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Surprise and Emperor by Haydn

            During the 1700s, there were two kinds of people: people who were music enthusiasts and people who were more or less indifferent to it. During this era, the concert halls were more of a location for a social gathering and for conversation. For the people with wealth and are able to attend these musical events, "a concert was an opportunity to see and be seen, wish all the inevitable consequences for ostentatious finery and social intrigue." (McVeigh, pg.60) .
             Music was abundant and people would be exposed to music in the taverns, ballrooms, private apartments, palaces, etc. As a result, there were people who were particularly sincere in their love and interest of music, and these music enthusiasts spent their free time in composing music. For example, Vienna's small upper middle class generally played and composed music instead of paying professional musicians to play for them. (Rice, pg. 211) The Viennese who were music enthusiasts were more likely to be part of and to participate in string quartets. .
             The string quartets normally consisted of music lovers and consisted of 2 violins, a viola, and a cello. These instrument players were usually unskilled amateur musicians and there were normally two to three attentive people actually listening. These musicians often played in private and for leisure. "The players were tolerable; not one of them excelled on the instrument he played, but there was a little science among them, which I dare say will be acknowledged when I name them: The First ViolinHAYDN." (Rice, pg. 211).
             Haydn was one of these music enthusiasts and he wrote many quartets with the expectation that his pieces would be played and executed by professional musicians. This passion and enthusiasm was the basis and subsequently led to Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76, no. 3 ("Emperor") piece. The song itself sounds like it has fewer musicians and instruments playing and has fewer embellishments compared to a symphony since it is a string quartet piece.

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