Development of Melody

  • Created by: lilac123
  • Created on: 26-03-21 09:40


- melody became more lyrical and expressive in the Romantic period

(idée fixe, monothematicism and development of orchestra, allowing various instruments to hold the melody)

-trace the development of melody from  Stamitz No.2 to Tchaikovsky Symphony Pathétique 

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Early Classical period

-melody usually hears in the strings as woowind and brass were not developed enough to hold a melody of the same quality like a violin

*Stamitz's Symphony No.2 (1750)-melody is dominated by the strings

*in the second movement there are independent lines in the woodwind and the strings are reduced to an accompanying role

*contrasts to Vivaldi's Symphony in G minor (1729) with violin melody

*Stamitz innovation in melody- Mannheim Court- provided with large orchestra-opportunity to experiment

-Haydn's Symphony No.31 (1765)

*example of melody developing- in the French horn

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Mature Classical period

-Haydn achieves melodic variation through his use of monothematicism

*first movment of Symphony No.104 (1795)

-Haydn creates contrast between the 1st subject and 2nd subject of exposition through modulation as the 2nd subject is in A major rather than tonic of D major

-Haydn's use of periodic 4 bar phrasing- made melody easy to follow

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-Symphony No.3 (1804): comprised of simple diatonoic themes 

-Symphony No.9 (1823) which is increasingly complex with  the increase in orchestral resource, aggressiver woodwind and brass, representing a shriek of pain

*inclusion of the choir singing the Ode to Joy melody

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Early Romantic period

-variation and development in melody (express ideas and tell a story)

-Mendelssohn Italian Symphony (1833)

*first subject of mvt 1 is lyrical and energetic

*melodies are balanced, punctuated with cadences (similar to Classical period)

*Mendlessohn includes a 3rd subject at bar 225 (goes against the traditional sonata form)

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Late Romantic period

-increasingly focused on creating greater contrast within the symphonic form

extended to contrast between melodic themes themselves

-Liszt Les Preludes (1854): melodic motif is presented with different rhythms, textures and tonalities to portray different points in a story

-Berlioz uses an idée fixe in his Symphonie Fantastique (1830) and transforms the melody by its' context, rhythm and orchestra

*2nd movement is heard as a waltz, whereas the 5th movement uses a Eb clarinet playing the melody (more distorted version)

-Rise in virtuosity and melodies became more chromatic for means of exprression

Tchaikovsky Symphonie Pathetique: long expressive theme in the Adagio section

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-expansion of orchestra

-rise in virtuosic melodies

-greater melodic contrast to tell a story


-composers moved at a greater pace during the Romantic period

-expressivre and contrasting melodies would help to engage audiences more (rise in conert sizes)

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