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AND DIFFERENT GENRES OF MUSIC

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Chamber Classical Music
Intimate Music with Depth

What is chamber music? Why do composers write for this genre? What exactly is a hotdog made out of? Important questions… intelligent questions. Now here are the answers.

Chamber music was originally a term categorizing music that did not belong in a large concert hall, theatre or church. The term has now taken on a different meaning in that it includes music of all combinations of instruments except:

• orchestral music;

choral music;

• a solo instrument with accompaniment.

Excluding solo instruments with accompaniment is a little confusing considering duet sonatas (for example, a sonata for violin and piano) are included in the chamber music category. The difference is that these types of sonatas give equally important rolls to both instruments involved in the composition, as opposed to a solo work with a simple accompaniment.

Other combinations of chamber music include:

• trios;

• quartets;

• quintets;

• sextets;

• octets.

Why do composers write for these combinations of instruments? Once again, economics play a roll, as it is easier on the pocket book to hire fewer musicians. Chamber concerts involve less hiring than orchestral, choral or theatrical productions. Aesthetically, different flavours can be achieved with different combinations of instruments. Few informed musicians would argue that the string quartet is one of the most intimate and expressive genres in the history of music. One needs look no further than some of the late works of Beethoven to see the in-depth, forward-thinking music that is possible with this instrumental combination.

From a marketing standpoint, a good piece of chamber music, once accepted as a standard piece in a group’s repertoire, gets a lot of repeat performances. Repeat performances are a dream come true for any composer.

On a final note, variety makes life interesting. Although there have been great composers that have written mainly for one instrument (Chopin, for example), the majority of composers find it fun delving into different instrumental combinations. One tends to meet more musicians that way and make more contacts, which is important socially and professionally.

By the way, going back to one of the questions in paragraph one, I don’t know what ingredients go into a hotdog. Even when a package includes ingredients, I don’t really understand what I’m reading. I guess a good hotdog and good melody have something in common. When they’re good, you don’t really care all that much about the ingredients.





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Piano Music | Chamber Classical Music | Inspirational Orchestral Music | Classical Composers | Name That Music | Free Composition and Piano Lessons | Piano Music Notes | Learn Music Theory | Finale Music Writing Software | Composing Music to Films | Writing Classical Score | List of Instruments | Music Sound Recording Studios | Multitrack Recording Process | Music Mixing Advice