The viola is a string instrument, bowed or played with varying techniques. It is larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound. Since the 18th century, it has been the middle or alto voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello; the strings from low to high are tuned to C3, G3, D4, A4. In the past, the viola varied in style, as did its names; the word viola originates from Italian. The Italians used the term: "viola da braccio" meaning literally:'of the arm'. "Brazzo" was another Italian word for the viola. The French had their own names: cinquiesme was a small viola, haute contre was a large viola, taile was a tenor. Today, the French use the term alto, a reference to its range; the viola was popular in the heyday of five-part harmony, up until the eighteenth century, taking three lines of the harmony and playing the melody line. Music for the viola differs from most other instruments in that it uses the alto clef; when viola music has substantial sections in a higher register, it switches to the treble clef to make it easier to read.
The viola plays the "inner voices" in string quartets and symphonic writing, it is more than the first violin to play accompaniment parts. The viola plays a major, soloistic role in orchestral music. Examples include the symphonic poem Don Quixote by Richard Strauss and the symphony Harold en Italie by Hector Berlioz. In the earlier part of the 20th century, more composers began to write for the viola, encouraged by the emergence of specialized soloists such as Lionel Tertis and William Primrose. English composers Arthur Bliss, York Bowen, Benjamin Dale, Frank Bridge, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams all wrote substantial chamber and concert works. Many of these pieces were written for Lionel Tertis. William Walton, Bohuslav Martinů, Toru Takemitsu, Tibor Serly, Alfred Schnittke, Béla Bartók have written well-known viola concertos. Paul Hindemith, a violist, wrote a substantial amount of music for viola, including the concerto Der Schwanendreher; the concerti by Paul Hindemith, Béla Bartók, William Walton are considered the "big three" of viola repertoire.
The viola is similar in construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between 25 mm and 100 mm longer than the body of a full-size violin, with an average length of 41 cm. Small violas made for children start at 30 cm, equivalent to a half-size violin. For a child who needs a smaller size, a fractional-sized violin is strung with the strings of a viola. Unlike the violin, the viola does not have a standard full size; the body of a viola would need to measure about 51 cm long to match the acoustics of a violin, making it impractical to play in the same manner as the violin. For centuries, viola makers have experimented with the size and shape of the viola adjusting proportions or shape to make a lighter instrument with shorter string lengths, but with a large enough sound box to retain the viola sound. Prior to the eighteenth century, violas had no uniform size. Large violas were designed to play the lower register viola lines or second viola in five part harmony depending on instrumentation.
A smaller viola, nearer the size of the violin, was called an alto viola. It was more suited to higher register writing, as in the viola 1 parts, as their sound was richer in the upper register, its size was not as conducive to a full tone in the lower register. Several experiments have intended to increase the size of the viola to improve its sound. Hermann Ritter's viola alta, which measured about 48 cm, was intended for use in Wagner's operas; the Tertis model viola, which has wider bouts and deeper ribs to promote a better tone, is another "nonstandard" shape that allows the player to use a larger instrument. Many experiments with the acoustics of a viola increasing the size of the body, have resulted in a much deeper tone, making it resemble the tone of a cello. Since many composers wrote for a traditional-sized viola in orchestral music, changes in the tone of a viola can have unintended consequences upon the balance in ensembles. One of the most notable makers of violas of the twentieth century was Englishman A. E. Smith, whose violas are sought after and valued.
Many of his violas remain in Australia, his country of residence, where during some decades the violists of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra had a dozen of them in their section. More recent innovations have addressed the ergonomic problems associated with playing the viola by making it shorter and lighter, while finding ways to keep the traditional sound; these include the Otto Erdesz "cutaway" viola, which has one shoulder cut out to make shifting easier. Other experiments that deal with the "ergonomics vs. sound" problem have appeared. The American composer Harry Partch fitted a viola with a cello neck to allow the use of his 43-tone scale. Luthiers have created five-stringed violas, which allow a greater playing range. A person who plays the viola is called a violist or a viola
A piano trio is a group of piano and two other instruments a violin and a cello, or a piece of music written for such a group. It is one of the most common forms found in classical chamber music; the term can refer to a group of musicians who play this repertoire together. Works titled; this was in the three movement form, though some of Haydn's have two movements. Mozart, in five late works, is credited with transforming the accompanied keyboard sonata, in which the optional cello doubles the bass of the keyboard left hand, into the balanced trio which has since been a central form of chamber music. With the early 19th century Beethoven, this genre was felt to be more appropriate to cast in the four movement form. Piano trios that are set in the Sonata tradition share the general concerns of such works for their era, are reflective directly of symphonic practice with individual movements laid out according to the composer's understanding of the sonata form. In the Classical period, home music-making made the piano trio a popular genre for arrangements of other works.
For example, Beethoven transcribed his first two symphonies for piano trio. Thus a large number of works exist for the arrangement of piano and violoncello which are not titled or numbered as piano trios, but which are nonetheless part of the overall genre; these include single movements as well as sets of variations such as Beethoven's Variations on'Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu' Op. 121a and Variations in E flat major Op. 44. After the classical era, works for piano and two instruments continue to be written which are not presented as in the sonata tradition, or are arrangements of other works. Many of these individual works are popular on concert programs, for example Suk's Elegie. For individual articles treating works for piano trio, see Category:Compositions for piano trio; the piano trios of the Classical era, notably those of Haydn, are dominated by the piano part. The violin plays the melody only a certain amount of the time, when it does, is doubled by the piano; the cello part is much subordinated just doubling the bass line in the piano.
It is thought that this practice was quite intentional on Haydn's part and was related to the sonority of the instruments of Haydn's day: the piano was weak and "tinkling" in tone, benefited from the tonal strengthening of other instruments. Mozart's five late trios are felt to mark the assured arrival of the form, attentive to balanced voices and three-part dialogue. Beethoven's trios continued the compositional objectives inaugurated by Mozart; the new idea of equality was never implemented completely. By the mid nineteenth century, all three instruments had been modified to have a powerful sound, each can hold its own in a modern ensemble; the earlier trios are now performed and recorded using authentic instruments, of the kind for which they were written. Such performances restore the sonic balance the composer would have expected, have proven popular; some rather rare combinations of instruments have nonetheless inspired a few outstanding works. Haydn wrote three trios for flute and piano, a combination for which Carl Maria von Weber wrote one work.
Beethoven wrote his Trio in G major, WoO 37 for flute and piano. Mikhail Glinka wrote his Trio pathétique in D minor for Clarinet and Piano, although is performed with a Violin or Cello substituting the Clarinet or the Bassoon, respectively. Francis Poulenc's Trio for oboe and piano op. 43. The Horn-violin-piano trio is exemplified by Brahms' Trio Op. 40 in E flat and György Ligeti's 1982 Trio for Violin and Piano. Trios with clarinet include masterpieces such as Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio and works by Beethoven and Bartók. Ignaz Lachner wrote all of his six piano trios for violin and piano; the jazz trio formation of saxophone and percussion has been taken up as an alternative "piano trio" in the field of contemporary classical music by Trio Accanto who since 1994 have commissioned more than 100 works for this combination. Several other trios have been formed to perform this repertoire. Among the best known of such groups are or have been: Altenberg Trio Maria Baptist Trio Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, consisting of Eugene Istomin, Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose.
One consisting of Alfred Cortot, Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals, earlier in the 20th century The Spivakovsky Trio, consisting of Jascha Spivakovsky, Tossy Spivakovsky and Edmnd Kurtz, earlier in the 20th century The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson trio The Beaux Arts Trio, whose commitment to using the same players in every concert pioneered a new generation of committed groups.
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Alexander Zemlinsky or Alexander von Zemlinsky was an Austrian composer and teacher. Zemlinsky was born in Vienna to a diverse family. Zemlinsky's grandfather, Anton Semlinski, emigrated from Žilina, Hungary to Austria and married an Austrian woman. Both were from staunchly Roman Catholic families, Alexander's father, was raised as a Catholic. Alexander's mother was born in Sarajevo to a Bosnian Muslim mother. Alexander's entire family converted to the religion of his maternal grandfather and Zemlinsky was born and raised Jewish, his father added an aristocratic "von" to his name, though neither he nor his forebears were ennobled. He began spelling his surname "Zemlinszky.". He was a freemasonAlexander studied the piano from a young age, he played the organ in his synagogue on holidays, was admitted to the Vienna Conservatory in 1884. He studied piano with Anton Door, winning the school's piano prize in 1890, he continued his studies until 1892, studying theory with Robert Fuchs and composition with Johann Nepomuk Fuchs and Anton Bruckner.
At this time he began writing music. In Johannes Brahms, Zemlinsky had a valuable supporter. In 1893, on the invitation of Zemlinsky's teacher Johann Nepomuk Fuchs, Brahms attended a performance of Zemlinsky's Symphony in D minor. Soon after that, Brahms attended a performance of one of Zemlinky's quartets by the Hellmesberger Quartet. Brahms, impressed with Zemlinsky's music, recommended the younger composer's Clarinet Trio to the N. Simrock company for publication. Zemlinsky met Arnold Schoenberg when the latter joined the amateur orchestra Polyhymnia as a cellist; the two became close friends and mutual admirers and brothers-in-law when Schoenberg married Zemlinsky's sister, Mathilde. Zemlinsky gave Schoenberg lessons in counterpoint, thus becoming the only formal music teacher Schoenberg would have. In 1897 Zemlinsky's Symphony No. 2 was a success. His reputation as a composer was further helped when Gustav Mahler conducted the premiere of his opera Es war einmal at the Hofoper in 1900. In 1899 Zemlinsky secured the post of Kapellmeister at Vienna's Carltheater.
In 1899, Zemlinsky converted to Protestantism. He alluded to the Christian cross and to Jesus in the text of Turnwächterlied, included verses from Psalms in several of his compositions. In 1900, Zemlinsky fell in love with Alma Schindler, one of his composition students, she reciprocated his feelings initially. They were concerned with Zemlinsky's lack of an international reputation and by an unappealing physical appearance, she broke off the relationship with Zemlinsky and subsequently married composer Gustav Mahler in 1902. Zemlinsky married Ida Guttmann in 1907. Following Ida's death in 1929, Zemlinsky married Luise Sachsel in 1930, a woman twenty-nine years his junior, to whom he had given singing lessons since 1914; this was a much happier relationship, lasting until Zemlinsky's death. In 1906 Zemlinsky was appointed first Kapellmeister of the new Vienna Volksoper, from 1907/1908 at the Hofoper in Vienna. From 1911 to 1927, he was conductor at Deutsches Landestheater in Prague, premiering Schoenberg's Erwartung in 1924.
Zemlinsky moved to Berlin, where he taught and worked under Otto Klemperer as a conductor at the Kroll Opera. With the rise of the Nazi Party, he fled to Vienna in 1933, where he held no official post, instead concentrating on composing and making the occasional appearance as guest conductor. In 1938 he settled in New York City. Although fellow émigré Schoenberg was celebrated and feted in the Los Angeles of the 1930s and 40s – teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California and gaining a new generation of acolytes – Zemlinsky was neglected and unknown in his adopted country, he fell ill, suffering a series of strokes, ceased composing. Zemlinsky died in New York of pneumonia. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, a seven-movement piece for soprano and orchestra, set to poems by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde; the work in turn influenced Alban Berg's Lyric Suite, which quotes from it and is dedicated to Zemlinsky.
Other orchestral works include the large-scale symphonic poem Die Seejungfrau, based on the tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. It premiered in 1905 at the same concert as Schoenberg's Pelleas und Melisande. Zemlinsky withdrew the work, thought lost until a copy was discovered in the 1980s, it was performed again in 1984 in Vienna and has become one of Zemlinsky's most performed scores. A three-movement Sinfonietta written in 1934, admired by Schoenberg and Berg, is written in a style comparable to contemporary works by Paul Hindemith and Kurt Weill. Among his other works are eight operas, including Eine florentinische Tragödie and the semi-autobiographical Der Zwerg, both based on works by Oscar Wilde, he composed three psalm settings for chorus and orchestra and numerous song cycles, both with piano and with orchestra, of which the Sechs Gesänge, Op. 13, to texts by Maurice M
Five Pieces for Orchestra
The Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16, were composed by Arnold Schoenberg in 1909. The titles of the pieces, reluctantly added by the composer after the work's completion upon the request of his publisher, are as follows: The Five Pieces further develop the notion of "total chromaticism" that Schoenberg introduced in his Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11 and were composed during a time of intense personal and artistic crisis for the composer, this being reflected in the tensions and, at times, extreme violence of the score, mirroring the expressionist movement of the time, in particular its preoccupation with the subconscious and burgeoning madness. The work had its world premiere in London at a Promenade Concert on 3 September 1912, conducted by Henry Wood. At Wood's suggestion, Schoenberg's British pupil and friend Edward Clark invited the composer to make his British conducting debut with this work at the Queen's Hall, on 17 January 1914 he conducted it at the same venue; this was attended by Gustav Holst, who obtained a copy of the score, the only Schoenberg score he owned.
Echoes of the work appear in The Planets, in the opening of his ballet The Lure, which resembles the third of Schoenberg's Five Pieces. The work exists in two different scorings: the original 1909 version for a large orchestra and the revised version of 1949 which reduces the size of the orchestra to more-or-less normal proportions, "giving up the contrabass clarinet, as well as the four-fold scoring of the other woodwinds and two of the six horns"; this version was published posthumously in 1952. According to Robert Erickson, "harmonic and melodic motion is curtailed, in order to focus attention on timbral and textural elements." Blair Johnston claims that this movement is titled "Chord-Colors", that Schoenberg "removes all traditional motivic associations" from this piece, that it is generated from a single harmony: C-G♯-B-E-A, found in a number of chromatically altered derivatives, is scored for "a kaleidoscopically rotating array of instrumental colors". Whether or not this was an early example of what Schoenberg called Klangfarbenmelodie is a matter of dispute.
One scholar holds that Schoenberg's "now-famous statements about'Klangfarbenmelodie' are, reflections, which have no direct connection to the Orchestra Piece op. 16, no. 3". An attempt to refute this view was published in the same journal issue. Schoenberg explains in a note added to the 1949 revision of the score, "The conductor need not try to polish sounds which seem unbalanced, but watch that every instrumentalist plays the prescribed dynamic, according to the nature of his instrument. There are no motives in this piece which have to be brought to the fore". Two piano arrangement by Anton Webern, performed by James Winn and Cameron Grant, Albany Records CD TROY992, UPC 034061099222 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, James Levine conducting, Deutsche Grammophon 419781 Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Kubelik conducting, Mercury Living Presence 434397 Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim conducting, Teldec 98256 Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnányi conducting, Decca 436240 London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti conducting, Mercury Living Presence 432006 London Symphony Orchestra, Robert Craft conducting, Naxos 8557524 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly conducting, Decca 436467 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Eduard Van Beinum conducting, Andante 4060 Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen conducting, Orfeo D'or 274921 Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hans Zender conducting, Cpo 999481 Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks, Michael Gielen conducting, Wergo WER 60185-50 BBC Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez conducting, Sony 48463 Doflein, Erich.
"Schönbergs Opus 16 Nr. 3: der Mythos der Klangfarbenmelodie". Melos 36: 203–205.^ p. 204. Doflein, Erich. "Schönbergs Opus 16 Nr. 3: Geschichte einer Uberschrift". Melos 36: 209–12.^ p. 211. Erickson, Robert. Sound Structures in Music. University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1975. ISBN 0-520-02376-5 ^ p. 37. Förtig, Peter. "Arnold Schönberg über Klangfarbe". Melos 36: 206–209. Johnston, Blair. "Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16". Allmusic.com.^ Mäckelmann, Michael. Arnold Schönberg: Fünf Orchesterstücke op. 16. W. Fink, Munich, 1987. ISBN 3-7705-2415-2 Neighbour, O. W. "Schoenberg, Arnold." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by John Tyrrell. Macmillan, London, 2001.^ Rufer, Josef. "Noch einmal Schönbergs Opus 16". Melos 36: 366–68.^ Schoenberg, Arnold. Five Orchestra Pieces, Opus 16, score. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York, 1999. ISBN 0-486-40642-3 ^ p. 29. Schoenberg, Arnold. Style and Idea. University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1984. ISBN 0-520-05294-3 Burkhart, Charles. "Schoenberg's Farben: An Analysis of op.
16, no. 3". Perspectives of New Music 12: 141–72. Craft, Robert. "Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra". In Perspectives on Schoenberg and Stravinsky, revised edition, edited by Benjamin Boretz and Edward T. Cone, 3–24. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1972. Forte, Allen; the Structure of Atonal Music. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1973. Rahn, John. "Analysis Two: Schoenberg's Five Peces for Orchestra: Farben, op. 16 no. 3". In his Basic Atonal Theory, 59–73. New York and London: Longman, 1980. ISBN 0-582-28117-2. Five Pieces for Orchestra at Schoenberg.org Five Pieces for Orchestra: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology, it has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures. Ballet has been taught in various schools around the world, which have incorporated their own cultures and as a result, the art has evolved in a number of distinct ways. See glossary of ballet. A ballet, a work, consists of the music for a ballet production. Ballets are performed by trained ballet dancers. Traditional classical ballets are performed with classical music accompaniment and use elaborate costumes and staging, whereas modern ballets, such as the neoclassical works of American choreographer George Balanchine are performed in simple costumes and without the use of elaborate sets or scenery.
Ballet is a French word which had its origin in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo which comes from Latin ballo, meaning "to dance", which in turn comes from the Greek "βαλλίζω", "to dance, to jump about". The word came into English usage from the French around 1630. Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the sixteenth centuries. Under Catherine de' Medici's influence as Queen, it spread to France, where it developed further; the dancers in these early court ballets were noble amateurs. Ornamented costumes were meant to impress viewers, but they restricted performers' freedom of movement; the ballets were performed in large chambers with viewers on three sides. The implementation of the proscenium arch from 1618 on distanced performers from audience members, who could better view and appreciate the technical feats of the professional dancers in the productions. French court ballet reached its height under the reign of King Louis XIV. Louis founded the Académie Royale de Danse in 1661 to establish standards and certify dance instructors.
In 1672, Louis XIV made Jean-Baptiste Lully the director of the Académie Royale de Musique from which the first professional ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet, arose. Pierre Beauchamp served as Lully's ballet-master. Together their partnership would drastically influence the development of ballet, as evidenced by the credit given to them for the creation of the five major positions of the feet. By 1681, the first "ballerinas" took the stage following years of training at the Académie. Ballet started to decline in France after 1830, but it continued to develop in Denmark and Russia; the arrival in Europe of the Ballets Russes led by Sergei Diaghilev on the eve of the First World War revived interest in the ballet and started the modern era. In the twentieth century, ballet had a wide influence on other dance genres, Also in the twentieth century, ballet took a turn dividing it from classical ballet to the introduction of modern dance, leading to modernist movements in several countries. Famous dancers of the twentieth century include Anna Pavlova, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Margot Fonteyn, Rosella Hightower, Maria Tall Chief, Erik Bruhn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell, Gelsey Kirkland, Natalia Makarova, Arthur Mitchell.
Stylistic variations and subgenres have evolved over time. Early, classical variations are associated with geographic origin. Examples of this are Russian ballet, French ballet, Italian ballet. Variations, such as contemporary ballet and neoclassical ballet, incorporate both classical ballet and non-traditional technique and movement; the most known and performed ballet style is late Romantic ballet. Classical ballet is based on vocabulary. Different styles have emerged in different countries, such as French ballet, Italian ballet, English ballet, Russian ballet. Several of the classical ballet styles are associated with specific training methods named after their creators; the Royal Academy of Dance method is a ballet technique and training system, founded by a diverse group of ballet dancers. They merged their respective dance methods to create a new style of ballet, unique to the organization and is recognized internationally as the English style of ballet; some examples of classical ballet productions are: the Nutcracker.
Romantic ballet was an artistic movement of classical ballet and several productions remain in the classical repertoire today. The Romantic era was marked by the emergence of pointe work, the dominance of female dancers, longer, flowy tutus that attempt to exemplify softness and a delicate aura; this movement occurred during the early to mid-nineteenth century and featured themes that emphasized intense emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. The plots of many romantic ballets revolved around spirit women who enslaved the hearts and senses of mortal men; the 1827 ballet La Sylphide is considered to be the first, the 1870 ballet Coppélia is considered to be the last. Famous ballet dancers of the Romantic era include Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Jules Perrot. Jules Perrot is known for his choreography that of Giselle considered to be the most celebrated romantic ballet. Neoclassical ballet is abstract, with no clear plot, costumes or scenery. Music choice can be diverse and will include music, neoclassical.
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body, it is highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are unused; the violin has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, is most played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can be played by plucking the strings with the fingers and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow. Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres, they are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles and as solo instruments and in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. Further, the violin has come to be played in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music.
The name fiddle is used regardless of the type of music played on it. The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola. Violinists and collectors prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The parts of a violin are made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an bowmaker; the word "violin" was first used in English in the 1570s. The word "violin" comes from "Italian violino, diminutive of viola"; the term "viola" comes from the expression for "tenor violin" in 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, Medieval Latin vitula" as a term which means "stringed instrument," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy... or from related Latin verb vitulari, "to exult, be joyful." The related term "Viola da gamba" means "bass viol" is from Italian "a viola for the leg"." A violin is the "modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio." The violin is called a fiddle, either when used in a folk music context, or in Classical music scenes, as an informal nickname for the instrument. The word "fiddle" was first used in English in the late 14th century.
The word "fiddle" comes from "fedele, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle,", related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel, "a fiddle. As to the origin of the word "fiddle", the "...usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula." The earliest stringed instruments were plucked. Two-stringed, bowed instruments, played upright and strung and bowed with horsehair, may have originated in the nomadic equestrian cultures of Central Asia, in forms resembling the modern-day Mongolian Morin huur and the Kazakh Kobyz. Similar and variant types were disseminated along East-West trading routes from Asia into the Middle East, the Byzantine Empire; the direct ancestor of all European bowed instruments is the Arabic rebab, which developed into the Byzantine lyra by the 9th century and the European rebec. The first makers of violins borrowed from various developments of the Byzantine lyra.
These included the lira da braccio. The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-century northern Italy; the earliest pictures of violins, albeit with three strings, are seen in northern Italy around 1530, at around the same time as the words "violino" and "vyollon" are seen in Italian and French documents. One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, is from the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time, the violin had begun to spread throughout Europe; the violin proved popular, both among street musicians and the nobility. One of these "noble" instruments, the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin; the finest Renaissance carved and decorated violin in the world is the Gasparo da Salò owned by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and from 1841, by the Norwegian virtuoso Ole Bull, who used it for forty years and thousands of concerts, for i
Chamber music is a form of classical music, composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music, performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part. However, by convention, it does not include solo instrument performances; because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as "the music of friends". For more than 100 years, chamber music was played by amateur musicians in their homes, today, when chamber music performance has migrated from the home to the concert hall, many musicians and professional, still play chamber music for their own pleasure. Playing chamber music requires special skills, both musical and social, that differ from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music as "four rational people conversing"; this conversational paradigm–which refers to the way one instrument introduces a melody or motif and other instruments subsequently "respond" with a similar motif–has been a thread woven through the history of chamber music composition from the end of the 18th century to the present.
The analogy to conversation recurs in analyses of chamber music compositions. From its earliest beginnings in the Medieval period to the present, chamber music has been a reflection of the changes in the technology and the society that produced it. During the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, instruments were used as accompaniment for singers. String players would play along with the melody line sung by the singer. There were purely instrumental ensembles of stringed precursors of the violin family, called consorts; some analysts consider the origin of classical instrumental ensembles to be the sonata da camera and the sonata da chiesa. These were compositions for one to five or more instruments; the sonata da camera was a suite of fast movements, interspersed with dance tunes. These forms developed into the trio sonata of the Baroque – two treble instruments and a bass instrument with a keyboard or other chording instrument filling in the harmony. Both the bass instrument and the chordal instrument would play the basso continuo part.
During the Baroque period, chamber music as a genre was not defined. Works could be played on any variety of instruments, in orchestral or chamber ensembles; the Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach, for example, can be played on a keyboard instrument or by a string quartet or a string orchestra. The instrumentation of trio sonatas was often flexibly specified. Sometimes composers mixed movements for chamber ensembles with orchestral movements. Telemann's'Tafelmusik', for example, has five sets of movements for various combinations of instruments, ending with a full orchestral section. Baroque chamber music was contrapuntal; because each instrument was playing the same melodies, all the instruments were equal. In the trio sonata, there is no ascendent or solo instrument, but all three instruments share equal importance; the harmonic role played by the keyboard or other chording instrument was subsidiary, the keyboard part was not written out. In the second half of the 18th century, tastes began to change: many composers preferred a new, lighter Galant style, with "thinner texture... and defined melody and bass" to the complexities of counterpoint.
Now a new custom arose. Patrons invited street musicians to play evening concerts below the balconies of their homes, their friends and their lovers. Patrons and musicians commissioned composers to write suitable suites of dances and tunes, for groups of two to five or six players; these works were called serenades, divertimenti, or cassations. The young Joseph Haydn was commissioned to write several of these. Joseph Haydn is credited with creating the modern form of chamber music as we know it. In 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, numerous string trios and wind ensembles, Haydn established the conversational style of composition and the overall form, to dominate the world of chamber music for the next two centuries. An example of the conversational mode of composition is Haydn's string quartet Op. 20, No. 4 in D major. In the first movement, after a statement of the main theme by all the instruments, the first violin breaks into a triplet figure, supported by the second violin and cello; the cello answers with its own triplet figure the viola, while the other instruments play a secondary theme against this movement.
Unlike counterpoint, where each part plays the same melodic role as the others, here each instrument contributes its own character, its own comment on the music as it develops. Haydn settled on an overall form for his chamber music compositions, which would become the standard, with slight varia