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5.6: Chapter Summary

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  • As we have seen, around the 75 years that span the musical compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were rife with innovations in musical genre, style, and form. In many ways, they shaped music for the next 200 years. Compos- ers continued to write symphonies and string quartets, using forms such as the sonata, theme, and variations. A large portion of late eighteenth and early nine- teenth-century society continued playing music in the home and going to theaters for opera and to concerts at which orchestral compositions such as concertos and symphonies were performed. Although that live performance culture may not be as prevalent at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we might ask why it was so important for Western music culture for so long. We also might ask if any of its elements inform our music of today.

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