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Hans Saramandif

Module code: MUST 1003Y(1)/I.D Number: 1613281

Lecturer: R.Firmin

Classical Era

Patronage played an important role in the Classical Era. How

did Patronage affect the music of Haydn and Mozart?

Music historians usually or traditionally date the Classical era in

music from 1750 to 1810 or 1820.
The Classical era in music occurred at a particular time in history
called the Age of Enlightenment. This was the time of intellectual,
political, social and scientific developments.
The Enlightenment valued individual faith and practical morality
over the church, preferred naturalness to artificiality, and promoted
universal education and a growing social equality 1
Some important composers of the classical era were Haydn and
Mozart .
During the classical era, many changes took place in compositions
as well as performances.
Some characteristics of classical pieces were: Balance, order, clarity,
of melodic line, short clear-cut phrases, lighter musical texture ,
Alberti bass, broken chords.
Some Examples are:
(A) Adagio from sonata in C minor- Mozart
(B) Menuetto from sonata in E Major- Haydn
In these piano pieces of the classical period we can hear light
chords, Alberti bass combined with broken chords in the
accompaniment with graceful melody in right hand. Ornaments,
thrills/mordent, often decorate melodies.
Franz Joseph Haydn ( 1732-1809), born in Rohrau, Lower Austria
and trained as a choirboy at St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna, spent
most of his career
( from 1761 ) in the service of the Esterhzys, a family of wealthy
princes with castles in Eisenstaedt, near Vienna, and later also at
Esterhazy, now Hungary.
The Esterhazys family maintained an opera company, a marionette
theater, a chapel, and an orchestra, for which Haydn conducted
performances, composed new music as required, trained the
musicians, and took care of the instruments.
Haydns works : Over hundred symphonies, concertos for various
instruments, string quartets, piano trios, keyboard works, including
some 49 sonatas and other vocal music

1 A history of Western music 9th edition Chapter 20/ Pg463. Musical

taste and style in the enlightenment.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart( 1756-1791) was born in Salzburg,
Austria, the son of Leopold Mozart, a noted violinist-composer
attached to the chapel of the Archbishop of Salzburg. At the tender
age of three, Mozart was already learning to play violin from his
mentor and teacher, his father Leopold Mozart.
Mozart began composing at the age of six and had the ability to
reproduce complete works after hearing them only once.
Mozart served at archbishops court in Salzburg for a while, but
resigned in 1781 while on a court visit to Vienna, remaining there to
establish himself as an independent musician.
Despite his early death, his oeuvre comprises more than six
hundred compositions, including scared music, operas, lyrical
dramas and other stage works, ballet music, concert arias, songs
and canons, dances, symphonies, divertimenti, serenades and
chamber music for widely different ensembles, concerti and

During the classical era, musicians and composers such as Mozart

and Haydn worked under the patronage system.
This was a system where musicians and composers were at the
service of very rich and noble people and had to compose music for
their patrons for each and every occasion.
There were advantages and disadvantages to the patronage system.
Some advantages were working and financial stability, free house,
free food and opportunity to do music everyday having the best
instruments and good musicians.
Some disadvantages were no opportunity for composers like Haydn
and Mozart to express their musical talent freely. They had to
compose any music their patrons wanted.
Music had to be composed for audiences by taking into
consideration rules and conventions define in contracts by patrons.

When listening to Haydns different music compositions it can be

noted that patrons have really influenced him, but in a challenging
way. Even though there were all sorts of rules and conventions;
Haydn was using his creativity and talent at his best to compose.
Not only the patrons were satisfied with the final work but Haydn
Haydn has been called the father of the symphony, not because
he invented the genre but because his symphonies set the pattern
for latter composers.3
Haydns mature style was unique. He composed in a way so as to
please the patrons, listeners and his musicians.
An example of Haydns mature style is the theme for the rondo-form
finale of his Strings Quartet in Eb Major. Op.33 No.2 The Joke4

2 Harper Collins College outline/Introduction to music

3 History of Western music 9th edition/Symphonic form
4 History of Western music 9th edition/Haydns style
Some interesting features of this wonderful piece played by a string
quartet are:
Adagio phrases starts at forte, some passages used piano (P) and
some use of frequent staccato creating pieces light and playful,
chromaticism, and melodic dissonance, use of acciaccaturas, and
finally four bar silence at Bar 166 of the piece making it very
surprising at the end.

Mozart the music prodigy in comparison to Haydn, also worked

under patrons but was also a freelance musician and composer. He
was very talented and was able to compose music by ear. He was
more interested in working for himself than others. Due to financial
problems Mozart was forced to work with patrons so as to have
financial support.
One of his patrons, Gottfried Van Sweiton had influenced Mozart
Handel and Bach were Sweitons favourite composers therefore
often Mozart was given the job of transcribing fugues and other
Mozart was given the opportunity to study different forms of music
as well as contrapuntal technique.
An example of Mozart composition is the fugue of the unfinished in
C major, which in some parts seems to be the same as Allemande
and Bachs G minor English suite.
Compared to Haydn, Mozart took the decision in working for himself

In conclusion, expectations of patrons and audiences has made a

big change in the life of musicians such as Haydn and Mozart
making them composing music of different style and character for
the patrons and for the audience.
Even sometimes it was very hard and demanding for composers to
create melodies for others, they received the opportunity of growing
musically and sharing their passion to others.