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Table of Contents
Course Pack, Fall 2014
Table of Contents
Course Outline.................................................................................................................................................... 6
Required Materials ........................................................................................................................ 6
Course Content and Schedule ........................................................................................................ 7
Basis of Student Assessment (Weighting) ...................................................................................... 8
Grading System ........................................................................................................................... 15
Recommended Materials ............................................................................................................ 16
....................................................................................................................................... 18
Module 2: Sound and Feeling ................................................................................................................... 19
Magic of the Film Score ......................................................................................................................... 19
Module 3: Elements of Music ................................................................................................................... 20
Listening, Hearing, Experiencing.......................................................................................................... 20
Building Blocks of Music ....................................................................................................................... 20
Most Familiar Modern Instruments ..................................................................................................... 22
A Brief History of Notation .................................................................................................................. 28
Module 4: Postmodernism ........................................................................................................................ 29
Matters of Organization: Serialism ...................................................................................................... 29
Matters of Organization: Aleatoricism ................................................................................................ 30
Matters of Organization: Minimalism ................................................................................................. 31
Matters of Timbre: Extended Technique ........................................................................................... 32
Matters of Timbre: Electronic Instruments ....................................................................................... 35
Matters of Location: Environmental Music ....................................................................................... 36
Module 5: Classical Antiquity ................................................................................................................... 39
Module 6: Early Christianity ..................................................................................................................... 40
Chant in Local Christian Communities................................................................................................ 40
Gregorian Unification............................................................................................................................. 41
Table of Contents
Course Pack, Fall 2014
Module 7: The Medieval Church .............................................................................................................. 42
Carolingian Organum ............................................................................................................................. 42
Romanesque Polyphony ......................................................................................................................... 43
Gothic Style .............................................................................................................................................. 43
Module 8: The Poetic Middle Ages.......................................................................................................... 44
Ars Antiqua ............................................................................................................................................... 44
Ars Nova .................................................................................................................................................... 46
Module 9: Ranaissance ............................................................................................................................... 48
Humanism and the Exaltation of (Wo)Man ....................................................................................... 48
Reformation and Counter-Reformation .............................................................................................. 50
Module 10: Baroque Rationalism ............................................................................................................. 53
The Common Practice Period ............................................................................................................... 53
Le Nuove Musiche....................................................................................................................................... 54
Instrumental Baroque ............................................................................................................................. 56
High Baroque ........................................................................................................................................... 58
Module 11: Rococo: Elegant and Sensitive ........................................................................................... 63
Module 12: Classical Enlightenment........................................................................................................ 64
Absolute Music ........................................................................................................................................ 64
Enlightenment Opera ............................................................................................................................. 67
Romanticism Threatens Classicism ...................................................................................................... 68
Module 13: Romanticism........................................................................................................................... 70
Classicism comes apart ........................................................................................................................... 71
Miniatures ................................................................................................................................................. 73
Virtuosi ..................................................................................................................................................... 76
Orchestra Tales ........................................................................................................................................ 77
Traditional Forms.................................................................................................................................... 81
Stories on Stage ....................................................................................................................................... 83
Emerging Nationalism in Many forms................................................................................................. 88
Table of Contents
Course Pack, Fall 2014
Module 14: Modernism.............................................................................................................................. 89
Opera ........................................................................................................................................................ 90
Dance ........................................................................................................................................................ 92
Silver Screen, Small Screen .................................................................................................................... 96
Impressionism.......................................................................................................................................... 97
Expressionism.......................................................................................................................................... 98
Neoclassicism........................................................................................................................................... 99
Post-Romanticism ................................................................................................................................. 101
Neo-Romanticism ................................................................................................................................. 104
Contemporary Voice for Modern Song ............................................................................................. 106
Broadway – West End .......................................................................................................................... 108
.......................................................................................................................................... 111
Study of Music............................................................................................................................................ 112
Western Classical Music on World Stage ............................................................................................... 113
Hidden Meanings ....................................................................................................................................... 120
Classification of Instruments ................................................................................................................... 126
Easing into Music Terminology............................................................................................................... 128
Performance Practice ................................................................................................................................ 130
Multimovement Works: Glossary ........................................................................................................... 133
Number Titles of Compositions ............................................................................................................. 138
On a Concert Program.............................................................................................................................. 140
Forms and Shapes in Music ..................................................................................................................... 142
Orchestral Instrumentation ...................................................................................................................... 146
Course Outline
Fall 2014
School of Arts & Science
Fall 2014
The course description is online @
Please note: the College electronically stores this outline for five (5) years only.
It is strongly recommended you keep a copy of this outline with your academic records.
You will need this outline for any future application/s for transfer credit/s to other colleges/universities.
1. Instructor Information
Office Hours:
Dr. Mary C. J. Byrne
By appointment
Office 320, Victoria Conservatory of Music, 900 Johnson Street
250-386-5311 x. 5000
Alternative Phone:
[email protected]
2. Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
Present thoughtful and discriminating commentary on composer, period, and genre style.
Discuss select aspects of developments in musical instruments, including voice and orchestra.
Discuss music in relationship to social, political, and scientific norms.
Present research in written or other format on topics related to music.
Discuss relationships between the disciplines of music and non-musical fields.
Present a performance review of a live concert of classical music and/or related musical
3. Required Materials
(a) Texts:
 Greenberg, Robert, How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart.
London: Plume-Penguin, 2011. The textbook is available at Lansdowne Campus
Bookstore for $18.50; you also have the option to obtain the text in electronic format
option from your favourite bookseller should you choose that.
 Course Pack prepared for this course, available at Lansdowne Campus Bookstore
(b) Other
 Device with full text input capability, internet access and audio-video function.
 Camosun Library account for online access of Naxos and Oxford Online databases.
 “Desire to Learn” Profile
Course Outline
Fall 2014
Ticket ($10 at group rate, to be purchased through instructor in mid-September) and
personal transportation to attend Pacific Opera production of Das Rheingold by
Richard Wagner on October 14, 6:30-10:30 at the Royal Theatre (see Google Maps)
Please mark this date with its change of meeting location and time on your
calendar now!
4. Course Content and Schedule
Our survey of Western music will give an introduction to music in Western culture, from
classical Greek antiquity to the present day, through listening and discussion of seminal works of
music in the context of parallel social, political, and cultural developments. Emphasis is on
classical and art music. No prior experience with classical music is required.
Hopefully, this perfectly describes what you wish to take away from this course. In the many
times I've directed this course, I have thrilled to the breadth of knowledge and experience
brought into the classroom by you, the student and the class, most of it gained through
passionate listening to and perhaps even creating music. It is my hope that this course helps you
connect the dots of your own personal musical experiences to the vast continuum that is music,
opening your ears to new sounds, ideas, concepts, and tools and giving you something concrete
upon which to hang your passion for this expression of music.
Three aspects of the course are equally essential to your success in the course and to your fullest
experience in music through this course: 1) attendance at the weekly class meetings, materials
introduced and discussed here will not be repeated elsewhere in the course; 2) weekly listening
assignments, reflections, and personal study, keeping these current maximizes your classroom
experience; and 3) keeping a close eye and ear on the electronic resources of this course – Naxos
Music Library, Desire to Learn, and associated internet sources.
Class Meeting Schedule: Class meets as scheduled on Camlink with the following
October 14, 2014 when we meet at the Royal Theatre 6:30-10:30 for the Pacific
Opera Victoria production of Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner. Class meets at
Royal Theatre (805 Broughton Street), 6:30-6:40 for seating prior to start of opera at
7:00. Directions may be found at ; Google Maps will show you the
right location if in doubt.
November 11, Remembrance Day observation.
Module Schedule (Desire to Learn [D2L])
September 2, Modules 1-3
September 9, Modules 3-4
September 16, Modules 5-6 -- $10 due for Opera ticket
September 23, Modules 7-8 -- $10 due for Opera ticket
September 30, Module 9-10 – last opportunity to submit $10 for Opera ticket
Course Outline
Fall 2014
October 7, Module 10 (5:30-6:45), Midterm 1 (7:00) – pick-up Opera ticket
October 14, attend Pacific Opera Victoria production, 6:30-10:30, Royal Theatre
October 21, Module 11
October 28, Module 12
November 4, Module 12 (5:30-6:45), Midterm 2 (7:00)
November 11 – no instruction, Remembrance Day
November 18, Module 13, Term Paper due
November 25, Modules 13-14
December 2, Module 14
5. Basis of Student Assessment (Weighting)
 Assignments (50%) – see below, and Module 1 on D2L
 Midterm 1 (10%) – October 7, 2014 – see Module 15 on D2L
 Midterm 2 (10%) – November 4, 2014 – see Module 15 on D2L
 Term Paper (15%) – November 18, 2014 – see Module 1 on D2L
 Final Examination (15%) – check Camlink for exact day, time and location
Assignments (50%)
There is a sequence of weekly listening assignments (see below, Listening Schedule) l for which
the mark is calculated as an average AFTER dropping the lowest three scores. Assignments are
due in electronic copy through D2L by the prescribed time given below. Please note:
instructions associated with individual dropboxes will cease to be visible once the dropbox has
closed. A small percentage penalty is assessed for late submission of work within the week due; it
becomes a more substantial penalty for increasingly late submission. Late work may be deposited
in the next available open drop box. No work is accepted for marks after the last class date for
any reason whatsoever.
Through these listening reflections, you are asked to study and hopefully enjoy the work and lives
of some of the most respected composers in Western history. Please do some background
research on each composer (Oxford Online through library database, or other resource) and the
works (Classical Archives or other resource). If you find yourself especially interested in any one
composer, do read or listen to more as you have time. Try to really get to know each composer,
her or his music, how the music reflects the time and place in which it was written, and how it
speaks to you as a listener in 2014 Canada. You should strive to become so familiar with the style
of each composer that you feel you could pick out her/his music just by listening and could easily
share observations and understandings about the music with others, both those who are music
aficionados and those who are musical newbies.
Course Outline
Fall 2014
As you encounter the assigned music, look for your own answers to questions such as these:
 What does the composer have to say about her/his time and place?
 How does this music affect me? Do I like this? Why?
 What seems unique or common about this composer’s music?
 Why might this music be considered great?
 Can this music speak to audiences of today?
 What kind of music might this composer write if s/he were still composing (if retired or
passed on)?
 Am I most aware of the rhythm, melody, harmony, text, instrument, etc.?
For each composer, please submit a personal reflection on your experience with the music,
commenting or reflecting upon on your experience with each work. Most will choose to
submit a written prose reflection, and length of the response will vary with the writer. If you do
not feel that prose is your style, please consult with instructor regarding other options. In each
reflection it is expected that you will have something insightful to offer about the music of each
composer and that you will communicate well your full and individual, personal engagement with
the music. Each reflection will be marked from 20 points based upon these criteria (see also the
rubric attached to the relevant D2L dropboxes.
As a substitute for the weekly composer assignment, you may submit a critical review of (1-2 pages) and concert
programme/ticket from a live concert performance. You will still be held to account for any information which
would be expected to be gained from doing the composer assignment. A maximum of 3 concert reviews may be
substituted for assigned written work during the term. These websites of Victoria-based concert
organizations might also be of interest to you:
Listening Schedule and due dates for submission of Listening Reflections
Due September 9 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 John Williams (or an alternate musical artist of your choice) – 2 compositions – listen
from Naxos Music Library or do free search on the web: #2-7, 9, 18
 Hans Zimmer (or an alternate musical artist of your choice) – 2 compositions – listen
from Naxos Music Library or do free search on the web: #8, 12, 15-17
 A favorite musical artist, consider a third film composer or a composer of music for
gaming or media – 2 compositions – listen from Naxos Music Library or do free
search on the web. The following links might be helpful for inspiration: ; ;
Course Outline
Fall 2014
Due September 16 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 R[aymond] Murray Schafer – 2 works chosen from course pack selections #19, 113,
400 – listen from Naxos Music Library
 Sofia Gubaidulina – 2 works chosen from course pack selections #364, 366, 367 –
listen from Naxos Music Library
 George Crumb -- 2 works chosen from course pack selections #97, 99-101 – listen
from Naxos Music Library
 You may substitute music by either the composer John Cage (#85-87. 95, 96) or
Phillip Glass (#89-91, 93, 94) for one of the composers above – listen through
Naxos Music Library and submit to the dropbox for the composer you are skipping.
For all remaining listen reflections, listen from Naxos Music Library unless instructed
Due September 23 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Hildegard von Bingen – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #133-135
 Guillaume de Machaut – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #141-144
 Guillaume Dufay – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #146-148
 Josquin Desprez – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #149-152
Due September 30 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Giovanni di Palestrina – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #163, 164, 167
 Giulio Caccini – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #168-171
 Claudio Monteverdi – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #173-175
Due October 7 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Antonio Vivaldi – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #187, 189, 190
 George Frederich Handel – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #191-194
 Johann Sebastian Bach – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #59, 197-205
Due October 14 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #210,
 Franz Joseph Haydn – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #211, 212, 214,
215, 217, 218
 Giacchino Rossini – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #312, 313, 315
 If you have the urge to explore the music of an Italian opera composer of the next
generation, you may substitute selections by Italy’s favorite son, Giuseppe Verdi (#
319, 322) for those by Giacchino Rossini
Due October 21 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Ludwig van Beethoven – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #232-247
 Franz Schubert – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #248, 250-255
Course Outline
Fall 2014
Gustav Mahler – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #368, 370, 371, 390
Due October 28 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Robert Schuman – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #257, 258, 260, 261,
264, 267
 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #256,
266, 278, 279, 298, 318
 Johannes Brahms – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #302-309
 As an option to explore some of the women composers of this period you may do a
free search on Naxos Music Library or online for the music of Clara Schumann,
Fanny Mendelssohn, or Ceçile Chaminade and substitute this composer’s music for
the selections by Robert Schumann.
Due November 4 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Frédérich Chopin – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #270, 271, 273, 274
 Franz Liszt – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #272, 275-277, 281
 Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov – 3 works chosen from course pack selections # 287-289
Due November 11 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox – Yes, due … even though it is a statutory
holiday and there is no class on this evening), listening reflections for:
 Pyotr Tchaikovsky – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #283, 286, 299301, 327
 Richard Strauss – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #290, 291, 293, 294,
377, 396
 Antonín Dvořák – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #268, 310, 311
 If you have a draw to the music of Scandinavia rather than the music of eastern
Europe you may substitute 3 works of Jean Sibelius (#292, 295, 369) for those of
Antonín Dvořák
Due November 18 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Dmitri Shostakovich – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #359, 364, 365,
375, 378
 Serge Prokofiev – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #78, 342, 345, 357,
372, 376
 Joseph-Maurice Ravel – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #53, 76, 334,
339, 353
 If you would prefer to study the works of an edgy composer, you may substitute 3
works by Béla Bartók (#340, 361, 363, 381) for the music of Serge Prokofiev, and/or
3 works by Arnold Schoenberg (#80, 296, 356, 394) for the music of Maurice Ravel.
Due November 25 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 Claude Debussy – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #33, 55, 352, 354,
 Aaron Copland – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #343, 344, 349, 397,
Course Outline
Fall 2014
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington – 3 works chosen by free search of Naxos Music
Library or online sources.
Duke Ellington makes a lot of people very happy. If, however, you prefer to explore
rhythmic energy of a less predictable sort, you may substitute 3 works by Igor
Stravinsky (#332, 333, 335, 337, 358, 360) for the music of Ellington. Alternately, if
you have a favourite jazz/pop artist or even one whose music you are simply
interested in exploring, now would be the time to substitute 3 works from that
composer for the music of Ellington.
Due December 2 (11:59 pm, D2L dropbox), listening reflections for:
 George Gershwin – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #331, 348, 384
 Leonard Bernstein – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #350, 389, 398,
407, 408
 Serge Rachmaninov – 3 works chosen from course pack selections #297, 373, 388
 While Rachmaninov is the more well-known composer, I have two composers whose
music makes my “Desert Island List” – both for their unabashed Romanticism and
sheer delightful beauty. If you’d like to see what I mean, feel free to substitute 3
works by Ottorino Respighi (#383, 385, 386) or by Samuel Barber (#374, 379, 393)
for the works of Serge Rachmaninov. Now … if only I could figure out a way to
work in the singularly splendid work by Gustave Holst: The Planets (#382)!
Reading Schedule
Please read from the textbook and the course pack the given chapters in advance of the
indicated course. These materials will be tested on the Midterms and Final which follow the
assignment date most closely.
 September 9:
Textbook chapters 1, 2, and 4; course pack sections “Study of
Music,” and “Western Classical Music on the World Stage”
 September 16:
Textbooks 3, 5, and 6; course pack sections “Hidden Meanings,”
and “Classification of Instruments”
 September 23:
Textbook chapters 7-9; course pack sections “Easing into Music
Terminology,” and “Performance Practice”
 September 30:
Textbook chapters 10-13; course pack sections “Multimovement
Works [Glossary],” and “Number Titles of Compositions”
 October 7:
Textbook chapter 14
 October 14:
Textbook chapter 27; Pacific Opera Victoria materials in hardcopy
the previous class as linked through Module 16, Opera Going
 October 21:
Textbook chapters 15 and 16; course pack sections “On a Concert
Program” and “Forms and Shapes in Music”
 October 28:
Textbook chapters 17-19;
course pack section “Orchestral
Course Outline
Fall 2014
 November 4:
Textbook chapters 20 and 21
 November 18:
Textbook chapters 22-26
 November 25:
Textbook chapters 28-30
 December 2:
Textbook 31-33
Quiz Schedule
September 9 – the following three “quizzes” close at 5:30 on September 9. None is
required, but each is worth extra credit on the first midterm. For students joining the
course after the first week will receive an extension on the deadline to September 16.
 Musical Me Dropbox
 Desire to Learn Quiz
 Naxos Music Library Quiz
September 16 -- the following “quiz” close at 5:30 on September 16. It is not required,
but it is worth extra credit on the first midterm. For students joining the course after the
first week will receive an extension on the deadline to September 23.
 Instruments Quiz
October 21 -- the following “quiz” close at 5:30 on October 21. It is not required, but it
is worth extra credit on the second midterm.
 Opera Going Quiz
November 1 -- the following “quizzes” close at NOON on November 1.
required, but each is worth extra credit on your term paper.
 Term Paper Outline Quiz
 Plagiarism Quiz
Neither is
Term Paper (15%)
Due November 18, 2014 to D2L Dropbox
The paper should explore the relationship of music with or to a non-music field or discipline,
perhaps your own personal field of academic study (your major):
Your written work should express your engagement with the topic. The paper should
de 2000-2500 words. A paper which falls short of this guideline will be assessed on an
individual basis for “completion of argument.” If the paper feels thoroughly-argued
and complete, then a shorter paper may receive full marks.
Your written work should be thoughtful and well-researched. Your paper should give
all evidence of full research, reasoned argument, and appropriate personal observation.
You should give full evidence of engaging with any music referenced. Include a full list
of references formatted according to Chicago Manual, APA, or MLA style. A
Course Outline
Fall 2014
minimum of five edited sources is a good starting point in addition to any sonic source.
Since it is not a heavily edited source, avoid using Wikipedia or Wiki-like sources unless
supporting these sources with substantial research from specialists in the field. For
assistance please visit the excellent staff at the Library and Learning Commons or
online through SFU at
Your written work should be entirely your own work and should be presented entirely in
your own words, according to accepted academic practice including appropriate notes
and reference annotations It is possible that this topic might not require full citations
or bibliography depending on the perspective of the paper, but must include these if
demanded by the content of the paper. Your instructor has a preference for Chicago
Manual of Style and footnotes; however, you may choose any style format you desire as
long as every inclusion which requires citation includes a citation which directs your
reader to the exact source of the information. Please consult the Camosun Calendar
for academic penalties for plagiarism and academic misconduct, and one of the fine
together: or
Submitted papers should reflect accepted scholarly writing and formatting style and
practice. For assistance consult English Help Centre (Ewing Building) or Writing
Choose your topic carefully, making it a topic about which you are genuinely interested
in discovering more. Make it your goal to express your understanding of your research
rather than to give a simple enumeration of what you found out from your sources. In
other words, interpret your findings and bring them to life! Topics in this category
often become quite large. You may wish to discuss your topic choice with the
instructor prior to investing a lot of time in your research, but this is not required.
You may also be asked for a few spoken words for the class regarding your paper topic, just
so that the whole class might know what you explored and discovered – very impromptu,
there is no reason to make a prepared statement (just be ready for the question).
If you would prefer to explore a non-written option for the papers – oral presentation,
PowerPoint, videography, arts performance – please speak with instructor ASAP and no less
than three weeks before due date.
Understanding is granted those whose first language is not English.
Examinations (35%)
 Midterm 1 (10%) – October 7, 2014
 Midterm 2 (10%) – November 4, 2014
Course Outline
Fall 2014
 Final Examination (15%) – check Camlink after mid-October for date, time, place
Midterm examination will take about 1 hour at the end of class.
The Final examination will take about 2 hours in a designated session during exam week.
Each will be made up of a variety of questions (~ 40 for midterm, ~ 50 for final)
 Short answer questions based on listening to music in the examination
 Short answer questions based on reading, class materials, and weekly assignments
 Longer answer questions (1-2 on each midterm, 3-4 on final examination)
Examination are thorough – hard but not impossible – and will be based equally on in-class
and out-of-class study of the previous month for the midterms, and of the full term for the
final. The student who diligently attends class, reviews the week’s material after each class,
and completes the assigned listening in a thoughtful and timely fashion – in essence,
practicing their materials as would be expected from a music student learning an instrument
– will do well on the examinations.
No formal review of material will be given in advance of the examination; however, a list of
terms and music to be covered will be given at the previous class session. It is promised that
all works and concepts tested on the final examination will have been discussed directly in
PLEASE NOTE – RE: MIDTERMS – if you miss a midterm, you have limited
options for making up the examination. (1) You must have a note from the
appropriate professional stating clearly why you were unable to be present at the class
meeting of midterm examination; (2) you must take the make-up examination at the
Victoria Conservatory of Music (900 Johnson Street); (3) you must complete the
make-up examination before the marked midterm examinations are returned to your
classmates the week after the original exam.
A word about plagiarism and academic misconduct:
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence, see:
Academic misconduct, likewise, is a serious offence, see:
failure to cite the work of other authors or sources, or indulging in plagiarism of any kind
will result in a mark of “0” for the assignment in question, in addition to any penalties
incurred under the broader Camosun Academic Conduct policy. Incidences of suspected
plagiarism will incur the penalty above and then be investigated through one-on-one
discussion between instructor and student to determine appropriate course of action.
6. Grading System
Standard Grading System (GPA)
Course Outline
Fall 2014
Grade Point
Minimum level of achievement for which credit is granted; a
course with a "D" grade cannot be used as a prerequisite.
Minimum level has not been achieved.
Temporary Grades
Temporary grades are assigned for specific circumstances and will convert to a final grade according to the grading
scheme being used in the course. See Grading Policy E-1.5 at for information on conversion to final
grades, and for additional information on student record and transcript notations.
Incomplete: A temporary grade assigned when the requirements of a course have not yet been
completed due to hardship or extenuating circumstances, such as illness or death in the family.
In progress: A temporary grade assigned for courses that, due to design may require a further
enrollment in the same course. No more than two IP grades will be assigned for the same
course. (For these courses a final grade will be assigned to either the 3 rd course attempt or at the point of course
Compulsory Withdrawal: A temporary grade assigned by a Dean when an instructor, after
documenting the prescriptive strategies applied and consulting with peers, deems that a student
is unsafe to self or others and must be removed from the lab, practicum, worksite, or field
7. Recommended Materials or Services to Assist Students to Succeed
Throughout the Course
There are a variety of services available for students to assist them throughout their learning.
This information is available in the College calendar, at Student Services, or the College web site at
There is a Student Conduct Policy which includes plagiarism.
It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the content of this policy.
The policy is available in each School Administration Office, at Student Services,
and the College web site in the Policy Section.
Course Outline
Fall 2014
SEARCH THESE MUSIC THEORY LINKS: -- Ricci Adams Music Theory, an interactive romp through the basics. -- Sound Advice is Camosun’s entry-level theory
programme and is home-grown here in Victoria.
Module 2
Sound and Feeling
At the first class meeting, we will have listened to a selection of these brilliant scores, and through
them have discovered some of the remarkable qualities of music which read as universal to listeners.
In the following week you will have the opportunity to further explore three composers in depth:
John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and a composer of your choice.
You might find inspiration for your free-choice composer on one of the IMDB databases or . Some my
favourites for the two recommended composers are below.
Music heard in class is drawn from the following:
1. * Jerry Bock (b. 1928) and John Williams (b. 1932), Fiddler on the Roof (film 1971)
2. * John Williams (b. 1932), Jaws (1975)
3. * John Williams (b. 1932), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
4. * John Williams (b. 1932), Star Wars Double Trilogy (1977-1983, 1999-2005)
5. * John Williams (b. 1932), Indiana Jones Tetralogy (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008)
6. * John Williams (b. 1932), E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (1982)
7. * John Williams (b. 1932), Saving Private Ryan (1998)
8. * Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), Gladiator (2000)
9. * John Williams (b. 1932), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
10. * Howard Shore (b. 1946), Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
11. * Klaus Bedelt (b. 1967), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
12. * Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), Last Samurai (2003)
Harry Gregson-Williams (b. 1961), Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
14. * Patrick Doyle (b. 1953), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
15. * Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), The Dark Night (2008)
16. * Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), Angels and Demons (2009)
Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), Inception (2010)
18. * John Williams (b. 1932), War Horse (2012)
Equally fun is the 2012 tribute to
video gaming music by the Ohio
State University Marching Band
h?v=rNzOVxHhjmQ .
Module 3
Elements of Music
We struggle to find a definition of music. Even the venerable dictionaries of music often decline the
opportunity to define “music.” Is it an art? Is it a science? Is it a language? Is it the sound? Is it
the feeling? Is it the message? You see! Not something easy to define. In fact, we might just avoid
going too deeply into that question ourselves. I’ll share my personal definition, but ultimately we
each must come to our own definition of this marvelous essence that is music. In this module we
will spend a bit of time breaking down music into component parts and start to build a vocabulary
by which we can speak about music.
Listening and hearing are not the same things – your parents told you this!
More than this parental reprimand, a lover of music understands that listening
and hearing are only the starting point for experiencing music. We often take
listening and hearing for granted, but not only are these different for different
individuals, these evolve in us as an individual throughout our lifetime. This
simple fact gives us the opportunity to always experience our environment and
our music – no matter how familiar – in a new and unexpected way.
If interested in the
effects of music
and neurology,
may I recommend:
Oliver Sachs,
19. R. Murray Schafer narrates Listen (2009), directed by David New, National (Knopf, 2007), and
Film Board of Canada
Daniel Levitin, This
Is Your Brain on
20. Evelyn Glennie narrates Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey (2004), directed Music: The Science of
by Thomas Reoidelsheimer, Filmquadrat and Skyline Productions a Human Obsession
(Plume, 2007)
During this module, we will work in class through a PowerPoint presentation, The Nature of Music.
Here we will consider building blocks of music. There are quite a few terms and concepts
imbedded in this PowerPoint, so do be sure to review it on D2L after the class meeting,
making notes as you see fit so that terms will be easily recallable at exam time. Unfortunately,
you won’t be able to review this music directly from the PowerPoint, nor will the selections be
obtainable through online sources. Hopefully your recollections from class will be of service to you.
The music used to illuminate these concepts will largely be music of the non-European, hence nonWestern tradition. Music selections are, for the most part, field recordings, and are drawn from the
following two sources: Jeff Todd Titon, ed., et al., Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the
World’s Peoples (Belmont, CA: Schirmer, 2005), and Guy L. Beck, ed., et al., Sacred Sound: Experiencing
Module 3
Elements of Music
Music in World Religions (Waterloo, ONT: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006). Both of these texts
are excellent in treating specialized aspects of what is best termed ethnomusicology. Both texts
assume an advanced understanding of music. The titles of the musical selections of this discussion
are given below so that you may easily take notes on the presentation.
21. Songs of hermit thrushes. Maine, USA (1999)
If interested in music as a function of
human sociology, may I recommend:
Daniel Levitin, The World in Six Songs:
How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
(Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008).
22. “Nag Beigu” (“Ferocious Wild Bull’), traditional “Praise Name Dance (19th century)
honouring King Naa Abudu from the kingdom of Dagbon. The performers here are of Lunsi
tradition. Ghana (1984)
23. “Hakusen no” (“A White Fan”), Wedding Song performed by the Geisha Shitaya Kotsuru
accompanying herself on Shamisen. The text speaks metaphorically of the white fan as a
shining shield (marriage) preserving serenity, in this case portrayed as dark pines and as deep
calm waters. In all marriage is describes as something to be sought.
24. “Lullaby,” traditional Zuni. New Mexico (1950). This soothing 2-note lullaby coos to the
little boy with terms of endearment.
25. Bubaran “Kembang Pacar,” University of Wisconsin-Madison Javanese Gamelan Ensemble.
Madison, WI (2000)
26. Festival Drumming, Taiko Ensemble Yuukyuu-kai. Bamberg, Germany (2000)
27. WT Akyeampong (b. 1900), Bompata Hymn Tune, as realized by Postal workers canceling
stamps. Ghana (1975)
28. Bhagavad Gītā 18:65-66, sung by Guy L. Beck (2005). This chant transmits ideals of
surrendering of self to a higher purpose.
29. Qur’ān recitation (sūra 1.107), al-Fātitha, recited by Hafiz Kani Karaca (1997). This recitation
is an invocation to Allāh and affirming Allāh as the sole focus of devotion.
30. Tibet Contour Chant, chanted by the Tibetan monks of the Drepung Monastery (1989)
31. Invocation: Mangalacharanam, Three Gems: Trisaranam, Chanted by the Theravāda monks
form the Mahābodhi Society, Calcutta, India (1999). The chant repeated exhorts the
participant/listener to seek refuge in Buddha
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Elements of Music
32. “Weeping Pilgrim” from The Sacred Harp (1844), a book of over 250 hymns and songs for
communal choral singing published b Benjamin Franklin White (1800-1879) and Elisha J
King (1821-1844), Georgia, USA.
During this module, we will spot our way through a PowerPoint presentation, Modern Voices and
Instruments, in class. It takes some practice to be sure what instrument you are hearing, and even the
most experienced listener can get it incredibly wrong if the instrument is used in a way that it not
typical for the instrument. Still it is worth pausing to listen to the variety of musical instruments
available to us for music-making in the west here in the 21st-century. The works chosen to exemplify
the vocal ranges and instrument varieties are largely available through the Naxos Music Library or
through open-source online. A majority of the selections have been penned in the 20th or 21st
centuries, although some hale from the pens of much earlier composers.
Additional to these selections, the Naxos Music Library, under the “Naxos Music Library Playlist”
tab, hosts a series of themed collections, many of them dedicated to the music of individual
instruments. I have marked these instruments below with a small NML after the instrument name.
Likewise, if you are shaky on your knowledge of modern concert instruments, check out the
following websites, Even though many of these websites are focussed toward kids, they are good:
BBC Guide to the Orchestra
“Arts Alive” Instrument Lab, National
Arts Centre Orchestra
SFS Kids Music Lab, San Francisco Symphony
DSO Kids Listen , Dallas Symphony Orchestra
You may particularly enjoy these oldies-but-goodies.
Garrison Keillor, Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra (comedy, but still the musical and
character representation of the various instruments of the orchestra are quite valid – perhaps
avoid this one, however, if you do not wish to participate in comedy which pokes fun at a
religious denomination. Finally this is on YouTube with visual imagery provided by stills of
Gerard Hoffnung’s charming comic caricature cartoons of the instruments!
Leonard Bernstein, Young People’s Concerts, episode on Orchestration: an oldie, but goody. Be sure
to get all the parts.
How much time you spend immersing yourself in the sound and temperament qualities of the most
familiar modern instruments is up to you. I can only say your enjoyment of music is likely to be
greater if you are not constantly wondering what instrument you are hearing. At a minimum, you
should become conversant with the names of the most common musical instruments
(including proper spelling and pronunciation), what makes the instrument sound, and its
instrument family, both common and official. When you feel that you have your head wrapped
around the essential qualities, families, and characteristics of these instruments, try your hand at the
quiz on D2L. A perfect score will give you an extra 5 points toward your first midterm.
Module 3
Elements of Music
Flute NML
33. * Claude-Achille Debussy [pronounce DEh-bus-ee] (1862-1918), La flûte de Pan: Syrinx
(1907): this little gem of the flute repertoire originated as incidental music for a long lost play
Psyché by Gabriel Mourey. A performance of this work has been added to the playlist, but
34. * Anonymous, Bird Fancier’s Delight (1717). These tiny works, originally for sopranino
recorder, were part of a popular fad of the 18th-century : teach your pet bird to sing specific
tunes. With your recorder in hand and book of tunes for your budgie, your budgie could
learn exactly its correct and most elegant song. Today these are most often performed for
pleasure by players of piccolo.
Alto Flute
35. * Torben Snekkestad (b. 1973), Francis Sketches (2009). Forming part of a composition
project by alto-flutist Eva Østergaard the work capitalizes on the unique church interior at
the mediaeval church Løgumkloster (Jutland, Denmark) and the compositional insight of her
fellow Danish composers. The composer speaks quite poetically about the work at
Oboe NML
36. * Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Metamorphoses after Ovid for oboe alone (1951): the work might
also be performed on saxophone (and sometimes alto flute!).
Here on oboe
Mvt. 3, Niobe
Mvt. 5, Narcissus
English horn
37. * Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987), Parable XV for English Horn, op. 128 (1973). No. 15 for
English horn is one of 25 total Parables by Persichetti, each focussing on an aspect of the
solo or exposed duo instrumental performance (excepting two for larger ensemble)
composed over the course of 21 years beginning in 1965.
Clarinet NML
38. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo (1919)
Bass Clarinet
39. * Ulrich Leyendecker (b. 1949), Two Etudes for Solo Bass Clarinet (1990). The second of these
etudes is an abstraction of Chopin’s famous Polonaise, op. 17, no. 4 (our # 214).
Module 3
Elements of Music
Saxophone NML
40. * Ryo Noda (b. 1948), Improvisation III for Saxophone (1974): Here the Japanese-born
composer draws on the style of traditional shakuhachi performance and casts it for
Saxophone family
41. * Helmut Rogl (b. 1960), Swinging Memories, op. 47 (20--). This is one of several saxophone
quartets from the pen of Helmut Rogl, here featuring the four “common” saxophones:
soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone.
Bassoon NML
42. * Karl-Erik Welin (1934-1992), Solo for Bassoon (1983).
43. * Daniel Dorff (b. 1956), Sonatina d’Amore for two contrabassoons (1998). This is simply a serious
fun piece for a VERY unlikely combination of instruments: two contrabassoons!
Trumpet NML
44. * Fisher Aubrey Tull (1934-1994), Eight Profiles for Trumpet Solo (1980). Born, raised, trained,
and careered in Texas, as a trumpeter Tull brings deep and personal understanding to these
Profiles for Trumpet.
French horn NML
45. * Richard Wagner (1813-1883), “Siegfried’s Horn Call” from Siegfried (18). One of the most
memorable and virtuosic solo in music for any instrument is imbedded as a central theme in
Wagner’s massive music drama recounting the heroic tales of the Norse hero Siegfried, who
by his death will bring about the downfall of the gods and Valhalla.
Trombone NML
46. * Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001), Keren for Solo Trombone (1986).
Tuba NML
47. * William Kraft (b. 1923), Encounters II for Solo Tuba (1964)
Module 3
Elements of Music
48. * Edgard [Victor Achille Charles] Varèse (1883-19650, Ionisation (1929–1931). Written for
thirteen percussionists, this is the first free-standing concert hall composition for percussion
alone. This work paved the way for brilliant percussion ensembles such as Toronto-based
49. * Bob Becker (b. 1947), Palta (1982, revised 1998) written for percussion solo (amplified
tabla, congas, or drum set solo) with accompaniment by eight players: crotales, glockenspiel,
marimba, songbells, steel pan, vibraphone, electric or acoustic piano and electric bass guitar,
tabla, and conga.
Harp NML
50. * Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937), Impromptu-Caprice in Ab major for harp, op. 9 (1900)
Guitar NML
51. * Joaquin Turina (1882-1948), Fandanguillo, op. 36 (1926)
52. * Federico Torroba (1891-1982), Suite castellana for guitar (1956)
Piano NML
53. * Joseph-Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Jeux d’eau [Playing water] (1901)
54. * Éric [Alfred Leslie] Satie (1866-1925) Gymnopédies (1888). These delicate, transparent,
fragrant piano works are forward looking and years before their time.
55. * Claude-Achille Debussy (1862-1918), Suite bergamasque (1905)
No. 3, Clair de Lune
56. * Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), Symphony no. 5 in f minor, op. 42, no. 1 (1878). The
master organist Widor had a long and distinguished career as organist taking the keyboard at
St-Sulpice in Paris for an astonishing 64 years, and retiring only at the age of 89! During his
tenure he wrote five organ “symphonies” to show off the symphonic capabilities of StSulpice’s massive organ. Of these the most frequently played is the showpiece toccata which
concludes “no. 5.”
Module 3
Elements of Music
Violin NML
57. * Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840), Caprice for Violin solo in g minor, op. 1, no. 24 (1802-1817,
published in 1819)
58. * Max Reger (1873-1916), Suite no. 1 in g minor for solo viola, op. 131 (1915)
Cello NML
59. * Johann Sebastian Bach [pronounced BAHK or even BAHhh] (1685-1750), Suite no. 1 in G major for
Solo Cello (1717-1723). The playlist includes the complete work in a recent performance and
recording. For a treat, a 1927 recording of Pablo Casals (credited with discovering the
works) performing the “Prelude” is included. This second recording is a bit tattered, but the
musicianship is exquisite – Casals was the great cellist of his day, if not all time, and one of
the supreme musicians of the 20th century. Listening to music sometimes makes it difficult to
discern the separation and overlap of the creative (composer) and the recreative (performer)
musicians in the equation. Done well, the result is greater than the sum of the parts.
Double bass
60. * Julien-François Zbinden (b. 1917), Hommage à J.-S. Bach, op. 44 (1969). This work
brilliantly combines the style of J. S. Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites with a thematic
substructure using the pitches B-flat, A, C, B … or in German nomenclature B-A-C-H.
61. * François Couperin [pronounced cooper-an] (1668-1733), “Première ordre: l’enchantresse” from
Livres de Clavecin in 22 Ordres (1713-1730), performed on harpsichord
62. * Philippe Rameau, “Les niais de Sologne de deux doubles” from “Suite in D major” from
Pièces de Clavecin (1724), performed on harpsichord
Voice-types and Ranges, in descending order high-to-low:
Sopranino or Coloratura
63. Glitter and Be Gay (Leonard Bernstein, Candide) #407
64. Poor Fool and Think of Me (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera), #412
65. Summertime (George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess), # 331
66. The Lusty Month of May (Jerome Kern, Camelot), #410
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Elements of Music
67. Colors of the Wind (Alan Menken, Pocahontas) #351
68. Not While I’m Around (Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd), #411
69. Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Richard Rodgers, The Sound of Music), #409
70. Something Wonderful (Richard Rodgers, The King and I), #405
71. Maria (Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story), #408
72. On the Street Where You Live (Frederich Loewe, My Fair Lady), #406
73. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Richard Rodgers, Oklahoma), #403
74. Nearly Was Mine (Richard Rodgers, South Pacific), #404
75. Ol’ Man River (Jerome Kern, Showboat), #401
A number of iconic and popular works feature individual instruments in signature roles:
76. * Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Bolero (1928) See
for the order of instruments as they are heard in the solo role.
77. * Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1946)
Instruments in order of appearance: Full orchestra, Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, then
Percussion; Piccolo and Flute; Oboes; Clarinets; Bassoons; Violins; Violas; Cellos;
Double Basses; Harp; Horns; Trumpets; Trombones and Bass-Tuba; Percussion
(Timpani; Bass Drum & Cymbals; Tambourine & Triangle; Snare Drum & Wood Block;
Xylophone; Castanets & Gong; Whip; Percussion tutti); full orchestra
78. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Peter and the Wolf, op. 67 (1936)
79. * Paul Tripp (1911-2002) and George Kleinsinger (1914-1982), Tubby the Tuba (1945)
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
During this module, we will consider in class a PowerPoint presentation, A Brief History of Notation.
The PowerPoint will bring together a variety of sources to demonstrate how the state and progress
of notation has limited and enabled the kind of music that a composer can create and impart in
written form. The PowerPoint includes a number of terms and concepts which you will want
to be able to recall at the time of the midterm, so please review the PowerPoint after class
and again before the midterm exam. The music attached to these notation examples will be
drawn from various time periods and so therefore will be scattered through the coursepack, but all
will be available on Naxos Music Library.
Recitation markings for poetic reading, Odes of Sappho, 3rd-century CE Papyrus,
“Cologne Papyri;” Cologne, Germany: accompanying music, free interpretation of a
poem by Sappho using 14th century models (unnumbered)
Unheightened Neumes (Cheironomic), 9th-century; Toledo, Spain: accompanying music,
Vox Clamatis ,#122
Heightened Neumes (Diastematic), 12th Century; Benevento, Italy and Segovia, Spain:
accompanying music, Qui manducaverit ,#121
Square Notation, 12th Century onward, Plainchant Hymnal; Seville, Spain: accompanying
music, Agios o Theos, #123
Square Notation, 12th Century onward with illuminations, Plainchant Hymnals; Victoria
and Albert Museum, London, England: accompanying music, Gloria, Laus, #124
Mensural Notation, late 13th to 16th century; White Notation, Italy; Coloured Notation, St.
Emmeram Codex, Germany: accompanying music, Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361), In
Mari miserie, #139
Giovannini di Palestrina (1525-1594), Hodie Christus Mass, #167
Giulio Caccini (1551-1618), Amor, Io Parto, #168
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite in G major for Cello, #59
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1759-1791), Jupiter Symphony no. 40, #222
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827), Eroica Symphony no. 3, #235
Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Erlking, #251
Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), 1812 Overture, #286
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Pierrot Lunaire, # 356
Terry Riley (b. 1935), “In C”, #88
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
During this module we will consider some of the most modern avant-garde trends in classical music
making, guided by a PowerPoint presentation, Postmodernism. The PowerPoint will help place works
in context and build your vocabulary of terms in association with classical music of the last halfcentury. I recommend that the PowerPoint be reviewed after the class meeting and again prior to
the first midterm. . Some of what we cover here will touch on popular music or media music,
insofar as we will hear similar musical possibilities, tone colours, and soundscapes. Still the purpose
here is consider what is going on today in the world of classical art music. Much of what we will
find might seem absurd or difficult on the surface, but it is in digging beneath the surface that we
find a language unencumbered by preconceptions. From there it is a short step to begin the journey
to discover a flexible music capable of expressing what still seems inexpressible in the 21st century.
Serialism – a technique used to pre-set a series of notes or other musical elements – stepped forward
at the very beginning of the 20th century as an alternative organizational system to that provided by
traditional scales and chords. The first composers to use this technique were those of “The Second
Viennese School:” Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern. These composers pioneered a
compositional technique which sought to erase the polar draw of tonic (the root note of a scale) by
designing a method to make the 12-notes of the octave (a normal hand’s reach on the piano) equal in
usage. Intense preplanning of the order of events through gridded matrices, looking much like a
word-search puzzle, leaves room for the composer to exercise an unusual level of discretion in the
realization of the composition. While the technique was first applied only to pitches (dodecaphony, or
the 12-tone system), by the mid-20th century the technique was applied to all building blocks of music
including rhythm and expression (total serialism).
80. * Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Fünf Orchesterstücke [5 Pieces for Orchestra] Op. 16 (1909).
While it may not be immediately evident, these Five Orchestra Pieces are for massive orchestra,
capitalizing on the diverse orchestral colours enabled by a large selection of possible
instrumental voices. This hallmark is most audible in third movement “Colors,” where the
composer’s use of dodecaphonic (12-tone) technique focusses the listener’s attention on the
slowly shifting shades.
"Farben", Mässig. [Colors, moderate]
81. * Anton Webern (1883-1945), 6 Pieces for Large Orchestra (1909, rev. 1928). Directly modeled
on Schoenberg’s Five Orchestral Pieces of the same year and also using dodecaphonic
technique, Webern’s work is positively diminutive by comparison and one struggles to accept
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
at appellation “for Large Orchestra.” Ultimately, while Schoenberg rejected serial technique,
Webern embraced it, becoming highly influential on the total serialist Milton Babbitt and
aleatoricist John Cage decades later.
82. * Milton Babbitt (1916-2011), Solo e Duettini for 2 Guitars (1989): While considering the
implications for this work of the Babbitt comment above, I will simply note that Babbitt’s
1958 provocative article “Who Cares If You Listen” makes for fascinating reading
83. * Milton Babbitt (1916-2011), My Ends are My Beginnings for solo clarinet (1978). While
Babbitt is perhaps best known for his work with RCA Mark II Synthesizer at the ColumbiaPrinceton Electronic Music Center, he worked all his compositional life on serial models of
The Second Viennese School. Here pitch, rhythm, and artistic nuance are all governed by
pre-arranged serial matrices ordering the elements with mathematical precision.
84. * Milton Babbitt (1916-2011), Swan Song no. 1 for flute, oboe, violin, cello, and two guitars
(2003). This fully serial work takes as its inspiration the unlikely model of the Baroque dance
suite. The most obvious recollections of the earlier style are the instrumentation which
resembles the 18th-century sonata ensemble and the light motion of the movements.
Simply put, aleatoric music means “chance music” – a plan is set before the music begins, it is set in
motion, and what happens, happens. We make our decisions and live with the outcome.
Unfailingly, aleatoric music always reflects reality! It is fun, it is free, and it gives a lot of room to
both shake your head in disbelief and reflect upon the balance of silence, sound, and meaning.
85. John Milton Cage, Jr. (1912-1992), 4’33” (1952): for any instrumental combination – I’ll
explain! Or check out what is up through the following websites from the Metropolitan
Museum of Modern Art and
Open Culture
86. * John Milton Cage, Jr. (1912-1992), Atlas Eclipticalis (1961): the score for this full orchestral
work was created by overlaying a large sheet of staff paper with a star atlas from the work of
Czech astronomer Antonín Bečvář. Various views of the night sky across the equator are
rendered in sound by full orchestra in untimed performances.
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
As a musical movement, Minimalism would seem like the new kid on the block, but it actually derives
from a very old source. Music in minimalist style is built of small fragments of music which repeat
over and over, with only the slightest changes from one to the next without really evolving. Often
the timing of episodes and entrances is a matter of spontaneity. The idea itself, however, is a part of
the musical techniques of Southeast Asia and in particular to the gamelan orchestras of the South
Pacific Islands where individual instruments are assigned single repeating rhythms which may or may
not be in sync with other instruments. All instruments continue in their individual rhythms until the
whole orchestra comes back to the beginning. In both styles, one is meant to enjoy the subtle and
slow moving changes. If you are unfamiliar with the gamelan, here are a few of the many options to
experience the gamelan in action or
87. * John Milton Cage, Jr. (1912-1992), 3rd Construction for 4 Percussionists (1941). Written in the
early days of the percussion ensemble literature, this “Construction” is composed loosely on
a gamelan technique of repeating rhythmic patterns. In this case, unlike gamelan
performance, the rhythmic patterns are passed between performers.
Player I: North West Indian rattle (wooden), 5 graduated tin cans, 3 graduated
drums (tom toms), claves, large Chinese cymbal (suspended), maracas, teponaztli
Player II: 3 graduated drums (tom toms), 5 graduated tin cans, claves, 2 cowbells,
Indo-Chinese rattle (wooden, with many separate chambers), lion's roar
Player III: 3 graduated drums (tom toms), tambourine, 5 graduated tin cans,
quijadas, claves, cricket callers (split bamboo), conch shell
Player IV: tin can with tacks (rattle), 5 graduated tin cans, claves, maracas, 3
graduated drums (tom toms), wooden ratchet, bass drum roar
88. * Terry Riley (b. 1935), In C (1964): written for any combination of instruments but best
with 35 musicians, give or take, this work is often considered the first work of minimalism.
the Wikipedia article for the piece shows many of the various combinations of instruments
which have recorded the work The work is performed without conductor and each player is
asked to make her/his own decision regarding when to begin playing, when to move to the
next episode and when to stop, except for the chosen instrument who will play repeated Cs
through the full duration of the work: each performance is entirely unique.
89. * Philip Glass (b. 1937), Einstein on the Beach (1976): this opera appeared at a time when
American-composed opera was attempting a comeback with some considerable success.
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The Classical Avant-Garde
This fully minimalist work is over 4 hours long and can twist the brain with its unrelenting
unfolding of the music. The opera is one of a trilogy tracing the lives of men who have been
important in the existence of humanity, in this case Albert Einstein. Excerpts may be found
at although there are also
performances in Naxos Music Library.
90. * Philip Glass (b. 1937), Glassworks (1981): this mature minimalist chamber work may be
heard as a complete work or as individual works at the indication of the composer. Early
recordings by the composer!/album/Glassworks/182902
feature an ensemble of mostly acoustic instruments, while later performances (Naxos Music
Library) feature fully-synthesized performance.
91. * Philip Glass (b. 1937), Koyaanisqatsi (1982): a non-verbal film exploring the dysfunction of
living, juxtaposing scenes of urban and natural America. Lyrics are in Hopi with English
92. * John Adams (b. 1947), The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot (1985): Adams offered this breathless
orchestral showpiece to the Milwaukee Symphony. The 13-minute composition was drawn
from sketches and music then slated for Act 3 of his opera Nixon in China. The opera was a
critical and popular success and now has a place in the permanent repertoire as does this
orchestral outtake.
93. * Phillip Glass (b. 1937), String Quartet no. 4 “Buczak” (1989). The later works of Phillip
Glass are indeed minimalist but have lost most vestiges of the freneticism of his earlier
works. The dark tone of this quartet owes to its conception as a remembrance of Glass’
friend, artist Brian Buczak, who died the year previous of AIDS.
94. * Phillip Glass (b. 1937), String Quartet no. 5 (1991). The fifth string quartet is actually
Glass’ eighth work for the medium; his three youthful string quartets were rejected and
discarded from his corpus. Unlike the sombre quality of the previous quartet, this quartet
glows with airy beauty.
Instruments (and their players) are capable of so much more than we traditionally ask of them.
While each instrument has its characteristic sound as a matter of what comes most naturally to the
instrument, each also has a range of acoustic options which can be accessed by skillful performers.
These, so-called, extended techniques expand the tone and expression range often giving options for
natural, animlian, other-worldly, or mechanical sounds.
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The Classical Avant-Garde
95. * John Milton Cage, Jr. (1912-1992), Primitive for String Piano (1942): prepared piano. A mere
thirteen notes are used in this composition, giving the whole a tight, constricted feel which
ultimately focuses attention on the rhythm. Prepared piano is merely a modification of the
traditional piano to achieve non-traditional sounds. Usually, preparation of a piano is
achieved by putting objects on or near the strings (don’t try this at home)! The preparation
of the piano here is achieved by placing screws and bolts around the strings of the thirteen
pitches. The YouTube video here walks through the preparation of the piano.
96. * John Milton Cage, Jr. (1912-1992), In the Name of the Holocaust (1942): prepared piano. This
work considers this difficult WWII theme. It was written during, not after the war for the
choreographer Merce Cunningham – the material was truly fresh and controversial. The
preparation of the piano is achieved by placing screws and bolts around the strings;
additional to the preparation, the performer reaches into the piano case and plays upon the
strings directly as if a harp.
97. * George Crumb (b. 1929), Five Pieces (senza misura) for Piano (1962): prepared piano
98. * Luciano Berio (1925-2003), Sequenza V for Trombone (1965). Berio composed no fewer than
fourteen Sequenzas. In each, each composed for a specific solo instrument, Berio explores
the very broadest possible expressions of the individual instrument, often asking the
performers to employ common and radical extended techniques, electronic manipulations,
and choreography. It is a joyful yet non-traditional performance that is captured on
YouTube at this link
99. * George Crumb (b. 1929), Vox Balaenae [Voice of the
Whale] (1971): trio for electric flute, electric cello, and
electric piano. Crumb’s exotic masterpiece capitalizes on
non-traditional playing of traditional instruments. In the
opening “Vocalise” the flutist is asked to sing and play
simultaneously creating a primordial sound, while the
following “Archeozoic” – a beautiful pun on arco,
meaning bow, as in cello bow – asks the cellist to bow
normally, but to slide gently and specifically up the strings
As a new twist on an old concept, William
Close’s creation of Earth Harp gives some
otherworldly tones. See his website
and a selection of Youtube videos
L7vUcw and others you might seek.
100. * George Crumb (b. 1929), Makrokosmos (1972-1979) is a series of four volumes of works
for piano alluding to, if not modeled upon the Mikrokosmos by Béla Bartok from earlier in
the century. Of the full set, the first two volumes, each containing 12 works inspired by
signs of the zodiac, are by far the most popular. While complete performances of the one
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The Classical Avant-Garde
of the first two books, and even the first two volumes together, are common, it is rare for
the full set of four to be performed.
1. Primeval Sounds (Cancer)
7. Music of Shadows (Libra)
2. Proteus (Pisces)
8. The Magic Circle of Infinity (Leo)
3. Pastorale (Taurus)
9. The Abyss of Time (Virgo)
4. Crucifixus (Capricorn)
10. Spring-Fire (Aries)
5. The Phantom Gondolier (Scorpio)
11. Dream Images (Gemini)
6. Night-Spell I (Sagittarius)
12. Spiral Galaxy (Aquarius)
101. * George Crumb (b. 1929), Ancient Voices of Children: A Cycle of Songs on Texts by
Federico García Lorca (1970): song cycle for mezzo-soprano, boy soprano, oboe,
mandolin, harp, amplified piano, toy piano, percussion for three players including prayer
stones, Japanese temple bells, and musical saw. The mezzo-soprano, in addition to
traditional singing, also sings purely phonetic sounds into the piano where the piano’s
strings vibrate sympathetically with the singer.
The boy soprano role is also
choreographed. All the performers are also asked to speak whisper or yell at times. Follow
this link (and scroll down) to view an interview with George Crumb: the landscape of
which he speaks is ancient; the Kanawa River which flows through his hometown is the
America. An excellent note on the work
is included at
El Niño Busca Su Voz
102. Stomp Dance Troupe, Stomp Out Loud! (HBO, 1997). The
performance art theatrical-musical troupe Stomp raises the art of
creating percussion instruments and mobilizing life actions in the
service of music to new heights.
For some very cool vocal-choral
extended techniques, check out the
soundtrack to Honda’s 2006
commercial voiced over by the
Hollywood Film Chorale Sound
Effects Choir …
103. Ian Clarke (b. 1964), The Great Train Race : The Flute As You Don’t Usually Hear It Played
(2002) ; and it is possible you won’t get to hear it at all, but sometimes I have the
opportunity to play this one for the class to demonstrate how broad is the range of my
simple instrument.
104. Scott Crothers (b. 19--), Prelude #1 for ¼-tone piano (2008): quarter-tones exist as a matter of
physics. All modern string instruments and most wind instruments have the ability to play
not only quarter-tones but the infinite range of all possible intervals and pitches available
within physics. Many non-western musical traditions use a full range of quarter-tones and
smaller, even if these have dropped away from western tradition. In recent years these
have come back into usage here in the west, and specialty instruments are being built, such
as the quarter-tone piano.
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
Electronic Instruments have been a reality since the mid-18th century, ever since humans began to
harness the power and potential of electricity. To the list below, one might be tempted to add the
battery of cannon added to the score of Overture Solonnelle, 1812 by Piotr Tchaikovsky, enabled by
the 1872 invention of the electronic firing mechanism. We must also recognize that small organs
of the Wurlitzer and Hammond organs were electrically powered from the late 19th century, and
large pipe organs have been electronically driven since the early 20th century. Here is a sampling of
those electronic instruments which have largely come and gone:
Denis d'Or by Václav Prokop Diviš (c. 1750) – the first, yet no example survives!'or
Clavecin Électrique by Jean-Baptiste Thillaie Delaborde (1759) – one example survives
Musical Telegraph by Elisha Gray (1876)
Choralcelo by Melvin Severy and George B. Sinclair (1888/1909)
Teleharmonium, Telharmonium, Dynamophone by Thaddeus Cahill (1897/1912)
Singing Arc by William Duddell (1899)
Theremin by Léon Theremin (1920)
Ondes Martenot by Maurice Martenot (1928)
Even with so many early electronic instruments, it would be the mid-20th century before specific
compositions exploiting the electronic media would be composed.
105. * Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995), Etude aux chemins de fer (1948). This is the first work of
musique concrète, a form of music which developed from a process of recombining tape recorded
TV. . If you are thrilled by the process,
at and follow with one of our most
enduring pieces of musique concrete: the theme to BBC’s popular television series, Dr.
106. *Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), Kontakte (1958-1960). Composed at a crossroads in
Stockhausen’s compositional life, the work could well be placed under the serialism section
above – it is a work of total serialism with all elements of the composition directed by a
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The Classical Avant-Garde
mathematical matrix – or in the environmental music section below, because Stockhausen
conceived a very specific listening environment of well-placed speakers and rotating
work. if you would like to watch as much as
In effect, the pipe organs of the last five centuries can be classified as synthesizers as they capably
recreate the tone colours of a variety of instruments by a slick and judicious combination of pipes
to create composite tones. Electronic synthesizers which could composite and recreate tones, as
opposed to simple electronic instruments, came along only in the mid-20th century, first analogue
and then digital. * Milton Babbitt (1916-2011), Ensembles for Synthesizer (1964). In this seemingly
chaotic work, Babbitt has used the term ensemble to mean, on the one hand, a group of
performers for which the synthesizer provides all the necessary parts, and also the groups or sonic
events which make up the piece, many of which are only a few seconds in length.
107. Bülent Arel (1919-1990), Music for a Sacred Service: Postlude (1961): originally for composed
108. Daria Semegen (b. 1946), Electronic Composition No. 1 (1971): considered by the composer to
You would need to expect that the Pacific Northwest, with its emphasis on “green” would be a
leader in a musical style known as environmental music – and in this case you are absolutely right!
However, environmental music is about a lot more than sustainability. Environmental music comprises
two aspects. On the one hand we can understand environmental music as music that is created to
be performed within a specific environment, indoor or more-commonly outdoors. On the other
hand we can understand environmental music as music which incorporates sounds which originate
in an environment that is not usually associated with music. Clearly this casts a wide net which could
be made to capture virtually every piece ever written. The music selections below should help show
where some of the limits are.
109. * Alan Lamb (b. 1944), Journey on the Winds of Time (1987/8): here the composer creates a
work of music from pre-recorded sound. The recorded sounds are those of wind singing
through abandoned telegraph wires in the Australian Outback. The original recordings
caught the interest of the sound engineers completing the soundtrack of the original Star
Wars movie.
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The Classical Avant-Garde
110. * Hildegard Westerkamp (b. 1946): Gently Penetrating Beneath the Sounding Surfaces of Another
Place (1997) for two-channel tape. The work is both composition and documentary
employing recorded sounds from New Delhi in 1992.
111. * John Adams (b. 1947): On the Transmigration of Souls (2002); this powerful work was
composed by New York’s most resident composer on commission by the New York
Philharmonic to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. Here Adams combines
recorded sounds from the immediate aftermath of the event, voice recordings from the
following year, symphony orchestra, and choir to overwhelming effect.
112. * R(aymond) Murray Schafer (b. 1933), Wolf Project (on-going).
Please see for a lengthy and highly reflective piece in Schafer’s own words
describing both Wolf Project and the epilogue of Patria, “And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon.”
Tapio for Alphorn
Aubade for Trumpet
Nocturne for Clarinet
Sun Father, Earth Mother
Module 4
The Classical Avant-Garde
Module 5
Classical Antiquity
600 BCE - 400 CE
Classical antiquity is our historical and philosophical starting point for the study of Western music.
We will find a few useful and interesting trinkets from earlier times, certainly; but for sure, we start
here because it is in this thousand-year period which moves us into history from prehistory and with
that we can observe music with relative fullness. Scientists speculated about the nature of music.
Mathematicians defined music in numbers. Philosophers pondered the place and effect of music.
Artists sculpted and painted musical activities. Writers captured musical stories in their prose and
poems. Myth held music in high esteem, and the gods leveraged it for their own gain. It was a heady
time for music!
During this module we will consider in class a PowerPoint presentation, Musical Antiquity, which will
help us trace the big picture of music in the ancient world. The PowerPoint contains a lot of basic
information, terms and ideas, many of which will return on the midterm exam, so I would
recommend that you return to this PowerPoint after class and again prior to the midterm.
Photographs from world museums will help to illuminate the period. In class we will hear music in
Roman-style, recreated from verbal and pictorial sources, by the current Italian recreative music
group, Synaulia. All compositions are newly composed by Walter Maioli and his team of
musician/performers, and are inspired by Ancient Rome (1st and 2nd centuries CE). Some of the
selections we will hear also figured prominently in the soundtrack of the movie Gladiator (2000)
alongside the music of Hans Zimmer.
Synaulia has a very informative website
if you would like to investigate this area more. There you can find pictures and
descriptions of all instruments used, including much archeological background. The
work of this artistic team, admittedly more fantasy than fact, features prominently at and
on!/artist/Synaulia/958878 .
113. Animula Vagula (double flute, 2 tympana, cymbal)
114. Tibia Duplex (double fistulae), et alia
115. Recitation: Delphic Oracle
116. Recitation: Aeneid by Virgil
If you are interested in the
conflicts of music, philosophy,
science, and religion, may I
suggest: Stuart Isacoff,
Temperament: How Music Became the
Battleground for the Greatest Minds of
Western Civilization (Vintage, 2003)
Module 6
Early Christianity
300 CE - 800 CE
Early in the first century of the Common Era (CE) a rabbi from Nazareth in Israel was received by
an increasingly large community as the long-awaited Messiah, or in Greek, the Christ. Even after his
death by crucifixion for what had been deemed by the Roman government in the region as traitorous
acts, his message spread and the community of believers grew. Music which set the important texts
of this up-start religion spread throughout the Roman Empire – first in secret, until Christianity
became an official religion in 313 CE. When the religion was recognized legally, the music could be
heard and written down safely, but by this time the many Christian communities of the Roman
Empire had their own chants for use in devotion and worship. Eventually, at the supposed
instigation of Pope Gregory I “The Great” – this supposition is not fully accepted – these chants
would be collected as the official music for the Roman Catholic Church, even though we recognize
that some individuality persisted in some locales, and, for that matter, may continue to this day. As
the dominant literate religion in Europe north of the Pyrenees and west of the Danube, and as
guardians of much of the learning and knowledge in late antiquity, the church’s monks, priests,
monasteries and royals preserved much of this music, even if that archive was to the exclusion of
secular and non-Christian music.
During this module and the next, we will work through a PowerPoint, Spirituality of the Church. As
you know by now, the many terms and concepts for this module are covered in the PowerPoint. I
suggest you review the PowerPoint after class and then again prior to the midterm. Some works
may be found on Naxos Music Library (marked *). Unmarked titles may be found on GrooveShark
(300 CE – 600 CE)
117. “Alleluia” from services for Holy Monday (week before Easter): example of Byzantine Chant,
centered at Constantinople, c. 400 CE. An impassioned, melismatic presentation of a single
word: Alleluia
Module 6
Early Christianity
118. “Hymn to the Virgin Mary” from the liturgy (church service) of St. John Chrysostom: example of
Greek-influenced chant from Antioch, Turkey, c. 400 CE. A brief but emotional hymn in
praise of the virtues of the Virgin Mary. Text and translation
119. Psalm 110 (from the Old Testament of the Bible): Tecum principium in die virtutis tue: example of
Milanese (centered at Milan in northeastern Italy) and Ambrosian (named for St. Ambrose
[340-397] of the church at Milan) chant, c. 375 CE. Beginning with verse 3 of the Psalm
speaks of the relationship between God and earthly Lords. Latin and English at
120. Communion: Qui manducaverit; example of Beneventan (centered at Benevento in southern
Italy) or Old Lombard chant, c. 350 CE. The text imparts preparation for the Eucharist.
121. * Sacrificium: vox clamantis: example of Visigothic, later called Mozarabic (literally “Christian
in an Arab land”) chant, centered in Toledo, Spain, c. 400-700 CE. The text is common to
both Old and New Testaments regarding the foretelling of coming of (Christian) Messiah:
A voice cries out in the Wilderness.
122. * Adoration of the Cross: Agios o Theos, Sanctus Deus: example of Old Roman Chant, centered
in Rome, Italy, c. 500 CE. The prayer is an invocation to God, here is a macaronic
presentation of Greek and Latin.
Various translations may be found at
(600 CE – 800 CE)
123. * “Versus de l’eveque Theodulf d’Orleans: Gloria, Laus”: example of Gallican chant, broadly
centered in what is now France. Much of this body of chant will later be codified into what
is now known as Gregorian Chant. Here the text calls out: All glory, laud, and honour, to
Christ, Redeemer, King!
Full text in Latin and English may be found at
124. * “Viderunt Omnes” : example of Gregorian Chant (plainsong, or plainchant). Text at
Module 7
The Medieval Church
800 CE - 1300 CE
Monophonic chant had been primary musical vehicle of the Catholic Church for over 500 years.
Despite the fact that Pope Gregory, anecdotally, had set in motion a process of codification of these
chants at the beginning of the 7th century, the collection of chant into an official Roman Rite would
continue into the 10th century. Even as the Roman Rite was forming, Christian communities
continued with varying degrees of independence in their choices and usages of music for worship.
Three successive classical revivals – in the early 9th century with Holy Roman Emperor
Charlemagne, through the 11th century with the three Holy Roman Emperors Otto I, II, and III; and
again in the mid-12th century leading to the Gothic cathedrals – each spurred on a new development
in the way music was composed and performed. One practice which gained in popularity at the
same time was the introduction of what we might call harmony. In point of fact, true harmony is
something different from medieval-period practice, but the effect is somewhat the same: polyphony
came into being in Western music. This practice forced an insurmountable wedge between music in
the East and music in the West. The story of how polyphony – spreading out from the region that
is now modern-day France – became the reigning practice in Western music is the focus of this
module. To aid this discussion, we will continue through the PowerPoint, Spirituality of the Church;
there you will find terms and concepts for your consideration.
(800 CE – 1200 CE)
125. * Domine, labia mea aperies: Psalm 51, verses 15 and 16, here presented as a plainchant in
antiphony texture; followed by a sequence on Deus in adjutorium meum in parallel organum.
While this example originates from Aquitaine region of modern France (late 12th Century),
it is exemplary of the older Carolingian style of parallel organum. Text at
plainchant alone in antiphonal texture is found on Naxos (see folder) but does not include
the sequence in parallel organum
Module 7
The Medieval Church
(1000 CE – 1200 CE)
126. O primus homo coruit: Originates from Aquitaine region of modern France, verses for the
Matins service for Christmas Day, here a 2-voice (organum duplum) florid organum, single
voice over original plainsong (late 12th century). This example may be heard at!/search?q=primus+homo . The text invokes Jesus Christ as
“first among men.”
(1150 CE – 1300 CE)
127. * Magister Leoninus “Leonin” (fl. 1150-1201), Viderunt Omnes, 2-part free organum
(organum duplum) on the chant of the same name, Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral and
universitas magistrorum et scholarium [Université de Paris]. The term of Notre Dame School is
applied to the music originating from the Cathedral masters for the hundred years 1150 –
1250 CE.
128. * Magister Leoninus “Leonin” (fl. 1150-1201), Alleluia Pascha nostrum, 2-part organum
(organum duplum) on the chant of the same name. See page 18 in textbook for details.
This lovely Easter chant – Alleluia, Our Sacrificed Lamb – is best heard at .
Note the alteration between
sections of polyphonic (here, florid organum) and monophonic textures. In the David
Munro performance, the bell is added as a matter of performance practice.
129. * Magister Perotinus, “Perotin” (fl. 1200), Viderunt Omnes 4-part free organum (organum
quadruplum) on the plainchant by the same name, Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral and
universitas magistrorum et scholarium [Université de Paris].
Module 8
The Poetic Middle Ages
800 CE - 1400 CE
Even as the Catholic Church strove to standardize its music repertoire for the whole of its
dominion, individuals wrote music to express his or her own mind, heart, and desires. Some of
these beauties survive for us to encounter them afresh. What we know today as the Ars Antiqua –
old art – bears a simplicity and directness that results from a well-set poem which is responsive only
to the needs of the words. Shockingly relevant for the 21st century, many song texts – and they are
texted songs, almost exclusively – resonate with fervor and a passion not usually attributed to the
middle ages, freely mixing sacred and profane. The musical vehicle is virtually always monophonic
or a would-be monophony with a light accompaniment, giving a strong immediacy of message.
Here we find the troubadour’s song, the courtier’s ode, the mystic’s visions, and reality clothed by
the illusions of theatre. In all cases the Ars Antiqua, in its secular forms, is the expressions of the
The 14th century was a time of renewed interest in learning; a high period of Scholasticism, dedicated
to training in practical subjects like medicine, had taken over, moving away from pure monastic
learning. A new art – Ars Nova – emerged in 1322 enabling the joining of many voices in a single
complex song. With this Ars Nova, notation stepped forward in a way that could dictate and control
rhythm, permitting and encouraging many independent musical lines to merge as single
composition. Poet-musicians carried the day, but not by contributing poems for the solo singer: no,
these poets blended poems, languages, chants into works of mind-boggling nuance, word play, and
double (triple) meaning. The result was the glory of the age: the motet – deriving from the French
word for “word,” mot. With an ability to notate rhythm, musicians were no longer reliant on a text
to keep the group in sync. Alongside the proliferation of wordy motets, instruments begin to assert
their own unique voices and qualities. As all these voices and instruments played together, slowly,
inexorably concepts of consonance and dissonance began its shift and the sophistication which
would ultimately become our modern understanding and practice of harmony began to emerge.
The PowerPoint, Ars Antiqua … Ars Nova, brings together our concepts and terms for this module.
I recommend reviewing this PowerPoint after class and again before the midterm. All of the starred
(*) selections below may be found on the Naxos Music Library.
(800 CE – 1300 CE)
130. Anonymous, La Chanson de Roland (9th century). This epic poem in the minstrel tradition is
amongst the first to extant sources of song texts from middle ages Europe. The poetry
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The Poetic Middle Ages
describes the exploits of Charlemagne against the Moors of Islamic Spain. A performance
in Montreal (1981) may be heard (French only, visual stills only) at . The full translated text may be
found at . The French text
131. * El Cant de la Sibil·la [Song of the Sibyl] : Liturgical Drama for Christmas Eve. It has been
sung nearly continuously on Mallorca since the 10th century. The text is based on prophesy
of the Apocalypse taken down by Eusebius [Pamphili] of Caeserea in the 4 th century. The
at A modern UNESCO documentary
(please ignore the musical introduction and interludes, as these are not of the period) shows
132. * Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), O virga ac diadema: an example of a Da Sancta Maria
Sequentia, or a hymn (sung poetry) to the Virgin Mary. Such hymns are usually in rhyming
poetic couplets. Text and translation in CD Booklet or online at along with a lovely video
133. * Hildegarde von Bingen, O viridissimi virgo: an example of a sequence to the Virgin Mary
(Da Sancta Maria Sequentia). Text and translation may be found in the CD booklet on
online at .
134. * Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Ordo Virtutum (c. 1151): Earliest known morality play,
composed in monophonic song except for the single speaking role of the devil. Text and
translation of the small fragment hosted by Naxos may be found in the accompanying CD
The full text and translation thereof may be found at .
135. * Bernart de Ventadorn (b. 12th century), Quan vei la laudate mover: unascribed Troubadour
chanson. The excerpt is, perhaps, not quite purist, but does give the effect of the song’s
simple ballade style.
Full text and translation may be found at
136. * Alfonso X El Sabio (1221–1284), attributed, Santa Maria Leva, no. 320 from Cantigas de
Santa Maria ("Canticles of Holy Mary"), a set of 420 poems with musical notation, written in
Galician-Portuguese. If seeking this on Naxos, please note that the provided recording is
given by female voice accompanied by string instruments (not quite traditional), while the
excerpt played in class is by, dare I say, the more authentic unaccompanied male voice.
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The Poetic Middle Ages
You’ll have to hunt for it a bit, but you may will find the text and translation on page 22 at
137. * Adam de la Halle (1237-1288), l“Robins m’aime” : Rondeau or chanson drawn from the
musical drama, “Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion.” The text and translation may be found on the
at . If interested,
the CD includes the full play and its music.
(1300 - 1400 CE)
138. * Philippe de Vitry (fl. 1310-1316), “In mari miserie” chanson from the satire play Le Roman
de Fauvel. The tale of Roman de Fauvel is an satirical allegory about a horse named Fauvel.
The name Fauvel is an acronym of the French words for six of the seven deadly sins of the
church : Flattery, Avarice, Villainy (V, being U), Fickleness (variété), Envy, and Cowardice
(lâcheté). The original poem was written in 1310 by Gervais de Bus. De Vitry ’s text Ars
Nova notandi (1322) inaugurated notational control over rhythm. A synopsis of the full
allegorical poem may be found at
at , page 4.
particular text metaphorically equates rescue from sea and storm with redemption from the
seven deadly sins.
139. * Adam de la Halle, “Mout / Robins m’aime / PORTARE” : Motet combining a new
melody on the text “Mout me fu grief …” and the existing melody on the text of “Robins
m’aime,” all spun over top of the plainchant accompanying the word PORTARE. Read
the texts deeply and seek their hidden meanings and comparisons for full effect; see
attached CD booklet.
140. * Guillaume de Machaut [pronounce Ma-show] (1300-1371), “Credo” from “Misse de Notre
[Nostre] Dame,” first full setting of the mass ordinary by a single composer. Text and
Translation on booklet. Do feel free to listen to the other four movements of the mass as
well – each has a discernibly different character! The text of the full ordinary of the mass
may be found at .
141. * Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1371), “Puis qu'en oubli” Le Voir Dit. Rondeau 18: One of
Machaut’s most famous songs, it originates as a simple poetic rondeau of simple rhymed
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The Poetic Middle Ages
meter, but displays musical and rhythmic sophistication. Text and translation in the
booklet. Or online at
142. * Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1371), De toutes flours: Ballade, so named for its poetic form,
not actually its musical style. The polyphonic setting could be taken by four voices (with
little possibility of hearing the text) or with a combination of any “four” voices or
instruments. Here on Naxos, the performance is quite quick and given by two singers,
recorder and plucked instrument in unison, and viol; followed by a repetition on organ.
The classroom example is four voices, much slower, and much more pensive. The text and
translation may be found at
143. * Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1371), Amour et biaute / Quant en moy voint / Amara valde: 3
voice Motet (M1). Do enjoy the play of moments of consonant beauty (to our ears) and the
shocking stridency. See page 21 of textbook for details
144. * Francesco Landini (1325/35-1397), Che pena è quest'al cor [c. 1350]: balata. Two versions
are given on the play list, one for voices only and one for lute and viol. The music is the
same, the difference is in the performance resources. The text and translation may be
found at
Module 9
It has long been considered that the learning of the ancients disappeared with the fall of the Roman
Empire in the west, plunging Europe into a dark age where ignorance and superstition enslaved and
ensnared the populace. We know this isn’t quite true – many regions thrived as centers of
enlightenment and learning, or as centers of great economic and social prosperity – rather, the dark
age myth is a romantic invention of the very-romantic 19th-century. What is certain, however, is that
late in the 14th century, Florence and the court of Lorenzo d ’Medici was introduced to translations
of texts by the Greek philosophers, principally Plato. These texts had been largely unknown since
antiquity. Once they had been reintroduced to this eager audience, they caused in a sensation in
Florence (and later in The Netherlands), bringing about nothing short of a revolution, a renewal of
the ideals of classical antiquity: Renaissance Humanism, elevating the acts of man (and woman)
through eloquence and beauty. Gone was the utilitarianism of the preceding age; no more working
simply to serve a societal purpose or creating art to serve only God. Now, learning was desired for
the purpose of bettering oneself through the studia humanitatis – grammar, rhetoric, history, moral
philosophy, poetry and Greek – and moreover, to aspire to, participate in, and to love beauty: in
essence to engage in what we consider a liberal arts education. Beauty in the arts was expressed in
balance, form, proportion, a certain mathematical elegance. In music, secular themes are
pronounced, nature is acknowledged, characterization steps forward, instrumental music is accepted
on par with vocal music, and in vocal music a new style of polyphony call homophony aligns all the
voices and makes words understandable to the listener.
Neither was the Church immune from change. Early in the 16th century, the schism instituted by
Martin Luther in Germany torn the church apart permanently: Catholic and Protestant. The
Catholic Church responded with a Counter-Reformation movement. All the while, changes in
religious practice brought about changes in music, changes which still affect us and enchant us today.
During this module we will gather our discussions through a PowerPoint presentation, Renaissance.
Please review it after class and again before the midterm. Musical selections may be found on the
Naxos Music Library.
145. * Guillaume Dufay [pronounced Doof-eye] (1397-1474), Adieu ces bons vins de lannoys (1426), a
very secular 3-voice rondeau from the young Dufay. In this performance, the beautiful
polyphonic writing is tenderly given to plucked and bowed strings supporting a single voice;
recorder offers commentary. An element of theatricality is added with the voice fading to
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the distance toward the end. The text is a sorrowful farewell to the singer’s homeland;
translation may be found at
146. * Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), Nuper Rosarum Flores / Terribilis est locus iste (1436),
isorhythmic motet for the dedication of Brunelleschi’s dome completing the Duomo
(Cathedral) at Florence Italy, Santa Marie del Fiore (St. Mary in the Flowers). The lengthy
anonymous text proclaims the glories of Florence over a cantus firmus “terribilis est locus
iste” used for the consecration of churches: the English translation of the cantus may be
paraphrased as “This place is awesome!” Terribilis est locus iste! The full text may be found
147. * Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), Missa L’homme armé (c. 1460), one of the first examples of a
cyclical mass, where all the sections of the mass use the same tune – in this case the
thoroughly secular popular tune “L’homme armé” which has a lightly engaging rhythm and
elegant melodic shape – as cantus firmus (given on the playlist). Many composers jumped on
this text as cantus for polyphonic works. Whether it was a matter that the juxtaposition of
radically different, even competing sentiments was merely tolerated or heartily embraced for
irony is not known. Text and translation of this Mass movement are in the accompanying
booklet or
148. * Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521), Absalon, fili mi (c. 1497), 4-voice motet based on the
Biblical text of King David, Samuel 18:33. The tune itself became terribly popular and was
used as cantus for many contemporary polyphonic works. Text and translation are found in
the booklet or,_fili_mi .
149. * Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521), Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (c. 1500), motet. Unlike the
polyphonic motets heard previously in the course, this one is in homophonic texture: the
syllables all move together, so the text is easy to understand. This was a musical gift of the
Renaissance period! Along with this comes what we would consider beautiful sonorities
and harmony that seems to tell you what to expect next and when the music will come to a
halt. Additionally the overall mood is reflected in the music. Modernity is knocking on the
The text and translation are in the accompanying booklet or
150. * Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521), El Grillo (c. 1505), secular madrigal for unaccompanied
voices. Few compositions of any time are as fun as this one. The cricket chirps away! Text
and translation at
151. * Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521), Mille Regretz (first published 1549 posthumous), secular
chanson for 4 unaccompanied voices. Forty-five years after El Grillo, Josquin is still
pushing all the emotional buttons! And a thoroughly modern sentiment to boot! Text and
translation at
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152. * Tielman Susato (1510-1570), Pavana “Le Battaglia:” this posturing dance would have been
popular at court, which for the Renaissance period most certainly meant the Medici court in
Florence, Italy (although it would have been heard in court in England and the Netherlands
as well). The playlist performance is statelier than that played in class, which is much more
festive. Instruments differ between the two, but this is okay! At the time musicians would
use the instruments in hand. In both performances, period instruments are used.
153. Anonymous, Pavana “La Monina” and Gagliard “La Mafrolinea:” considered today to be dance
music popular at the Medici court in Florence, Italy.
154. Guglielmo il Giuggiola (attrib.), Canzona di lanzi venturieri: example of Florentine (Florence,
Italy) canto. Here our poet recounts the story of perpetually war-ready troops whose
custom it is to always carry which them their arms and armour.
155. * Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623), As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending (1601) from
Thomas Morley’s (1557-1602) madrigal collection The Triumphs of Oriana (1601). See
textbook, page 28, for insight into this work.
156. * Carlo Gesualdo (1556-1613), Beltà, poi che t’assenti (1611) for 5 voices from Book 6 of
Madrigals, pungent and unexpected, this madrigal is a most extravagant expression of
157. * John Dunstaple [Dunstable] (1390-1453), Veni Sancte Spiritus/Veni Creator (date unknown).
Too early to be a work of the reformation, it is included here because it was a casualty for
the Reformation in England and the resultant dissolution (and destruction) of the
monasteries and much of England’s religious wealth and art along with it. Dunstaple’s
surviving works come to us today only from continental sources. This spectacular work is
an isorhythmic motet combining two of the great hymn texts of the Church: Veni Sancte
Spiritus, the so-called “Golden Sequence” for Pentecost, and Veni Creator Spiritus, an
invocation of the Holy Spirit. Even within the strict principles of isorhythm one hears
sonorities which are warm to our ears, a foretaste of what is to come from the island
kingdom of Great Britain. Text and translations are in the accompanying booklet, or
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158. * Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), Spem in Alium (1570), 40-voice motet (8 choirs of 5 voices
each) written for the Matin (morning) service; the text comes from the Sarum Rite
(Salisbury, Wiltshire, ENGLAND) and is adapted from the Book of Judith. The work
survives for us in a manuscript used for the investiture of Henry Frederich, son of King
James I, as Prince of Wales in 1610. Many consider this the ultimate expression of the
Text, translation, and contrafactum (poetic rendering) is found at
159. * Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), Es ist ein Ros ensprungen: 1599 hymn tune (Speyer Hymnal,
Cologne), here sung by choir in Praetorius’ 1609 harmonization. Several texts and
translations are found at
160. * William Byrd (1540-1623), Ave Verum Corpus, motet for Festival of Corpus Christe, c.
1600. The short Eucharistic hymn text is from the 14th century and is attributed to Pope
Innocent VI. Text and translation at
161. * Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), In Dulci Jubilo: 1607 setting by Praetorius. The original
hymn poem was written by Heinrich Seuse in 1328 in a macaronic mix of medieval German
and Latin, a poem which was sung to him by angels in a vision. The poem has several
modern English translations, and the tune has been set numerous times by many composers
162. * Giovannini Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), Missa Papae Marcelli (1555). This mass is
one the earliest examples of the fully composed mass which does not have a single unifying
musical element such as a cantus firmus. While written some years after his death (1562),
the mass was written in honour of Pope Marcellus who reigned a mere 3 weeks in 1555.
Three movements are given: Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus. Text and translations are in the
booklet or
163. * Giovannini Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), Lamentationes Ieremiah [Hieremiae] Prophetae
(1588). The large-scale work comprises settings of the Tenebrae (Maundy Thursday) liturgy
as drawn from the Book of Lamentations from the Hebrew Bible: here you will find three
movements. There are a further two books, one for Good Friday and another for Holy
Saturday. Each is beautiful in its own angst-ridden right. The settings are all for 4 or 5
voices are set in full, but clear polyphonic style. Texts and translations are found in the
booklet or
164. Giovanni Francesco Anerio (1567-1639), Nell’apperir del sempiterno sole (soprano, mezzosoprano, tenor voices acapella).
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165. * Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611, known as the Spanish Palestrina), O Magnum
166. * Giovannini Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), Missa “Hodie Christus natus est” (1575). The
8-voice mass for Christmas is built upon a cantus firmus from the motet Hodie Christus natus
est, Today Christ Is Born!
Text and translations in the booklet and
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Baroque Rationalism
It is difficult to put both “Baroque” and “Rationalism” in the same heading. On the one hand, the
two words express opposites: Baroque implies something over-wrought and misshapen, while
Rationalism implies something logical. Rationalism, beyond implying logic and order, stressed the
classical ideal (again!) of reason or scientific method as the vehicle to attain knowledge. In this, the
rational person knew that experience gained by the senses was to be considered suspicious and
certainly not a reflection of reality. Sensory stimulus was not to be shunned, only treated with care.
Enter music! As the 17th century dawned, musical expression of the emotional content of a text
became paramount. Emotions were to be presented descriptively, in a logical fashion, one at a time,
so that the listener could deeply consider and respond to each one personally. To a great extent, this
made music and rationalism odd bed-fellows, but bed-fellows none-the-less.
In this long musical era, the manner in which composers and performers managed musical
expression changes from the idea’s inception in 1600 to its final flowering around 1750. At first Le
Nuove Musiche – the new music – envisioned in Florence, Italy sought to recreate the music of
antiquity, edging more toward a lean rhetoric and recitation style than toward a true melody: very
rational. Over the next 150 years sometimes wildly expressive elements were added both at the
compositional level and at the performance level, making more and more elaborate, and leaving less
and less to the imagination of the listener. Because humans rarely experience emotions in a
balanced and proportioned fashion, and sometimes we carry our emotions to excess, it is no surprise
that Baroque music might indeed seem misshapen, even when aiming for rationalism.
With this module we move into what we call the Common Practice Period. By the time we arrive at
1600, we find that scales with their nearly-magnetic draw toward tonic (the start-finish notes of the
scale) have pushed aside older church modes. With a scalar system comes tonality, the harmonic
ramification of drive towards tonic. Within tonality we find a developing predictability in the order
of chords – we still use this basic ordering in a common 12-bar blues or pop song. The various
melodies that make up the counterpoint – either polyphonic or homophonic – move against each
other usually in opposite directions rather than parallel directions. Not less important: the
notational system had settled to its essentially modern form. Taken all together, by The Common
Practice Period, the language of music which we use today was essentially set, and we can read it and
understand it in today’s musical terms with about the same ease we can read and understand the
plays of William Shakespeare.
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Baroque Rationalism
During this module we will use the PowerPoint, Baroque Rationalism, to help guide our discussion.
The terms and concepts in association with this module are included there. Please review the
PowerPoint after class and then again prior to the midterm so that your concepts are fresh and full in
your mind and ear.
Written in 1601, Giulio Caccini’s Le Nuove Musiche set a new perspective for music composition. In
this text, Caccini postulated a new approach to music where the text is all, and the expression of the
text is given over to the most basic melodic delivery lofted over a supportive bass line, assisted by the
barest chordal accompaniment. Important words linger, sobbing words throb, and happy words
laugh: all is given over to the perfect deliver of the text. Immediately this new style – monody –
gave birth to opera.
167. * Giulio Caccini (1545-1618), Amor, io parto (Le Nuove Musiche, 1601): Setting of an elevenline madrigal text by an unknown author; it is often described as “the plaint of the hapless
lover” for voice, plucked chordal string instrument (lute/harp), and plucked viola da gamba
(class example); or for voice theorbo (plucked string) and bowed viola da gamba (playlist
example). The text roughly translates as: I leave and my heart breaks, but the one I leave
168. * Giulio Caccini (1545-1618), Dolcissimo sospiro (Le Nuove Musiche, 1601): set to a 9-line
madrigal text by Ottavio Rinuccini is set with great affectation (Affekt in German): voice
and viola da gamba alone. The text roughly translates as: I hear your sighs and offer my
heart … Ease my grief! … But perhaps you sigh for someone else? Text and translation at
169. * Giulio Caccini (1545-1618), Amarilli Mia Bella (Le Nuove Musiche, 1601). Everyone should
at,_mia_bella_%28Giulio_Caccini%29 .
170. * Giulio Caccini (1545-1618), Belle rose porporine (Le Nuove Musiche, 1601): a setting of this
most famous canzonetta text by Gabrielo Chiabrera, set with great energy, which is added
to by the performers. In the canzonetta an unrequited observer tries to decipher the
inscrutability of a laugh and a smile, whose secrets are guarded by rosy cheeks. Text and
translation at
171. * Jacopo Peri (1561-1633), Euridice (1600): One of the first operas ever written; this on a
libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini is based on books X and XI of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Orpheus and Euridice have been popular operatic characters over the years because of
Orpheus’ connection with music. In these two excerpts the action is set and concluded:
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the character La Tragedie sings a prologue extolling the virtues of earthly monarchs and
referencing the Seine (the opera was written for the wedding of Henry IV of France and
Maria de Medici), followed by a pastoral scene with nymphs, shepherds and Euridice prior
to her death; at the end of the opera Orpheus rejoices with the safe delivery of Euridice
(not Ovid’s ending). See textbook page 73 for illumination on this fascinating early opera.
Prologue, “Io, che d'alti sospir vaga e di pianti” (La Tragedia)
Act 2, Scene 5, “Gioite al canto mio, selve frondose” (Orfeo, Chorus)
172. * Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), L’Orfeo favola in musica [The Legend of Orpheus in Music], SV
318 (1607): An example of early opera, attempting to recreate the style of ancient Greek
drama in sung recitation on a libretto by Alessandro Striggio treating the musically-relevant
Greek myth of Orpheus and Euridice. Monody in its purest conceptual form: fully
inflected text adhering to word and poetry rhythm; music, while not unmelodic and
certainly singable, is not necessarily memorable and not readily transferable to alternate text.
See textbook page 75 for additional illumination on this work. Libretto in booklets
Act 1, “Ritornello -- Dal mio permesso amato”
Act 3, “Possente Spirto e formidabil Nume”
Act 4, “Ritornello – Qual honor di te fia degno”:
173. * Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), Vespero della Beata Virgine or simply Vespers (1610). This
work was Monteverdi’s application submission to the Vatican to become Maestro di Capella
(he did not get the posting) and possibly to St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice (where he did get
the position). Each of these first three movements (indeed, of the whole work) represents a
different musical style, all in favor in 1610. As a whole the work is a compendium of
possibility at the opening of the Baroque era. At the opening you might also notice how
Monteverdi reused some of the music from the opening of Orfeo. Full libretto and
translations in the accompanying booklet.
Versicle and Response (Psalm 96:1) – cantor, choir, orchestra
Psalm, Dixit Dominus (Psalm 110) – vocal sextet with instrumental sextet
Motet, Nigra Sum (Song of Songs [Solomon] 1:1-6) – solo tenor with basso continuo
174. * Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), L'incoronazione di Poppea [The Coronation of Poppea], SV
308, (1642-43). Monteverdi’s last opera is set on a libretto by Giovanni Francesco
Busenello. The opera is one of the first be based upon historical people and events (Roman
Emperor Nero and his mistress Poppea), drawing on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius,
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among others. More than forty years after his the origin of opera, this now is noticeably
tuneful. See textbook page 76 for additional insight on this work. Libretto in the
accompanying booklet.
 Act 1, Scene 5: Disprezzata Regina (Ottavia, Nutrice)
 Act 2, Scene 6: Hor che Seneca e morto (Nerone, Lucano)
 Act 2, Scene 9: Tu che dagli avi miei (Ottavia, Ottone)
 Act 3, Scene 7: A dio, Roma (Ottavia)
175. * Heinrich Schütz (1583-1643), “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied,” SWV 35 from
Symphoniae Sacrae (Book II, 1647) – Psalm 98 and Doxology are set for soprano and
ensemble; note conversational style between singer and instrument, and the way each vers is
176. * Heinrich Schütz, “Es steh Gott auf” from Symphoniae Sacrae (Book II, 1647); Psalm 68 is
set for male duet with instruments; note use of the instruments with the rhythm to establish
an overall mood for this work. Text and translation at
177. * Henry Purcell [pronounced Purse-l] (1659-1695), Dido and Aeneas, S. 626 (ante 1688). Here
Purcell demonstrates his usual uncommon ease and unfailing precision at setting the
English language. Purcell sets Nahum Tate’s libretto as a beautiful opera in three scenes and
a prologue of great dramatic power with brilliant text painting.
Sinfonia (Instrumental)
Shake the Clouds (Aria)
Ah, Belinda (Aria)
When I Am Laid in Earth (Aria)
By the end of the Renaissance, instruments were occasionally being trusted to take a vocal line from
a madrigal. In opera, instruments took prominent roles, both in incidental music and as supporting
partners for singers. It wasn’t long before instruments stepped forward to take their own place as
expressive vehicles for wordless music.
178. * Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612), Canzon septimi toni no.2, from Sacrae Symphoniae (1597): as a
very loose definition of canzon, the form of this work is free and changing section by
section as if imitating in instruments the type of music which might be set to very
expressive poetry (for example, the 13th-14th-century Italian Canzona). The playlist gives
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three performances: one on period instruments, one with modern brass quintet and organ,
and one with modern brass ensemble. Note how the instrumentation significantly changes
the sound quality and mood of the music.
179. * Giovanni, Gabrieli, Canzon duodecimi toni á 10, from Sacrae Symphoniae (1597): [When
listening in class only:] unlike the previous which is performed on modern brass
instruments, this more closely adheres to original conception of instrumentation using
period instruments such as organ, cornetts, violins, and the ever-popular sackbutt. Note
how the change of instrumentation changes the whole quality and edge of the music. The
playlist gives two performances, one on period instruments and one on modern
180. * Matthias Weckmann (c. 1616-1674), “4 verses from Magnificat secondi toni” (composition
date unknown). Weckmann was student of the far more well-known Jan Pieterszoon
Sweeklinck. The contrapuntal compositional style is self-evident to the ears and visually
engaging in video presentation.
181. * Girlamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), “Toccata Prima” from Toccate d’Involuntura de cimbalo del
Primo Libro (1615): performed on harpsichord.
Girlamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) Canzona XIII della la Biachina (1628), Violin, cornett,
chitarrone, harp, and organ
183. * Marin Marais (1656-1728), 32 Couplets des Folies d'Espagne from Deuxième livre de pièces de viole
for viola da gamba and figured bass (1701): while written simply as a variation set on this famous
17th-century sarabande, the variety of spirit and mood shown in the couplet variations
lends themselves to dance both on the origianl sarabande dance tune and on the subsequent
184. * Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), Kanon und Gigue für 3 Violinen mit Generalbaß, PWC 37:
better known as Pachelbel’s Canon in D
185. * Archangelo Corelli (1653-1715), Concerto Grosso, op. 6, no. 1 (1708). The authorship of
these works is mildly disputed with Francesco Geminiani being the strongest candidate to
push Corelli off the title page.
186. * Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Concerto in D major, Op. 10, No. 3, “Il Gardellino” for
flute/recorder and orchestra, RV 428 (1728): mvt. 1.
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187. * Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), Tu scendi dalle stelle [You Descend from the Stars]
(1732), Pifferi (pipes or shawms), and zampagna (cornemuse or bagpipes). Naxos recording
is with modern instruments and includes choir; the class video shows performance on 16 thcentury period instruments.
A full hundred years into the period we call Baroque, music hardly sounded the same as it did back
in 1600 when its style was set in motion. Here at the Baroque pinnacle, commonly called the High
Baroque, many of the hallmarks are still there. Melody still soars above a bass line connected lightly
to it with chords. Notes still weep and sigh with the text, and passages still run up hill and tumble
back down at the barest suggestion of the words. Only now, the music has become grand and florid
– fully earning its title Baroque. Some of the greatest musician-composers who ever lived worked
their craft at this time, in every aspect of the art. Music was already starting to show some signs of
changing style, an indication that florid and fancy would soon give way to prim and elegant. In the
meanwhile, however, George Friedrich Handel and especially Johann Sebastian Bach synthesized the
finest elements of the High Baroque and created treasures of humanity.
188. * Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Le Quattro Stagioni (1723), The accompanying sonnets – the
basis of the composition, originally in Italian – are anonymous but are presummed to be of
Vivaldi’s authorship. Please see textbook page 57 for deeper context for these well-known
189. * Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), L'Olimpiade (1734), one of at least 50 if not closer to 100
operas from Vivaldi’s musical pen on a libretto by the great poet-writer-librettist of his day,
Pietro Metastasio. See textbook page 54 for further connections beyond simple affect and
into the realm of the purely instrumental.
Text and translation at
Act 2, scene 5: Siam navi all’onde algenti
190. * Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), Messiah, HWV 56 (1741): on a libretto by Charles
Jennens, adapted from Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. Please see both
pages 43 and 85 of the textbook for further context on the Sinfonia and the “Hallelujah”
#1 Sinfonia (Part 1, Scene1)
#18 Aria, Soprano (Part 1, Scene 5), “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion”
#44 Chorus (Part 2, Scene 7) “Hallelujah!” Arguably the most famous of
choruses from the most famous of all oratorios, the “Halleluiah Chorus” is a
staple of the Christmas season despite the fact that only the first of the oratorios
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three parts is linked to Christmas (specifically “The Annunciation”), the other
two parts covering “The Passion” (events leading to Easter) and “The
Aftermath” (including Judgement Day). The “Hallelujah Chorus” closes part 2.
#45 Aria, Soprano (Part 3, Scene 1), “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth” – the
first notes of this aria adorn Handel’s tomb at Westminster Abbey, London,
#48 Aria, Bass (Part 3, Scene 2), “The Trumpet Shall Sound”
191. * Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), Water Music, HWV 348 and 349 (1717), selections:
Water Music is comprised entirely of stylized dances (in two suites) which were intended as
concert music, not dance music, and was composed with the knowledge that the
performers (a 50-piece orchestra) would play from barge near the King’s barge as both
travelled down the Thames River. This event was captured on canvas by the contemporary
painters Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman and Giovanni Antonio Canal “Canaletto. See page
84 of the textbook for greater context.
From Suite 1, HWV 348
1. Overture (Largo – Allegro)
2. Adagio e staccato
3. Allegro – Andante – Allegro da
4. Minuet
5. Air
Allegro (variant)
Alla Hornpipe (variant)
192. * Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 (1749),
selections: A suite of stylized dances (Handel preferred the title “overture” but was overruled by the King) to accompany the fireworks in celebration of the Treaty of Aix-lachapelle, ending the War of Austrian Succession and, amongst other things, guaranteed the
Hanoverian succession to the British throne. The fireworks themselves were disastrous,
setting the launching barge on fire. The events of this exciting day are captured in
contemporary etchings.
Ouverture: Adagio, Allegro, Lentement, Allegro
La Paix: Largo alla siciliana
La Réjouissance: Allegro
Menuets I and II
193. * Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), Sonata in g minor for Recorder and Basso Continuo, HWV
360 (ante 1710), “Adagio” and “Presto” movements: in these small intimate sonatas, the
work of the basso continuo is clearly audible (and completely enjoyable). The performance
featured in class includes a rollicking bassoon and wild harpsichord on the basso continuo
part with Michaela Petri’s effervescent ornaments above in the recorder. The playlist
performance is tamer but delightful.
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194. * Georg Phillip Telemann (1681-1767), “Methodical” Sonata in d minor for Flute and Basso
Continuo (1728-1735), Andante and Allegro: in this impressive set of sonatas, Telemann
composed possible solutions and options for improvised ornamentation which the
performers were required to add in order to complete the effect of the music.
195. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Toccata and Fugue in d minor, BWV 565 (Date ???).
This very famous work by J. S. Bach is most likely not by the great master. No copy in the
composer’s hand survives and the music doesn’t really pull the right punches to be J.S. Bach
(it sounds just a bit too 19th-century). We may never confirm the true composer or for that
matter that JS Bach didn’t compose it. Until that time, we will call it J.S. Bach’s, for lack of
a better alternative! The end result of this controversy is that the work is no longer in
favour amongst performers – the simple question of just what kind of organ (baroque or
romantic) should be used for performance is too big an issue. In the end, perhaps the best
presentation of all is the transcription by Leopold Stokowsky which is featured in the 1939
Disney production, Fantasia. That version is included on the playlist along with his
transcription of the “little g minor fugue,” itself a very open way to experience and follow a
196. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (17061713). This youthful work by Bach is not only one of his greatest works, but also one of
the greatest variation works ever composed. See page 101 of the textbook for focussed
attention to this work.
197. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, BWV 1047 (1708-1717):
mvt. 1, Allegro: solo instruments (the concertino) are flute, trumpet, violin, and oboe.
Bach’s trumpeter, Gottfried Reiche, died of a stroke shortly after performing this work. It
is believed that the physical strain of performing the equisitely high trumpet part was the
cause of the stroke. For more on this grisley story, see the 1734 account at
0Trumpet%20part.2.html . See pages 105-110 in the textbook for more about the whole of
the Brandenburg 6 Concertos, while pages 52 and 62 speak directly to this concerto.
198. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Brandenburg Concerto no. 4,
BWV 1049 (1708-1717), mvts. 1 and 2, Allegro and Air; the
concertino group is two recorders and violin – usually now the
recorders are replaced by flutes, but “period” performances,
such as this one, are also popular
May I suggest an excellent read: Stuart
Isacoff’s 2003 non-fiction book:
Temperament: How Music Became the
Battleground for the Greatest Minds of
Western Civilization
199. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, Book 1
(1722), Prelude and Fugue in C major: and Prelude and Fugue in c minor. At this time
Clavier referred to any keyboard instrument, and is performed today on all variety of
keyboard instruments; in class we will hear this performed on piano, although Bach’s score
clearly shows need for an instrument with a different kind of sustaining power. Page 68 of
the textbook walks gently through the mechanics of a fugue.
Module 10
Baroque Rationalism
(203a) * And now for something completely different: in the last 19th century, the French
composer Charles Gounod took Bach’s original C major prelude, repeated one bar, and
penned over-top his exquisite “Ave Maria.” You’ll find a recording of this work for
tenor and piano on the Naxos Music Library playlist.
200. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1741). Here Bach
gives us one of the most extensive variation works ever written. Modern listeners can still
swoon to the nuances of finely-wrought canons and note-play. The Goldberg of the title
may have been the work’s first performer, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg.
201. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4 (Easter, 1707), text
by Martin Luther. The full text and translation may be found at
Sinfonia: strings and continuo
Verse I: "Christ lag in Todes Banden" - The alto, tenor, and bass voices sing free
counterpoint, while the cantus firmus is sung by the soprano in unadorned, long notes.
iii. Verse II: "Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt" - for soprano, alto and continuo.
iv. Verse III: "Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn" - for tenor and continuo with 2 violins
v. Verse IV: "Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg" - for soprano, alto, tenor, bass and
vi. Verse V: "Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm" - for bass, strings and continuo.
vii. Verse VI: "So feiern wir das hohe Fest" - for soprano, tenor and continuo.
viii. Verse VII: "Wir essen und leben wohl" - A chorale, sung and played by the whole
202. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Magnificat, BWV 243 (Christmas Vespers, 1723),
“Quia Respexit”: text is from the Roman Rite, drawn directly from the Christian Bible,
Gospel of Luke, chapter 2.
Full text and translation at – scroll down to movement 3.
 (3) Quia Respexit – Soprano, continuo, and oboe d’amore obbligato
203. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140 (Advent,
1731), selections: text is from the Christian Bible, Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25. Full
 (Chorus) Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
 (Chorale) Zion hört die Wächter singen
 (Chorale) Gloria sei dir gesungen
204. * Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Mass in b minor (1749, assembled from earlier
compositions), selections
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Baroque Rationalism
Kyrie: (Chorus) Kyrie, eleison
Credo: (Chorus) Gratia agimus tibi
Credo: (Duet) Domine Deus
Credo: (Chorus) Qui tollis peccata mundi
Module 11
Elegant and Sensitive
Certainly, there are defining moments in music history which initiate an almost immediate change in
style or approach. The cusp between Baroque and Classical period is not one of these defining
moments. This dramatic and substantial change in music was brought about over several decades,
beginning in France with the harpsichordists, François Couperin and later, Philippe Rameau. Their
contribution was to simplify and clarify music away from the entwined counterpoint of the late
Baroque. This simplifying and clarifying process in the waning decades of the Baroque Period is
known as the Rococo movement. Rococo changes were uniquely suited to the hands of the solo
keyboard player, but not to the exclusion other instrumental groups. Springing out from a Parisian
centre, the ideals soon caught the attention of the sons of Johann Sebastian; in particular Carl Phillip
Emmanuel working in Berlin at the Prussian Court and Johann Christian working in London were
highly influential on the next generation of composers: Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart. True, Emmanuel’s style was polar-opposite from his brother Christian’s. Still
both individual styles were moving into new territory, unlike their father’s older, retro style. Their
father was the culminating genius of the Baroque period, but it was the sons who proposed a new
direction. Our PowerPoint, Classical Enlightenment, highlights terms and concepts in association with
this transitional time: please review it after class and again prior to the midterm.
205. * François Couperin (1668-1733), “Sixiême ordre: les barricades mistérieuses” from Livres de
Clavecin in 22 Ordres (1713-1730), performed on harpsichord. .
206. * Philippe Rameau [pronounced Ram-o] (1683-1764), “Allemande” from “Suite in e minor”
from Pièces de Clavecin (1724), performed on harpsichord.
207. * Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782), Overture: Adriano in Siria (1765): the light, airy gallant
style is represented in the work of this son of the great J. S. Bach. His music, as well as that
of the older styled works of “Papa” Bach was highly influential on the style of Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart.
208. * Carl Philip Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), Sonata in g minor, Wq 65/17 (1746): The stormy
and irrational perspectives of this son of the great J. S. Bach were highly influential on the
style of Franz Joseph Haydn and a hallmark of the empfindsamerstil (the sensitive style).
Module 12
Classical Enlightenment
Repeatedly in history, the elite thinkers and artists of Europe have aspired to the ideals of classical
antiquity: the form, logic, and proportion embodied in ancient thought and art seemed to be
blissfully free from romantic flights of fancy and high emotionalism. To the ancients, as to modern
aspirants, the universe unfolds with immutable order ordained from before time and revealed in the
perfection of numbers, geometry, and music. These ideals returned to prominence again in the late
17th century in the form of the Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment was an essential French
ideal, stressing the importance of reason and scientific method, individualism and a decidedly antiaristocratic or anti-monarchical perspective. Before the Age of Enlightenment gave way to the
romantic movements of the 19th century, many political revolutions would be waged, many
monarchies would fall, and many aristocrats would be pushed from their pedestal (or beheaded) to
make way for the individual common man. In music these principles manifest first through the rococo
and gallant styles of the 18th century (previous module) and culminated in the high classical style. The
high classical style demanded a perfection of form and balance in all things including music. Such a
perfection of balance and form in music is accompanied by mechanisms that allow glimpses of the
individual and a way by which characters can be experienced in relationship to each other. It is
further suggested that music alone, without the assistance of text of super-musical intent – what we
call absolute music – is sufficient to the task of expression. Indeed this is what we see in the High
Classical Period.
During this module we will use a PowerPoint, Classical Enlightenment, to help guide our discussion.
There will be many concepts and terms in this PowerPoint. It is vital that you return to this
PowerPoint after class and again before the midterm.
Music for so long had been associated with words for its primary expression that it was virtually
unthinkable that instruments would have the capacity to express with equal strength without
recourse to the voice. Indeed, there had been instrumental dance music, processional music,
ceremonial music, meditation music, but this music had appeared to be in the service of a secondary
need – to move, to celebrate, to pray. During the 17th and 18th centuries, instruments did begin to
gain their own expressive repertoire – concertos and sonatas for treble instrument, complex imitative
works and fantasias for keyboards; yet here these works seemed to show the capacities of the
instrument or performer. Now in the late 18th century, the classical period saw the rise to dominance
of instrumental music which tells all that needs to be told musically through the strongly narrative
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Classical Enlightenment
and rhetorical Sonata Forms. With no words necessary, no extra-musical association necessary, the
instruments complete the whole story. This is absolute music!
209. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [pronounced MOAT-sart] (1756-1791), Serenade no. 13 for
Strings in G major, K. 525 (1787), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: musicians regard this very
popular work as a supreme and perfect example of Sonata form. See pages 116-118 of the
textbook for a bit of additional information on this very well-known work.
210. * Franz Joseph Haydn [pronounced HIDE-n] (1732-1809), String Quartet no. 30 in Eb major,
op. 33, no. 2, “Joke,” Hob. III:38 (1781): the string quartet did not exist as a form or as an
entity prior to Haydn’s time – early, contemporary biographers suggest that this the thirtieth
of Haydn’s string quartets is it amongst the oldest string quartets in the current repertoire.
211. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), String Quartet no. 63 in Bb major, op. 76, no. 4,
“Sunrise,” Hob. III:78 (1797): here the substantial change in writing for string quartet
from the op. 33 Quartets from 16 years earlier is evident in the independence of the part
and the broad range of expression.
212. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Symphony No. 29 in E major Hob. I/29 (1765): this
early symphony of Haydn is lightly scored for two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, strings
and continuo. For the time being the basso continuo continues to provide a foundation for
most orchestral ensembles, even though it has effectively disappeared from chamber music
forms such as the string quartet. Tiny gems such as these were custom-composed for
intimate spaces such as the public rooms at Esterhazy palace.
213. * Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony no. 83 in g minor, “Le Poule” [“The Hen”] Hob. I/83,
(1787): Haydn is credited with being “The Father of the Symphony” largely because
devoted so much creative energy to developing this important sonata-form (itself only just
coming into existence at the time of Haydn’s birth). More than 35 years separate the
composition of Haydn’s first and last symphonies. In that time Haydn defined the
symphonic form, established the workings of what would become the symphony orchestra,
and created more than 100 delightful gems of the modern repertoire. The nickname is not
Haydn’s, but owes to the pecky second subject of the first movement and the insistent BA
b-DA b-DA b-DA rhythms throughout the movement.
214. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Symphony No.88 in G major, Hob. I/88 (1787): See
page 154 of the textbook for illuminating thought on this work.
215. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Symphony No. 92 in G major, Hob. I/92 (1789): See
page 132 of the textbox for focussed thought on this fine symphony.
216. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Symphony no. 94 in G major, “Surprise,” Hob. I/94
(1791): the nicknames of most works by Haydn are not assigned by Haydn, but are added
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Classical Enlightenment
by later publishers, performers, or critics. A quick glance at the following site will illuminate
the many colourful names given to Haydn symphonies over the years:
217. * Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Symphony no. 45 in F# minor “Farewell:” the last
movement is the reason for the title!
218. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,” K.
265 (1781). See textbook page 128 to explore these elegant variations.
219. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Symphony no. 38 in D Major, K. 504, “Prague”
220. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Symphony no. 40 in g minor, K. 550 (1788):
this is one of only two minor-key symphonies Mozart wrote. Its urgent and stormy
disposition makes it absolutely characteristic of the intoxicating Sturm und Drang movement
sweeping German-speaking countries in the late 18th century. See textbook pages 140-141
221. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter”
(1788). This last symphony of Mozart is scored for a full classical orchestra: flute, two each
oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, strings and timpani – no continuo! The symphony’s
nickname derives apparently from impresario Johann Peter Salomon who coined the term
and appended it to an early arrangement for piano. The symphony was Mozart’s last
symphony. See page 144 of the textbook.
222. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Sonata no. 11 in A major, K. 331 (1778
Paris or 1783 Vienna): the move to write sonatas for single instrument without basso
continuo took place essentially in Mozart’s lifetime. Sonatas for instruments without
harmonic capability – woodwinds and strings – continued to include keyboard (usually now
piano); however, the enormous flexibility and powerful expression of the new pianoforte
(or simply piano) made it an instrument capable of standing on its own.
223. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Quartet for Flute and Strings in D major, K. 285
(1777/1778): Here the flute takes the role usually assumed by the first violin of a string
224. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K.
581 “Stadler”: the newly invented clarinet was made a serious instrument by the clarinetist
Anton Stadler. Composers of the day began to recognize its enormous expressive
capabilities, its huge range, and its extraordinary capacity for intimacy.
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Classical Enlightenment
225. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Concerto for clarinet and orchestra, K. 622
(1791): the capabilities of the newly invented clarinet and its particular brand of expression
– broader than all other wind instruments of the day – are heightened and featured
226. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in Bb
major, K. 191
227. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 17 in G
major, K. 453 (1784). See page 163 of textbook for additional illumination.
Baroque opera had been dedicated to themes of history and myth of classical antiquity. Ultimately,
Baroque opera would become stylized and oddly rigid; even so it was also filled with spectacle and
special effects. In the last decades of the 18th century, Enlightenment philosophy opened the door to
stories of today, triumphs of the common man, local content, and a certain modern mythology.
These characters can be loved, admired, or laughed at because you know them, you know the type.
During this time and for all time, no one did this better than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
228. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata, [The
Marriage of Figaro or the Day of Madness], K. 492 (1786) on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
setting the 1784 play La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais. The play
was second of a scandalous trilogy which was banned in Vienna at the time owing to its
unflattering representation of the aristocracy. See textbook page 173. Texts and
translations, respectively, at
Act 1, Duet: Cinque, dieci, venti, trenta
Act 1, Cavatina: Se vuol ballare, Signor Contino
Act 2, Cavatina: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro al mio duolo
229. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, (The Rake
Punished or Don Giovanni) K. 527 (1787, Prague) on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, and
based upon Alexander Pushkin’s theater comedy The Stone Guest. Despite the dark finale,
the opera – in the same spirit as the play – is a buffa opera. See textbook page 173-176.
Texts and translations, respectively, at
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Classical Enlightenment
Act 1, Aria: Madamina, il catalogo è questo
Act 2, Finale: Giá la mensa preparata
230. * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620. See
textbook pages 173, 241 and 242. Texts and translations, respectively, at:
Act 1, Sinfonia-Overture
Act 1, Scene 1, Quintet: Hm hm hm hm
Act 2, Scene 6, Aria: Der Hölle Roche kocht in meinem Herzen
Act 2, Scene 10, Duet: Papageno! Papagena!
The textbook also considers Idomeneo, La Clemenza di Tito, Abduction for the Seraglio, and Cosi fan tutti –
each a masterpiece and worthy of every exploration.
Classical forms are perfect and elegant, well-formed and proportioned. It doesn’t seem to be in the
nature of artists to be content with elegance and proportion for long. No blame there! It is an ideal
that so rarely bears out in reality. Almost as soon as the classical forms came into existence,
composers began to push against the forms. Restraint wouldn’t hold for long and sure enough, the
megalithic figure of Ludwig van Beethoven cut across the bow of the pure classicists and
dramatically pointed classicism down an unchangeable path toward Romanticism.
231. * Ludwig van Beethoven [pronounced BAY-toe-ven] (1770-1827), Sonata no. 8 in c minor, op.
13, “Pathetique” (1798-99): the power and expression of the piano is exploited in this early
work by Beethoven, a fine example of his early-period style.
232. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Sonata no. 14 in c# minor “quasi una fantasia,” op.
27, no. 2, “Moonlight” (1801): as Beethoven wrestles the restrictions of Classical period
form, he explores the possiblity of creating moods and tearing down formal boundaries as
necessary to gain his desired effect.
233. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Sonata no. 20 in G major, op. 49, no. 2 (1795-6). See
textbook page 134 for a compelling description of the enchanting closing Rondo.
234. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Symphony no. 3 in Eb major, op. 55, “Eroica”
(1803): many musicians point to this symphony and declare this to be the arrival of the
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Classical Enlightenment
Romantic period; however over-stated this may be, certainly this work turns the tide of
Beethoven’s craft and puts music on an irreversible course toward romanticism.
Beethoven’s most heroic works are in the key of Eb major, and in fact many composers are
seen returning to certain keys for certain effects or points of metaphor from the 18 thcentury forward.
The following links trace some of those consistencies:
235. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), “Razumovsky” String Quartet no. 1, op. 59., no. 1
236. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Bagatelle no. 25, “Für Elise,” WoO 59 (1810/1867).
This very famous work by Beethoven – Charles Brown’s friend Schroeder popularized this
work in the animated Charlie Brown shorts – was only published 40 years after Beethoven’s
death, hence WoO [without opus] 59. The work is clearly by Beethoven – we have the
sketches in his hand – but it was never given a final publisher’s copy by Beethoven and so
the versions we hear today have been transcribed from these very scratchy sketches by
other musicians over the years. Who was Elise? This and other similar questions regarding
the women in Beethoven’s life have occoupied musicologists for nearly 200 years.
Beethoven, who clearly loved women, never married, never had a longterm relationship, but
still expressed great passion toward a number of women, most famously his “Immortal
Beloved.” Still, we cannot determine who these women were, such was the level of
anonymity he provided them ... if you can count two centuries of speculation as anonymity.
By the way, you can no more take the ascertions of the 1994 film Immortal Beloved as fact
than you can those of the 1984 film or 1979 stageplay Amadeus, but Gary Oldman makes a
wonderful, almost lovable Beethoven, and Tom Hulce as Mozart is only one of the many
gems in the acclaimed latter film.
Module 13
It is very difficult to say when the Classical Period becomes the Romantic Period. If you ask me on
any one day of the week, I will probably give you a different starting date of the period based on
what I was just listening to. From the late 1790s we start to see the signs of definitive stylistic
change, and by 1820 we can no longer deny that Romanticism is in full bloom. Today, because
that’s what seems right as I write this, I will call it at 1808. With Beethoven’s composition and
premiere of the great 5th and 6th symphonies we can only gape in wonder at the romantic esprit he
exercised in the composition of these works. I could have just as easily said that the page turned
with the “Moonlight” Sonata in 1801 or the 3rd Symphony in 1803. You will notice, of course, that
we ended the previous module, Classical Enlightenment, with Ludwig van Beethoven and opened this
module with Ludwig van Beethoven. How could we not? As a true megalith of music, Beethoven
sits astride the whole of music history as surely as he spans the continuum from Classical to
Romantic periods.
What about after Beethoven? Well, that is a good question! In many respects, composers spent the
next 100 years wondering what could be done with music after Beethoven. Composers and
performers find their ways, of course. Some composers push wildly bigger – Berlioz, Mahler,
Wagner, and Strauss – while other composers head toward intimate miniatures – Schubert,
Schumann, and Chopin. Quick improvements to instrument brought on by the industrial revolution
encourage some composers to explore orchestral colours – Mendelssohn, Rimsky-Korsakov, Berlioz
– and others to focus on the virtuosic options for a single instrument – Rachmaninov, Liszt,
Chopin, Paganini. Then there was the whole phenomenon of nationalism which saw major and
minor composers alike – too many to give here – pressing forward their own ideas of national
identity through music. And still the old forms persisted recognizably – Tchaikovsky, Brahms,
Dvorak, Sibelius – and opera flourished – Verdi, Rossini, and Wagner. So much music! The
common thread shared by all is unquestioned personal expression. It is music of the hero or music
of the victim, music of the lover or music of unfulfilled music of the nation or music of the
repressed. During this time music is never – I think it is safe to say – never neutral. Always there is
a point to prove or a burden to bear. This is romanticism!
Module 13
Despite the heady words above, the fact remains that Romanticism in music is not a complete
change in style from Classicism, but rather Classicism remade. Almost throughout the period, we
recognize at least the vestiges of the classical form. Sometimes, the forms are actually given in full,
but often they are pulled apart of transformed. The classical forms, therefore, are not relics of the
past, but vehicles of a vital contemporary expression. To a certain extent, the forms become
metaphors, and listeners are invited to move deeply into the music; building, creating, and relating
connections between parts of a whole which offer a full narative of relationships and revelations. It
takes practice to hear this, but if you invest the time in a life of listening, these works rarely fail to
yield up new insights decades after a first hearing. Even without that long experience, it is possible
to hear the works in this section as expanded classical works – often, absolute music – with a twist,
usually to be found in the connection between the movements and themes from movement to
237. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Symphony no. 5 in c minor, op, 67 (1808); when
musicians speak of “The 5th” this is the work we speak of; it is difficult to argue that any
other work in the repertoire embodies a more perfect working of the smallest of motifs.
238. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Symphony no. 6, op. 68, “Pastorale” (1808). This
enchanting and rare “happy work” of Beethoven figures prominently in the textbook:
pages 202-207, 216, and 244.
239. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827),
Piano Concerto no. 5 in Eb, op. 73
“Emperor” (1811)
May I suggest an excellent read – an
entwined tripartite non-fiction tale:
Russell Marti’s 2001 book Beethoven’s
240. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Trio no. 7 in Bb major, op. 97 “Archduke”
241. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Symphony no. 9 in d minor, op. 125 “Choral”
(1824). While chronologically the completion of this work dates from Beethoven’s last
years, the ideas which lead to its final form began in Beethoven’s mind as early as 1793
when he first became acquainted with the essays of Schiller. A setting of An die Freunde was
contemplated as a cantata in 1811. The original fourth movement of this symphony was
planned to be a different, purely instrumental movement – those sketches eventually
became the last movement of the Op. 132 String Quartet. The idea of including voice in
the symphony, with this poem only came to Beethoven the year before the work was
See textbook 49, 187, 206, 218, 248-9.
Text and translation at
Module 13
242. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Missa Solemnis in D major, op. 123 (1824): setting of
the Ordinary of the Catholic Latin Mass. Many people consider this the greatest setting of
the mass ever composed. Personally, I’d listen to Bach’s Mass in b minor before making this
243. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli for Piano, op. 120,
“Diabelli Variations” (1824). See textbook pages 126-127 for a quick walk-through of this
most excellent variation work. If you fall in love with it, please backtrack and enjoy also
“The Goldberg Variations” by J. S, Bach.
244. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), String Quartet no 13 in Bb major, op. 130 (1825).
This late string quartet is found in two versions, both unconventional. Either way you
chalk it, the six movement structure is strange. For starters, Beethoven reverses (as he
often does) the order of 2nd and 3rd movements: dance and song, rather than song and
dance. Then he gives a second pair of dance and song! Now the fun begins! You may
proceed to the published finale – a light-hearted rondo-type movement – or you may take
on the dark and strenuous original finale: the Grosse Fuge, or the big fugue. It is big
indeed: too hard for a quartet of Beethoven’s day, and not appealing enough to engage the
publisher. So in a very uncharacteristic move, Beethoven removed his original finale and
published it separately as his opus 133 (below) and replaced it an alter-ego movement.
245. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), String Quartet no 15 in A major, op. 132 (1825).
The quartet’s last movement includes themes which were originally contemplated by
Beethoven for the finale of the 9th Symphony. The unusual form of this late quartet
includes a first movement with two expositions and two developments, and a rogue march
preceding the rondo finale.
246. * Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Grosse Fuge, op. 133 (1826). See note above at #246.
This fugue has a strong degree of contortion to it. It is a fabulous way to conclude and
draw together the above string quartet, but it is also a fantastic stand-alone work. Luckily
when Beethoven pulled it from the string quartet, he didn’t reject it.
247. * Franz Schubert [pronounced SHOE-bert] (1797-1828), Symphony no. 8 in b minor, D.
759, “Unfinished” (begun 1822): first two movements are complete, a third movement is
roughly complete but was never orchestrated; it is possible that a 4th movement may have
been composed but ultimately became the finale for Schubert’s ballet Rosemunde. There are
no apparent reasons why Schubert left this symphony incomplete. Schubert’s 9th
Symphony, the “Great C major” was composed in 1828 shortly before his death, and
published only in 1840 as the 7th Symphony.
248. * Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties: Symphonie
Fantastique, op. 14 , H 48 (1830, with later revisions): full-out programme symphony with a
story line written by Berlioz, included in the score, and instructed to be distributed to all
Module 13
concert members so as to fully appreciate the work. You will find that programme at . The symphony was written to express the
unrequited love Berlioz felt toward the Irish actress Harriett Smithson: Berlioz and
Smithson married and but only lived together a few years before separating.
Some composers can command a grand scale, while others such as those in this section excel in
painting deep and detailed on very small canvasses. The common point to these works is a small
number of performers. It doesn’t mean that these are uniformly intimate works, although the lieder
and the chamber music pieces are in this section. Elsewhere we will look to the works written
specifically for virtuosic display. Here, however, we will delight in the conversation between just a
few instruments, and thrill to the variety of stories which can be told with just a few musicians.
249. * Franz Schubert [pronounced SHOE-bert] (1798-1828), Gretchen am Spinnrade [Gretchen at the
Spinning Wheel], op. 2, D.118 (1814): text is excerpted from the play Faust (1808) by Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe, considered one of the greatest works of German theatre. In this
lied, the piano represents the spinning wheel. Note the beautiful stop and restart of the
spinning wheel as Gretchen’s daydreams lead her to kiss her man and then to return to
250. * Franz Schubert (1798-1828), Erlkönig [The Erlking, or The Alder King or The Elf King], op.
1, D. 328 (1815): text is excerpted from the ballad opera entitled Die Fischerin (1782) by
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In this lied, the piano represents a galloping horse. The text
and translation may be found at See
pages 210-211 of the textbook to follow the narrative more fully.
251. * Franz Schubert (1798-1828), Die schöne Müllerin, ein Zyklus von Liedern, gedichtet von Wilhelm
Müller [The lovely maid of the mill, a song cycle to poems by Wilhelm Müller], op. 25, D. 795 (1823).
Schubert set a selection of twenty of Müller’s poems as lieder and fashioned them into a
narrative story about a young man, a miller’s daughter, and the journey from youth to death
through the valley of unrequited love. The piano drives much of the emotional energy of
the cycle, assuming throughout the role of “the brook” which takes on and exhibits various
anthropomorphized perspectives. The full text and translation of all 24 lieder in the cycle
may be found at –
just click ENG under each title and then go back and do the same for the next one, etc..
(1) “ Das Wandern”
(2) “Wohin?”
(3) “Halt!”
(4) “Danksagung an den Bach”
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252. * Franz Schubert (1798-1828), Winterreise [Winter Journey], op. 89, D. 911 (1827): song cycle
of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller. The full cycle treats themes of death through the
metaphor of winter. Schubert himself had famously said that each night he fell asleep
hoping for death to overtake him and that each morning came as a disappointment to him.
While not clearly autobiographical, the literary themes resonated with the composer. The
(1) “Gute Nacht”
253. * Franz Schubert (1798-1828), String Quartet no. 14 in d minor, D. 810, “Death and the
Maiden” (1824): named after his 1814 lied by the same name, D. 531 the tune (no words) of
which forms the basis of the second movement. Schubert wrote this quartet at a time
when he knew that he was dying of syphilis. The lied upon which the second movement is
based is one of the most compact and hard hitting works in the whole of song. The
original lied is on a poem by Matthias Claudius; text and translation may be found at
254. * Franz Schubert (1798-1828), Piano Quintet in A major, op. posthumous, D. 667 (1819),
“Trout”: again, the nickname comes from the lied “Die Forelle” [“The Trout”] which
gives its tune to the last movement variations of the Quintet. The Quintet was written for
a non-standard instrumentation: piano, violin, viola, cello, and string bass. The lied
upon which the variation movement is based has been put on the playlist. The text and
255. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Lieder ohne Worte [Songs without Words] (1829-1845)
256. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Papillons, op. 2 (1832). Briefly noted on page 216 of the
257. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Carnaval, op. 9 (1834). Briefly noted on page 216 of the
258. Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn, 1805-1847), String Quartet in Eb Major (1834)
259. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Kreisleriana, op. 16 (1838). It may be tempting to assume
these named for the great violinist Fritz Kreisler, but he was yet to be born! Instead, namereference goes to Johannes Kreisler, a recurring character with elements of manicdepression, in the works of E. T. A. Hoffman. Briefly noted on page 216 of the textbook.
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260. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Kinderszenen [Scenes from Childhood], op. 15 (1838): the
beautiful and famous Träumerei (no. 7) is given on the playlist. It is a complete contrast to
the overtly virtuosic Kreisleriana.
261. * Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck, 1819 – 1896), Drei Romanzen, op. 11 (1835).
How wrong she was when she wrote on 26 November 1839, "I once believed that I
possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to
compose — there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?"
She should answer “yes.”
262. * Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck, 1819 – 1896), “Liebst du um Schönheit”
(1841) from Zwőlf Gedichte aus F. Rűckert's Liebesfrűling fűr Gesang und pianoforte von Robert und
Clara Schumann, Op. 12; published originally as part of Robert's Gedichte aus Liebesfrühling, op.
37. This lied is given on the playlist [performed by Victoria-native Susan Platts]. Text and
translation at .
263. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Myrthen, 26 songs, op. 25 (1845). Music practitioners and
listeners will have strong opinions as to the better composer of lieder: Schubert or
Schumann. This is a tiny taste of Schumann’s lieder (Text and translation in the
accompanying booklet). Generally speaking, Schumann delves psychologically deeper
through broad melodies and rich harmonies (he was the stronger pianist), whereas Schubert
has the theatrical edge with greater tunefulness and picturesque piano effects. Not to be
left out of the mix, however, is Clara Schumann, Robert’s wife; herself, one of the most
esteemed pianists of the mid-19th century, a prolific and gifted composer, and strong
influence on many musicians of the first rank.
(1) “Warming” [“Dedication”]
264. Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn, 1805-1847), Sechs Lieder, op. 1 (1846)
265. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), String Quartet no. 6 in f minor, op 80 (1847). This
quartet is the last major work from the pen of Felix Mendelssohn. His sister Fanny’s death
was a tragic blow to Felix, prompting this out-pouring of sorrow and within months his
own death.
266. * Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Fantaisiestücke, op. 73 (1849). Originally for clarinet and
piano, this work was “okayed” by the composer for cello or viola and piano as well. A
performance on each clarinet and cello has been placed on the playlist.
267. * Antonín, Dvořák [pronounced dVOR-jacque] (1841-1904), Slavonic Dances, op. 46 (1878) and
op. 72 (1886): each dance of the total sixteen is in the style of, but not directly quoting, a
traditional dance of Slavic or Slovak origin. These dances were originally written for the
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common “parlour” instrumentation of “piano four-hands” or two players at the same
In stark contrast to the intimacy of the miniatures above, these works for solo performer – whether
subtle or bold – were calculated to show the performer on the stage to the highest effect. Really all
the concertos from the end of the Baroque forward to today (21st century) can be counted in this
category, but for our purposes here we focus only on the most extreme – the performers who really
only composed for themselves and their own instruments.
268. * Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840), Caprices for Violin Solo, op. 1 (1802-1817, published 1819).
Further down on this section you will find a second reference to the Devil and his violin.
It was part of the popular media of the day that Paganini’s formidable, supernatural violin
prowess was bought from the Devil with his very own soul. The 24th caprice of this set
plays directly into that legend.
269. * Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Fantaisie-Impromptu, op. post. 66 (1834). Usually, a
composer’s opus numbers are a good indicator of composition order, but there are always
exceptions. The exception here lies in the fact that Chopin reportedly did not want this
work published. Despite his wishes, however, the work was published after his death –
hence opus posthumous [op. post.] – and has subsequently become one of his most popular
works. It has been noted that the fact that this work shares the same key with Beethoven’s
“Moonlight” Sonata, and along with the key, shares a certain similarity of harmony and
270. * Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne in c minor, op, 48, no. 1 (1841): One of Chopin’s
many nocturnes, a form which barely existed prior to Chopin’s magnificent compositions
under this title.
271. * Franz [Ritter von] Liszt (1811-1886), Etude d'execution transcendante, S 139, No.5 “Feux
follets” [Transcendental Etude, no. 5, “Will o’ the Wisp”] (1852)
272. * Frédéric Chopin [pronounced SHAW-pe(n) in Polish, more usually SHOW-pan in English] (18101849), Mazurka in a minor, op, 17, no. 4 (1834): One of Chopin’s many nationalistic works,
drawing on the spirit and rhythms of this native Polish dance. See pages 213-4 in the
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273. * Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1 “Military” and Polonaise
in C minor, Op. 40, No. 2 (1838). Together the two express two opposite but not
competing views of Poland and her people. See page 257 in the textbook.
274. * Franz [Ritter von] Liszt [pronounced LIST], or by his Hungarian birth name Liszt Ferencz
or Ferenc (1811-1886), Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in c# minor, S. 244 (1847). See textbook
page 261.
275. * Franz [Ritter von] Liszt (1811-1886), Mephisto Waltz no. 1, S 514, “Der Tanz in der
Dorfschenke” [“The Dance in the Village Inn”] (1852). This particular Mephisto Waltz
replays a scene from Nikolaus Lenau’s Faust where Mephistopheles [READ: the Devil]
plays leads the dancing at a village wedding with a borrowed fiddle.
276. * Franz [Ritter von] Liszt (1811-1886), Totendanz, [Dance of the Dead], S 126 (1849). Liszt
brought his formidable piano skills together with his orchestral sensibility to create this
dramatic show piece – a Paraphrase on Dies Irae (the Christian plainchant, “O, Day or
Wrath; O, Day of Mourning”). The chant is used as a basis of this piece (it also plays
prominently in the fifth movement of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique). The work is said to
be inspired by 14th-century etchings and drawings depicting scenes of The Black Death.
From early in the 19th century, orchestral instruments were undergoing rapid transformation from
primitive sticks with holes, tubes with bells, and other inflexible designs to the sophisticatedly
flexible and versatile instruments we use today. Additional to the development of basic instruments,
smaller and larger instruments within the families – piccolo, English horn, contrabassoon, bass tuba,
double bass – were developed, effectively expanding the range of the orchestra to the limits of
human hearing, while adding a wealth of colour possibilities. More instruments meant more players,
more players meant that a conductor was a good idea to help organize, balance, and shape the
mighty symphony orchestra. With this powerful tool at their disposal, composers were now free to
let their imaginations fly and create fantastic tales driven by the resources of the orchestra.
277. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Ein Sommernachtstraum [A Midsummer’s Night Dream]
Overture, op. 21 (1826) and Incidental Music, op 61 (1842): written fifteen years apart, the
Overture was written as a concert overture “just because,” while the incidental music was
written at the request of King Frederich Wilhelm IV of Prussia – Mendelssohn’s employer
– to accompany a stage production of Shakespeare’s play by the same name. For the
incidental music, Mendelssohn drew from the earlier ideas of his Overture and completed a
full 40 minute suite of music. The overture is considered on Page 216 of the textbook.
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278. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Die Hebridean [The Hebrides] in D major, Op. 26, MWV
P7, "Fingal's Cave" (1832): a colourful concert overture which was originally titled The
Lonely Island and at one time bore the title Fingal’s Cave: the latter title is still commonly
used today. Mendelssohn’s visit to Fingal’s Cave on Staffa Island (Hebrides Archipelago,
Scotland) was most certainly the inspiration for this work which he dedicated to Frederich
Wilhelm IV of Prussia.
* Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Roméo et Juliette, op. 17, H 79 (1838). Berlioz called this 7movement choral symphony a symphonie dramatique. The symphony is based upon
Shakespeare’s play of the same name, a play near and dear to Berlioz’ heart as he fell in
obsessive love with the lead actress of the 1827 Parisian productions: Harriett Smithson,
Berlioz’ idée fixe from the previous selection. Shakespeare’s text was adapted to libretto by
Émile Deschamps.
280. * Franz [Ritter von] Liszt [pronounced LIST], or by his Hungarian birth name Liszt Ferencz
or Ferenc (1811-1886), Les préludes [d'après Lamartine] (1856): symphonic poem based on an
ode by Alphonse de Lamartine, Nouvelles méditations poétiques. Despite the obvious poetic
association with Lamartine, Liszt included the following expression – apparently personal,
and definitely after the fact – in the front of the score to Les preludes. Please see for that text.
281. * Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), St. John’s Night on Bald Mountain (1867 and 1886): This
tone poem has a disjointed compositional history. Mussorgsky referred to the work as a
“musical picture” and as such is commonly considered the first Russian tone poem. Still
Mussorgsky did not live to complete his very Russian work. That honour goes to Nicolai
Rimsky-Korsakov who completed the orchestration and publication of the work as a
“fantasy” in 1886. Mussorgsky wrote to his friend Balakirev about the piece almost
orgsky/) ; whereas Rimsky-Korsakov gives full Russian ardor in his introduction to the
( ).
282. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Romeo i Dzhulietta Fantaisie-Ouverture [Romeo and
Juliet] (1869). Otherwise better known as a composer of dance and music with a dance
flair, Tchaikovsky’s sense of narrative allows him to achieve some of his fullest moments of
sweeping melody in his concert overtures. See pages 201 and 216 in the textbook.
283. * Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Pictures at an Exhibition [Pictures from an Exhibition – A
Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann] (1874): Mussorgsky wrote this 10 movements suite for
piano in less than two weeks following the sudden death of Russian nationalist artist Viktor
Hartmann. The piano work is a bravura showpiece for pianists, but the work is best
known in its arrangement for orchestra by the French composer Maurice Ravel
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284. * Bedřich Smetana (1824-1864), Ma Vlást [My Fatherland] (1874-79), no. 2, Vltava [The
Moldau] (1875): What seems on the surface to be a six movement work, Ma Vlást is
actually a set of six independent pieces: the second of the set, Vltava, being the most
frequently performed.
285. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Ouverture Solonnelle “1812,” op. 49 (1880):
Tchaikovsky pulls out all the stops, adding to the traditional orchestra 16 military cannon, a
full carillon, and any extra brass players obtainable to bring to life the narrative of the
historical Battle of Borodino with instrumental forces only, as surely as could any verbal
narrative. Oddly enough, the effects that Tchaikovsky sought were virtually unattainable
with the artillery technology available at the time of its composition.
286. * Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Capriccio Espanol [Capriccio on Spanish
Themes], op. 34 (1887): This extroverted showpiece for orchestra was originally conceived
as a work for solo violin and orchestra. The solo violin does take a leading role, but it is
the whole of a very virtuosic orchestra which takes center stage. Here Rimsky-Korsakov
does not mere assign parts to instruments of the orchestra, but rather demonstrates his
supreme skill at working with full orchestra by composing for orchestra from the beginning.
See page 269 of the textbook. An excerpt from Rimsky-Korsakov’s autobiography
287. * Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Svetliy prazdnik [Russian Easter Festival
Overture], Op. 36 (1888). The work draws on melodies and chants of the Russian orthodox
liturgy. It is dedicated to the memories of Modest Mussorgsky and Alexandr Borodin, two
fellow members of Russia’s "Mighty Handful” or “Russian Five.” See textbook page 26.
288. * Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Sheherezada, op. 35 (1888):
Immediately on the heels of Capriccio Espagnol, Rimsky-Korsakov was moved by The Book of
One Thousand and One Nights [The Arabian Nights]. While he gave the movements specific
titles in the beginning, in later editions he removed the titles so that the listener would hear
“oriental fairy tales” rather than specific events – musicians today still use the original titles,
at See page 269 of
the textbook for even more detail.
“The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship”
“The Kalendar Prince”
“The Young Prince and the Young Princess”
“Festival at Bagdad -- The Sea – The Ship Breaks Against a Cliff
Surmounted by Bronze Horsemen”
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289. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Tod und Verklärung [Death and Transfiguration], Op. 24 (1888–
89). In 1894 Strauss described the tone poem at
290. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche [Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks],
Op. 28 (1895). Till Eulenspiegel is playful prankster from medieval German folklore. His
character dates back to the early 14th-century and has roots throughout German-speaking
lands. He variously travels through the Holy Roman Empire exposing the vices and
failings of “men.”
291. * Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Lemmenkäinen Suite: Four Sketches from the Kalevala (1895): The
Swan of Tuonela. Sibelius’ richly evocative tone poem grants the voice of the mythical swan
which circles the Isle of the Dead to the English horn.
292. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Also sprach Zarathustra [Thus Spoke Zarathustra], Op. 30
(1896). This ultra-famous work was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical treatise
of the same name. Stanley Kubrick used the opening 90 seconds of music – Sunrise – in
his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The full work is nearly 60 minutes long and explores
Nietzche’s unanswered question: God or Man?
293. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Don Quixote: Phantastische Variationen über ein Thema ritterlichen
Charakters [Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character], Op. 35. (1897) This work is a
large-scale theme and variation work, call it a combination of tone poem and concerto for
cello, viola and large orchestra based on the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de
Cervantes. See pages 206-207 of the textbook
294. * Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Finlandia (1899). While it never became the national anthem
for an independent Finland, the great hymn of Finlandia has been adapted and adopted by
many whenever lofty sentiments need to find voice.
295. * Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Verklärte Nacht [Transfigured Night], op. 4 (1899):
String sextet loosely based on the poem by the same name by Robert Dehmel. Schoenberg
does not set the actual text, rather uses it for inspiration. The playlist performance is given
by string orchestra rather than simple string sextet. The inspirational poem and translation
is found at . See page 298 of the
296. * Sergei [Vasilievich] Rachmaninov (1873-1943), Isle of the Dead, op. 29 (1908). Eventhough
written in the 20th century by a fairly young Rachmaninov on a progressive topic, the work
is viewed more as a work of late romanticism than a work of the modern era.
Rachmaninov was inspired by Arnold Böcklin's painting of the same name which he had
seen displayed at the salons in Paris the previous year,
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Despite the unfettered freedom of single-movement orchestral pieces – overtures, tone poems, and
symphonic poems – not all composers found inspiration in those flexible forms all the time or even
ever. For many composers the attraction to the older classical forms was strong, full of possibility.
With these forms abstract stories could be told and big-picture ideas could be explored: good and
evil, dark and light, death and resurrection. Traditional forms embody the possibility of relating
these stories without implying scenery or events. In some cases, stories might be avoided entirely,
simply allowing the forms to express themselves as the earlier Classicists intended.
297. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Symphony no. 4 in A major “Italian,” op. 90 (1851).
Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony feeds into the popular fad of exoticism, when cold
northern countries imaged the warmth southern countries. Here Italy is evoked through a
rollicking saltarello, a popular dance from Naples.
298. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Symphony no. 4 in f minor, op. 36 (1878): Mvt.
3. Sometimes we say that Tchaikovsky only wrote three symphonies, the 4th, 5th, and 6th.
While we know this is just jest, it does mark the reality that Tchaikovsky’s last three
symphonies are a cut above, and the work of a mature and experienced composer.
Generally speaking the 4th Symphony is good natured, particularly the third movement
which is built around playful pizzicato (plucked) string writing.
299. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Symphony no. 5 in e minor, op. 64 (1888): Like
Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Tchaikovsky’s 5th is a cyclical symphony where a single
theme – taken from fellow composer Mikhail Glinka’s Life of the Tsar as setting for the
words, “turn not into sorrow” – is present in all four movements. Unlike Berlioz’s
symphony where the repeating theme is a tangible recollection, Tchaikovsky’s theme
undergoes intense and deliberate transformation from the distant and down-trodden
perspective of the opening to the triumphant march at the close of the symphony.
300. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Symphony no. 6 in b minor, op. 74 (1893):
Tchaikovsky’s last completed orchestral work, the premiere took place a mere 9 days
before Tchaikovsky’s death. A second performance of the work took place after his death
as a memorial service for the composer. Subtitled “Pathétique,” the work is often (yet
erroneously) considered to be the composer’s testament to his own mortality. While the
title is Tchaikovsky’s, our understanding of the word as “pathetic or arousing pity” is not
what is meant by the original Russian Патетическая (Patetičeskaja) which means something
more akin to “passionate and emotional.”
301. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Piano Quintet in f minor, op, 34 (1864): Out of the
proliferation of overtly romantic, directly programmatic, predominatingly large scale works
emerges a renewed spirit of romantic neoclassicism as embodied in the music of Johannes
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Brahms. Even in his lifetime, Brahms and his music were seen as such the antithesis to
Wagner and his music that composers worldwide began to philosophically align themselves
as either “Brahmsian” or “Wagnerian.” .
302. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Hungarian Dances, Books 1 and 2 (1869), Books 3 and 4
(1880), WoO 1. These works were written for the popular configuration of “piano fourhands,” or two players at one piano. We know them better today in Brahms’ orchestrated
versions. For most familiar fun, test out number 5 from book 1 … and see page 263!
303. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Variations on a Theme by Haydn [St. Anthony Variations].
Op. 56b (1873). Variation pieces can sometimes seem dull, with the same tune repeating
over and over. However, for the creative listener, exploring the changing qualities of the
theme as it is put through its variation gymnastics can be great fun, especially here where
the theme starts out unbalanced in its length and then is treated so richly in the variation.
304. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Piano Concerto no. 2, op. 83 (1881): throughout the
concerto the piano and orchestra engage in the most delightful conversation and
305. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Symphony no. 1 in c minor, op. 68 ([1854-] 1876). The
themes of his first symphony may have originated from his youth, but Brahms was a
mature and respected composer before he felt ready to tackle the form of the symphony.
Most of his composing life, Brahms claimed to have been conscious of the spectre of
Beethoven held over German composers and even all of composition.
306. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (1878) This beautiful
concerto, Brahms’ only one for violin was written for and dedicated to the great violinist
and his own personal friend Joseph Joachim.
307. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Symphony no. 4 in e minor, op. 98 (1885). In his last
symphony, Brahms plays homage to the old masters in fine form by crafting a massive and
wonderful passacaglia, continually varying the melody and materials above an eight-note
descending bass figure, for the last movement.
308. * Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 (1891). Late in his
life, and technically after he had retired from composition, Brahms was compelled to write
a number of works of overwhelming beauty featuring the clarinet. All of these works were
written for the virtuoso clarinettist, one of history’s first, Richard Mühlfeld.
309. * Antonín Dvořak (1841-1904), Symphony no. 9 in e minor, op. 95, B. 178, “From the
New World” (1893): mvt. 2 and mvt. 4. This symphony, as a quirk of the Dvořak
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cataloguing system was long known as the Symphony no. 5, and may still be found noted
that way today.
310. * Antonín Dvořak (1841-1904), Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104
(1895). Written for his friend and cellist Hanuš Wihan. Wihan, Dvořak had long refused
his friend’s request on the grounds that he felt cello was a fine orchestral instrument but
completely insufficient for a solo concerto despite some earlier notable successes such as
the concerto by Schumann.
Opera, ballet, stage plays, all beg for great music, great stories, great heroes and heroines. With the
resources of the romantic orchestra and a refined bel canto vocal technique for singers, composers
obliged! No story or tale was past consideration and full musical treatment.
311. * Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868 Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione [The Barber of
Seville, or The Useless Precaution] (1816), excerpts: opera buffa in two acts based on Pierre
Beaumarchais' comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775), itself originally an opéra comique with a
mixture of spoken play and music. Texts and translations for the following arias,
 Sinfonia
Ecco ridente in cielo/There, laughing in the sky: Act 1, scene 1, Serenade (town band)
and Cavatina (Count), under Rossina’s window
Largo al factotum della città/Make way for the factotum of the city: Act 1, scene 2,
Figaro’s Cavatina – a patter-song unequalled by many other composers or aria
Una voce poco fa/A voice just now: Act 1, scene 5, Rossina’s pyrotechnic Cavatina.
See page 233 of the textbook to follow this very special Cavatina more closely.
312. * Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo [Cinderella, or
Goodness Triumphant] (1817), dramma giocoso in two acts on a libretto was by Jacopo
Ferretti. In an unusual move, Rossini casts the heroine as a contralto, to express her
downtrodden state. Still the role is a coloratura role demanding extreme prowess on the
part of the singer. The joyous aria is at the conclusion of the ball when Cenerentola has
fallen in love with her prince. No translation of the lyrics is currently available online, but
the following link has a number of film clips of great mezzos creating this role; Cecilia
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Bartoli is particularly fun to watch.
"Nacqui all'affanno … Non piu mesta" (Angelina’s aria, act 2)
313. * Carl Maria [Friedrich Ernst] von Weber [pronounced VAY-ber] (1786-1826) Der
Freischütz, [The Freeshooter], op. 77, J. 277 (1821) is a German opera with spoken dialogue on
a libretto by Friedrich Kind. While following the outlines of a singspiel, its emotional depth
leads musicologists to claim it as the first important German Romantic opera. With a plot
and music based on German folk legend and German folk tunes, it is also one of the
earliest works of overt nationalism. To see an English translation of the text, scroll to “No.
10” at . See
the textbook pages 241-8.
Act 2, Scene 4, Finale: “Wolf’s Glen Scene”
314. * Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), Overture to the Opera “Guillaume Tell” (1829): instrumental
introduction to Rossini’s last opera. As with all Rossini’s operas, and many other operas
from the early 19th century, the quest for colourful and broad representation in music of the
drama leads to the introduction of new and exotic instrumental sounds into the orchestra.
Rapid developments as a result of the incipient Industrial Revolution bring new capabilities
to instrumental performance through sophisticated mechanical changes to individual
instruments. Reference to this work is made on page 230 of the textbook.
Prelude: Dawn
Ranz des Vache [Call to the Cows]
315. * Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857), A Life for the Tsar [Жизнь за царя, Zhizn' za
tsarya] (1836) This potent nationalistic opera is based on an original Russian libretto by
Nestor Kukolnik, Georgy Fyodorovich Rozen, Vladimir Sollogub and Vasily Zhukovsky.
The story is a depiction of the17th-century historical General Ivan Susanin, who pushed
back invading Polish army and lost his life in the process under the leadership of Tsar
Mikhail Romanov. A selection of the orchestral incidental music is given on the playlist.
See page 266 in the textbook.
316. * Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H 111 (1846). Berlioz called
this work a légende dramatique or a dramatic legend, which loosely means a non-staged
dramatic work or perhaps even a secular oratorio. The work is for four solo voices, 7-part
chorus, children's chorus and orchestra. Today, it is the sparkling incidental music
betraying Berlioz’ deft hand at the art of orchestration which continues to be heard on the
concert stage.
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317. * Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Elijah, op. 70 (1846). Mendelssohn’s oratorio was
written originally to a German libretto based on the story of the Biblical prophet Elijah as
told in the Old Testiment/Hebrew Bible, 1 and 2 Kings. When Mendelssohn received a
commission from the Birmingham Festival in England, he translated the libretto to
English. The soprano part was famously composer for his dear friend, “The Swedish
Nightingale,” Jenny Lind. See page 206 of the textbook.
318. * Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901), La Traviata [The Fallen Woman] (1853),
libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, adapted from a the play La dame aux Camélias (1852),
itself adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. . One of the most beloved operas
of all-times, by one of the most beloved opera composers of all time. While his operas are
far from realistic, none-the-less they somehow transcend the overt perkiness of the much
of the music to create entirely believable characters. As much as anything, Verdi and his
librettist Francesco Maria Piave were masters of dramatic development. Verdi capped off
the drama with an unfailing ability to set scenes of incredible intimacy – monologue or not
– with extraordinary sensitivity, as well as to create some of the grandest choruses of all
operatic historic. Texts and translations, respectively, may be found at:
 Act 1: Brindisi (The Toast): “Libiamo ne’lieti calici”
Act 1: “Follie! Follie!”
319. * [Wilhelm] Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Tristan und Isolde [Tristan and Isolda] (1865): This
Music Drama represents perhaps Wagner’s most advanced and supreme use of
chromaticism and harmonic suspension, whereby Wagner coils the tension tight and
refuses to let it relax for the full duration of the Music Drama until the final moment. The
Prelude includes a particular chord – now traditionally sounding to our ears – which shocked
audiences, musicians, and critics at the time for its unorthodox preparation and resolution:
we know this know at “The Tristan Chord.” For this Music Drama Wagner chose the 12th
century chivalric romance (set in Scotland) of Tristan and Isolde – star-crossed lovers just
like (but predating) Romeo and Juliet. See pages 218, 249-254, and 303 in the textbook.
The text and translation of Isolde’s Liebestod aria – it is a consummation of love after death
– are not easily accessible online, but you may enjoy watching a range of performances at
this site:
 Prelude
 Act 3: Liebestod [Love Death]
320. * [Wilhelm] Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg [The Mastersingers of
Nuremberg] (1868): using the historical setting of 16th-century Nuremberg, Die Meistersinger
is not only Wagner’s only mature comedy, his only work not based on legend or myth, the
only work for which the story is entirely original to Wagner, the opera holds the distinction
of being virtually the longest single opera (at 4.5 hours) which plays regularly in the operatic
repertoire. Additionally, it is interesting to note that for this opera, Wagner returned to the
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simpler form of opera, not composing this stage work according to the principles of Music
Act 2, Scene 6: Beckmesser’s Serenade
Act 3, Scene 5: The Feast of St. John, and the Singing Competition
321. * Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901), Aïda (1871). This huge opera by
Verdi is on a libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni on commission by Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of
Egypt. The origin story is in dispute, variously attributed to French Egyptologist Auguste
Mariette, Temistocle Solera, or Metastasio. The setting is in the Old Kingdom and tells of
forbidden love of an Egyptian commander and a captured Ethiopian princess. See the
textbook pages 238-240.
Act 4, Scene 2: “Tomb Scene”
322. * Georges Bizet (1838-1875), Carmen (1875), a French opéra comique with libretto by Henri
Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the short novel of the same name by Prosper
Mérimée (1845). The novel bears strong resemblance to Alexander Pushkin's poem "The
Gypsies" (1824) which was not only known in France, but translated into French by
Mérimée. Texts and translations are a bit hit or miss online, but may be found best at:
Act I: Tra la la la, coupe-moi (Carmen, Zuniga, Women)
Act I: Seguidilla and Duet: Pres des remparts de Seville (Carmen, Don Jose)
Act II: Couplets: Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (Escamillo, Chorus, Carmen)
Act IV: March and Chorus: Les voici! les voici! (Children, Sellers)
323. * Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Peer Gynt, Op. 23 (1875): Grieg’s incidental music to Henrik
Ibsen's 1867 play by the same name was later broken into two four-movement orchestral
suites: Suite No. 1, Op. 46 includes the famous “Morning Mood” and “In the Hall of the
Mountain King” while Suite No. 2, Op. 55 includes the lovely “Solvieg’s Song.”
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324. * [Wilhelm] Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Der Ring des Nibelungen (composed from 1849,
first produced in full 1876): a monumental cycle of four operas (music dramas) based
upon the Old Norse sagas –the Icelandic Völsunga saga, the Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda,
the Legend of Norna-Gest, and the chivalric Vilking [sic] Saga – and the Nibelungenlied, a Middle
High German epic poem on pre-Christian Germanic heroic motives. For the music dramas
of “The Ring,” as we are wont to call it in colloquial practice, Wagner wrote text and music,
and eventually arranged for the building of the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Bavaria,
GERMANY so that the works could be staged and produced exactly as he had envisioned
“The Ring” is nearly 16 hours in total and traces an extremely complex plot line involving
numerous characters – god, demi-god, half-human, human, spirit, and races of myth such
as dwarves and giants – in complex, irrational, and often incestual relationships. Literary
themes frequently function only on the level of metaphor and do not gain by literal
interpretation. The Los Angeles Times produced the following interactive website to help
direct patrons through the relationships of the convoluted and family in advance of the LA
The great musical comedienne Anna Russell gives a legendary analysis and synopsis of
“The Ring” encapsulating the highlights in a 20-minute, musicologically sound monologue.
Don’t pass this up! You can find her at
Das Rheingold [The Rhine Gold] (1869): Scene 1 – Rhine Maidens, Rhine Gold, and
Die Walküre [The Valkyrie] (1870): Act 3, Scene 1, “The Ride of the Valkyries”
Götterdämmerung [Twilight of the Gods] (1876): Act 3, Scene 2, “Funeral March”; Act 3,
325. * Aleksandr Borodin (1833-1887), Polovtsian Dances (1880): taken from his unfinished opera
Prince Igor, these dances now constitute one of the major showpieces of the orchestral
repertoire. In the opera, the dances were danced in sequence accompanied by full chorus.
In an orchestral setting neither choir nor dancers are present, and the missing choir parts
have been redistributed to instruments within the orchestra, notable the clarinet, oboe, and
English horn. While the dances (and opera) are Borodin’s work, they were not completed
at the time of his death, and were subsequently completed by the great Russian composers
of the day Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Aleksandr Glazunov
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326. * Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), The Nutcracker, ballet in 3 acts (1892), based upon
ETA Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. You might also like to look into the
music from Tchaikovsky’s other two very famous ballets: Swan Lake (1875) and Sleeping
Beauty (1890). Feel free to substitute excerpts from one of these ballets for The Nutcracker,
if you like.
Powerful movements of political and cultural nationalism swept across the Eurasian continent
through the 19th century, escalating after continent-wide political unrest in 1848 and culminating in
the revolutions of the 20th century, perhaps even continuing into the period of The Cold War (or
beyond, even to today). Nationalism manifest in many cultural forms: in writing, art, dress, dance,
and music. Where music is concerned, composers picked-up on folk songs, traditional dances, old
tales, national events, heroic biographies, indigenous instruments and elevated these in a way that
spoke to the people of the nation of a national identity. It was music for the nation by one of the
sons or daughters of the nation; it spoke to its people and told outsiders what the nation meant.
Sometimes nationalism is the most defining quality of a piece of music and sometimes it is just one
element of many. Here is a list of the works from this and the next module which most readily
might be considered works of nationalism:
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Modernism in music covers many divergent styles, attempting to catch up all of the deliberate
attempts to throw-off the reliance on tonality beginning in the last decade of the 19 th century as well
as all the deliberate attempts to preserve and prosper romanticism and by extension classicism into
the 20th century. It includes a host of “-isms,” each of which struggles for its own identity and each
of which may only include the names of a few composers in a specific “school” or collective.
During these last 125 years, we note formative events that prompted a change in musical language:
industrialism with its electronics and machinery, two world wars and a cold war, active racism and
genocide, scientific innovations which allow us to discover and destroy ourselves and our world.
With our long-term well-being and survival under constant threat, and yet with a greater expectation
of longevity and safety, we have given ourselves and our world a paradox within which to exist.
Music has struggled to contend with and express the paradox and the elements that create it. These
themes persist to today, and, recalling Module 4, we recognize that composers have gone to greater
and greater lengths to achieve expression.
It is during these years that radio and recording, TV and film, and eventually computers and internet
have all changed the way we listen to and hear music, as well as what we expect from our music. The
same vehicle of radio which first brought concerts into our living rooms and allowed us to dance in
our parlours also brought news of death at the front. In time, we asked our media to tell us about
today quickly and immediately: pop, rock, R&B, Hip Hop, and others responded. We allowed our
media to move us physically and eventually swing, rock ‘n’ roll, and disco would put us on our feet
and define eras. As a listening personhood, whether we recognized it or not, we rediscovered for
ourselves the joys of listening to a poem well-set, and took particular joy in it if it also encouraged us
to tap our toes and nod our heads: blues and country-western took up the call. We have tended
toward short forms in the 20th century. Some would say that this is as much as we can focus on, but
in all likelihood the truth is closer to a matter of potency – a quick, deep immersion soon followed
by another quick, deep immersion. And so, we reserved the concert hall and theatre for those longer
expressions – the expressions which benefit from time to unfold, continuing relationships to be
revealed and explored over time, music which needs us to sit and to ponder the implications of what
we hear. It is this latter music we will consider in this module. We are not dismissing the shorter
forms, but those come to us with a greater familiarity and so we can set them aside temporarily
knowing that when we return to them they will make sense to us. The longer forms which ask us to
spend time with them need us to do just that: spend time with them. So we do!
During this module, we will use a PowerPoint, Musical “-isms” in the 20th Century, to help coordinate
our study. Please turn to that after class and again before the final exam to further familiarize
yourself with terms and concepts in this module.
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As the 19th century came to a close and the 20th century dawned, opera continued to be a prime
expression for dramatic tales. In the days that preceded films with sound, opera remained the prime
theatrical entertainment for upper-classes and socialites across Europe and now in the major cities of
North America: Montreal, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC. Definitely,
the strong place of Opera would be threatened and, in some locations usurped by “Talkies” and
high-end musical entertainments such as light opera, operetta, and musical theatre. It is hard to draw
lines between the various forms of sung theatre, although generally speaking, it can be assumed that
at this time: opera treats serious subject matter using continuous music; operetta (light opera) treats
entertaining subject matter with spoken dialogue and a strong emphasis on cheerful and colorful
music; and musical theatre treats serious but uplifting subject matter emphasizing spoken dialogue
with emotional music including song and dance. You see! Not a lot of difference! Ultimately,
operetta would drop away as a contemporary form of composition: the operettas we hear today are
more time capsules of the 19th century – Gilbert and Sullivan (England), and Franz Lehar (AustroHungary). In the 21st century the line continues to blur with opera companies performing both
musical theatre and operetta, and musical theatre groups ranging into the area of opera and operetta.
Likewise, composers blur the lines Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and Bernstein’s
Candide – found in the musical theatre section below – are more opera than musical theatre except
that they was originally written for London’s West End not London’s Covent Garden, or for
Broadway and not the Metropolitan Opera.
The operas included in this section share the common theme of difficult topics: murder, madness,
torture, execution, suicide, and racism. In Italy, such a true-to-life topic and treatment was called
Verismo – truth – with Puccini as its master craftsman. In Germany, explorations of the beingwithin, however mad, would fall under the category of Expressionism (see below), lead in opera by
the Second Viennese School’s Alban Berg. In the US, there is no particular categorization – note
particularly that John Adam’s Nixon in China from Module 4, minimalism, would be in this grouping
if not given in the earlier module. You should know that there are several other opera composers of
the 20th century whose works are highly celebrated but are not represented here: Benjamin Britten
(England) and Richard Strauss (Germany). Most active composers of the last 150 years wrote opera
– Stravinsky, Barber, Shostakovich, Dvorak, Debussy etc. – and many of these operas are not only
very good but are often performed in large and small opera houses worldwide. In Canada, we have a
stronger tradition of opera performance than of opera composition; however, it must be
acknowledged that the dominant opera companies in Canada – Canadian Opera Company (Ottawa)
and Pacific Opera Victoria (yes, our own Victoria) – actively commission and present operas from
Canadian composers. Whether these enter the repertoire will remain to be seen.
327. * Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Tosca (1900): based on the 1887 play La Tosca by French
playwright Victorien Sardou for the actress Sarah Bernhardt., the libretto by Luigi Illica and
Giuseppe Giacosa for Puccini’s opera was four years in the making after nearly two years
attempting to get the rights to set the play. Text and translations may be found,
respectively, at:
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Act 2, Visi d’arte
Act 3, O dolci mani and closing scene
328. * Alban Berg (1885-1935), Wozzeck, op. 7 (1914-1925): Considered the first opera to be
composed in the style of the 20th-century avant garde, Berg blends 20th-century atonality,
Wagnerian leitmotivs, and Baroque instrumental forms into a shocking theatre piece dealing
with the brutal, compromised, and exploitive life of “the poor.” Short for an opera a 1.5
hours, the violence of the work makes that more than enough time for a full experience!
The opera now has an established place in the repertoire. A succinct synopsis is given at by
the Metropolitan Opera
Scene 4, with interlude (at the Pond)
Scene 5 (on the street in front of Marie’s house)
329. * Alban Berg (1885-1935), Lulu (1935 The libretto was adapted by Berg himself from two
plays by Frank Wedekind Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora's
Box, 1904). The opera was complete through Act 3, Scene 1 and in “short score” – or
music without full orchestration– or music without full orchestration – to the end at the
time of his death.
Act 2, Interlude (silent film)
330. * George Gershwin (1898-1937), Porgy and Bess (1935), libretto by DuBose Heyward, lyrics
by Ira Gershwin: Gershwin conceived this as an “American Folk Opera.” He shocked
American audiences by casting the opera and its choir-master in its entirety with Europeantrained African-American singer/actors. Unfortunately the opera was not received in the
United States as legitimate until staged by the Houston Opera in 1976, even though, the
opera had already had much success in Europe, opening at no less a house than La Scala in
Milan in 1953. Gershwin’s opera, however, has never been free from concerns of racism,
with musicians, audiences, and critics from all races noting that it is difficult to speak with
the voice of another culture as Gershwin had presumed to do for the communities of South
Carolina without falling into stereotypes and caricatures. Similarly, the presences of strong
overtones of New York jazz and melodies which smack of Jewish liturgical music are heard
as suspect. A small note regarding Gershwin and his music may be found in the textbook,
pages 499-501
 Act 1, Scene 1: Summertime
 Act 2, Scene 2: It ain’t necessarily so
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When the 20th century opened, dance in a theatre context really meant ballet. Ballet as a style
originated in the dances of Renaissance Italy, and was elevated and perfected as a theatre style first in
France – where it was incorporated into Grand Opera as well – and later in Imperial Russia which
had imported French ballet models along with its French-born princesses who married into the
Imperial family. Indeed all of the ballets in this section except the last two blend this twinned
tradition: French and Russian.
The Ballet Russe ( ) could be described as an émigré or
refugee Russian ballet troupe led by the impresario Serge Diaghilev which set up semi-permanent
residence in Paris in 1909. Really Diaghilev was running primarily in the face of the coming
revolutions in Russia, but he also saw France in general and Paris in particular as being receptive to is
radical visions of ballet. In Paris he surrounded himself with the best and brightest of local artists –
Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau to name a few – and ex-pat Russian musicians, dancers, and
choreographers – Vaslav Nijinsky, Leonide Massine, Mikhail Fokine, and Igor Stravinsky. Working
with these formidable artists Diaghilev and his Ballet Russe collaborated in the creation of stunning
and shocking masterpieces of ballet and some of the most legendary riots in musical, artistic history.
In North America, ballet was introduced as a serious theatre dance option by George Balanchine
after his days with the Ballet Russe. If the Ballet Russe developed the style of neoclassical ballet
moving away from the excessive classical ballet, Balanchine moved back toward classical ballet and
created contemporary ballet in the process. It is this tradition that passed on to Martha Graham,
Twyla Tharp, and Robert Joffrey, and resulted in the great musical collaborations with Aaron
Copland in NYC.
We can mention here one small subcategory: surrealism and its predecessor Dadaism. These two
movements are not confined to the arena of dance, but two of the great surrealist scores do happen
to be ballets. For our purposes we will note that Dadaism, which arose in Vienna, put forward
nonsense as a reaction to the horrors of WWI and surrealism, which arose a bit afterward in Paris,
prospered the practice of unlikely juxtaposition. The composer Eric Satie was major contributor to
the former movement, while the latter movement is most fully seen in the Paris-based Spanish artists
Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
331. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), L’Oiseau de feu [The Firebird] (1910): This is the full ballet
score written specifically for a production organized by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and his
troupe the Ballet Russe. The Ballet Russe became a fixture on the Parisian arts scene for
several decades, and ultimately participated in some of the most astonishing and noteworthy
collaborations and productions of the 20th century, if not of all time. The dancers of the Ballet
Russe were often exiles in Paris from St. Petersburg as a result of the political tensions in
Russia. . See pages 288-291 in the textbook.
Closing dances:
 No. 18 – Infernal Dance of All Kashchei's Subjects
 No. 19 – Lullaby
 No. 20 – Kashchei's Awakening
 No. 21 – Kashchei's Death
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2nd Tableau: No. 23 – Disappearance of Kashchei's Palace and Magical Creations,
Return to Life of the Petrified Knights, General Rejoicing
332. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Petruchka (1911): The story of Petruchka is something of a
Pinocchio type story, with Petruchka being a puppet at the Shrovetide Fair who
subsequently comes to life along with his fellow puppets of a ballerina (whom he loves
deeply, but who rejects him) and a Moor (who steals the love of the ballerina). After the
sumptuous music of The Firebird, the brittleness and harshness of this score offended
audiences as did its non-classical choreography (by Mikhail Fokine and The Ballet Russe)
which included gymnastics and exercises in addition to more traditional gestures. Despite
the non-traditional dance style, Stravinsky fills his score with recognizable folk tunes for a
brilliant, vibrant, relatable score. Here is a recreation of the original choreography
Part I: The Shrovetide Fair
 Introduction (at the Shrovetide Fair)
 The Charlatan's Booth
 Russian Dance
333. * Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Daphnis et Chloë (1912): Again, composed for the Ballet Russe
their impresario Serge Diaghilev. The scenario was adapted by the great choreographer
Michel Fokine to be danced by Vaslav Nijinsky the 2nd century Greek romance by one
Longus. . The huge orchestra Ravel used is almost unmatched in size and colour –
including among other forces a textless part for full choir (on and off-stage) – anywhere in
the orchestra repertoire. The size of the orchestra and the length of the ballet make the
work virtually impossible to produce in a fully-staged format; however, the music remains a
staple of the orchestral repertoire through two suites, the second of which giving the music
of the ballet’s final scenes is the more popular of the two.
Closing scenes (Suite no. 2)
 Lever du jour
 Pantomime
 Danse générale
334. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Le sacre du printemps [The Rite of Spring] (1913): Another Ballet
Russe production. Now with increased confidence following a string of reasonable
successes all collaborators set out to create something very special, something very
shocking. See pages 293-4 in the
Part 1: A Kiss of the Earth (L'adoration de la Terre)
 Introduction
 The Augurs of Spring: Dances of the Young Girls (Les Augures Printaniers:
Danses des Adolescentes)
Part 2: The Exalted Sacrifice (Le Sacrifice)
 Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One) (Danse Sacrale (L'Élue))
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335. * Eric Satie (1866-1925), Parade (1917): this one-act ballet on a scenario by Jean
Cocteau was yet another collaboration hosted by Serge Diaghilev for his Ballet Russe. .
The ballet itself is yet another circus-themed ballet, although Satie’s music is far from the
folk traditions of Stravinsky.
336. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), L’Histoire du Soldat [A Soldier’s Tale] (1918): a theatre piece
to be read, played, and danced by a small ensemble of instrumental septet (violin, double
bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet/trumpet, trombone and percussion), three actors (the soldier,
the devil, and narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters) and a single
dancer playing the non-speaking role of the princess (in some productions there may also
be additional ensemble dancers). Less about war that wishful thinking on the part of the
soldier, the plot follows a soldier on leave from the front who sells his violin to the devil in
return for wealth. includes the full
text in the original French. And this link will show some of the very creative choreography
337. * Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58 [The Ox on the Roof] (1920): a ballet
by the most successful composer from the group “Les Six,” named after the bar where
Milhaud would soon become a common fixture. The ballet is really a ballet about nothing,
but rather a series of scenes (and music!) inspired by Brazil. It is rumoured that the work
originated as the film score for a Charlie Chaplin silent film.
338. * Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), La valse, un poème chorégraphique (1920). Another Diaghilev
commission, this work was first planned as a reworking of a waltz by Johann Strauss, Jr. (of
Blue Danube Waltz fame … it is included on the play list in case it’s unfamiliar to you). At
one time, La Valse was thought to represent the demise of European society as the waltz –
a symbol of high society before WWI – is torn apart at the seams. Ravel dispelled those
thoughts, calling it a portrait of society 1865. The ballet was never produced because
Diaghilev thought it too much a caricature of a ballet. It remains today as a popular and
colourful orchestral piece.
339. * Béla Bartók (1881-1945), A csodálatos mandarin [Der Wunderbare Mandarin, The Miraculous
Mandarin or The Wonderful Mandarin] (1924) is a one-act pantomime ballet based on the story
by Melchior Lengyel. The popular concert suite comprises about two-thirds of the original
ballet's music.
340. * Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), La création du Monde [Creation of the World], op. 81a (1924]:
Ballet in six sections. Here the story of the creation is told through African folktales and
uses elements of African-influenced American jazz
 Overture
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341. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Romeo and Juliet, op. 64 (1935). The first performance of this
work was in Brno, Czech Republic in 1938. Prokofiev had his nose out of joint – as often
happened according to the anecdotes – because the Soviet premiere was delayed until 1940.
The scenario was by Adrian Piotrovsky and together the two collaborators worked hard to
satisfy the Kirov Ballet’s new direction for ballet which was to shun virtuosic display and
innovation. While it might seem this was the cause for delay, in fact, it was a shakeup at the
top of the Kirov’s structure that prevented the ballet playing in the Soviet Union until 1940.
The Dance of the Knights, no. 13, Act 1 is the standout dance, while the Gavotte, no. 18,
also in the first act is borrowed from his earlier Classical Symphony.
 Dance of the Knights, no. 13, Act 1,
 Gavotte, no. 18, Act 1
342. * Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Rodeo: the Courting at Burnt Ranch [pronounced roe-DAY-oh]
(1942): This second “cowboy ballet” by the established and experiences American
composer Aaron Copland was commissioned by the great American choreographer Agnes
de Mille, at this time very early in her career, herself commissioned to create the ballet by the
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (the remnants of Serge Diaghilev’s troupe now exiled in the
US by the War in Europe). The video quality of the 1973 television production is a bit
suspicious but it gives an idea of de
Mille’s choreography and its union with Copland’s score
Scene 4: Saturday Night Waltz
Scene 5: Hoe-Down
343. * Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Appalachian Spring (1944): This ballet, set to Copland’s
fabulously evocative music, was a collaboration between Copland and one of America’s
most respected dancer/choreographers, Martha Graham. The work was complete and
choreographed before it received the title Appalachian Spring – Copland had always called
it simply “Martha’s Ballet.” Martha finally suggested the title after a line in Hart Crane’s
poem, “The Bridge.” True, the ballet was set in springtime on a farm Pennsylvania, and so
“Appalachian Spring” seems absolutely perfect; however, the “spring” of Crane’s poem
actually refers to a fountain or water spring, and a farm most definitely would not be found
on the Appalachian ridge – a conundrum which bemused Copland throughout his life.
Graham’s beautiful choreography can be seen in black and white at . Just be aware that the music is for
the original smaller instrumentation of 13 players and is recorded monophonically.
Scene 7: Variations on “Simple Gifts
344. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Zolushka [Cinderella], op. 87 (1944). Prokofiev’s take on this
fairy tale, written for the Bolshoi Ballet, was based on a scenario by Nicolai Volkov. In the
music, Prokofiev used many Baroque dances of the type that would have been popular at
the time the story is set. Of the many fun quirks in the ballet, Prokofiev writes the step-
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sisters’ music as quite gawky, and good thing: the roles of the step sisters were danced by
men in travesty, drag.
 Gavotte, no. 10, Act 1
 Passepied, no. 21, Act 2
 Bourrée, no. 22, Act 2
 Waltz, no. 30, Act 2,
Film was the new art form on the block in the early decades of the 20th century. In the earliest
period, sound could not me recorded along with visual images. From 1908, when the French
composer Camille Saint-Saëns (whose music is very worthwhile to explore in its own right: Carnival
of the Animals, Samson and Delilah, Symphony no. 3 “Organ”) composed songs specifically to be played by
live performers during the screening of the film L’assisinat du duc de Guise, newly-composed music was
considered as legitimate support for on-screen action. Synchronized sound was possible from 1923
and this encouraged composers to work with film directors in collaborative projects. By the 1930s
composers of stature were contributing to music for film: Henri Mancini, Erich Korngold, Max
Steiner, Dmitri Tiomkin, and Alfred Newman standout in the early days of the film score; later James
Horner, Maurice Jarre, Bernard Hermann, Ennio Morricone, Alex North, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny
Elfman, and those on our list in Module 2. Numerous concert music composers also contributed to
the genre: Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Copland, Bernstein, and Glass (Module 4, Minimalism) from
our featured composers. The study of the film musical is one of its own right, but it is worth
keeping the names of Harold Arlen, Robert and Richard Shermann, Stephen Sondheim, and Alan
Menken in mind.
We can consider here one small subcategory: futurism. It not that futurism is a subgenre of film
music, but rather that two of the great futuristic scores are given below. In futurism, we note either
the depiction of machinery, mechanization, factories, and industrialism – in effect, dehumanizing
aspects of society – in vivid detail, or the inclusion of machinery as a sounding element of the music.
While one might include the taxi horns of Gershwin’s An American in Paris or the cannons in
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as futuristic elements, it would be more common to the airplane
propellers of Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique to count as fully futuristic – it’s a judgement call and can go
either way.
345. * George Antheil (1900-1959), Ballet Mécanique (1924): a collaborative film project from the
filmmakers Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy. The use of the score to accompany the film
was never realized in the composer’s life time.. It was not until 1990 when the film and
score were experienced together . The
ballet of the film was of mechanical instruments and for this Antheil included parts for
player pianos, airplane propellers and electric bells.
The instrumentation is used to
produce a dramatic, futuristic, percussive score.
346. * Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), Pacific 231 (1923): a tone poem, the first of a series of
three Mouvements symphoniques, depicts the action of a Pacific 462 locomotive steam engine
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travelling between stations. In 1949 the tone poem was used as the backdrop for an
otherwise silent film, a film which was highly acclaimed for its amazing footage of the
locomotive engine in action. See the film at
347. * George Gershwin (1898-1937), An American in Paris (1928). Make no mistake about it!
Gershwin’s colourful score about a home-sick American in Paris originated as a tone poem
for large orchestra, and is still performed as that today. The 1951 Gene Kelly film of the
same name was inspired by the tone poem, followed its rough story line, and used a good
percentage of the music. Do enjoy the film! It is a delight! Just remember that the music
predates the film by 23 years.
348. * Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Fanfare for the Common Man (1942). This famous work was
composed for the Cincinnati Symphony and was inspired by a then-recent speech by the
US Vice President, Henry Wallace. It was only much later adopted for use in popular media
as the TV opener for sporting events for many decades.
349. * Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), On the Waterfront (1954). Bernstein won an Academy
Award for this brilliant and evocative film score. It is a joy to listen to on its own, but takes
on extra dimensions when experienced in the film.
350. * Alan Menken (b. 1949) and Stephen Schwartz (b. 1948), Pocahontas (1995)
Impressionism is really a French artistic movement. Even the artistic movement received the title by
accident: an adoption of the title of Claude Monet’s 1873 painting Impression: Sunrise. In art,
impressionism is achieved by capturing an impression on an artist of the light reflected from an
object at an exact moment in time. Since these pieces of art are often created of little dots of colour,
loose brush strokes, and therefore, indistinct outlines, the parallel is drawn with French music of the
same period. Impressionist music is loose and mobile. Open harmonies lose the impulse of tonal
direction and so can move from one to the next in non-traditional, non-tonal ways. This should not
be mistaken as dissonant! To the contrary each simultaneous sounding of pitches is meant to be
lovely, and it is meant to be loved in the moment without concern of what comes next. Like
minimalism (Module 4), the wafting and indistinct quality of impressionistic music was inspired by
music of gamelan, heard for the first time in Paris at the 1889 Exhibition universelle. The first
impressionist composer, Claude Debussy, did not like the appellation, preferring the term
symbolism. Symbolism was a style of writing practiced by poets and novelists which stressed the
sound of words and sounds in addition to relying on hefty use of understandable symbols. The root
of Debussy’s preference for symbolism over impressionism lies in the fact that symbolism is applied
to a sounding, rather than a visual medium. Look for other impressionist works in Module 3, #33,
#53, #54, and #55; and also include Ravel’s Daphnes and Chloe (# 334) on the list.
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351. * Claude Debussy (1860-1918), Prelude á “L’Après-midi d’un faune” [Prelude to “An
Afternoon of a Faune”] (music 1894; ballet production 1913): Inspired by Stephane
(, this scrumptious orchestral piece –
nearly a tone poem, but not so literally descriptive – for full orchestra is often considered by
musicologists to mark the beginning of modernism in music.
352. * Joseph-Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Pavane pour infant défunte [Pavane for a Dead Princess]
(1899, piano; 1910, orchestra). In the days of vinyl recordings, this small piece was the goto space filler at the end of a recording, and as such was one of the most recorded pieces of
the late-20th century. Performances of both the piano and the orchestra versions are on the
playlist. It is an excellent time to hear how perfectly Ravel composes for instrumental
groups, thus was his formidable skill with orchestration. By the way, ignore the English
translation of the title: there was no “dead princess,” rather Ravel, in a fit of symbolist
sentiment, just liked the way the title sounded in his French language.
353. * Claude-Achilles Debussy (1862-1918), La mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre [The
sea, three symphonic sketches for orchestra] (1905)
Dialogue du vent et de la mer [Dialogue between the wind and the waves]
354. * Claude-Achille Debussy (1862-1918), Préludes (Book 1, 1909 ; Book 2 1910)
La fille aux cheveus de lin [The Girl with the Flaxen Hair], Book 1 no. 8
Brouillards [Mists], Book 2, no. 1
La cathédrale engloutie [The Sunken Cathedral], Book 1, no. 10
Expressionism as a movement began with poetry and visual arts, the most recognizable and
associable painting being The Scream (1893) by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch Expressionists, in
reaction to Impressionist, sought not to capture the external reflection but the interior reality of the
being. Through this practice, the extremes of emotion and the psyche were probed: note, in
particular the works of Sigmund Freud and Also Sprach Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzche. The
principal musician to follow the lines of expressionism was Arnold Schoenberg, himself a painter
ang=en , who through the language of atonality – a refusal to give in to tonal implication – created
works of disturbing content.
355. * Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Dreimal sieben Gedichte aus Albert Girauds 'Pierrot lunaire',
[Three Times Seven Poems from Albert Giraud's 'Pierrot lunaire'], op. 21 (1912 Melodrama in 21
movements on selected poems from Otto Erich Hartleben's German translation of Albert
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Giraud's cycle of French poems of the same name for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and
singer. The poems are half narrated, half sung using Sprechtstimme. See page 301 of the text.
Text and translation of poems may be found at
 (1) Mondestrunken (Moon-drunk)
 (7) Der kranke Mond (The Sick Moon)
 (18) Der Mondfleck (The Moonfleck)
I can hear it now: Oh, no, not again! Indeed the ideals of classicism return, but this time not so far
back as classical antiquity. With neoclassicism of the 20th century, composer sought to elevate the
pure forms of 18th-century classicism or to simply look back to other golden ages of music: Baroque
or Renaissance or a national golden age (Louis XIV’s France, Elizabeth I’s England). A good part of
the push toward this movement of neoclassicism was an attempt to reclaim values that seemed to
have been shoved aside as a result of the Great War. Somewhat more pragmatically, however, is that
fact that older styles required fewer players and could sustain stranger instrumentation – both an
asset after losing so many musicians to the battlefields of Europe.
356. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Symphony no. 1 “Classical” in D major, op. 25 (1917): As a
compositional project, Prokofiev tasked himself with two challenges. One, to create a
symphony for a Mozartian sized orchestra in purely classical shape and proportion; and
two, to compose without using the piano to guide his ear. The result is a wickedly hard
orchestral showpiece that indeed accomplishes task one.
357. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Pulcinella [pronounced PULL-chin-ella] (1920):
Commissioned by Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe, this ballet proved the collaboration
between some of the great artists of the day: The scenario and choreography were both by
the great Leonide Massine, Pablo Picasso designed the original costumes and sets, and, of
course, Stravinsky provided the score. Like Petruchka nearly a decade earlier, Pulcinella
drew on the commedia dell’arte tradition, this time “properly” that of 18th-century Italy. For
the ballet Stravinsky reworked music thought at that time to be by Giovanni Battiste
Pergolesi (1710-1736), one of the great tragic figures of the early age and mover within the
earlier gallant style.
No. 1 – Overture ([1] Sinfonia in Suite)
No. 14 – Tarantella ([4] in Suite)
No. 17 – Gavotta con due variatione ([6] in Suite)
358. * Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), Symphony no. 1, op. 10 (1925): mvt. 1.
The first of fifteen symphonies, this lean, clean, and assured symphony comes was
Shostakovich’s conservatory graduation project. It would be somewhat later before he
really became acquainted with the work of the Russian expats working outside the Soviet
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Union. Until then, his art was shaped by strictly conservative teaching and prodigious
youthful skills.
359. * Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Concerto in Eb Major “Dumbarton Oaks” (1937). Stravinsky
wrote this work on commission to honour the 30th wedding anniversary of the owners –
Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss – of the mansion Dumbarton Oaks in
Washington, DC. The mansion is renowned for its exquisite music room and now for its
museum and library.
360. * Béla [Viktor János] Bartók (1881-1945), Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 123 (1943):
This fabulous showpiece for orchestra could just as well been called a symphony (even with
its five movements); however, Bartók preferred the term concerto because he wrote for
each instrument and instrument family in a virtuoso solo style.
Mvt. 2 – Game of Pairs, or Presentation of the Couples
Mvt. 3 – Elegia
Mvt. 4 – Intermezzo
361. * Olivier Messiaen [pronounced MESSy-ann] (1908-1992), Quatour pour la fin du temps
[Quartet for the End of Time] (1941): Quartet for violin, cello, clarinet, piano, mvts. 3, 4, and 8
 Mvt. 3, Abime des oiseaux (The Abyss of the Birds)
 Mvt. 4, Intermede (Interlude)
 Mvt. 8, Louange a l'immortalite de Jesus (In Praise of the Immortality of Jesus)
362. * Béla [Viktor János] Bartók (1881-1945), Sonata for Solo Violin Sz. 117, BB 124 (1944) mvt.
1, Tempo di Ciaccona. This late work was commissioned by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
Bartok responded with a gem full of Hungarian melodies, rhythms, and harmonies.
363. * Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), Chaconne for solo piano (1962). A quarter century the junior to
countryman Dmitri Shostakovich, Gubaidulina grew up with the Soviet injunction against
formalism. Formalism in a Soviet context meant western musical experimentation.
Avoiding formalism drove Soviet composers backwards to their roots, either folk roots or
musical roots. Here, Gubaidulina uses the old Baroque form of the chaconne with its short
repeating bass harmonic progression as the basis of an intense set of variations.
364. * Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), Symphony no. 15 in A major, op. 47
(1971). The last symphony by Shostakovich resonates with a sardonic wit. His original
intention was to call it “The Toyshop,” and vestiges of this child-like perspective abound:
the imbedding of Shostakovich’s grandson’s name (S-As-C-H-E) as a melody and
quotations from child-friendly works like Rossini’s William Tell Overture. In contradiction to
the apparent simplicity, however, one also finds complex mathematical relationships in the
rhythms and 12-tone implications in the melodic selections. Still, the symphony’s most
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outstanding feature might be its overall perspective of false militarism, false pride, and false
smiles. It is a work that is hard to get the measure of, but from our western perspective we
see that as indicative of Shostakovich’s inability to write what might be seen as critical of
the government coupled with the desire to write something that his countrymen and –
women would understand as sarcastic. What did he really mean? He didn’t tell us.
365. * Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), Glorious Percussion (2008) is a large-scale concerto grosso for
percussion and orchestra. Here Gubaidulina traces the history of percussion in a 40 minute
366. * Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), Offertorium, Concerto for Violin (1980), relatively sparse and
spare, still there is an underlying romanticism and expressiveness from both soloist and
Two very similar terms are afoot in the early 20th century. There are distinctions between them, and
it is useful to know the differences, at least in a cursory way. The two terms in question are PostRomanticism and Neo-Romanticism: officially, what comes after Romanticism (Post-Romanticism)
and Romanticism made new (Neo-Romanticism). In practice, the way the first of the two
movements manifest is thus: in Post-Romanticism the Classical-period forms which formed the
basis for early 19th-century Romanticism and which never really went away are carried forward in a
continuing tradition, clothed in full Romantic musical clothing including large orchestras and strong
harmonic tonality.
367. * Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Symphony no. 4 (1901). In the last movement, Mahler
introduces the voice to express the ideas that he felt instruments alone could not express.
In this case Mahler writes three movements which express the threat of death, even the
reality of death complete with funeral march. In the fourth movement, Mahler considers
the heavenly life, which, after all, must include angels.
Mvt. 1, Bedächtig, nicht eilen
Mvt. 4, Sehr Behaglich (with Das himmlische Leben from Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
Text and translation:
368. * Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Symphony no. 2 in D major, op. 43 (1902): Long before
Sibelius was the acclaimed voice of Finnish nationalism, he composed both epic tone
poems and symphonies of exceptional beauty in a musical language which ultimately
became stereotypical of Scandinavia.
Mvt. 3, vivaccissimo …
Mvt. 4, Finale …
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369. * Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Symphony no. 5 (1902),. One of Mahler’s rare instrumentalonly symphonies. The huge orchestral forces which Mahler employs in the majority of the
symphony are pared down to just strings and harp in the exquisite 4th movement, Adagietto.
Mvt. 4, Adagietto
370. * Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Das Lied von der Erde [The Song of the Earth] (1909). What
really constitutes Mahler’s 9th symphony was titled poetically in an attempt to thwart the
curse of the ninth symphony. It almost worked! In the meanwhile, Mahler used a device
begun by Beethoven, used occasionally by other composers, and certainly used by Mahler in
about half of his symphonies: the introduction of a lovely poetic text or two or three,
entrusted to a singer or choir. Mahler never composed operas despite conducting opera
and operetta for most of his career. Instead, Mahler treated the voice symphonically, either
accompanying folksongs with symphonic resources, or incorporating song into his
Mvt 1: Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde [The Drinking Song of Earth's Misery]
Poem by Li Po, Bei Ge Xing ( 悲歌行 ) [A Pathetic Song]
Mvt. 6: Der Abschied [The Farewell]
371. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Piano Concerto no. 3 n C major, Op. 26 (1921): A virtuosic
piano concerto by one of the most esteemed pianists of the early 20th century. If you listen
carefully to this work side-by-side with the next by Rachmaninov, you can discern the
strengths of each pianist, both a true virtuoso of the instruments. Rachmaninov at 6’ 6”
had massive hands, not so much long in the fingers as broad across the palms
and as such he could reach nearly twice the span of notes as a more normally-built pianist.
Prokofiev was much more diminutive with tiny hands. Listening to this powerful concerto,
you can sense those small hands charging up and down the keyboard, tumbling over each
other. When you listen next to the Rachmaninov below, you will likely be aware of the
massive clutches of notes Rachmaninov grabs at one time.
372. * Sergei [Vasilievich] Rachmaninov [pronounced Rock-MAN-in-off] (1873-1943), Rhapsody
on a Theme by Paganini, op. 43 (1934): The Caprice no. 24 in a minor, op. 1 for Violin by the
19th-century violinist Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840) has been a favourite subject for sets of
variations by numerous composers. Here Rachmaninov fashions a set of 24 variations (the
“usual” number) for piano and orchestra to take the shape of a traditional three-movement
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373. * Samuel Barber (1910-1981), String Quartet, op. 11 (1936): Mvt. 2, Poco adagio. The
whole string quartet by this uncommonly lyrical American composer is worth considering,
but it is the central Adagio which carries the weight of poignancy, despair and resolve lying
side-by-side. Fabulous tension is created with trudging, climbing lines seeming to torque
ever tighter. The year after the quartet’s completion, Barber arranged this central movement
for string orchestra. The strongly funereal tone of the movement in the orchestral version
has made it a go-to piece for sorrowful remembrances including state funerals and war
films, most notably in the 1991 film Platoon.
374. * Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), Symphony no. 5 in d minor, op. 47
(1937). Shostakovich had been strongly censured for his 4th Symphony; in fact he was
nearly shipped to Siberia over it. Joseph Stalin himself had demanded that the 4 th
Symphony be withdrawn because of its stridency, but Shostakovich boldly attempted a
performance. That performance attempt was abandoned, resulting in a panicked flight
from the concert hall of all who were there, and the 4th Symphony was not heard until 1961.
As a part of his reconciliation with the Soviet government, Shostakovich wrote the strong,
proud, dynamic 5th Symphony as a so-called response to just criticism.
375. * Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953), Symphony no. 5 in B-flat major, op. 100 (1944). Prokofiev
was one of those rare Russian-born artists who worked in the west for a time and then
chose to return to the Soviet Union even with its artistic directives and strictures. It is said
that Prokofiev’s limited success in the west suggested to him that his style was better suited
to his homeland. In fact his draw to the ballet was uniquely suited to the style of the Kirov
and Bolshoi Ballets than of, say, the Ballet Russe; and his angular, upside-down melodies
and backward-moving harmonies worked for the folk melodies and national perspective of
his homeland. His style changed on return home, for sure, but not so much to lose himself.
The 5th Symphony, written at the height of WWII, contains much of soaring beauty and
exhilarating drive. His exquisite retrograde tonality was picked up by John Williams and
used to great effect in the film score to Star Wars, Episode 1 (1999).
376. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Concerto in D major for Oboe and Small Orchestra, AV
144, TrV 292 (1945). One of the last works from the great romantic – perhaps the last
romantic composer comes complete with one of the great stories of inception in all of
music, truly rising from the ashes of Nazi Germany.
377. * Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), String Quartet no. 8 in c minor, op. 110
(1960). Be warned: there is nothing happy about this String Quartet. Believed to be deeply
autobiographical – Shostakovich imbedded his musical initials, D-S-C-H, in each movement
– the whole is a dark study of the possibility of the string quartet.
378. * Samuel Barber (1910-1981), Piano Concerto, op. 38 (1962): The broadly lyrical concerto
is a full-blooded example of post-romanticism, full of arching melodies, dense by warm
harmonies, and all the energy expected from a solo concerto. A note regarding Barber and
his music may be found on pages 404 and 405 of your text book
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Mvt. 2: Canzone: Moderato
Mvt. 3: Allegro molto
Neo-Romanticism, in contrast to Post-Romanticism, ignores the classical forms. Neo-Romanticism
just embraces the musical language of Romanticism, the structural freedom allowed by Romanticism,
the large and creative orchestra of Romanticism, the strong chromatic tonality of Romanticism. And
the potential chaos and juxtapositions permitted by Romanticism. In short, Neo-Romanticism took
all that made Romanticism Romanticism and took it to new and impressive heights.
379. * Charles Ives (1874-1954), Three Places in New England, Orchestral Suite no. 1 (1914). Ives’
Orchestral Suite is one of the first strong compositions to be written by an American
composer, albeit one who sells insurance. This wild composition is famous for its layers of
popular tunes in seemingly chaotic procession, cavalcading on top of one another as if a
parade of different marching bands were stomping through the camp.
II. Putnam’s Camp, Redding, Connecticut
380. * Béla Bartók (1881-1945), Romanian Folk Dances, Sz 56 (1915). The little set of six works,
originally for piano, derives from seven folk songs and dances from the Transylvania
region. Bartok collected these dances from the countryside. All six are on the playlist.
381. * Gustav Holst (1874-1934), The Planets Suite, op. 32 (1916): You will note that Holst only
includes seven movements, each depicting antiquity’s characterization granted the planets in
ancient astrology. The reason for only seven movements is that there is no ancient
astrology associated with Earth and Pluto was not discovered until 1930. Music-lovers were
pleasantly bemused when Pluto was defrocked of planetary status in 2006 and Holst’s suite
again was astronomically correct.
 “Mars: Bringer of War”
 “Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity”
 “Neptune, the Mystic”
382. * Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Fontane di Roma [Fountains of Rome] (1916). In a spate of
nationalistic fervor, Respighi wrote a triptych of Italian works, each celebrating one of the
glories of Italy. In this work four of the renowned fountains of the city of Rome each
depicted at a different time of day: Valle Giulia d’Alba at daybreak; Bernini’s Triton at
midmorning with Frend horn standing in for Triton’s conch shell; my beloved Trevi, also
by Bernini, rushing forth at noon; and the Villa Medici, twinkling high above Rome in the
light of the dying sun.
 La Fontana di Valle Giulia all’Alba
 La Fontana del Tritone al Mattino
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383. * George Gershwin (1898-1937), Rhapsody in Blue (1924): One of the earliest compositions
to be considered “cross-over” between jazz and classical, its jazz elements tended to be
rejected by traditional jazz musicians as charactures and not authentic enough. It was hard
to pick a category for this one! The experimental tilt of Neo-Romanticism seemed to fit
384. * Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Pini di Roma [Pines of Rome] (1924). This second
installment of Respighi’s Italian triptych pays tribute to the majestic umbrella pines (those
wonderful bearers of pignoli, pine nuts) which arch over the Roman landscape: those of the
Villa Borghese, the catacombs, the Janiculum Hill, and the Appian Way. The fourth
movement – Pines of the Appian Way – is probably the greatest of the long orchestra
crescendos in all of music, tracking the returning ghost armies of Rome on their procession
into Rome and up the Capitoline Hill to the waiting Emperor at the Temple of Jupiter.
 Pini di Via Appia (Pines of the Appian Way)
385. * Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Trittico Botticelliano (1927). The last of Respighi’s triptych,
here Respighi sets to music the three paintings by the 15th-century Florentine artist Sandro
 La Primavera [Spring]
l’Adorazione dei Magi [Adoration of the Magi]
La Nascita di Venere [The Birth of Venus]
* Alban Berg (1885-1935), Violin Concerto (1935): This beautifully constructed monument of
the 20th-century violin repertoire capably combines 12-tone compositional technique with
episodes of traditional tonality. The tone row itself is packed with tonal elements. View
the row at and a possible
matrix at
387. * Sergei [Vasilievich] Rachmaninov (1873-1943), Symphonic Dances, op. 45 (1940). It is in
the Symphonic Dances that we are reminded that Rachmaninov was Russian by birth and
upbringing. There is a bit of Prokofiev, a bit of Stravinsky, and a bit of Rimsky-Korsakov
in here. The harmonies are piquant and the melodies are lightly contorted, still the
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orchestra is richly Rachmaninov in its full flower. Throughout the work, Rachmaninov
quotes his earlier works and also, again, the Dies Irae of liturgical chant setting up a battle
between death and resurrection. While these dances were all along conceived as dances for
orchestra, conversations had begun with Mikhail Fokine about the possibility of actually
choreographing them. This probably would have become reality had Fokine not died
suddenly in 1942.
388. * Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Halil, nocturne for Solo Flute, Piccolo, Alto Flute, Percussion,
Harp and Strings (1981). The critically acclaimed work by Bernstein speaks of the
destruction of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
389. * Gustav Mahler, Lieder aus “Das Knaben Wunderhorn” [Songs from “The Youth’s Magic Horn”
(cornucopia)] (1899 a collection (not a cycle as there is no unifying narrative) of twelve
settings for voice and orchestra of poems from the poetic collection by the same name of
German folk poems edited by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano (1805-1808). Texts
and translations at the links below:
(1) Der Schildwache Nachtlied
(5) Das irdische Leben
6) Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
390. * Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967), Háry János kalandozásai Nagyabonytul a Burgváráig [János Háry:
his Adventures from Nagyabony to the Vienna Burg] (1926): a folk opera, typical of Hungary, in
the style of a singspiel on a Hungarian libretto by Béla Paulini and Zsolt Harsányi, based on
the comic tale Az obsitos [The Veteran] by János Garay. The orchestral suite gathers up the
best and most colourful music from the opera, full of eastern European rhythms and
391. * Carl Orff (1895-1982), Carmina Burana: Cantiones profanæ cantoribus et choris cantandæ
comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis [Songs of Beuern: Secular songs for singers and choruses
to be sung together with instruments and magic images] (1936): Today the work is treated as a
cantata setting of 24 poems from Carmina Burana, a medieval collection of very secular
poems; ; however, Orff originally composed the work at a piece of what he called “Teatrum
Mundi” or theatre uniting music, movement, and word. The work is rarely given today in
Module 14
choreographed, full-staged productions. The text and translation of this famous and
dramatic movement is given at
 Opening and closing segments: Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi
392. * Samuel Barber (1910-1981), Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1947): A solo cantata for singer
(usually soprano but may also be tenor) and orchestra, setting a portion of two texts by
James Agee, in part from his essay "Knoxville" and also from the introduction to his
Pulitzer Prize-winning posthumous novel, A Death in the Family.
393. * Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), A Survivor from Warsaw, op. 46 (1947): A singlemovement work for narrator, men’s chorus, and orchestra no commemorate the Jewish
victims of the Holocaust. Full text, including English translation of Sh’ma Yisrael hymn
may be found at
394. * Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), From Jewish Folk Poetry, opus 79 (1948), a
song cycle for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and piano setting poetic texts (but not the
actual melodies) found in a collection of Jewish folk songs compiled by I. Dobrushin and
A. Yupoeticditsky, edited by Y. M. Sokolov (Goslitizdat, 1947). Due to Shostakovich’s
recent censorship by Soviet authorities, the premier was delayed until 1955 and was
controversial at that time. Text and translations may be found in the accompanying booklet
on Naxos Music Library, but not yet broadly online.
395. * Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Vier letzte Lieder [Four Last Songs], op. post. (1948). The four
last songs, based on poems by Hermann Hesse, are among Strauss’ last works – in fact,
published after his death. These songs consider various aspects of the acceptance of death.
Given Strauss’ death in 1949 after a long and rich life, it is nearly impossible to see these
works as anything other than autobiographical. Texts are most easily found on Wiki
396. * Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Old American Songs (1952): Two sets of traditional folk songs
(five songs each) set for baritone and piano, later voice and orchestra
397. * Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers (1971).
This non-traditional mass, with additional texts and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is more
theatre piece than religious work. Full of doubt regarding the existence of God, the work
concludes with a restoration of faith. The work was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy
for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington,
 Simple Song
398. * Joseph Schwantner (b. 1943), Black Anemones (1980): A setting for soprano and piano of
one of two poems by the Colombian-American surrealist poet Agueda Pizarro in English
translation by Barbara Stoler Miller.
Module 14
399. * R(aymond) Murray Schafer (b. 1933), Patria (1966-1990). Over the years of this
composition, Schafer has modified the scope of the work several times, moving from opera
to twelve-section staged music event: prologue, epilogue, and 10 intermediate sections for
differing ensemble combinations of voices and instruments.
 Patria 5: The Crown of Ariadne
 Patria 6: Ra
 Epilogue: And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon
400. * Jerome Kern (188501945), Show Boat (1927): libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II based on
the 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. Show Boat is considered the first musical
play (piece of musical theatre by our common definition) as different from light opera or
operetta, musical comedy, review, or follies
 Act 1: Ol’ Man River
401. * Aaron Copland [pronounced COPE-lund] (1900-1990), Quiet City for trumpet, cor anglais, and
string orchestra (1940/41). Copland’s work began life as incidental music for the play Quiet
City by Irwin Shaw. While Copland’s original music was written to parallel the life and
attitudes of the lead character, Copland himself later conceded that the concert version had
taken its rightful place as its own composition.
402. * Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), Oklahoma! (1943): libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, based
on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Oklahoma!, was the first collaboration
between these two great artists and presents the beginning of one of the most fruitful
theatrical teams in history.
 Act 1: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
403. * Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), South Pacific (1949): lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book
by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning
book Tales of the South Pacific.
 Act 2: This Nearly Was Mine
404. * Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), The King and I (1950): lyrics and book by Oscar
Hammerstein II, based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam itself
based upon the memoirs of Anna Leonowens.
 Act 2: Something Wonderful
405. * Frederick Loewe (1901-1988), My Fair Lady (1956): book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, roles of many 20th-century works become
indelibly linked to a specific performance or performer. Such is the case with Rex
Harrison’s role as Professor Henry Higgins. Harrison’s performances withstood both stage
and film as he famously spoke rather than sang the songs.
 Act 1: Why Can’t the English
 Act 1: On the Street Where You Live
 Act 2: Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man
406. * Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Candide (1956 and 1974): the music for this charming
operetta based on Voltaire’s 18th-century novelette by the same name is fully by Leonard
Bernstein, but like so many 20th-century music stage works, Bernstein collaborated with no
fewer than six lyricists and “book-writers.” The “book” by Lillian Helman used for the
1956 premiere was subsequently replaced in 1974 by one by Hugh Wheeler, which is
considered to be closer to Voltaire’s novelette.
 Overture
 No. 15: Glitter and Be Gay
* Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), West Side Story (1957): this book musical is based on
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but set in immigrant neighbourhoods of New York
City – music by Bernstein, song lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents.
Bernstein, along with assistance from Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal, orchestrated the full
Broadway score of 75 instrumental parts to be covered by no more than 31 players: wind
players and percussion players being responsible for more than one instrument – there are
27 percussion instruments to be played! While critical reception of the musical was
focussed on Jerome Robinson’s choreography, critics identified Bernstein’s score as “…
fascinatingly tricky and melodically beguiling …” (John Chapman, New York Daily News, 27
September 1957)
 Act 1: Prologue
 Act 1: Maria
(408a) For a purely instrumental snapshot of the music, Bernstein compiled and
composed Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” in 1960. Find this on your playlist or
at with an aging Bernstein
conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
408. * Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), The Sound of Music (1959): lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II,
book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp,
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
Act 1: Climb Every Mountain
409. Frederick Loewe (1901-1988), Camelot (1960): book and lyrics Alan Jay Lerner and Moss
Hart, based upon T. H. White's Once and Future King. For no direct reason other than timing
and a certain enchanted quality, the musical became linked to the Kennedy White House.
Act 1: The Lusty Month of May
410. * Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979): music
and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, libretto by Hugh Wheeler, based on the 1973 play by the
same name by Christopher Bond. Sweeney Todd as a character descends from Victorianperiod penny Romances.
Act 2: Not While I’m Around
411. * Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Baron Lloyd-Webber (b. 1948), Phantom of the Opera
(1986), lyrics by Charles Hart based on the 1909 French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by
Gaston Leroux. . Considered to be a fully-fledged musical, the work demands fully
operatic performances by several of the characters, imbeds a number of brilliantly
conceived parody operas, and packs in a number of ensembles of the kind of complexity
(although not quality) seen only in Mozart.
 Act 1: Notes/Prima Donna
 Act 1: Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh (Il Muto)
 Act 1: Think of Me
Study of Music
By taking this course you are embarking upon or extending your practice of musicology. Because it
is an accurate and insightful expression of musicology, I quote the opening of the “Musicology”
article of Wikipedia in full with modifications shown in [ ]:
Musicology (Greek: μουσική = "music" and λόγος = "word" or "reason") is the scholarly study
of music. The word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense,
musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture. In the intermediate sense, it
includes all relevant cultures and a range of musical forms, styles, genres and traditions. In the
broad sense, it includes all musically relevant disciplines and all manifestations of music in all
cultures. ….
In the broad definition, the parent disciplines of musicology include history; cultural …[,
social, religious,] and gender studies; philosophy, aesthetics and semiotics; ethnology and
cultural anthropology; archeology and prehistory; psychology and sociology; physiology and
neuroscience; acoustics and psychoacoustics; and computer/information sciences[, many of
the hard sciences,] and mathematics. Musicology also has two [three] central, practically
oriented subdisciplines with no parent discipline: [performance], performance
practice and research; and the theory, analysis and composition of music. [Bold and
italics added] The disciplinary neighbors of musicology address other forms of [the visual,
plastic, literary, and performing] art[s, along with the history, theory, and practice of each] …
[as well as aspects of] ritual and communication, … architecture; linguistics, literature and
theater; religion and theology; and sport. Musical knowledge and know-how are applied in
medicine, education and music therapy, which may be regarded as the parent disciplines of
Applied Musicology.
Traditionally, historical musicology has been considered the largest and most important
subdiscipline of musicology. Today, historical musicology is one of several large
subdisciplines. Historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and systematic musicology are
approximately equal in size - if numbers of active participants at international conferences is
any guide. Systematic musicology includes music acoustics, the science and technology of
acoustical musical instruments, physiology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and computing.
Cognitive Musicology is the set of phenomena surrounding the computational modeling of
Ultimately, music and the study of music are about the music itself, that created and that recreated.
It is to the end of enjoying and enriching the many benefits and joys of music that we dedicate our
Wikipedia, “Musicology,” (accessed 21 May 2010).
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
It is a seemingly impossible task – in fact, we are going to concede failure at the outset – yet we will
make a stab at the unlikely: define Western Classical Music. For our purposes we will take the
following as guidelines rather than rules – as a starting point, and then probably discuss and argue
the points for the rest of the term and beyond.
We could have just as easily used the appellation occident (as opposed to orient) to describe the region
considered to be “The West” or “The Western World.” For our study we will take “Western” to
mean having roots in Greco-Roman civilization. The only absolute that comes from this definition
is the understanding that we are now limited to the past 2500 years, give or take a century:
geographically we are still at sea as this definition does not denote the same territory over the past 25
centuries. As empires have risen and fallen since the time of Alexander the Great, boundaries and
governments change and along with these so changes cultural practice.
For our purposes, we will track our geography along with the Roman Empire.
The story of Western Music begins temporally with this broad area of the Mediterranean world. In
this vast Empire (shown here about 300 CE), the religious movement we now know as Christianity
was first legalized (313 CE) and then assumed a dominating role within the Empire (through the 4 th
century). It was a time of turmoil for the Roman Empire with numerous challenges on the borders
of the empire by neighbouring tribes and internal divisions caused by power-hungry political and
Even Italy and the city of Rome herself were threatened.
With the seat of political government officially moved to Constantinople in 395 CE, the Empire was
split for one final time east-and-west, leaving the western Empire in the hands of the minor political
leaders and the religious leadership of the Catholic Church. It is with the split of the Roman
Empire that we first are able to place a finger on the general geographic outlines of “The
West.”. Map,
Further challenges to the decaying Western Roman Empire continued for the next centuries, both
from “barbarian tribes” of the north (Germany, Scandinavia) and east (Danube region, Eastern
Europe), from the northwest (native tribes of the British Isles), and from the south and adjoining
Middle East and Iberian Peninsula (Muslim Empire). By the year 800 CE little of the territory of
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
Europe could claim to be of the old Roman Empire, but a central core of Europe could rightly claim
On Christmas Day 800 CE, the Roman Catholic Pope – representative of the Papacy of the Church,
which for nearly 400 years had wielded full political power over the old Western Roman Empire –
gave control of nearly all remaining lands to the Frankish King Charlemagne and anointed him Holy
Roman Emperor in return for allegiance to the Catholic Church and military protection. Map,
From the establishment of the roots of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 CE through the next 1000
years we see the territories of Western Europe being drawn in, becoming “The West.” Through the
17th and 18th centuries we may also add the political court of Russia at St. Petersburg with its strong
liaison with the French court at Paris. Through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries we now add many
(but not all) of former European colonial countries and regions to our official map of “The West”
including all of North America and Greenland, all of South America, Australian and New Zealand,
South Africa and some smaller areas on the African continent, Russia and most states of the former
Soviet Union, Turkey, and finally again Greece herself along with most of the Balkan states. Since
the middle of the 20th century and with the advent of wide-spread communication technologies, areas
traditionally comprising the orient– Japan, China, Korea, and other areas of Southeast Asia – may
now be considered largely, but not exclusively “western” for the purposes of considering
contemporary art and popular music. Indigenous peoples throughout this vast geographic region are
not necessarily drawn into the western cultural sphere where music is concerned. Map,
In truth, in recent decades it may be possible to consider any region of the world to embrace the
ideals of the West where contemporary art and pop music are concerned except those areas which
have for many centuries been politically and religiously Muslim, a culture which embraces unique
ideals regarding music. Regardless of the presence of Western musical ideals in some of the music
from a particular geographic location, many indigenous cultures practice and embody musical ideals
which differ from Western musical practice, for example Canadian First Nations and Australian
. . . CLASSICAL . . .
May I begin by going on record: I am not in favour of making hard distinctions between “types” of
music? I have no objection to using terms to designate musics which have similar qualities, but I am
not fond on allowing those loose designations to define or pigeon-hole music. To permit the latter is
to open the door to isolating some music and even dismissing some music. This must not be
permitted as all music may be understood as an expression of the culture which gives it birth. Still it
may be useful to attempt placing rough outlines on the designation “classical.”
When considering music, we labour under a triple whammy regarding the word “Classical.”
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
Allow me first to quote from the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians:
‘Classic, Classical’ evolved from the Latin classicus (a taxpayer, later also a writer, of the
highest class) through the French classique into English ‘classical’ and German Klassik.
In one of the earliest definitions (R. Cotgrave: Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues,
1611), classique is translated as ‘classical, formall, orderlie, in due or fit ranke; also,
approved, authenticall, chiefe, principall’. The two parts of this definition will be
retained here and glossed as (i) formal discipline, (ii) model of excellence, supplemented
by (iii) that which has to do with Greek or Latin antiquity (Dictionnaire de l’Académie,
1694), and (iv) that which is opposed to ‘romantic’, the latter understood as morbid and
unruly (Goethe, 1829).2
A not dissimilar definition comes from The Oxford Dictionary of Music:
Term [classicism] which, applied to mus[ic], has vague rather than specific meaning:
 (1) Mus. comp. roughly between 1750 and 1830 (i.e. post-Baroque and pre-Romantic)
which covers the development of the classical sym. and conc.
 (2) Mus. of an orderly nature, with qualities of clarity and balance, and emphasising formal
beauty rather than emotional expression (which is not to say that emotion is lacking).
 (3) Mus. generally regarded as having permanent rather than ephemeral value.
 (4) ‘Classical music’ is used as a generic term meaning the opposite of light or popular
With this in mind, we find that our triple whammy is thus:
 Music may be described as “Classical” in order to differentiate it from music which is
“Popular” or “Folk” in nature. Definition by differentiation is hard to argue, and frankly,
is a bit of a cop-out. The underlying assumption here is that “Classical” music is more
difficult to understand and less immediate to the listener than either “Folk” or “Popular”
music. This simply is not true as a rule! “Folk” music can be differentiated from “Art” music
in that we can trace the origin of any single piece of “Art” music with fair accuracy whereas
“Folk” music usually has an undefinable point of origin. “Popular” music can be
differentiated in many respects from “Concert” music simply on the basis of intended
performance venue or vehicle, but even this is going out on a very narrow limb.
Usually the appellation of “Classical” in this case is applied either as an act of derision or as
an act of snobbery – depending on the personal stance of the speaker!
Still, if we are carefully observant we can discern at the roots of this misunderstood and
misdirected use of the classification “Classical” some characteristics which do, in fact, set
aside “Classical” from “non-classical” music.
Daniel Heartz and Bruce Alan Brown. "Classical." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, (accessed July 25,
3 "Classical." In The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev., edited by Michael Kennedy. Oxford Music Online, (accessed July 25, 2010).
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
o “Classical” music tends to exhibit characteristics of large-scale unfolding over a
period of time, usually requiring the listener to retain an aural memory of an idea
experienced in the beginning of the work, relate it to an idea experienced later in a
work, and make a connection or reflection based on those experiences which creates
a further experience.
o “Classical” music tends to exhibit characteristics of dramatic tension and resolution,
usually on multiple levels – there is usually a balance between anticipation and
delivery, usually a certain but not necessarily predictable logic to the unfolding of the
o “Classical” music is usually a written, composed form – limiting improvisation to a
small, specified set of possibilities. Performers are asked to interpret rather than
participate in the act of composition, especially in recent centuries. It is usually
possible to drop a clean line between the existence of a work of “Classical” music as
separate from the existence of a work through a specific and identifying performance.
o “Classical” music often contains strong, persistent, and frequently structural elements
of aural metaphor and symbolism, whether overt or subliminal, as well as
implications of character or temperament.
o “Classical” music often embodies deliberate assignation and selection of
instrument/voice based on the need for specific qualities or temperaments of the
music to be manifest by specific qualities and capabilities of a particular instrument.
These qualities are not limited to “Classical” music – “Classical” music exists in many
cultures including non-Western traditions – but “Western Classical” music will nearly always
embody these qualities. While not succumbing to a declaration that “Western Classical”
music is the purview of the educated elite, it must be confessed that often it does take a
measure of learning, or at least experience, in order to begin to draw out of much of meaning
embodied in works of “Western Classical” music that the composer intended.
 Music may be described as “Classical” as opposed to “Romantic” as with (iv) in our
New Grove definition – “that which is opposed to ‘romantic’” – or (2) in the Oxford
definition – “Mus[ic] of an orderly nature, with qualities of clarity and balance, and
emphasising formal beauty rather than emotional expression (which is not to say that
emotion is lacking). In a way (2) defines and clarifies (iv).
Throughout musical history some styles of music inherently lean more toward the “Classical”
side and others more to the “Romantic” side. The same can be said of styles within the
visual arts including painting, sculpture, and architecture among others. The same can also
be said of many literary arts. When we separate “Classical” and “Romantic” in this context
“Classical” is defined as beautiful by reason of clarity of form and “Romantic” is defined as
beautiful by reason of emotional affectation.
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
In this context “Classical” music is understood to mimic the ideals of classical Greco-Roman
antiquity – beauty by clarity – hence the attribution of the term “classical.”
 Music History includes what we know as a specific “Classical Period.” Our Classical
Period is roughly defined by the years 1750-1800(25) and by the music of Haydn, Mozart,
and a young Beethoven. In giving the title of “Classical Period” to this style of music,
musicologists aver the sentiment that at this time music reached a peak of “beauty by clarity”
which has been unsurpassed by all other styles. Admittedly this is a subjective call on the
part of musicologists, but one which, in my opinion, is completely justified.
When we use the word “Classical” as part of Western Classical Music we mean the first salvo
in our “triple whammy.”
. . . MUSIC
The great Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians devotes 21 print pages to pussy-footing around a
definition of “Music.”4 My beloved Harvard Dictionary of Music by Willi Apel, second edition,
however, makes a pretty good stab at it, pointing out that the word “Music” – in all likelihood5 –
derives from the Muses of Greek antiquity, the nine of whom oversaw all aspects of human cultural
endeavour: Epic Poetry, Lyric Poetry, Choral Poetry, Tragedy, Comedy, Music, Dance, History, and
Even within the time of the Muses, when there was virtually no line between sacred and secular in
any aspect of life, in the hands of Greek (and later) philosophers “music” edged into the realm of the
metaphysical, the mystical, the cultish, and even the forbidden. In the Middle Ages scholars included
Music among the sister sciences – the quadrivium: Music, Astronomy, Mathematics, and Geometry.7
Part of the problem of achieving definition is – not the least of which – that Music must be
recognized as part art, part science, and part metaphysics. In fact, we have more success categorizing
broad aspects of music than we do defining it. Plato, for example – almost like applying genus and
species – categorized types of music as scientia harmonica, scientia metrica, and scientia rhythmica, or the
science of pitch, the science of meter, and the science of [textual] rhythm respectively.8 The
medieval theorist Boethius divided music as musica mundana, musica humana, and musica instrumentalis:
harmony of the universe, harmony of the human soul and body, and harmony of produced sound.9
St. Isidore of Seville in the early 7th century termed music as musica harmonica, musica organica [ex
flatu], and musica rhythmica [ex pulsis digitorum]: music of the voice, music of tuneful instruments,
Bruno Nettl. "Music." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, (accessed July 25,
5 Medieval writers also suggested an origin of the word “Music” in the ancient Egyptian word for water: moys. This
possibility is somewhat more circumstantial, but none-the-less lends a refreshing twist to the idea of music.
6 Interesting that at this stage that both “History” and astronomy are considered” human endeavours,” and that the
visual arts are entirely missing.
7 An absolutely fascinating book on this very topic is Temperament: How Music Became the Battleground for the Greatest Minds of
Western Civilization by Stuart Isacoff
8 Willi Apel, “Music,” Harvard Dictionary of Music, second edition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979).
9 ibid.
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
music of drums.10 The 14th century witnessed the emergence of musica mundana (of the universe),
musica humana (of humans), musica vocalis (of animal voices), musica artificialis armonica (of spoken word),
musica artificialis armonica prosaica metrica rhythmica (of metered and rhymed prose), musica artificialis
instrmentalis cordae (of strings), musica artificialis instrumentalis ventus (of winds), and musica artificialis
instrumentalis pulsus (of percussion).11 As late as 1500 CE theorists were resurrecting Aristoxenos’
simple division of music into practical (performance, artistic, or sounding) and theoretical (scientific,
written, or scholarly) disciplines of 300 BCE: these broad divisions as well as many of the smaller
ones above persist to this day.12
These many annotations of some of the historical divisions of music do less to bring us closer to a
definition of music than they do in highlighting where some of the problems of achieving a useful
definition lie. To complicate further, even within Western languages, the word “Music” does not
always seem to represent the same entity, in the same way not everyone might agree on what is
meant by the colour “Purple.” In some languages the word for “Music” clearly includes poetry
and/or drama, whereas English tends to separate the three words. Alternately, in common English
usage it is sometimes unclear of whether we are speaking of “Music” in a literal or metaphorical
sense, as in “music to my ears.” For every person who attempts to define “Music” there is little limit
to the number who disagree with the definition.
I hypothesize the following:
 In the beginning is “Sound.” “Sound” has loudness or softness (“Dynamic”), character or colour
(“Timbre”), duration, and an acoustic vibration frequency (“Pitch”).
 “Sound” becomes “Tone” as differentiated from “Noise” when it acquires an intangible and
subjective aspect of pleasantness.
 When “Tones” are combined and organized OR heard to be combined and/or organized,
“Music” emerges.
”Tones” and their opposite “silences” may be understood to be organized within time into
perceivable, even recognizable patterns of “Rhythm;”
“Tones” may be understood to be organized in patterns of rise and fall, however slight,
creating a perceivable, even recognizable “Melody.”
“Western Music.” with its assumptions of deliberate human genesis and creation within a cultural
context, further suggests:
A recognizable “Pulse;”
Metrical organization of tones, rhythms, and pulses on smaller or larger frameworks
Organization of tones and melodies according to set pitch patterns such as “Modes” or
12 ibid.
Western Classical Music on a World Stage
Potential presence of multiple layers, actual or implied, of melody resulting in “Harmony.”
Potential effect of “Harmony,” actual or implied, to add further dimension to “Rhythm”
and/or “Meter;”
A power of motion and spirit (temperament) suggestive of song, dance, meditation, or
A communicative power
“Western Classical Music” with its greater assumptions of formal structure and aesthetic value,
further suggests:
Organization into formal structures of melody, harmony, rhythm, and meter (“Form”);
Deliberate selection and cultivation of tone colours (“Timbres”);
Beauty, within the perspective of the communicated message;
An implied but not requisite ideal that both performance and listening are deliberately
undertaken and that both benefit from special practice of skills not normally routine to daily
Hidden Meanings
Current music has a preference for 2’s and 4’s, and the multiples of these numbers. For example:
Row, row, row boat gently down stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life but dream
is a
13 14
15 16
For each FULL PHRASE/MELODY: whether there are 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, or 48 BEATS, there will usually still be only 8
big ACCENTs. There will usually be two SUB-PHRASEs– one rising and needing to “continue”, one falling and
coming to conclusion. So much of our music fits this model that we feel somewhat uncomfortable when a piece of music
departs from this plan … of course good composers know how to both work within this plan giving much that is new
and meaningful AND to break these rules of thumb for interest and gentle (or deep) provocation.
If we took this one step further, you would probably find that either 2 or 4 full phrases make a VERSE
One significant pattern which differs from this practice is the “12-Bar Blues”: its pattern is 48 beats, 12 bars, 3
sub-phrases, 1 full phrase.
Movie soundtracks will also often depart from this pattern because of the need to align music with action – and
movie action rarely has patience for something so predictable as 2’s and 4’s.
If we looked the other direction – a SUBDIVISION of each beat – we find that “square-ish” division of the beat into 2’s
and 4’s is popular, but so is “rounded” lilting division into 3’s. These patterns are very common to European-based
music, but less so for non-European music. If we consider music with Eastern European and African influence, we see
that ACCENT patterns may easily be groups of 5 or 7 beats. Ultimately, this produces a peg-legged effect with irregular
accent patterns. Many western composers and performers have picked up on this enticing sound and used it to great
effect. Notable here are the 5 beat marching pattern of Middle Earth’s Uruk hai written by Howard Shore in the film
score of Two Towers, and the 7-beat pattern of Danny Elfman’s theme song for The Simpson’s or Hans Zimmer’s Angels
and Demons soundtrack. Calypso music usually has a peg-legged 8-beat pattern. 8-beat patterns often divide into
PULSEs of 3+3+2 beats instead of the more predictable 2+2+2+2 beats.
Hidden Meanings
Older forms of music had definite preference for ACCENT patterns of 3 beats. In addition to the preference for a beat
SUBDIVISION of 3, these multiples of 3 were considered to be “holy” aligning with the idea of the Holy Trinity for
music of the Mediaeval and early Renaissance periods. Through the Baroque and early Classical period we had a definite
preference for ACCENT patterns of 3 beats, because this made for cool dance steps, since 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3
comes out L-R-L, R-L-R, L-R-L, R-L-R. Evenso all of this, the SUB-PHRASE, FULL PHRASE, and VERSE will still
usually be 2’s and 4’s
Taken all together, we humans tend to feel BEATS and ACCENTS of 2’s, 4’s and their multiples as strong; 3’s
and its multiples as gentle; and 5’s, 7’s and irregular groupings as exotic.
The notes which make up our music are named by letters of the alphabet (at least in English and German).
… our minor scale!
…our major scale!
Today these letters DO designate specific pitches, described by exact frequencies of vibration; however, early on – in the
days of ancient Greece – the letters represented something more like proportions of vibration frequency. If you would
like to read into this further, may I highly recommend the book Temperament: How Music Became the Battleground for the
Greatest Minds of History by Stuart Isacoff
The same Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, who gave us X 2 + Y2 = Z2 also made pioneering strides into the
understanding of the scientific physics behind musical tones. He discovered that dividing a string (like on a violin or on a
guitar) into perfect fractional proportions would produce most of the notes of today’s major or minor scale.
(8:9) 4:5
Proportions of a string
2:3 3:5
Full length
Pythagoras focussed only on proportions using only 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; and so the proportions of B and G are worked out
mathematically, and therefore, are considered somewhat less pure. However, here, even in ancient Greece, the seeds of
our modern scales were sown!
In ancient Greece, scales were called tonoi. These tonoi used the very pitches described above. Tonoi had interesting
names like Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian, which referred to regions of the Grecian world where the patterns
of notes, the tonoi, were prevalent: Lydia and Phrygia on Asia Minor, Dorian referring to a region on the Peloponnesian
Some 1000 years later, mediaeval musicians adopted these same names for the scales then being used by music in the
Roman Church liturgy. Mediaeval musicians called their scales “modes,” and even though the mediaeval modes had the
same names as the Greek tonoi they did not have the same notes (or as near as we can figure today, the same manner of
The principal mediaeval church modes looked something like this:
Hidden Meanings
There were also three theoretical modes:
You may notice that this theoretical group includes our present major and minor scales. It is hard to say why musicians
began to prefer the sound of the present major and minor scales, but it probably had something to do with the beauty of
the harmonies that could be created with major/minor scales and the satisfying movement from harmony to harmony
that could be achieved within major/minor. One way or the other, the shift toward the major-minor system seems to
have begun in the 13th and 14th centuries, was in full swing by the mid-16th century, and had finally settled by the
beginning of the 18th century.
Allow me to return to the mediaeval modes for a moment: it is interesting to note that while, for example, the Dorian
mode stretches from D to D, it is important to note that music in the Dorian mode actually revolves around the one of
the middle notes, usually the fifth one but sometimes the third. The note at the center of the mode was actually
considered the most important note, and so was called the dominant note. This terminology becomes important again
with major and minor scales, although in major/minor it means something a little bit different – still it is interesting that
the term returns in our modern system. It perhaps seems odd to us that the strongest, most dominant note of the mode
might be somewhere in the middle rather than on the end: after all, we tend to practice our scales end-to-end now-adays. If you think about it, however, many tunes begin higher or lower than, or swirl around the final pitch before
settling on it: prove this to yourself by humming “Happy Birthday.”... In mediaeval theory, “Happy Birthday” would be
in the Mixolydian mode – using the full range of G to G – with a dominant (finishing note) of C. In tonal scale theory
“Happy Birthday” would be said to be in C major. Same tune, different theory. This is one of the difficulties
musicologists encounter when studying centuries of music: the theory changes over time!
In today’s usage we give each note of a scale both a number (“scale degree”) and a specific name/title based on where
the note falls within the scale. Glance back to the top of this section and follow the notes/pitches of A minor through
from left to right: you see that A is the first note, B the second, C the third, E the fourth, etc. Here is the list of scale
degrees and names for A minor:
first note
second note
third note
fourth note
fifth note
sixth note
seventh note
scale degree 1 (tonic)
scale degree 2 (supertonic)
scale degree 3 (mediant)
scale degree 4 (subdominant)
scale degree 5 (dominant)
scale degree 6 (submediant)
scale degree 7 (subtonic or leading tone)
Take particular notice of scale degree 5, dominant; scale degree 3, mediant; scale degree 4, subdominant; scale degree 7,
leading tone. Amongst other things, here is our significant return of the term dominant: remember this as we take on
the next concepts.
Musicians like to use circles to help demonstrate certain principles of music construction. A simple circle showing the
alphabetical notes of music can help demonstrate the principle of musical intervals: the musical space between pitches
(notes). We begin by placing the seven alphabet letters of our notation around a circle:
Hidden Meanings
If you start on A and travel clockwise around the circle, you identify the notes of the “a minor” scale. If you start on C
and travel clockwise around the circle, you identify the notes of the “C major” scale. “A minor” is not the only minor
scale we use – there are 14 others – but it is the easiest to work with just in letters. Likewise, C major is not the only
major scale – there are also 14 others – but again it is the easiest to work with using simple letters.
We can now use this circle to help demonstrate the “musical intervals.” For musicians, intervals are identified
numerically, giving the distance around the circle between two pitches. In a way, it’s like playing a musical game of “One
potato, two potato.” For example, if you were to go from A to B clockwise around the circle, then A would be “one
potato” – or one – and B would be “two potato” – or two. Since the count is one-two, we would call this interval the
interval of a second. In fact any two adjacent notes around the circle gives the interval of a second: for example, AB,
Expand this process! Go from A to C clockwise around the circle: A would be “one potato” – or one – and B would be
“two potato” – or two – C would be “three potato” – or three. Since the count is one-two-three, we would call this
interval the interval of a third. In fact skipping one note as you move around the circle gives the interval of a third: for
example AC, DF, GB
Hidden Meanings
By the time you add the “fourth potato” you are describing the interval of the fourth: for example AD, DG
The process can be continued: find the interval of a fifth by skipping 3 notes; a sixth by skipping 4 notes; a seventh by
skipping 5 notes; and finally an octave (an eighth) by going full circle back to the starting note.
The idea of intervals may seem very abstract and unnecessary to enjoying music. However, as we chat about the music
different time periods, as we attempt to describe why music of different times sounds different, we often find that we are
turning to intervals to try to illuminate the workings of the music. As we move into and through “The Common Practice
Period,” it is not only the space between individual notes, but the space between chords (groups of simultaneous notes)
that comes to define many of the qualities of the music.
We will now encounter the “greatest” and most befuddling circle in music study: The Circle of Fifths. The reason that
this is so difficult for so many people, even experienced musicians, is because many concepts have to come together to
make the whole work. If the understanding of this Circle is elusive for you, don’t worry: we can still get much of the
information that we ultimately need from this circle just by looking at it.
If you will indulge me, take the next thing I say on faith … because, honestly, I’m skipping past a LOT of learning and
experience here.
To create a Circle of Fifths, we need to first identify our fifths.
Beginning with C, find the note a fifth higher – G (also the dominant of the C scale). From G we find the next fifth up –
D (also the dominant of the G scale). From D we again find the next fifth note up – A (again the dominant of the D
scale). If we continue this process for a full seven times, each time finding the dominant of the previous scale, we get the
series: C, G, D, A, E, B, F# (F-sharp), and C#. We wrap these notes clockwise around a circle from C at the top.
Hidden Meanings
We then carry out a similar process, moving counter-clockwise around the interval circle from C to find the fifth below C
– here we find F (the subdominant of the C scale). From F we again seek the fifth below – Bb (B-flat), again the
subdominant of the F scale. Doing this seven full times, we get the series: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, and Cb. These we
wrap counter-clockwise around the circle above: complete with overlap of notes (enharmonic notes – sounding the same
in modern usage, but given different names).
And … behold! The Circe of Fifths!
It may not seem like much, but ultimately it is a very useful little circle. We will come back to it just as a visual reference
as we move through the class material
~ AND ~
Ricci Adams Music Theory, an interactive romp through the basics.
Sound Advice is Camosun’s entry-level theory programme and is home-grown here in Victoria
Classification of Instruments
Humans have gone to great lengths to develop instruments to help give voice to the expression of
music … and we have done this for a very long time ( from May 2012) We may yet realise that we humans are not alone in this
practice. At the same time, we are quickly broadening our understanding and acceptance of what
is an instrument.
In recent years musicologists have found benefit to assigning instruments a designation of
“family,” somewhat as biologists assign Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Order, Class, Family, Genus,
and Species to life forms. Over history the way we classify instruments, both formally and
colloquially, has changed. Generally instruments within a family have a similarity in playing
method and sounding mechanism. Each instrument retains its own “voice” through timbre
(pronounced “tamber” -- the colour, characteristic, or quality of a sounding pitch) and tessitura
(“range” – high or low – of an instrument or voice), in addition to strengths, areas of ease,
historical usage and an overall personality
Here is a quick overview of those broad families – our common or colloquial designation on the
left and the formal Hornbostel-Sachs classification on the right:
Hornbostel-Sachs Classification
Flute, clarinet, saxophone,
oboe, bassoon
Trumpet, trombone, French
horn, tuba
Xylophone, Marimba,
chimes, maracas, shakers
Aerophone: Free, non-free, and unclassified
Ideophones: Struck, plucked, friction, and
Membranophone: Struck, plucked, friction,
singing, and unclassified
Violin, viola, ‘cello, guitar,
Chordophone: simple and complex
piano, organ
Mixed: usually a chordophone or
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
Not classified
Electronic or
Synthesizer, Electric bass
Please take time to scan the Wikipedia article on Hornbostel-Sachs classification of instruments at as it is excellent in synopsizing this complex
topic, and showing the breadth and depth of musical instruments worldwide
Classification of Instruments
Musicians use this term “voice” to designate a variety of musical occurances or entities: (1) the
human voice; (2) the “voice” our sounding soul of the instrument; or (3) a line of music performable
by a single performer (vocal or instrumental). We will attempt some further definitions.
Soprano: a high voice (vocal or instrumental), usually that carrying the melody. “Soprano”
defines the whole range of high-voiced singers, usually female or children’s. Within the soprano
tessitura, musicians commonly make several divisions:
The highest of the high women’s voice is sopranino, or coloratura (see down).
A high child’s voice (unbroken) is treble, or descant. Lightness and purity is implied.
A moderately high, or limited range soprano voice is mezzo soprano, or simply mezzo
A songful high woman’s voice is designated “lyric soprano”
A heavy high woman’s voice is designated “dramatic soprano”
Alto: in modern usage, a moderately high voice (vocal or instrumental). In very old music
(1000 years ago) “Alto,” which comes from the Latin word altus, meaning high, represented the
highest voice, usually a descant above the melody. Today with singers “alto” represents the
approximate speaking range of the average woman, and implies a certain huskiness or
mellowness of timbre. Both men and women are capable of singing alto. To our modern ears
an alto voice can sound low, as is it usually the lower voice of women or children.
 A very low female voice is contralto. Contralto always designates a woman’s voice, but
this woman may be able to sing very low into the tenor or even baritone register.
 A high trained-falsetto men’s voice is countertenor.
 An unchanged male voice or an extremely high natural male voice (VERY rare) may be
an alto
 A low child’s voice may be alto (boy or girl)
Tenor: in modern usage a moderately low voice (vocal or instrumental). In very old music
“tenor” refers to the melody (from the Latin tenere meaning “to hold”). Today “tenor” defines a
naturally high men’s voice. A true male tenor voice is usually a very-trained voice with a very
short-lived career, as sustained singing in this register is very difficult on the vocal apparatus.
Within the tenor tessitura, musicians commonly make several divisions:
A very high, light, and flexible men’s tenor voice is designated leggiero tenor
A strong, warm, but not heavy men’s tenor voice is designated lyric tenor
A bright, high, and heroic men’s tenor is designated spinto tenor
A strongly dramatic, ringing, emotive, and powerful men’s tenor is designated dramatic
tenor, or tenore de fooza, or rubusto
A dark, rich, very powerful men’s tenor is designated heldentenor
Baritone: in modern usage, a moderately low voice: this can apply to voice or instrument. As
previously, the men’s baritone voice has divisions and designations as do tenor and soprano, but
is mostly limited to “lyric” and “dramatic.” A deep, low men’s baritone voice is designated
Bass: in modern usage, a low voice: this can apply to voice or instrument! In singing the
men’s bass voice is divided lyric and dramatic, and also high (hoher) and low (profundo)
Easing into Music Terminology
Much musical terminology comes from languages other than English. Sometimes just recognizing
the roots of the musical words and their non-English counterparts makes remembering them much
Words beginning with …
 “Cant…” or “chan…” derive from the Latin word meaning “to sing or recite.” and so nearly
always refer to use of the human voice: cantabile (singing style), cantata (large work for
voice), canto (song or verse), chant (singing or song in speech rhythm), chanson (song),
chanteur (singer), cantor (lead singer), etc.
 “Son…” derive from the Latin word meaning “to sound” and so nearly always refer to use of
instruments: Sonata (a large work for instruments); sonatina (a small sonata)
 “Sym…,” “Sim…,” “Sin…” derive from words meaning “to sound together” and so nearly
always refer to music by larger ensembles (usually instruments): Symphony, Sinfonia (large
orchestral forms of music or a orcestras)
 “Concert…” derive from the Latin word meaning “to harmonzie or rehearse” and so nearly
always refer to music played together: concert, concerto (solo playing with orchestra),
concertino (solo instrument of a concerto, a small accordion, or a small concerto). There is
an older association with the Latin word meaning “to contest or to fight,” implying in its
meaning a good natured fight between “warring” virtuoso soloist and virtuoso orchestra.
Words ending in …
 “…phony” or “…phonic” derive from the Greek word meaning “voice, utterance,” and so
nearly always refer to how many different kinds of sounds (utterances) make up the music:
Monophony (single [mono] melody without any accompaniment), polyphony (multiple [poly]
melodies at the same time); antiphony (two or more melodies one after the other [call and
response] or performed by musicians separated significantly in space); homophony (multiple
melodies [or melody and accompaniment] all using the same rhythm); dodecaphony (music
freely using all possible pitches); heterophony (music with extreme complexity of
simultaneous rhythms); even symphony (multiple instruments coming together).
 “…tonic” derive from the word for “tone or pitch” and so nearly always refer to a type of
scale and the kinds of pitches which make up the scales: pentatonic (five-note Asian, East
European, or Celtic scales), diatonic (our modern major and minor scales), and even the term
“tonic” itself (the name-note or central pitch of a scale)
Unlikely relations …
 “Organ” and “organum” both derive from the same root word in Ancient Greek meaning
“tool or instrument.” In the earliest days of the first millineum CE “organum” meant any
instrument, but rather specifically the organ. How “organum” came to be applied to the style
of polyphonic music of the Notre Dame School and beyond is unkonwn, but prosumably is
Easing into Music Terminology
so named because in this style voices produce a sound similar to an organ or to a the type of
musical sound produced instrumentally.
“Monody” and “Monophony” both have their roots in the prefix “mono” meaning “single.”
“Monody” is the oldest of the two terms dating back to the 16th century and signifies a single
melody (voice or instrument) lightly supported by a simple accompaniment. “Monophony”
as a term did not appear until the 18th century when historians of music began to attempt to
classify music into categories: here it was used to designate music of a single unaccompanied
“Symphony” has two distinct meanings, one being a large orchestra including strings,
woodwinds, brasses, and percussion (sometimes singers); and the other being a formal
composition (usually in four specific movements) for orchestra.
“Opera” is the plural of the Latin word “opus” meaning “work” and so an opera may be
considered a large sung theatre piece consisting of many individual works. In later usage,
beginning in the late 18th century the word “opus” came to be applied by publishers to
designate the order of published works by a composer, and so a work given the designation
opus 42 is the 42nd published work by that particular composer.
Multimovement Works: Glossary
It is no mystery that styles of music change over time: we enjoy this, expect this, and usually delight
in this; however, even today, the art of music performance is taught and learned principally as a part
of an oral tradition. Certainly today we have recordings, audio and video – what I marvellous asset!
In days past we had books, treatises, teaching methods, personal logs, and the writings of music
critics that tell us today what music performance was like in long ago days. Sometimes we get lucky
and have a source of notated music with verbal text saying essentially “play this passage this way” –
Telemann’s Methodical Sonatas for violin and/or flute leap to mind. We even have ancient
“recording devices” like music boxes, musical clocks, or player pianos which can give us a hint as to
how notation might be interpreted – a series of small compositions for “musical clocks” by Franz
Joseph Haydn are particularly fascinating. Frequently we are even lucky enough to have the older
instruments themselves, which even if not playable in present condition (like our 9000-year-old bone
flute), can be scanned using MRI and other imaging techniques and from there, be replicated and
played to hear what they sound like – consider the work done by paleoarcheologists reproducing
dinosaur calls from reconstructions of skulls. We even have pioneering technologies which enable us
to scan and read electronically old recordings on wax cylinder or shellac disc, making these devices
“playable’ without risking then damage inflicted by mechanical needles and spinning parts.
Still the fact remains: no matter how deep our resources and how rich our clues, we find it tricky to
know exactly how much music would have been performed and how it would have sounded when
first written. The art of attempting to recreate original performance as closely as possible is what we
call performance practice. Our quest to discover and put into practice original performance techniques is
a little bit archaeology, a little bit anthropology, a great deal of artistic reasoning, and a whole lot of
luck! What I learned as a young flute student in the late 1970s about performance of 17 th- and 18thcentury music is entirely different from what I teach my own students now in the second decade of
the 21st century.
A practical starting point for discovering “original sound” is to think on the actual instrument or
instrument type likely to have been used. Even this can be difficult! For example, words meaning
“flute” today certainly meant “recorder” in the 16th century, most likely meant “recorder” in the 17th
century, probably meant “recorder” in early 18th-century Germany but “flute” in France, and at all
times in Scandinavian and Iberian countries all bets are off! Et cetera, et cetera and so forth. Even
when “flute” is the instrument meant, it isn’t our current keyed silver pipe but something more like a
stick with holes. The general tone quality of many of these instruments can be mimicked on the
modern flute, but we have to know what we are aiming for. Sometimes performers opt to not play
baroque music on a modern flute, or choose to perform on modern reproductions of 17th-century
style instruments exclusively.
We then consider the performance venues and setting. Choral works from the 15th century were
mostly likely to be performed in a large cavernous church or cathedral as part of a religious service.
Multimovement Works: Glossary
A string quartet from the early 19th century was probably intended for performance in a living room
for an intimate group of friends or maybe only for the enjoyment of the performers. It was assumed
that opera in the 17th and 18th centuries would be background music, secondary to dinner, and that
listeners would go and come from the audience chamber to hear only their favourite singers and to
cavort with their favourite consorts in the meanwhile. It is tricky at the best of times to move these
works into the modern concert hall: sacred music frequently loses its impact in a secular setting,
chamber music loses its intimacy when performed for 1000s of listeners in a huge hall, and opera can
leave something to be desired when audience members are actually sitting still and paying full
We move on and consider issues of the written notation. Some notation can’t be deciphered at all:
we have yet to find a “Rosetta Stone” for 9th-century (or earlier) notation, for example. Frequently
the notational symbols used are familiar to us but appear to have different meanings in different
locations, different times, or even by different composers working closely in time and location. We
have to concede that some rhythmic notation we have today simply did not exist in earlier times:
does this mean that the rhythms weren’t used at that time or just couldn’t be notated precisely? We
do the best we can with these, studying instructional manuals from the time or place or composer to
attempt to read the notation correctly, or studying what appear to be parallel practices which still
exist in other cultures. It’s a little like trying to make good sense out of Shakespeare or Beowulf on the
written page, from the spoken word, and under staged performance!
At this point, we enter the tricky discussion of pitch! To a certain extent, we are pretty sure what
those “dots on the page” mean as far as pitch goes, but there are some pretty grisly and controversial
issues which raise their ugly head here. To give you a taste of what’s been a-foot, here’s a short list.
Our familiar major and minor scales did not come into common usage until the 17th century but were
starting to be used in the 14th century and weren’t worked into firm notation until the late 18th
century: this means that all you learned for your Conservatory exams can be completely out the
window for about 500 years’ worth of music. A practice of Musica Ficta (false music) existed for
centuries which essentially acknowledged that yes, the notation said to play these pitches but really
you changed it all to these pitches in practice (Raymond Luxury-Yacht = Throatwarbler Mangrove
… don’t worry if you don’t get that!). Our scheme of half-steps and whole-steps didn’t exist until
the 18th century and wasn’t embraced until the 19th century – this means that how instruments have
been tuned over the last 150 years is completely different than in all previous times: dare I mention
that even today choirs, orchestras, bands, and keyboard instruments actually function within a variety
of tuning systems? And lastly – for the short list – the “center of pitch” has been getting higher and
lower over the centuries (a kind of musical climate change?): the acoustical frequency of written
pitches in the 17th century was anywhere from one half-step to one full-step lower than the same
written pitch today, but written pitches in the 19th century might have been one quarter- to one halfstep higher than the same written pitches today.
These are the big-ticket items, but these are by no means all that needs considering. When all is said
and done, it is a wonder that anyone can cope with music performance. In essence what we
musicians do is attempt to determine the appropriate performance practice of general categories of
compositions, and make the choice to apply or not to apply these practices to our own performance.
For example, some musicians choose to focus on one kind or style of performance: a cellist may opt
to perform only on viola da gamba and therefore to play only music from the 15 th to 18th centuries; a
bass player may opt to play only electric bass and therefore to focus only on music from the mid-20th
century to today; a male baritone singer may choose to train as a countertenor and thus perform
Multimovement Works: Glossary
exclusively music from before the 19th century; a singer may dedicate herself to the practice of Bel
Canto singing and therefore perform only roles from 18th century opera; some string players only
play string quartets and not symphonic works … the list goes on. Other musicians are more
generalist and we attempt to bring elements of other styles of performance into whatever we play at
the time: for example, I do not play the 17th-century flute or the recorder but I will bring elements of
these instruments and their sounds/styles to my performance on modern flute; one of our local
singers in internationally renowned for her light early music voice but copes perfectly well with giant
19th-century romantic repertoire; a good friend of mine is an excellent guitar player but is also really
great to work with on both the Renaissance lute or on the Middle eastern Oudh.
When all is said and done, musicians have a sense that the ear is the final arbiter of style – either it
sounds good or it doesn’t, to put it in shockingly black and white terms! Each musician finds her or
his own niche, and each attempts “to do right” by the music, and to represent the composer and
music as well as possible.
Does this really make that much of a difference? Well, yes and no!
Sometimes a work is so indelibly linked to a particular performer – can we hear Yellow Submarine
without thinking of The Beatles, or Over the Rainbow without hearing Judy Garland – that we can’t
separate the piece itself from the performance. I don’t think that we’d find ourselves enriched if
Hannah Montana decided to perform Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and really it takes a Celine Dion
impersonator to sing music from Titanic with any credibility. Music, particularly of the past century,
is often allied with a specific performer or performance, and to not duplicate that as closely as
possible makes the piece sound odd! Here the performance practice is EVERYTHING!
On the other hand, some can sustain a lot of reinterpretation and still be beautiful. Recorded
performances from the 1950s by the Bach Aria Group (music by Johann Sebastian Bach) are as far in
style from how I would play those same works today as one can get, but my heavens they are
beautiful. Just because a work is performed on original instruments, in the original location, under
original conditions, does not mean that the performance is beautiful … and the opposite is also true.
Recordings I loved in my youth I sometimes fine comical now for the wilful excesses of the
performer. Conversely, as a kid I didn’t understand what Haydn and Beethoven were up to and so I
thought the music was just weird and anachronistic, and trust me, I had only limited patience for
opera. Yet after hearing handful of enlightened performances of each my curiosity was piqued; now
I chuckle at Haydn, shake my head in unabashed awe at Beethoven, and weep through more operas
than I care to admit.
When all the elements of a performance come together – whether by talent, or learning, or instinct,
or accident, or intent – when the performance really comes together, something special happens. All
of the work performers do attempting to get into the spirit of the composer, and to blend ourselves
with the esprit of the music, is all done in service of the music and in the hope that magic happens.
Multimovement Works: Glossary
17th and 18th
Bel canto
opera seria
opera buffa
Mass in the Roman Catholic and related Christian Traditions
 Kyrie (God have mercy)
 Gloria (Glory to God in the highest …)
 Credo (I believe …)
 Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy) and Benedictus (Blessed is he who comes …)
 Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
 These are the oldest set pieces of the Roman Catholic liturgy, and are the
“movements” usually committed to music. A handy acronym for
remembering the order of these movements is: Kiss Geese Crossing
SouthBound Avenues.
 Other “movements” may be added from the “Proper” of the Mass:
Introit (Call to worship); Gradual, Tract, Sequence (hymns or responses);
Psalms (Song of praise); Alleluia (response).
 A useful way to remember “Ordinary” and “Proper” is: sections of the
Ordinary are what is expected to be included, but it is Proper to add extra
musical elements.
 Mass for the dead includes the non-joyful elements of the Ordinary, and
broad inclusions from the Proper.
Composers enjoy dramatic
opportunity of the extra elements (Proper) added to the
 Introit: Requiem aeternam (Grant eternal rest).
 Gradual: Requiem aeternam … lux perpetua (light eternal)
 Tract: Absolve, Domine (Forgive, O Lord)
 Sequence: Dies irae, dies illa (Day of wrath)
 Offertory (Free the souls of all the departed)
 Pie Jesu (O sweet Jesus)
 Libera me (Free me)
 In Paradisum (In paradise)
 Up to 5 Acts: each act usually opens with an instrumental work, usually
called “sinfonia,” and later in the period sometimes called “overture” or
“entr’acte.” By 18th century the outlines had settled into opera seria or
semiseria (formal and stylized) is characterized by 3 Acts, opera buffa (savvy
and street smart) by 2 Acts.
 Drama proceeds through a series of paired vocal selections for individual
(and sometimes small groups of) characters. The pair is comprised of a
recitative – which gives the narration – and an aria – which provides
commentary. This pattern of play and the need to have more time on
stage for main characters than supporting characters as well as more time
off-stage for main characters to rest voices is part of what contributes to
Multimovement Works: Glossary
Tragedie lyrique
19th century
Grand Opera
Music Drama
the complex plot of the traditional opera.
Dances or scene-shaping music may be interspersed (Incidental or Banda
music). French operas always have a formal ballet in the middle act
Choruses are used for crowd scenes and are usually confined to
beginning and ends of acts (unless otherwise indicated by the drama)
Each small subscene is called a NUMBER.
The above is very typical for Italian opera (both in Italy and in Germany).
During this time, opera in France is called tragedie lyrique and is gives great
importance to spectacle, mob scenes, instrumental music, dance, short
and snappy arias. Opera in England is more theatrical and light-hearted
even so, but failed to develop a strong tradition owing to the English
prejudice against staged works during the 17th century.
Singspiel in Germany is essentially a drama with music, essentially what we
would now equate with Musical Theatre.
Operas under any of these types and titles may be known alternately as
“Bel canto” (beautifully sung) works owing to their style of singing, or as
“Number operas” after the construction of the opera itself.
All of the above parts are still present and the general shape of the opera
remains the same (except for Music Drama); however, divisions between
sections are increasingly blurred and begin to run more seamlessly
between each other.
Ultimately there is less distinction between
recitative and aria, and by late in the century it may be difficult to
determine where one ends and the other begins.
French Grand Operas retain more of the older sections longer – adding
much spectacle. Smaller casts of characters means more focus on main
characters and less involved plots – plots become more play-like.
Small operas of light quality (or light opera) focus on spoken drama
interspersed with music. These are the precursors of our modern
Musical Theatre and are particularly popular in Vienna.
Organization of a Music Drama is different from a traditional opera.
Quoting from the Harvard Dictionary of Music (1979): “[Here] all the
constituent arts are transfigured, sacrificing their individuality and some
of their special characteristics for the larger possibilities of development
opened up by the new association.”
Construction is of continuous music with no formal stops except at ends
of acts. No distinction between aria and recitative – all is dialogue with
emotion incorporated as is in normal speech.
Drama is coordinated through use of leitmotivs – musical identifiers for
characters, moods, events, objects, etc.
Wide variety of hodgepodge (no plot) musical entertainments emerged
through the end of the century: “Cabaret” in western Europe coupled
food and entertainments as does a modern jazz hall; “Pantomime” (in
Britain descending from 17th-century “Masques,” or in Europe
descending from 16th-century Commedia dell’arte) included elements of
song, skit, and circus in a street-smart topical entertainment; “Burlesque”
and “Minstrel Shows” in the US were similar to Pantomime but bawdy
(Burlesque) or racist (Minstrel) and considered inappropriate for wide
Multimovement Works: Glossary
Into the 20thcentury
Stabat mater
Bach’s Suite
French Overture
audience; “Vaudeville” in the US resembled Pantomime, pushed Minstrel
Shows to the side, and set the stage for the television “Variety Show.”
Late 19th-century reactions to Music Drama resulted in development of
topics and plots of extreme, even difficult realism known as
Verismo/realisme depending on your location.
Opera may be shaped according to traditional principles and divisions, or
Music Drama, or a combination of both.
Operetta in Europe is taken by Britain and North America is “Musical
By all forms an unstaged opera on a religious topic, usually a full dramatic
telling of a large scale Christian Biblical story. Music, form, and
movements will be identical to that of opera (although “never” Music
Drama, opera buffa, or light opera varieties) of the parallel period.
Setting of each line of text of the Song of Mary (Luke 1: 46-55) – My soul
doth magnify the Lord
Associated with Advent (four weeks preceding Christmas)
Setting of each line of text of the 13th century sequence relating the
suffering of Mary, mother of Jesus, at Jesus’ crucifixion.
Associated with Holy Week (the week preceding Easter) and Good
Friday (day of Jesus’ crucifixion)
Setting of the Biblical gospel texts (either literally or dramatically
interpreted) relating the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the time leading up
to that event.
Setting of each line of the text of the Greater (Gloria in excels is Deo) or
Lesser (Gloria patri) Doxology – hymn of thanks and praise
A “miniature Oratorio” – narrating either a sacred or secular story –
conventions will be the same as the oratorio of the day, except that the
performance forces are much smaller, there are usually many fewer
movements, and there are no division into Acts.
A set of instrumental dances, possibly introduced by an overture: dances
are most often typical of the period (usually those found at royal courts),
but are stylized, i.e. not intended to be actually danced. May be
performed by one instrument, a chamber ensemble, or larger orchestra.
Identified by the famous acronym ACSOG
Allemande – processional dance of German origin
Courante (slow French dance) or Corrente (running Italian dance)
Sarabande – sultry slow dance of Spanish origin
Optional – free selection of dances
Gigue – quick-step dance of British origin
A pompous instrumental movement of two sections – an entry
procession and snappy quick step – followed by a series of typically
French dances and songs (might actually be set for dance or drawn from
previous theatrical work)
Multimovement Works: Glossary
Sonata da camera
Classical Period
Romantic and
Sonata da chiesa
Classical Period
Solo Sonata
Italian suite consisting of a prelude and a following free dances
Set for chamber ensemble (just a few instruments), hence the name:
camera means chamber.
A set of light works usually in a dance style (but not intended for dance),
or in a lyric style (but not intended for singing). These suite-like works
were used principally as background music for events – often found in
what we know today as the traditional “50 minute set” still used as
industry standard for “club music,” “garden music, “ or “reception
music.” These suite-like works come by many names: Divertimento,
Cassation, Notturno, Serenades
A selection of individual dances and songs from a larger, usually
theatrical, work, i.e. selections from …
A set of national-style dances of no set format
single-movement instrumental work in contrasting sections: variously
named canzona, canzone a sonar, ricercar, or sonata
multi-movement instrumental work, usually for small groups of
Literally, Sonata in church style (chiesa means church), which implies now
secular elements such as lowly dances
Four movements: Slow (Adagio) – Fast (Allegro) – Slow (Adagio) – Fast
Sonata a due or duo sonata – is in two “voices/lines,” treble and bass but
requires THREE players: remember bass in this period means basso
continuo, or bass instrument with harmonic-fill instrument.
Sonata a tre or trio sonata – is in three “voices/lines,” two treble and one
bass but requires FOUR players: remember bass means basso continuo
Sonata a quattro or a cinque – is in four or five “voices/lines” respectively,
and was mostly likely performed by small orchestra.
Sonatas were also sometimes written for solo keyboard instrument.
A multi-movement instrumental work, for single instrument or for small
groups of instruments – but a completely different type of work than the
baroque sonata.
Solo keyboard sonata
Solo sonata: melody instrument with keyboard – flute and piano, violin
and piano, etc.
chamber sonata – trio, quartet, or quintet of instruments
orchestral sonata – symphony
Three movements: Fast (allegro) – Slow (Adagio) – Fast (allegro or
Multimovement Works: Glossary
Chamber Sonata
Orchestral Sonata
Romantic and
Classical and
Late Romantic
and beyond
Song Cycle
Four movements: Fast (allegro or sonata form) – Slow (Adagio or songstyle) – Minuet or Scherzo (dance-style) – Fast (Allegro or rondo)
 string duo: violin and cello
 piano (flute, clarinet) trio: piano (flute, clarinet) plus string duo
 string trio: violin, viola, and cello
 piano (flute, oboe) quartet: piano (flute, oboe) plus string trio
 string quartet: two violins, viola, and cello
 flute (clarinet, oboe) quintet: flute (clarinet, oboe) plus string quartet
 larger groups of stringed instruments, with or without wind, brass, or
percussion instruments.
Base forms and structures remain essentially the same as in the classical
period, except that composers made conscious decisions to accept and
work within these practices or to intentionally press, expand, contract,
and challenge these. Each composer and work must be encountered
Generally in three movements: Fast (allegro) – Slow (Adagio) – Fast
Usually the soloist and the orchestra are featured in alternating blocks
Generally in three movements: Fast (allegro or sonata form) – Slow
(Adagio or song) – Fast (Allegro or rondo)
The soloist is usually featured as musical leader accompanied by the
orchestra, while the orchestra is periodically featured in a leadership
Generally in the same three movements as the previous style
Increasingly the soloist comes to be integrated as a dominant solo voice
within the orchestra, sometimes featured, sometimes absorbed.
Song in Large Compositions
The 19th century gave birth to the German lied (in the plural lieder). A lied
is a song based specifically on German romantic poetry, composed for
solo singer and piano, where the piano participates as a character or
object in the story. Most lieder are freestanding, but where several or
many are drawn together as a continuous narrative this is called a “song
In the late 19th century, song cycles could be set for more than one singer
in alternation (never more than one signer per song) or for larger
instrumental accompaniment like full orchestra.
French romantic or symbolist poems could be set individually (chansons)
or as a song cycle. This was popular in the last decades of the 19 th and
first decades of the 20th century.
English poetry could likewise be set into song cycles.
In the mid-20th century, some recording artists conceived of albums as a
continuous narrative through several or all the tracks, thereby continuing
the song cycle tradition.
Number Titles of Compositions
It is hard to know how many works have been composed through history: I would consider it safe
to say millions. With this many compositions in existence, it is important to have identifiable names.
Composers and their publishers must create distinct names for compositions, and where those
distinct names do not really exist then to add more qualifiers to clarify meaning.
If a work carries a very distinctive title – Scheherazade, Also sprach Zarathustra, Four Seasons – we really
don’t need any further information once we know the composer’s name (and sometimes it is clear
even without the composer’s name).
Since the advent of publishing, however, most composers choose to apply “opus numbers”
to their works.
Opus is the Latin word for work, and when used in a musical title is abbreviated “op.” A
composer will usually apply the designation opus 1 to her/his first published work. In such
a case, the note “op. 1” will be placed after the title proper, for example in Violin
Concerto, op. 1.
If the concerto had been published after the composer’s death the abbreviation is “op.
post.,” meaning opus posthumous – this indicates that the composer did not make the
decision as to whether the composition should be published: Violin Concerto, op. posth.
If a work is published without the composer’s blessing, the composition might carry the
notation of WoO, meaning “without opus”: Violin Concerto, WoO
Sometimes compositions are published as sets such as Chopin did with many of his opus 64
waltzes. In this case, the whole set has an opus number, and then each individual waltz has a
number. For example Chopin’s Trois Valses is his opus 64; the first waltz of this set is
number (no.) 1, the second is no. 2, and the third no. 3. And so … the first waltz would be:
Waltz, op. 64, no. 1
Many works are written in a specific key. Often this key is given in the title. For this very
same waltz, written in the key of D-flat major, the title reads:
Waltz in D-flat major, op. 64, no 1
Sometimes it happens that an additional number appears in title. This would be the case if
Chopin chose to number just his waltzes. For this waltz, Chopin’s 6 th waltz, a fuller title
might read:
Waltz no. 6 in D-flat major, op. 64, no. 1
Lastly, if a publisher feels that a nickname applied to a work with an otherwise plain name
would help sales, then the nickname is added to the end of the title. A nickname sometimes
comes from the composer her or himself, sometimes from the publisher trying to boost
Number Titles of Compositions
sales, and sometimes from popular usage by performers themselves. Therefore with our
waltz – the famous “Minute Waltz” – our final title is:
Waltz no. 6 in D-flat major, op. 64, no. 1, “Minute”
In the days prior to composers publishing within their lifetimes, we cannot rely on this complex
of opus numbers. Here we have to rely on later musicologists to gather up and catalogue the
works of these older composers. You will recognize this fact by seemingly odd collections of
letters and numbers after titles. For example the works of J. S. Bach are catalogued in the Bach
Werke Verzeichnes, and so Bach’s titles are followed by BWV 1034 – this is the Sonata no. 5 in e
minor for flute and continuo. Here is a short list of composer catalogues:
J.S. Bach: Bach Werke Verzeichnes – BWV
W.A. Mozart: Koechel (named for the cataloguer) – K. or sometimes KV
Franz Schubert: Deutsch (named for the cataloguer, Otto Erich Deutsch) – D.
F. J. Haydn: Hoboken Verzeichnes – H (followed by a complex of Roman numerals)
G. P. Telemann: Telemann Werke Verzeichnes – TWV
G. F. Handel: Handel Werke Verzeichnes – HWV
Unlike “opus numbers” which usually indicate some kind of loose chronology of composition,
composer catalogues usually group like-works together. Therefore, all the operas might be
numbered together, followed by all the symphonies, followed by all the sonatas. For example all
of J.S. Bach’s sonatas for flute are numbered together: the three flute sonatas with klavier are
BWV. 1030-1032, and the three with continuo are BWV 1033-1035, even though almost 15 years
separate the composition of the earliest (BWV 1032) and the latest (BWV 1035).
These catalogues will also contain incomplete and doubtful works. For example BWV 1032 was
not actually finished (or so it appears form the manuscript), and both BWV 1031 and BWV 1033
are thought to be by composers other than Johann Sebastian (the first by his son Carl Phillip
Emanuel, and the latter by an unknown composer but perhaps harmonized by Johann Sebastian
– or possibly the other way around.)
On a Concert Program
Pirating and Plagiarism Permitted
February 21, 2011
Old School House @ Qualicum Beach
Date and Place of
the concert,
including YEAR
Mary Byrne, flutes
Wendy Stofer, piano
Title includes opus or catalogue numbers is
included on the on the title pages
Full title of each work to be
played is given to the left
Instruments or voices for
each performer or soloist
Composer’s name is given in full to
the right, with arranger or adapter
given below
Sonata in F major, KV 376, ............................................................. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondeau: Allegretto grazioso
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, op.
from Die Aurnhammer-Sonaten (1781)
composed for Piano and Violin
Title includes key, if
composer includes it on
the title page
“from …” may appear on the title line or
in this position under the composer’s name;
date is optional. Benjamin Britten
40 ............................................................
composed for Oboe solo (1952)
performed on Alto Flute
who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved
who rode upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt
who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned
into a mountain
the composer’s birth [and death] dates are given
at whose feasts is heard the noise of gaggling women’s tattling
and name.
out of boys
the date of the composition is
who fell in love with his own image and became a flower not given unless it is an identifier as part of the title, and then
who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned
into a fountain
it is given
on the title line.
Fantaisie Brillante sur “La Déesse et le Berger de DUPRATO” ............... Jules Demersseman
Titles which are Forms are NOT italicized,
titles which are “poetic” are italicized; opus
and catalogue numbers are not italicized.
Comic opera by Jules Duprato (Paris, 1863)
Sonatina ............................................................................................................ Lennox Berkeley
Allegro moderato
composed for Treble Recorder and Piano (1940)
If there are movements to the work, these will be listed below
the title, often just the Italian tempo marking of the movement.
Tirana: Homenaje a Sarasate ................................................................................. Jesús Guridi
posthumous dedication (1971)
Sonatina in G major, op. 100 ............................................................................. Antonín Dvořák
Allegro risoluto
composed for Violin and Piano (1893)
Usually a title such as this includes the instruments as a
part of the title, and these should be included if on the
title page of the work. Because this programme has
special circumstances, the original instrumentation is
140 name
given below the composer’s
On a Concert Program
Pirating and Plagiarism Permitted
Programmes may include programme notes
to share information about works to be
heard or curatorial choices made with
regards to the selection of the works; and
may include texts and English translations
of songs to be performed.
Mary Byrne, flutes
Wendy Stofer, piano
"… A daring romp which at every turn challenges us to reconsider our beliefs
of what is appropriate music for the flute!”
It is no mystery that in the last four centuries composers have tended to be either highly discerning
In a flute-o-centric world it is easy to indict composers who sometimes have shockingly shunned the
flute in favour of instruments considered more capable, more beautiful, or more expressive – recall
Mozart's famous, alleged aversion to the flute! With this programme flutist Mary Byrne along with
pianist Wendy Stofer will fearlessly assume the guise of the Hungarian violin, the Spanish recorder,
and the "mythological" oboe; press the limits of 19th-century operatic repertoire and broaden the
scope of the 20th century recorder; and, yes ... even gently suggest that Mozart might like to
reconsider his opinion on the flute.
Mary Byrne – Flutist – teaches flute and flute pedagogy at the Victoria Conservatory of Music,
where she also serves on the Artistic Directorate and as Head of the Woodwinds, Brass and
Percussion Department. She performs regularly with the Victoria Symphony, Aurora Trio (Flute,
Viola and Harp), Fairwinds Quintet (Woodwind Quintet) and the Island Chamber Player, in addition
to appearing as solo and chamber recitalist with the many concert series events of Vancouver Island.
She is an active lecturer on diverse topics of musicological interest and an avid adjudicator at music
festivals and competitions throughout Canada and the United States. Dr. Byrne holds a Ph. D. in
Musicology from the University of Victoria, as well as B. Mus. in Wind Performance and Music
Education, and M. Mus. in Flute Performance degrees from the University of Michigan. Her major
flute studies have been undertaken with Keith Bryan, Lois Wynn, and Carol Kniebusch Noe, with
great influence from Bonita Boyd.
Wendy Stofer – pianist – began piano studies at the age of four. She received a Bachelor of Music
degree from the University of Washington studying with the renowned pianist Bela Siki, and a
Master of Music in accompanying and chamber music from the University of Michigan under
Eugene Bossart. While pursuing doctoral studies with Martin Katz at the University of Michigan,
Ms. Stofer was appointed as visiting instructor/faculty accompanist to the University of Alaska
Fairbanks where she subsequently taught for five years. Ms. Stofer has performed in recitals with
flutists Trevor Wye, Susan Hoeppner, Fiona Wilkinson, Amy Hamilton and Carol Kniebusch Noe,
violinist Benny Kim, soprano Paulina Stark, as well as other performers of international reputation.
Since returning to her native Victoria in 1991, she has been much in demand as accompanist and
chamber musician, and has been pianist for the Victoria Choral Society for the past eighteen years.
Forms and Shapes I n Music
Musicologists have identified a certain predictability in the shapes of some kinds of movements. It is
entirely possible to enjoy listening without knowing these forms; however, there are three compelling
reasons you might want to take on the challenge of wrapping your mind around this.
First, music moves through time. When you understand the general shapes of some of these
longer movements, it may be possible for you to begin to predict what will happen next, and
how much longer there is to go – it’s like reading a map, only hearing a map in sound.
Second, composers really expect that listeners can do this, and therefore, they have great fun
playing with the listener’s sense of expectation.
Third, since the form of the music is like the skeleton upon which the composer hangs the
clothes of the music, you can enjoy the play and variation of the detail of the melody,
harmony, and rhythmic pulse.
Does this make or break your sense of the beauty of the work? No! Does it deprive you of getting
the meaning or the story? No! Does it allow you to delight in the hidden mysteries of the music?
Perhaps! Mostly, it brings you closer to engaging the genius of some composers. If it’s not for you,
don’t worry about it – it may just be too much information to clutter an otherwise perfect listening
experience. If you’re curious, read on.
SONGS . . .
Songs themselves are driven by text, words, poetry, narration, or lyrics. The music which underlays
the text is expected to be singable and hopefully memorable. The shape of the melody of a wellcomposed song fits the nuances of the poetry, the rhyme and the word stress. We know instinctively
when this works and when it doesn’t. Even with the emphasis on words, the pattern of the music is
what we musicians characterize in letters, almost as if poetry.
Much Pop music and/or songs we encounter daily are in what we might call AABA form. By this
we mean that the tune takes place once (A), it repeats with new words (A), there is a contrasting
section (B), and then the first tune comes back with new or old words (A). The letters indicate
repetition (or newness) of melody or musical theme.
Some tunes – our traditional Christmas carols or national folk tunes – have only one tune but many
verses of words: this is called strophic and might be represented by AAAA… however many we need.
Some tunes have these same verses, but the verses are separated by a short refrain or what we might
call the “chorus” – this doesn’t really change the form
Forms and Shapes I n Music
Most old songs – particularly earlier operas – are in a simple ABA form. This would represent a
main section (A), a contrasting center section (B), and a repeat of the main section (A). Sometimes
we call this “aria form,” or “song form.” We even expect to find this form in the song-like
movements of instrumental works. We also sometimes call these arias “Da Capo” arias – da capo
means “from the top” in Italian and indicates a straight repeat of the first section (although in some
practice the repeat is not really straight, but highly ornamented and almost improvised).
Some song movements in instrumental works are actually variation movements. This means that the
same tune repeats over and over, but with increasing variations applied each time to fancy up the
tune. Usually instrumentalists are asked to perform at the height of their technical capabilities by the
end of a variation movement. This is really another take on AAAAA.
DANCES . . .
Dances are always shaped according to the expected sense of motion – slow or fast, smooth or leapy
– and always give exactly enough beats to complete the required step sequence (unless the
choreography is done later, as in most modern dance): old dances (Minuets, sarabandes, even polkas
and waltzes) have specific step patterns which must be completed. Again, however, it is the music
which we characterize in letters.
Most very old dances (before the late 18th century) – both courtly and popular – are in binary form:
AABB … one short tune repeated, and a second short tune repeated. Beginning with the 18 th
century, instrumental dances increasingly came in danceable pairs (see below). Both forms were to
accommodate the formal dance step patterns of the time.
Usually in suites, symphonies, and other “sonata-type” works, dances are paired: for example Minuet
and Trio (essentially two minuets, the second one played by a smaller group [a trio]), or Passpied 1
and 2. Essentially the pair of dances makes for a single movement. The first of the two dances
would be AABB, the second CCDD, but we always go back and play the first dance again without
the repeats AB. Therefore, the whole movement would be AABB CCDD AB. As a side note, this is
a pattern and practice that all musicians learn as a part of their first year of music history study;
therefore when experienced musicians sit down to play a dance movement, no one ever asks “do we
take the repeats?” – we just know this is the game plan and this is how we play.
As we find music losing its dependence on the voice and making strong demands on the abstraction
of instruments (beginning in the mid-18th century), large multimovement instrumental works emerge
and virtually all are held under the term “sonata.” A sonata for an orchestra is called symphony. A
sonata for 2 violins, viola, and cello is called a string quartet. A sonata for solo instrument and
orchestra is a concerto. Other groups of instruments are possible and lend their own name to the final
title, but nearly all of these instrumental forms from the 1770s onward are, in some way, sonatas.
Forms and Shapes I n Music
Allegro is the Italian word for “happy, fast.” Generally, we expect first and last movements of
multimovement instrumental works to be fast, therefore allegro movements.
Last movements of instrumental works are often “Rondo form” – an old word deriving from “round
dances” and poetic rondeau. In a rondo, there is a single identifiable, recognizable tune – this is the
rondo theme and we call it A. We hear (A), then we have a different tune (B) followed by a return of
(A), then there is another tune (C) followed again by (A). This pattern continues, alternating familiar
(rondo theme) and new for a pattern like ABACADAEA…
First movements of sonata-type works are usually cast in a very complex but elegant form which has
come to be known to us as “Sonata-Allegro Form,” or sometimes simply “Allegro Form” or “Sonata
Form” or “First-movement Form:” all of these names clearly betray the strong association of this
form with this type of work. Sonata-Allegro is particular to the Classical period and beyond, and
variations of this form will be found throughout the symphonies, chamber music, concertos, and
even solo sonatas of this period and beyond. Here’s how this works!
The whole philosophical idea behind the Sonata-Allegro Form is to take the listener on a journey,
beginning in the home key, moving away though different keys, and then returning home. Along the
way we experience a variety of musical ideas or characters, at first given plainly, then quickly related
to each other; when the return home is made the intention is for the listener to hear what is now
familiar in a new light. The journey is complete and the listener has been changed.
Exposition: the first section of the sonata-allegro movement. This section accounts for fully half of
the movement. In the exposition, the composer will give a series of contrasting themes, always in
two groups. The first group of themes will always be in the home key, the tonic key (usually the titlekey of the piece): the first group themes are usually perky. The second group of themes will be
contrasting in style (usually lyrical) and will NOT be in the home key but will be in a related key: this
group of themes will always conclude in the dominant key, the most propulsive key available.
Honestly, this is where we lose most people! If you’re still with me, however, then keep going it gets
easier from here. The exposition now repeats! After the repeat of the exposition, we are roughly
halfway through the movement.
Development: Now the composer will take many or all the themes presented and mix them up: a
bit here, a bit there, different combinations, some exaggeration here and there. In this section the
composer will usually weave through different keys, searching for the home key. Here the themes or
characters are put into relief against each other so that the listener can experience them with fresh
ears and new enlightenment. Suddenly… the Recapitulation arrives!
Recapitulation: Here the exposition is “repeated” but not exactly! Unlike the exposition, here in the
Recapitulation, all the themes stay in the home key.
Forms and Shapes I n Music
Introduction (optional)
Suspenseful or exciting opening music
The opening music and credits set scene
First set of themes ................................ Tonic key (I)
Tunes are similar
Key stays home
Dorothy (our principal character) and Toto
are home in Kansas
and dream of going Over the Rainbow
With Dorothy we meet the friendly farm hands
Second set of themes ........................... related keys
Tunes are new
Key is close but not home
Section concludes:
It has moved away from home key .. Dominant key (V)
Suddenly her world changes
The evil neighbour takes Toto away\
Dorothy runs away from home
we meet the traveller who sends her home
but she isn’t home safely, all are gone!
Pretend that all this repeats in the story!
Second set of themes ........................... related keys
Tunes are new
Key is close but not home
Section concludes:
It has moved away from home key .. Dominant key (V)
Suddenly her world changes
The evil neighbour takes Toto away\
Dorothy runs away from home
we meet the traveller who sends her home
but she isn’t home safely, all are gone!
First set of themes ................................ Tonic key (I)
Tunes are similar
Key stays home
Dorothy (our principal character) and Toto
are home in Kansas
and dream of going Over the Rainbow
With Dorothy we meet the friendly farm hands
Many of the themes are reheard ......... Mixture of wild keys
but differently presented
Remote keys
recognizable but hidden
relationships are different
but elements of characters remain
Themes are experienced in new light
Suddenly there is a great storm
Dorothy (injured) “sees” snips of familiar folks
The neighbour transforms into a wicked witch
Dorothy “awakes” and the world is in colour
Familiar people are there but in new roles
Many new things and characters are there too.
After a great journey and difficulty she realizes:
There is no place like home!
First set of themes ................................ Tonic key (I)
in full
So home she goes!
She is home, but things are a bit different.
We see Dorothy and her friends
but she no longer wants to leave.
She “knows” her friends journeyed with her
Second set of themes ........................... Tonic key (I)
There is no place like home
All is heard in new light
Section ends on home base ................. Tonic key (I)
This time, her world does not change
She is home, her friends are there
She was “away” but never really left.
Now she sees everything with new eyes.
Closing music to affirm spirit of music
Coda (optional)
closing credits and music, story done
Orchestra Instrumentation
Classical Orchestra
Early Romantic
Late Romantic
Modern Orchestra
2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets (in C, Bflat, or A)
2 Bassoons
2 Flutes
2 Oboes
(English horn)
2 Clarinets in B-flat, A
(Bass Clarinet in B-flat,
2 Bassoons
3 Flutes
3 Oboes
English horn
Clarinet in E-flat
3 Clarinets in B-flat, A
Bass Clarinet
3 Bassoons
2 Flutes
2 Oboes
English horn
2 Clarinets in B-flat, A
Bass Clarinet (and/or
Clarinet in E-flat)
2 Bassoons
2 or 4 Horns (in any
2 Trumpets (in any
4 French Horns in F
2 Trumpets in F
(2 Cornets in B-flat)
3 Trombones (2
Tenors, 1 Bass)
8 French Horns in F
4 Trumpets in F, C, Bflat
4 Trombones (3
Tenors, 1 Bass)
(Wagner Tubas (2
Tenor, 2 Bass))
4 French Horns in F
3 Trumpets in B-flat
3 Trombones (2
Tenors, 1 Bass)
Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Snare drum
Bass drum
Snare Drum
Tenor Drum
Bass Drum
Wood block
Tubular bells
2 Harps
16 Violins I
16 Violins II
12 Violas
12 Violoncellos
12 Double basses
16 Violins I
14 Violins II
12 Violas
10 Cellos
8 Double bass
6 Violins I
6 Violins II
4 Violas
3 Violoncellos
2 Double basses
14 Violins I
12 Violins II
10 Violas
8 Violoncellos
6 Double basses