Perspective 1.3 - Classical Characteristics

Assignment 1.3 - Classical Characteristics

Listen to Bassoon Concert in Bb, K. 191 (Movement III: Rondo) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Be prepared to answer questions about the following elements of music.

  • Dynamics
  • Rhythm (Tempo, Meter)
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Texture
  • Form

Please download and read the Elements of Music presentation, if you have not already done so.

Click to listen

Answer the following questions in complete sentences and paragraphs.

Question 1

What is the overall dynamic level (pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff) of the piece? Does it ever change? How? When? You can mention a time stamp (minutes/seconds), if that helps you.

Question 2

What Italian term would you use to describe the tempo of the piece? Hint - You can use a metronome if you are not sure.

Question 3

What do you think the meter is? Is it in 3/4, 2/4, 4/4 or something else? Try counting out loud to the song like this:

  • 2/4: 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, ...
  • 3/4: 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, ...
  • 4/4: 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, ...

Which one matches best with the song? Explain the different methods you tried. This may be difficult to do, but try your best.

Question 4

Describe the shape of the melody. Is it smooth, scale-like, jagged, etc.? Explain your answer with examples from the music.

Question 5

What is the key of this piece? Is it major or minor? Are the harmonies consonant or dissonant, in general?

Question 6

Do you think the texture is monophonic, homophonic, or polyphonic? Explain why you chose your answer.

Question 7

The form of this piece is a Rondo. Rondo form is a repetitive form where the main theme is repeated and alternated with other melodies. It can be either ABACA or ABACABA. The letters stand for each melodic segment or motive.

The A theme is heard in the first 26 seconds of the piece. It varies in length slightly when it is repeated later on, but it will be easy to hear when it is repeated.

YOUR TASK is to find out whether the Rondo is ABACA or ABACABA and identify with a time stamp (in minutes and seconds) where you hear the A theme. You may need to listen to the piece many times to find them all.

Complete the following chart. As you are listening, write down things that you hear in the "What do you hear" column. You can press pause on the recording to give yourself time to write things down.



What do you hear?