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ABRSM Aural Style/Period examples

Read the description and listen to these extracts (about 5 mins per period).

Baroque - Bach, Scarlatti, Handel

Repeated patterns, sequences, often polyphonic, simple harmony, one volumne level (or sudden dynamic changes), lots of ornaments, small range. No sustain pedal used.


Classical - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven

Elegant, scales, arpeggios, usually lively and cheery, usually homophonic, lots of major keys, more dynamics than baroque, less ornaments but often trills, lots of tune emphasis, tiny bit of pedal used. 


Romantic - Chopin, Liszt, Brahms

Tunes are king, long, slow and rich. Mainly homophonic, thicker texture, chordal passages, flourishes, big dynamic changes, full range of piano, lots of use of sustain pedal.


20th Century - Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Bartok

Short fragments of tunes, sounds don’t relate to each other, often no sense of key, atonal, dissonant, odd rhythms, sudden dynamic changes, full range of piano used and often little pedal, dry, or can be used as an effect rather than to sustain harmonies. 



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