Symphony

Symphony 

The symphony was one of the most important and popular large-scale genres invented during the Classical era. It continued to develop throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and up to the present day.


The word 'symphony' itself is derived from the Italian for 'sounding together'. This is appropriate given the formation of the Classical orchestra sounding together its complete four families of instruments. Early examples of symphonies can be traced to the Italian three-section sinfonias for strings and continuo. These were arranged in a fast-slow-fast structure. This idea of tempo contrast translated to the early Classical symphony of three movements, although as the period progressed another movement, the minuet and trio (a Baroque dance form), was placed between the second and third movements, making four in total.


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