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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
What's a Rondo?


Rondo is an Italian word that means round. A rondo is an instrumental form with a refrain that keeps coming back. Unlike the verses of a song, though, the music in a rondo changes between each repetition of the refrain.

Music heard in this episode:
Mozart: Turkish Rondo from Piano Sonata in A, K. 331
Traditional: Yankee Doodle
Haydn: Symphony No. 61 (Last movement)

Other shows about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
The Magic Flute
About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart's Operas
Janissary Music
Child Prodigy Composers

Download this month's activity sheet



About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1/27/1756 - 12/5/1791
Born in Austria

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, where his father Leopold was a violinist and composer. Wolfgang (or Wolferl, as his family called him) was a child prodigy. He composed his first piece of music at age five; he had his first piece published when he was seven; and he wrote his first opera when he was twelve. By the time Wolfgang was 6, he was an excellent pianist and violinist. He and his sister Maria Anna (known as Nannerl) traveled all over Europe performing for royalty.

When he grew up, Mozart moved to Vienna, and tried to earn a living as a pianist and composer. But he had a lot of trouble handling the fact that he was no longer a child prodigy. Mozart was still a musical genius, but after he stopped being a cute kid, people stopped making a big fuss over him. Back then, musicians were treated like servants, but Mozart did not, and could not think of himself as a servant.

Mozart was only 35 when he died. During his short life, he composed in all different musical forms, including operas, symphonies, concertos, masses, and chamber music. Today, he is still considered a genius!

See other composers born in Austria

 

This Week's Quiz:

1. A rondo is a piece with a refrain or chorus that keeps coming back.

True

False


2.A rondo always starts with the rondo melody.

True

False


3. In a rondo, different tunes alternate with the rondo melody

True

False



 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Turkish Rondo" from Piano Sonata in A, K. 331


Composed in 1783
Performed by
Jeno Jando, piano

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