Bach’s Coffee Cantata

Do you love coffee? Have you had your coffee this morning? Do you know, in 1734, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a cantata about the temptation and power of coffee? You might know that Bach wrote a lot of sacred cantatas to be used in church services; his Leipzig years (1723-1750) were especially a prolific time for sacred cantatas. In Leipzig Bach was responsible for the musical training of the boys choir at Thomasschule and oversaw music at four main churches of Leipzig–the Thomaskirche, the Nikolaikirche, the Matthäeikirche (or Neukirche) and the Petrikirche. There he wrote five cycles of cantatas for … Read more

What is Sonata form?

In this article, I will talk about the origins, functions and structure of music in Sonata form. I will also dive into our musical analysis of Haydn’s renowned composition. If you have performed a piece of music by either Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven, then you have probably encountered a work in sonata form. Most first movements1 of the symphonies and concertos, as well as the chamber and solo instrumental works, by these composers are organized into sonata form. Typically, the tempo of these opening movements is fast, which is why it is sometimes referred to as sonata-allegro form. This type of … Read more

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? How about listening to classical music?

It’s almost New Year. Have you found your New Year’s resolution for 2015? Would you like to introduce classical music into your life? If you have always wanted to know more about classical music but felt overwhelmed by this seemingly difficult kind of music, here is a list of things you can try to make listening to classical music more fun. Bob Satterfield [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 1. Just relax and use your imagination. This applies to a lot of things, including listening to classical music. Even if you know nothing about classical music, try to let your imagination … Read more