Western Art Music

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Western Art Music has a long history that dates way back in the medieval times, which was the beginning of lots of music, which has survived. The Baroque period saw the rise of musical genres that maintain a hold for the musical composition in the future, yet the classical period came with the development of the modern concerto, sonata, symphony, quartet, and trio. The classical era is defined by the near obsession that holds with structural clarity. Classical music is shown by many composers like Schobert and Honnauer, Gluck, Boccherini, Carl Emmanuel among others. Just like any other classical artists, Mozart made tremendous contributions to the development of classical music, especially, with the use of C minor and D minor to some of his music like Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute.

Based on the two operas, Don Giovanni and Magic Flute by Mozart, the following research paper seeks to compare the two songs highlighting some of the contributions each of the song made to the development of classical music. Don Giovanni featured in the National Theatre in Prague in October 1787 with the subject of the opera being Don Juan, the drag to hell and the notorious libertine odd fiction by Mozart.The composition was not entirely understood during his time but became among the greatest operas for many years. Mozart revised the opera in Vienna and performed it in May 1788, the change added a comic scene and substituted the simpler aria for Don Octavio in the second Act. It is notable that Mozart matches the musical keys according to the adjectives, which portrays the women’s petite with the short notes.

The Magic Flute by Mozart, on the other hand, narrates a young prince who puts up the trial all by himself by a fraternal priesthood who needs truth and love Giovanni uses musical touches with alternative verses so as to blend harmony and the music is a reflection of the emotional unity. The character of Papa Geno in the song Der Vogel anger in Magic Flute seeks the earthly desires like wine, food and the female friendship. The success of Magic Flute was significant in the life of Mozart since it marked his financial stability until his death.

Amadeus Mozart (January 1756- December 1791) was recognized as one of the greatest composers of classical music in the history of western music. Mozart with Haydn and Beethoven brought classical music to its heights in the achievement of the Viennese Classical School.Unlike other musical composers, Amadeus Mozart wrote all the musical genres of his day and excelled in all. Amadeus Mozart taste, command of form, as well as his range of expression, made him the most universal of all the musical composers.

Brief History and Analysis of Don Giovanni by Mozart

This opera was an example of comic opera, which was popular during the Enlightenment. The middle-class audience loved this opera since it was entertaining. The song centers on the dubious adventures of the legendary nobleman Don Giovanni, who traveled through Spain seducing women. Wealth and power protected Don Giovanni from facing the consequences of his deeds, but one day he committed murder that led to his downfall. Don and Donna are not personal names as depicted in the song, but they are aristocratic titles that correspond to Lord and Lady.

Analysis of Don Giovanni

The words in the opera follow the popularly sung comedies known as the opera buffa. However, the story of Giovanni was too stark and did not fit in the comic opera. The overture of the instrumental composition Giovanni uses a typical pattern. The thunderous opening chords in the D minor, show the slow section which the audience expects to hear the serious work even if it gives lots of surprises. The music creeps and is brought to a halt by the thrust of the harmonies, with the melody left in pieces. The little patterns rise and build with energy, but later drops down with intensity. The music then shifts to an energetic mood as if sneaking through a window and develops a cheerful theme in D major.

The overture at this point is similar to many overtures like those in Mozart’s day. The contrasting middle section is referred to as the “the development,” the themes at this point are reworked and varied. There is a form of suspense that then leads to the final part of “the Recapitulation” which reveals the theme of Exposition. We fast meet the guy Giovanni, who sets off to seduce a noble lady. As the act ends, Giovanni kills the father of the woman, which is not humorous There are lovely moments, but the opera is dark. The shocking scenes in the opera occur when the stone statue is laid on the tomb of the slain father; an action that Giovanni cheers. The statue is well known in the western drama. He mocks Don and within no time moves to Giovanni’s house for supper. Giovanni, however, likes this proposal and the statue appears later that night and is confronted with a choice to either repent or die. He rejects the redemption and opts to go to hell

Mozart was aware the opera needed to have a happy ending, but in this opera, it ends with a feeling of shaky upbeat. The thunderous chords of the overture foretell the whole occurrence of events. The chords are heard in the spooky scene as the statue gets into Giovanni’s house, calling out his name and summoning him to account. The rising themes from the slow introduction of the overture also return, and tightens like steel coins, when Giovanni refuses to repent and, thus, goes to hell. Giovanni is one of the key works in the development of classical music in the current world. Besides, it contributed to the development of the German Romanticism in the 19th century. The sweet melodies, engagement of the characters and the dynamic ensemble of the composition makes the opera admirable. Furthermore, it is well drawn into the darkness; therefore, it efficiently grips the modern audience.

Brief History and Analysis of Magic Flute by Mozart

The opera focuses on the triumph of reason and virtue over evil and irrationality. Thus, the concept was vital in Freemasonry (a fraternal order that was prevalent during the enlightenment and Mozart was a member). It borrows symbolism from Masonic rituals in which the members developed through self-understanding for knowledge. The opera is set in Egypt and centers around Tamino who is a young prince that has a quest to win the hand of a princess named Pamina. To marry Pamina, the suitor had to undergo a series of rites that tests one’s dedication to reason The mood of the Magic Flute is solemn.

Analysis for Magic Flute

The opera Magic Flute by Mozart has a longstanding reputation and certainly has symbols at puzzling with a vague sinister. The plot of the opera appears scrambled with many productions seeking to make corrections to the measure the extreme. It has seemed to be fair game for any mutation so as to ensure the satisfaction of the audience. The music that Mozart wrote has remained constant and has been reordered so as to make the clarification for the story. The lore that surrounds the opera is associated with the rituals of Freemasonry, which has become difficult to get through to the original work. The macrostructure of the opera gives the essential understanding of Magic Flute. The plot works like a Hegelian dialectic, which is parallel to the musical process known as the sonata-allegro form, which is the general construct of the music.

The overture in the key for the E-flat is through the Pamina/ Papageno duet that is mid of the first act. It is dramatically the first theme group in the structure of the sonata-allegro and is dominated by the Queen of the night. The queen summons Prince Tamino to rescue him from Sarastro.  Subsequently, Tamino is given a magic flute that links him with the bird catcher, Papageno. The first Act ends when three boys guide Tamino into Sarastro realm. The opera at this point uses C major which functions as the contrasting key group in the structure of Sonata Allegro. The dominance of the Sarastro society uses a new dimension for introducing the plot that Sarastro is not evil, and Tamino will need to prove himself as worthy so as to rescue Pamina.

The second Act begins with the early trials of Tamino, Papageno, and Pamino for trying to force her to commit suicide. This is the development of part of the sonata-allegro structure, and the success of the number move away from the E-flat key and back. The attempt by Pamina to commit suicide is the recapitulation of the sonata-allegro. The primary key is the E flat major, which is parallel and the opera also concludes with E flat. The threads are tied, and every character reaches the final stage. The dialectic process underscores the change, and the structure replicates the alchemical process, more so the isolation, identification, purification and the union for gold and silver, as a procedure of achieving the philosopher’s stone The magic flute intends to affect the audience and the short statements for the moral lessons in the story which the middle and the lower class audience can understand. The opera points the way to the social and political reforms in Austria, during the ascend to the throne of a young ruler. It could also apply to the Roman Eempire, when the sister and the brother in law to the ruler in France were thrown out of power by revolution.

Comparison between Don Giovanni and Magic Flute

Both the songs are classified under classical operas and have been composed by the same artist and have the same mood. Both of these songs were composed during the Enlightenment times. Both of these songs were done using Minor keys.

Mozart together with librettist Emanuel Schickaneder came up with the “Magic Flute.” However, the Magic Flute differ from a more realist genre such as that of Da Ponte operas. The conventions of Singspiel prevail in Magic Flute, and the fairy-tale plot combined with the fantastic effects offer to promote an abstract vision of new social order.  Pragmatically, Mozart-Da Ponte operas point out on the changes in the social relations where the community based on hierarchical rules is replaced by a civilization that value personal choice and greater mobility. The changes might have suggested what was happening in the present or the happenings in the near-past or a near-future. Besides, it is notable that in the Mozart-Da Ponte operas the interactions of characters and plots are contingent.


In conclusion, it is evident that classical music has developed over the years and Mozart was an iconic composer. Just like other Mozart songs, Don Giovanni and Magic Flute was composed in the enlightenment period and has the following:

Composed by the same artist

Both the songs were done in solemn mood

Both of the song uses minor keys

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