The evolution of the classical symphony began in the late 17th century. The symphony was thought to have been one of the greatest contributions in the classical period. According to Roger Kaimen's, Music An Appreciation, " A symphony is an extended, ambitious composition typically lasting between 20 to 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded range of tone color and dynamics of the classical orchestra" (Kaimen 215). Typically, a symphony consists of four movements; a fast movement, slow movement, dance-related movement, and fast movement again. Also symphonies may contain a theme and variation-a musical idea repeated over and over- and a countermelody. Many great composers of symphonies include Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. Such elegance and grace has been constructed throughout time to create wondrous extended works for orchestras. .
The four movements contained in a symphony " evoke a wide range of emotions through contrasts of tempo and mood" (Kaimen 215). The first movement is always a fast and dramatic one. In the second "slow" movement, song-like melodies appear. Also it usually isn't in tonic key, which is the central key of the music. The third movement is a dance like one, most of the time being a minuet or scherzo. They provide the piece with a moderate or fairly quick tempo. Last the fourth movement returns to a fast tempo. These are more lively than the first, and present a heroic sense of character to the piece. Each of the movements are one in itself and do no repeat most of the time. Although there are always exceptions, which include Beethoven's fifth and ninth symphonies. However, the significance of the symphony lasted through the 20th century. .
The beginning of the evolution of symphonies began by an Italian man named Alessandro Scarlatti. He formed an Italian overture in the late 17th century. This overture consisted of three sections: one fast, the second slower in tempo, and the third fast again.