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Notes on video lecture:
The History of the String Quartet
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
prolific, Allegri, base, sonatas, orchestral, 1762, long, beginning, filler, muddied, 18, harpsichord, Telemann, defined, Baroque, piano, Father, continuo, string, 19th, string, chamber, friends, 12th, starting, Fortepiano
the history of the              quartet
how did it come to be
the term needs to be                precisely to answer the question
development was as          one
hard to identify a                  point
although string quartets as defined were being performed in the 18th century, the term "string quartet" was not fully in use until the          century
the term is                by its close relationship to other kinds of writing
                     writing in the middle of the 18th century
two violins
one viola
one cello
often performed in a                music like setting
music for four voices began as early as the end of the          century
writing for four human voices, not string instruments
Gregorio                (1582-1652)
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
               for four instruments
two violins
one viola
one cello
removed the                        and replaced it with the viola
for 1715-1725 this was revolutionary
this can be said to be the                    of the string quartet
first half of 18th century, the harpsichord was omnipresent in chamber music
Georg Philipp                 
Baroque Trio Sonata
standard musical approach of the time
two soloists, usually two violins
third party: basso                 
two parts:
1. harpsichord
forerunner of                     
instrument for which Haydn, Mozart, and the early Beethoven wrote their piano music
which is forerunner of modern day           
created harmonic              and was used to fortify the base alongside the cello
2. low range              instrument like he cello
Scarlatti's contribution was to include the viola as instrument in place of the harpsichord, the cello itself could hold down the          line, thus instigating the string quartet
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
he was a                  string composer
especially for the string quartet
wrote 68 quartets
commonly views as the "             of the String Quartet"
was asked by a baron to compose a piece that could be performed by four                of music
was only      at the time
accepted in the invitation
some suggest that it was later
between 25-30 or 1757-        


######################### (1660-1725)
Italian Baroque composer, famous for his operas and chamber cantatas, and considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera
  • it is said that modern opera begins with Scarlatti and the history of modern music commences with the Neapolitan school, insofar as that music speaks the language of the feelings, emotions, and passions
  • in 1702 Scarlatti left Naples and did not return until the Spanish domination had been superseded by that of the Austrians
  • lived and composed in both Naples and Rome
  • Scarlatti's music forms an important link between the early Baroque Italian vocal styles of the 17th century, with their centers in Florence, Venice and Rome, and the classical school of the 18th century
  • he shows an almost modern understanding of the psychology of modulation (changing form one tonic to another) and also frequently makes use of the various phrase lengths
  • was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti

Ideas and Concepts:

Salisbury on Pérotin, 12th century music critique of 12th century polyphonic music (having two or more independent melody voices), via this morning's World of the String Quartet class: "When you hear the soft harmonies of the various singers, some taking high and others low parts, some singing in advance, some following in the rear, others with pauses and interludes, you would think yourself listening to a concert of sirens rather than men, and wonder at the powers of voices, whatever is most tuneful among birds, could not equal. Such is the facility of running up and down the scale, so wonderful the shortening or multiplying of notes, the repetition of the phrases, or their emphatic utterance:the treble and shrill notes are so mingled with tenor and bass, that the ears lose their power of judging. When this goes to excess it is more fitted to excite lust than devotion, but if it is kept in the limits of moderation, it drives away care from the soul and the solicitudes of life, confers joy and peace and exultation in God, and transports the soul to the society of angels."
On the significance of the viola, via this morning's World of the String Quartet class: "The standard musical approach of early 18th century chamber music was the Baroque Trio Sonata:two soloists, usually two violins, and a third party, basso continuo, which often consisted of two parts:(1) a low range string instrument such as the cello, and (2) the harpsichord (forerunner of the Fortepiano, in turn forerunner of modern day piano) which created harmonic filler and was used to fortify the base alongside the cello. One of Scarlatti's major contributions to 18th century music was to replace the harpsichord with the viola, allowing the cello to hold down the base line all by itself, and thus introducing to classical music what we know today as the string quartet."
From the things-you-may-not-have-known department, via this evening's World of the String Quartet class: "The German national anthem is a Haydn string quartet."
The History of the String Quartet