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Explain why you think this Classical music form may be satisfying for both 18th century and contemporary listeners Answer

The first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor is based on variations on a three-note motif. Explain why you think this Classical music form may be satisfying for both 18th century and contemporary listeners – and whether it was enjoyable for you.

Mozart was considered a child prodigy, performing throughout Europe. Cite your view on the notion of the child star and the impact of early success on a person who shows exceptional talent or genius. Explain whether you think Mozart’s struggle with sustained success in adulthood was a product of this phenomenon.

 

Upon listening to the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, I immediately recognized it. It is one of Mozart’s more famous pieces of music, and indeed one of the more famous pieces of music that has survived into the modern era. It is a piece I have heard often before, and I like it well. I can recall hearing this piece of music in advertisements for luxury cars and various other upscale items in television commercials. This piece of music, like so many pieces of music that linger in people’s memories, is a complex composition that is founded on a rather simple structure, in this case three notes. This elaboration on a foundation of simplicity has always been a theme of memorable pieces of music, and has endured to become one of the main tenets of contemporary music in our time. Today, composers and arrangers seek to find ways of tying their works to simple foundations, as time has proven that the human ear is drawn to such elements. Repetitions of simple sound patterns, even when covered with other elements, is a fundamentally attractive characteristic of music. Modern music relies on repeated structures in the bass instruments and in the rhythm instruments in order to provide the consistent foundation from which other instruments can take off and illustrate themselves. Whether modern vocal pieces, electronic music, rap and hip-hop, or even jazz, the fundamental facets of combining repeating patterns of simple sounds with creatively varying sounds from other sources which take off from and ultimately return to those same fundamental patterns form the basis for music which western civilization deems memorable and desirable.

Mozart was an 18th century exponent of a condition which has become considerably more frequent, as well as more tragic, in the ages since. More recent history has shown us that when humans become the center of large-scale attention and fame, along with all of the associated facets that come with those, they can find themselves developing into adults amidst a set of circumstances that are typically unhealthy and generally untenable over extended periods of time. Mozart produced and performed music which made him famous early in his life. This talent led him into fame and fortune at that early stage. That fame and fortune set a precedent for him, one which would prove impossible for him to exceed, or even maintain, in adulthood. Whether it was because he had a fixed amount of music in him to create, or because the sum of his experiences in childhood ultimately stunted his ability to evolve along the same trajectory into adulthood, the fact is that Mozart’s output as a composer and performer declined after his twenties. Certainly, outside factors contributed to this decline in popularity (i.e. wars in Eastern Europe shrank the amount of money available to his aristocratic patrons to spend on music), but this also reverberated in its effect on Mozart, as his loss of income ultimately fueled his growing depression, which in turn affected his ability to successfully create music. It must surely have weighed on Mozart in his adulthood to have been introduced and promoted as “the great” or “the prodigy”, since he knew that the accomplishments that had earned him those laurels had happened so long before. For so many who achieve stardom in childhood, it seems that the shadow cast by the greatness of their early life tends to leave their adulthood in a fairly bleak state. It would seem the same happened to Mozart.

Kemp, L. (2003, 10 11). Discovering Music – Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor (K.550). Retrieved 10 21, 2013, from Discovering Music – BBC Radio 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00blgrb

Tarantino, T. (2012). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony, no. 40 in G minor. Retrieved 10 21, 2013, from Todd Tarantino: http://toddtarantino.com/hum/symphony40.html

 

The first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor is based on variations on a three-note motif. Explain why you think this Classical music form may be satisfying for both 18th century and contemporary listeners – and whether it was enjoyable for you.

Mozart was considered a child prodigy, performing throughout Europe. Cite your view on the notion of the child star and the impact of early success on a person who shows exceptional talent or genius. Explain whether you think Mozart’s struggle with sustained success in adulthood was a product of this phenomenon.

I particularly liked the piece Allegro Molto performed by Mozart. I feel as though the piece had a modern tempo and composition. With that said I feel his success is partially due to his innovation and ability to think outside of the box. He was one of the first to fully incorporate a clarinet into an orchestra. Furthermore, his music was very different from the aesthetics of Roccos’ music. He was known to take advantage of different themes over time and seeks clarity and order while using different forms of melody. Mozart’s music was very clear, symmetrical, balanced and unified.

Mozart’s musical career started at a very early age. He wrote his first musical composition at the age of six. Hayden even told Mozart’s father that he was the best composer of his time. As Mozart got older he became depressed and went through some life struggles. Because of this it seemed as though he was not able to secure a job until later in life. The textbook states that he was forced to teach composition in order to have additional income. I believe that this could have been what proved to others that he did have skill as this would have led to his famous performances.

Sayre, H. M. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, Continuity and Change (Vol. 2). New York: Pearson Education. Retrieved October 7, 2013

The first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor was originally composed in 1788. Mozart composed this symphony to perform in England, however this never really happened. This symphony is one of Mozart’s most famous symphonies, although it is not clear whether Mozart actually ever performed it. The first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in G Minor was based upon the variations on a three-note motif. This first movement is really stands out as fast and full of enjoyful movement. This classical music form could be satisfying for both 18th century and contemporary listeners because this music is a combination of high pitch and louder sound. This piece of music has many instruments being played. The major and minor scale in the music relates to both happy and sad moments.

Mozart came from a musical family. His father was an accomplished violinist and minor composer and his older sister was a fine pianist with whom the young Mozart toured Europe. Mozart composed music from the age of five and embarked on a three and a half year tour of Europe. Mozart wrote his first successful opera at age fourteen, which led to further commissions. Mozart is usually credited with having written forty-one symphonies. To me, it sounds strange that Mozart had to struggle with sustained success in adulthood. He was a child prodigy in performing throughout Europe and he showed his excellent performance from childhood. In his adulthood, his masterpieces must have been liked by many and so we can say that his sustained success in his adulthood was a product of his childhood phenomenon but it would little exaggerated to say that he struggled in his adulthood.

 

References

John J. Riech.(2009). Culture and Values. Wadsworth Publications of Data.

Sayre, H. M. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, Continuity and Change (Vol. 2). New York: Pearson Education.