- Musical skills are acquired through study and practice.
- Musical talent is inherited.
- Musical aptitude is not musical talent or a musical skill .
- Acquiring musical skills requires aptitude not musical talent. Therefore, a lack of aptitude can be offset with more practice and study.
- Musical talent requires an equal measure of musical skill in order to be fully realized, regardless of the level of aptitude.
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Free Music History Lessons
Franz Joseph Haydn
Sometimes referred to as the father of the symphony, Haydns symphonies chart new directions and help prepare the way for the future of the symphony.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732- 1809) is sometimes referred to as the father of the symphony, and the circumstances of his life had far reaching consequences for its development. Haydn spent most of his life in the employment of one of the wealthiest and most powerful noble families in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Esterhazys, where Haydn complained of being "cut off" from contemporary musical influences and "forced to be original", yet the constant stream of distinguished artists and occasional trips to Vienna kept him current with the latest developments in the world of music. Although there are some 150 false symphonies attributed to him, his list of authenticated compositions credit him with 108. Haydns style is based on the Austrian model, but even his earliest symphonies display an imagination above that of his contemporaries. His symphonies can be divided into several periods from the early Esterhazy years to the London Symphonies. Haydns symphonies chart new directions and help prepare the way for the future of the symphony.
Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria near the Hungarian border and in 1761 was taken into the service of Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy where he spent nearly thirty years as a conductor of a devoted and highly skilled group of musicians, and under a patron with understanding and enthusiasm. The circumstances of his employ allowed Haydn try new things, he could omit or substitute and thereupon improve, to experiment and to observe the effect so as to strengthen or weaken that effect.
Some of the early symphonies of Haydn are based on the Italian opera overture with three movements: an Allegro, followed by an Andante in the key of the subdominant or the parallel minor, followed by a rapid 3/8 or 6/8 guigelike movement. Other early symphonies such as nos. 21 and 22 use four movements in the same key, usually in the following order: Andante- Allegro- Minuet- Presto in a manner similar to the earlier Baroque sonata de chiesa. However, in Symphony no.3 in G major written before 1762, Haydn employed the classic division of four movements: I. Allegro; II. Andante moderato; III. Minuet and Trio; IV Allegro. In the Minuet-and-Trio, found in almost every classical symphony, Haydn expresses a wealth of musical ideas, with harmonicm invention. The Minuet is always in a binary form and the Trio is usually binary in the same key or in the parallel minor key, and with lighter orchestration. A three part form is achieved with the return da capo to the Minuet.
In symphonies nos. 6, 7 and 8, of which the semi-programmatic titles; Morning, Noon, and Evening were given, Haydn fuses old and new elements. An opening tutti that returns several times, a concerto like ritornello and a concertino section that was used to feature some of the exceptional soloists in the Esterhazy orchestra, were all components of the concerto grosso of the Baroque period.
The symphonies of 1771-1774 are all on a larger scale with broad themes, bold unison passages followed immediately with contrasting themes, and contain the type of emotion expressed in the literary movement known as Sturm und Drang. Haydns use of crescendos, sforzati, and the dramatic changes in dynamics characterize the music of this period.
Haydn enters into a new period with the symphonies from 1774-1788. His craftsmanship emerges most strikingly in symphonies nos. 54 and 57. Both are in minor keys and demonstrate a smooth and assured exploitation of orchestral techniques. In symphony no. 77, Haydn first uses the sonata-rondo form for the finale. In the six Paris Symphonies melodies are expressed in a complex yet unified structure incorporating many ingenious musical resources, demonstrating the pinnacle of Haydns symphonic achievements. The finales of Symphonies no. 82-92 make great use of contrapuntal techniques in order to balance the weight of the other three movements.
The twelve London Symphonies were composed at the invitation of Salomon for audiences of cosmopolitan London. In them Haydn poured over forty years of experience, bringing all the elements into a larger, grander scale with more intense rhythmic, harmonic, and orchestrative concepts. The awareness of the musical tastes and expectations of the London audiences allowed Haydn to surprise the audience with a sudden fortissimo crash on a weak beat in order to startle the audience and take their minds off the concerts of his rival. Other devices include the use of "Turkish" instruments, the trumpet fanfare in the Military Symphony, and the use of characteristic folklike melodies that show a desire to appeal to an audience of music lovers as well as music experts. In the London Symphonies, Haydn use trumpets independently, rather than simply doubling the horn parts as in previous symphonies. The woodwinds too are treated more independently, and solo strings are featured against the full orchestra.
The London Symphonies and other works of the same period contain another important factor; an harmonic imagination. Haydn gives them a dramatic suspenseful quality that prepares the listener for the following Allegro movement. The Minuets are allegro symphonic movements in Minuet-Trio pattern, in effect Scherzos. The favored form for the finales is sonata-rondo, replacing the sonata-allegro form with its two themes.
The innovations demonstrated in the symphonies of Haydn, had far reaching consequences for their development. In the employ of one of the wealthiest and most powerful noble families in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Esterhazys, where Haydn complained of being "cut off:" from contemporary musical influences and "forced to be original", but the constant stream of distinguished artists and occasional trips to Vienna kept him current with the latest developments in the world of music. Haydns style is based on the Austrian model, but even his earliest symphonies display an imagination above that of his contemporaries. There are 108 authenticated symphonies credited to him. His symphonies, along with his string quartets, are his finest achievement in this field. Haydns symphonies chart new directions and help prepare the way for the future of the symphony.