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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

BIOGRAPHY

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 - 5 December 1791) was an influential composer of the Classical Era. He was born in Salzburg, Austria and was soon a child prodigy.

Mozart was composing works by the age of five, and was performing for royalty on keyboard and violin from age seven. When Mozart was 17 years old, he was a musician for the Salzburg court. Mozart has composed more than 600 works that are recognized as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MOZART’S MUSIC

Ornaments: trills, grace notes, and turns

Alberti Bass: a type of accompaniment made of broken up three note chords

Light passages, especially in piano works. This is because the modern piano is much louder than what Mozart would have played on.

SUGGESTED LISTENING

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SCORE READING

Below is the beginning of the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major. See if you can find the Alberti Bass and ornamentation typical of Mozart’s style.