An extract from the second movment of Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 “The Clock”

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) was an Austrian composer from the Classical period of music:

Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 in the key of D major is the ninth of his twelve London symphonies. It is popularly known as The Clock because of the “ticking” rhythm throughout the second movement which you can hear in today’s extract.

Compared to the Baroque period (see yesterday’s daily listening piece), orchestras in the Classical period were a little larger. The key features of music had changed too. Music from the Classical period tended to be mainly homophonic in texture. The phrasing was more balanced with question and answer phrases. Melodies were often clear and simple, and the dynamic ranges of the orchestra increased, with crescendos (becoming louder) and diminuendos (becoming softer) appearing.

Jane Werry | Musings of a music teacher

Listen out for:

  • The use of dynamic changes and a change to the minor key. At this point the brass and percussion sections play for the first time. When all instruments play together like this, it is called the tutti section
  • The regular beat – this movement has two beats to a bar
  • Constant tempo (speed)
  • The bassoons providing the ‘ticking’ rhythm and playing in a staccato style (short, detached notes)
Yamaha Bassoon YFG-812 II.tif
A bassoon

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