions for Style Analysis" in Musicology and the Computer, pp. 194-97. Edited by Barry S. Brook. New York: City University of New York Press, 1970.

32. Laudon, Robert. "No One Can Possibly Mistake the Genre of this Composition," Current Musicology Vol. 25 (1978), 69-82.

"Characteristic styles" in eighteenth-century music.

33. [Marsh, John.] "An Essay by John Marsh." Introduction by C.L. Cudworth. Music and Letters Vol. 36, No. 2 (April 1955), 155-64.

A late eighteenth-century essay which advocates the coexistence of ancient and modern styles in English music.

34. Rowen, Ruth Halle. "Some 18th-Century Classifications of Musical Style," Musical Quarterly Vol. 33, No. 1 (January 1947), 90-101.

Citations from numerous 18th-century commentators. See also her Early Chamber Music (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949).

35. Sondheimer, Robert. Die Theorie der Sinfonie und die Beurteilung einzelner Sinfoniekomponisten bei den Musikschriftstellern des 18. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1925.

Numerous references to theorists of the Classic period. For an index, see Eugene K. Wolf and Jan LaRue, "A Bibliographical Index to Robert Sondheimer's Der Theorie der Sinfonie," in Acta Musicologica 35 (1965), 79-86.

36. Wessel, Frederick Thomas. The Affektenlehre in the Eighteenth Century. Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1955.

Comprehensive approach based on contemporary theorists.


Galant Style

37. Bücken, Ernst. "Der galante Stil," Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft Vol. 6, No. 8 (May 1924), 418-30.

The first important essay on this topic.

38. Cudworth, Charles L. "Cadence Galante: The Story of a Cliché," Monthly Musical Record Vol. 79 (1949), 176-78.

39. Hoffmann-Erbrecht, Lothar. "Der 'Galante Stil' in der Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts," Studien zur Musikwissenschaft Vol. 25 (1962), 252-60.

40. Sheldon, David A. "Exchange, Anticipation, and Ellipsis: Analytical Definitions of the Galant Style," Music East and West: Essays in Honor of Walter Kaufmann. Edited by Thomas Noblitt. New York: Pendragon Press, 1979 or 1980.

Approaches the problem through harmonic practice.

41. Sheldon, David A. "The Galant Style Revisited and Re-evaluated," Acta Musicologica Vol. 47, No. 2 (July-December 1975), 240-70.



42. Berg, Darrell. The Keyboard Sonatas of C.P.E. Bach: An Expression of the Mannerist Principle. Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York (Buffalo), 1975.

Chapter 1 ("The Limits of Empfindsamkeit") represents the best and only discussion of the term as it applies to music and the related arts. For specific style characteristics, see Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era (Item no. 12).


Sturm und Drang

43. Brook, Barry S. "Sturm und Drang and the Romantic Period in Music," Studies in Romanticism Vol. 9, No. 4 (Fall 1970), 269-84.

Sturm und Drang as a precursor of Romantic style traits.

44. Eggebrecht, Hans Heinrich. "Das Ausdrucks-Prinzip im musikalischen Sturm und Drang." Deutsche Vierteljahrschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistgeschichte Vol. 29, No. 3 (1955), 323-49.

45. Friedland, Bea. Haydn's Sturm und Drang Period: A Problem in Aesthetics. M.A. thesis, Queens College of City University of New York, 1968.

46. Hoffmann-Erbrecht, Lothar. "Sturm und Drang in der deutschen Klaviermusik von 1753-1763," Die Musikforschung Vol. 10, No. 4 (1957), 466-79.

47. Landon, H.C. Robbins. "La crise romantique dans la musique autrichienne vers 1770. Quelques précurseurs inconnus de la Symphonie en sol mineur (KV 183) de Mozart," Les Influences étrangères dans l'oeuvre de W.A. Mozart, pp. 27-47. Edited by André Verchaly. Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1956.

48. Longyear, Rey M. "The Minor Mode in the Classic Period," The Music Review Vol. 32, No. 1 (February 1971), 27-35.

Demonstrates that the incidence of the use of the minor mode is not concentrated in the late 1760's and early 1770's, but rather seems to increase during the second half of the century.

49. Marks, Paul F. "Aesthetics of Music in the Philosophy of Sturm und Drang: Gerstenberg, Hamann and Herder," The Music Review Vol. 35, Nos. 3-4 (November 1974): 247-59.

50. Marks, Paul F. "The Rhetorical Element in Musical Sturm und Drang: Christian Gottfried Krause's Von der Musikalischen Poesie," International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music Vol. 2, No. 1 (1971): 49-64.

Also published in The Music Review Vol. 33, No. 2 (1972).

51. Peckham, Mary Adelaide. Sturm und Drang in 18th-Century Music. M.A. thesis, Columbia University, 1967.

Emphasis on music in Sturm und Drang literature, theory, and criticism.

52. Rudolf, Max. "Storm and Stress in Music." Bach 3 (1972): No. 2, pp. 3-13; No. 3, pp. 3-11; No. 4, pp. 8-16.

The best treatment of this problem.

53. Wyzewa, Théodore de. "À propos du centenaire de la mort de Joseph Haydn," Revue des Deux Mondes Vol. 79, No. 51 (June 15, 1909), 935-46.

The first essay to apply the concept of Sturm und Drang to the music of Haydn.



54. Bruce, I.M. "A Note on Mozart's Bar-Rhythms," The Music Review Vol. 17, No. 1 (February 1956), 35-47.

The role of the measure and accentuation in phrasing.

55. Cobb, Charlotte E. Poetic Rhythms in the Works of Joseph Haydn. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1971.

A stimulating approach to the problem from the standpoint of the eighteenth-century theorists. Considers both vocal and instrumental applications.

56. Cone, Edward T. Musical Form and Musical Performance. New York: W.W. Norton, 1968.

See pp. 57-59 for a discussion of Baroque and Classic rhythm. For a different approach to rhythmical hierarchy, see Cooper and Meyer, The Rhythmic Structure of Music (Item no. 57).

57. Cooper, Grosvenor W., and Leonard B. Meyer. The Rhythmic Structure of Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.

A comprehensive approach that depends heavily on eighteenth-century examples.

58. Georgiades, Thrasybulos. "Zur Musiksprache der Wiener Klassiker ," Mozart-Jahrbuch (1951), pp. 50-59.

Changing rhythmic accentuation of Classic themes.

59. Lowinsky, Edward E. "On Mozart's Rhythm," Musical Quarterly Vol. 42, No. 2 (April 1956), 162-86.

An important appraisal of Mozart's surface rhythms as compared to Haydn and others.

60. Yeston, Maury. The Stratification of Musical Rhythm. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1976.

See pp. 14-19 for a discussion of Joseph Riepel's Anfangsgründe zur musikalischen Setzkunst.



61. Baker, Nancy K. "Heinrich Koch and the Theory of Melody," Journal of Music Theory Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 1976), 1-48.

Includes summaries of melodic theory by Riepel and Kirnberger, as well as Koch's influence on later writers.

62. Bartha, Dénes. "On Beethoven's Thematic Structure," Musical Quarterly Vol. 56, No. 4 (October 1970), 759-78.

A theory of stanza as opposed to periodic melodic structure.

63. Blume, Friedrich. "Fortspinnung und Entwicklung: Ein Beitrag zur musikalischen Begriffsbildung," Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters (1929), 51-70.

See also Fischer, "Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Wiener klassischen Stils" (Item no. 65) for a different use of some of the same terms.

64. Buelow, George J. "The Concept of 'Melodielehre': A Key to Classic Style," Mozart-Jahrbuch (1978-79), 182-95.

Deals with theories by Mattheson, Nichelmann, Riepel, Koch, and especially Johann Friedrich Daube's Anleitung zur Erfindung der Melodie.

65. Fischer, Wilhelm. "Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Wiener klassischen Stils," Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 3 (1915), 24-84.

A pioneering and highly influential article with special reference to thematic syntax. See also Blume, "Fortspinnung und Entwicklung" (Item no. 63).

66. Keller, Hermann. Phrasing and Articulation. Translated by Leigh Gerdine. New York: W.W. Norton, 1965.

Articulation as slurs and dots. See pp. 65-102 for a discussion of J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.

67. LaRue, Jan. "Significant and Coincidental Resemblance between Classical Themes," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 14, No. 2 (Summer 1961), 224-34.

Evaluating similarities of Classical themes. A reply to Item no. 4.

68. LaRue, Jan. "The Gniezo Symphony Not by Haydn." Festskrift Jens Peter Larsen, pp. 255-60. Edited by Nils Schiørring, Henrik Glahn, and Carsten E. Hatting. Copenhagen: Wilhelm Hansen Musik-Forlag, 1972.

Phrase lengths and their varied and exact repetitions as stylistic indicators.

69. Smith, F.J. "Mozart Revisited, K. 550: The Problem of the Survival of Baroque Figures in the Classical Era," The Music Review Vol. 31, No. 3 (August 1970), 201-14.

Includes a bibliographic survey.



70. Aldrich, Putnam. "'Rhythmic' Harmony as Taught by Johann Philipp Kirnberger," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: A Tribute to Karl Geiringer on His Seventieth Birthday, pp. 37-52. Edited by H.C. Robbins Landon in collaboration with Roger E. Chapman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

"Rhythmic harmony . . . refers to the quality of movement or rest transmitted through individual harmonies or progressions."

71. Davis, Shelley. "Harmonic Rhythm in Mozart's Sonata Form," The Music Review Vol. 27, No. 1 (February 1966), 25-43.

Presents a methodology for dealing with harmonic rhythm as well as an explication of thematic function and harmonic rhythmic action. See also LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, pp. 57-59 and 63-65 (Item no. 30).

72. LaRue, Jan. "Harmonic Rhythm in the Beethoven Symphonies," The Music Review Vol. 18, No. 1 (February 1957), 8-20.

The first article to demonstrate the importance of harmonic rhythm as a significant structural entity in the Classic style.

73. Ratner, Leonard G. "Key Definition—A Structural Issue in Beethoven's Music," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 23, No. 3 (Fall 1970), 472-83.

A perceptive essay, the ramifications of which are applicable to the Classic style in general.

74. Somfai, László. "A Bold Enharmonic Modulatory Model in Joseph Haydn's String Quartets," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: A Tribute to Karl Geiringer on His Seventieth Birthday, pp. 370-381. Edited by H.C. Robbins Landon in collaboration with Roger E. Chapman. London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

An exemplary approach to the slow movement of the E-flat quartet from Opus 76.



75. Fuller, David. "Accompanied Keyboard Music," Musical Quarterly Vol. 60, No. 2 (April 1974), 222-45.

A worthy sequel to Newman, "Concerning the Accompanied Clavier Sonata" (Item no. 76).

76. Newman, William S. "Concerning the Accompanied Clavier Sonata," Musical Quarterly Vol. 33, No. 3 (July 1947), 327-49.

The seminal essay on this topic. For a sequel see Fuller, "Accompanied Keyboard Music" (Item no. 75).

77. Newman, William S. "The Duo Texture of Mozart's K. 526: An Essay in Classic Instrumental Style," Essays in Musicology in Honor of Dragan Plamenac on his 70th Birthday, pp. 191-206. Edited by Gustav Reese and Robert J. Snow. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969.

"The term 'texture' itself introduces a broad, many-faceted concept, and one, this time, that is capable of several distinctly different subviews."




78. Cobin, Marian W. "Aspects of Stylistic Evolution in Two Mozart Concertos: K. 271 and K. 482," The Music Review Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 1970), 1-20.

Deals with the "broadening of structural dimension" and the "resultant opportunities . . . for increased dimension of contrasts."

79. Grave, Floyd Kersey. The Process of Articulation in Mozart's Piano Concertos. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1973.

Articulation is used here to indicate not slurs and staccatos but methods of structural delineation. See also Grave's "On Punctuation and Continuity in Mozart's Piano Concertos." The Piano Quarterly Vol. 24, No. 95 (Fall 1977), 20-25.

80. Moe, Orin. "The Implied Model in Classical Music," Current Musicology Vol. 23 (1977), 46-55.

Normative processes and departures from them in Classic music.

81. Ratner, Leonard. "Ars Combinatoria: Chance and Choice in Eighteenth-Century Music," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: A Tribute to Karl Geiringer on His Seventieth Birthday, pp. 343-63. Edited by H.C. Robbins Landon in collaboration with Roger E. Chapman. London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Citations from many theorists and composers concerning this important compositional resource.

82. Ratner, Leonard. "Harmonic Aspects of Classic Form," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 2, No. 3 (Fall 1949), 159-68.

A seminal article on the nature of Classic form derived from Ratner's 1947 University of California (Berkeley), Ph.D. dissertation. Contains bibliography of relevant theoretical treatises.

83. Tobel, Rudolf von. Die Formenwelt der klassischen Instrumentalmusik. Bern: Paul Haupt, 1935.

Remains the most comprehensive treatment of Classic structure.

84. Westphal, Kurt. Der Begriff der musikalischen Form in der Wiener Klassik. Leipzig: Kistner and Siegel, 1935.

A pioneering study in opposition to Hugo Riemann's textbook approach to form. Compares Baroque and Classic style.



85. Somfai, László. "Vom Barock zur Klassik." Jahrbuch für Österreichische Kulturgeschichte Vol. 2 (1972), 64-72. (Joseph Haydn und seine Zeit).

Transitional cyclic structures in Haydn's instrumental music.


Phrase Growth

86. Ratner, Leonard G. "Eighteenth-Century Theories of Musical Period Structure," Musical Quarterly Vol. 42, No. 4 (October 1956), 439-54.

Theories by Marpurg, Sulzer, Mattheson, Koch, Portmann, Kirnberger, Daube, Castellux, Walther, Hiller, and Riepel.

87. Schwartz, Judith Leah. Phrase Morphology in the Early Classic Symphony (ca. 1720-ca. 1765). Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1973.

Hypothesizes that the history of phrase structure in the eighteenth century provides an important source of insight into the history of structural enlargement in the Classic style.

88. Wolf, Eugene K. The Symphonies of Johann Stamitz: Authenticity, Chronology, and Style. 3 vols. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1972.

See p. 287 for a theoretical construct of modular phrase expansion.


Lied Form

89. Bartha, Dénes. "Liedform-Probleme." Festskrift Jens Peter Larsen, pp. 317-37. Edited by Nils Schiørring, Henrik Glahn, and Carsten E. Hatting. Copenhagen: Wilhelm Hansen Musik-Forlag, 1972.

A parallel to Larsen's "Sonatenform-Probleme" with emphasis on Bartha's theory of stanza structure.


Rondo Form

90. Cole, Malcolm S. "Rondos, Proper and Improper," Music and Letters Vol. 51, No. 4 (October 1970), 388-99.

"Improper" as termed by Kollmann for rondos with key/refrain schemes different from the norm. This article and the following by Cole derive from or are outgrowths of his 1964 Princeton Ph.D. dissertation.

91. Cole, Malcolm S. "Sonata-Rondo, the Formulation of a Theoretical Concept in the 18th and 19th Centuries," Musical Quarterly Vol. 55, No. 2 (April 1969), 180-92.

Provides a model of the sonata-rondo, as well as early descriptions of the rondo and sonata-rondo by Grassineau, Busby, Mattheson, Koch, Reicha, Czerny, and others.

92. Cole, Malcolm S. "The Vogue of the Instrumental Rondo in the Late 18th Century," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 22, No. 3 (Fall 1969), 425-55.

Theoretical discussions of rondo form and character from Forkel, Vogler, Reichardt, Cramer, Rousseau, and others.


Sonata Form

93. Churgin, Bathia. "Francesco Galeazzi's Description (1796) of Sonata Form," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer 1968), 181-99.

Translation of and commentary on this historically significant description.

94. Heimes, Klaus Ferdinand. "The Ternary Sonata Principle Before 1742," Acta Musicologica Vol. 45, No. 2 (July-December 1973), 222-48.

"Sonata-form" before Emanuel Bach's "Prussian" Sonatas.

95. Hill, George R. The Concert Symphonies of Florian Leopold Gassmann. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1975.

See p. 161ff. for a discussion of the "bi-focal recapitulation" and the problem of the recapitulatory downbeat in general.

96. Larsen, Jens Peter. "Sonatenform-Probleme." Festschrift Friedrich Blume zum 70. Geburtstag, pp. 221-30. Edited by Anna Amalie Abert and Wilhelm Pfannkuch. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1963.

Textbook sonata form versus eighteenth-century practice.

97. Longyear, Rey M. "Binary Variants of Early Classic Sonata Form," Journal of Music Theory Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter 1969), 162-85.

"The purely binary movement, comprised of two complementary if not always equal sections, has received less attention."

98. Longyear, Rey M. "The Minor Mode in Eighteenth-Century Sonata Form," Journal of Music Theory Vol. 15, Nos. 1-2 (1971), 182-229.

"Limited to those specific areas wherein the minor form diverges from the major: first-theme groups, transitions, the second half of the exposition, and recapitulations, with brief mention of the sonata form and the instrumental cycle as wholes."

99. Newman, William S. "About Carl Czerny's Opus 600 and the 'First' Description of Sonata Form," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 20, No. 3 (Fall 1967), 513-15.

Concerns an earlier dating of this description. See also Piero Weiss's addendum (Item no. 105).

100. Newman, William S. "Kirnberger's Method for Tossing Off Sonatas," Musical Quarterly Vol. 47, No. 4 (October 1961), 517-25.

Translation and commentary.

101. Newman, William S. "The Recognition of Sonata Form by Theorists of the 18th and 19th Centuries," Papers of the American Musicological Society (1941), pp. 21-29.

Discussion of descriptions or lack thereof by Czerny,Walther, Mattheson, Scheibe, Quantz, Marpurg, Rousseau, Kirnberger, Türk, Koch, Choron, and Marx.

102. Ritzel, Fred. Die Entwicklung der "Sonatenform" im musiktheoretischen Schrifttum des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. 2nd ed. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1969.

The most comprehensive treatment of the subject.

103. Schenker, Heinrich. "Organic Structure in Sonata Form," translated by Orin Grossman, Journal of Music Theory Vol. 12, No. 2 (1968), 164-83.

"The organic structure . . . is determined solely by the invention of the parts out of the unity of the primary harmony." Originally published in Das Meisterwerk in der Musik Vol. 2 (1926), 45-54.

104. Vinton, John. "The Development Section in Early Viennese Symphonies: A Re-evaluation," The Music Review Vol. 24, No. 1 (February 1963), 13-22.

105. Weiss, Piero. "Communications," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer 1968), 233-34.

Reicha's description of sonata form from 1814 is reprinted with commentary.

106. Wolf, Eugene K. "The Recapitulations in Haydn's London Symphonies," Musical Quarterly Vol. 52, No. 1 (January 1966), 71-89.

Comparison of exposition and recapitulation from a functional standpoint.



107. Simon, Edwin J. "The Double Exposition in the Classic Concerto," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer 1957),111-18.

A basic study derived from Simon's 1954 University of California (Berkeley) Ph.D. dissertation.

108. Stevens, Jane R. "An 18th-Century Description of Concerto First-Movement Form," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring 1971), 85-96.

Koch's description is translated and discussed.

109. Stevens, Jane R. "Theme, Harmony, and Texture in Classic-Romantic Descriptions of Concerto First-Movement Form," Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring 1974), 25-60.

Descriptions by Quantz, Kirnberger, Koch, Vogler, Kollmann, Galeazzi, and others.



110. Kirkendale, Warren. Fuge und Fugato in der Kammermusik des Rokoko und der Klassik. Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1966. Revised and expanded second edition translated from the German. Durham: Duke University Press, 1979.

Provides an analytical framework for further studies of the fugue.

111. Mann, Alfred. The Study of Fugue. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1958.

Fugal theories of Fux, Marpurg, Albrechtsberger, and Giambattista Martini.



112. Sisman, Elaine R. Haydn's Variations. Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1978.

The first chapter presents the only theoretical study of variation in the 18th century.

1See Claude V. Palisca, The Beginnings of Baroque Music: Its Roots in Sixteenth-Century Theory and Polemics (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1954).

2For the earliest of these citations, see William P. Robinson, Conceptions of Mozart in German Criticism and Biography, 1791-1828: Changing Images of a Musical Genius (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1974).

3See Heartz's paper in item 22 of the bibliography.

4See Hans Engel's article, item 4 of the bibliography.

5Hugo Riemann, "Die Mannheimer Schule," in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Bayern 4 (1904), ix-xxx; Guido Adler, "Vorwort" to "Weiner Instrumentalmusik im 18. Jahrhundert I," in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich 31 (1908), ix-xiii; Fausto Torrefranca, Le Origini italiane del romanticismo musicale (Torino: Fratelli Bocca, 1930); and Vladimir Helfert, "Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Sonatenform," Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 7 (1925), 117-46.

6All further bibliographic references for the first portion of the article can be found under the appropriate topics in the bibliography.

7The analytical symbols are from Jan LaRue's Guidelines for Style Analysis, item 30 of the bibliography, pp. 153-72.

8See Klaus Heimes's article, item 94 of the bibliography, p. 225.

9Indeed this may be the most difficult obstacle to defining style change in eighteenth-century music.

10See R.M. Longyear's article, item 48 of the bibliography.

11The end of the exposition of this work in particular provides a strong argument that the repetitions must be performed in music from this period.

12It is interesting to note the regular decrease in the length of these sections.

13See LaRue, item 30 of the bibliography, pp. 119-20.

14As translated in Newman, item 12 of the bibliography, p. 34, from Vogler's Betrachtungen der Mannheimer Tonschule (Mannheim: 1778-1781), II, 62.

20705 Last modified on October 25, 2018