More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
The World of the String Quartet
Mia Chung, Curtis Institute of Music
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The History of the String Quartet
Notes taken on July 9, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
the history of the string quartet
how did it come to be
the term needs to be defined precisely to answer the question
development was as long one
hard to identify a starting point
although string quartets as defined were being performed in the 18th century, the term "string quartet" was not fully in use until the 19th century
the term is muddied by its close relationship to other kinds of writing
orchestral writing in the middle of the 18th century
two violins
one viola
one cello
often performed in a chamber music like setting
music for four voices began as early as the end of the 12th century
writing for four human voices, not string instruments
Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652)
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Baroque composer
sonatas for four instruments
two violins
one viola
one cello
removed the harpsichord and replaced it with the viola
for 1715-1725 this was revolutionary
this can be said to be the beginning of the string quartet
first half of 18th century, the harpsichord was omnipresent in chamber music
Georg Philipp Telemann
Baroque Trio Sonata
standard musical approach of the time
two soloists, usually two violins
third party: basso continuo
two parts:
1. harpsichord
forerunner of Fortepiano
instrument for which Haydn, Mozart, and the early Beethoven wrote their piano music
which is forerunner of modern day piano
created harmonic filler and was used to fortify the base alongside the cello
2. low range string instrument like he cello
Scarlatti's contribution was to include the viola as instrument in place of the harpsichord, the cello itself could hold down the base line, thus instigating the string quartet
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
he was a prolific string composer
especially for the string quartet
wrote 68 quartets
commonly views as the "Father of the String Quartet"
was asked by a baron to compose a piece that could be performed by four friends of music
was only 18 at the time
accepted in the invitation
some suggest that it was later
between 25-30 or 1757-1762