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Music appreciation quiz #5


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-His ballet pieces: the nutcracker, swan lake, sleeping beauty
-studied at conservatory. Completed study in 1866. moved to Moscow to be a composer. -Married a student while there. He was homosexual.
-A woman, von Meck, gave him money to compose his music because she liked his work.
-Born in Russia. Son of government official
-In 1893 conducted premier of first symphony. Didn’t receive good reviews so he commited suicide.
-gifted at orchestration
-music can be considered trite/boring.
-very cosmopolitan, in terms of music and influence. Mistaken as being a Russian nationalist.
-a sense for german symphonic color
-a sense for French instrumentation
The Nutcracker
Written in 1892.
Genre: ballet
Based on E.T.A. Hoffman story.
Choreography by marius petipa.
Clara, a little girl, is at a Christmas party, and after words goes to look at tree. Has a dream that everything around the trees, the presents etc., come alive. Her toy, the nutcracker becomes the chief of the toys and starts to romance her.
The nutcracker is incidental, programmatic. Plays with lots of range. Ascending and descending contrast. Very pictorial for dance.
Dance of sugar plum fairy uses celesta (a keyboard instrument).
Russian dance: uses Russian folklore.
The piece has cellos and flutes.
Marius Petipa
A Russian choreographer who influenced the rise of Russian ballet in the 18th century.
- created pas de deux (dance for two) which became central to classical ballet.
- created the dances for more than 200 works
Amy Cheney Beach
- born in New Hampshire
- studied piano from a young age.
- Came from a wealthy family
- composed her first piece in 1883. very young.
- Married an older man.
- Performed her pieces with prestigious groups, like the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- An active pianist, composer, concert organizer, music educator. Established music organizations.
o MENC = music educator national conference. Basis of music competitions
o MTA = Music Teachers’ National Association
o Society of American Women Composers, she was its first president.
- Her symphony in E minor was inspired by Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
- Composed her Violin Sonata in A minor
o Shows the influence of Brahms due to major-minor tonal shifts
o One of the first pieces of American Romanticism
Early orchestras
1842: harmonic society established in new york.
1864: 1st professional orchestra in new york
light, comic drama with spoken dialogue.
wrote opera called Der Freischutz.
- has use of symbolism, magic, esoteric elements
Richard Wagner - bio
- very politically active
- born in Leipzig
- wrote in new and unusual ways because he wasn’t restrained. Wrote large scale pieces.
- Almost entirely self-taught
- First opera called Rienzi, a standard Italian opera
1. Wrote at age 30
- When he started getting more involved in politics.
-wrote “flying Dutchman”, “tahnheuse", “lohengrin”
- wrote a book called art and revolution, stressed the power of art and music to influence political revolution. Wrote artwork of the future. Also wrote Art and Drama, most influential of all books. Postulated the political power of art, thought one can influence/manipulate viewers political viewpoints.
1. His writings were very anti-semitism, very controversial. Uses lots of german folklore and mythology.
Richard Wagner - music dramas
wrote music dramas
1. his form of operas
2. Gesampt kunst werk = total art work
3. Music uses extended harmony
 More chromatic, and music goes outside of the key. Still tonal though
4. in which you get bombarded by music
5. similar to media influence
6. wrote stereotypical opera (bravado voice)
7. large casts, large choruses
Richard Wagner - Number opera
1. When a chorus sings various numbers that are very distinct (similar to different movements within a symphony)
2. However, wagner weaves all the numbers together
Richard Wagner - leitmotif
1. Basic themes that recur throughout the work. every story line receives its own melody.
2. one of the most important things he did musically
The Ring of Nibelung
by wagner
- a series of operas called The Ring of Nibelung (a.k.a. The Ring)
1. was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings novels
2. wrote librettos in reverse order
3. The four librettos:
 Das Rheingold
 Die walkure
 Siegfried
 Gottedammerung
Bayreuth was location of many opera houses during the Romantic Opera period.
A theater was planned specifically for the presentation of Wagner's music dramas, which ultimately resulted in the festival at Bayreuth.
Die Walkure (The Valkyrie), Act III, Finale
by Richard Wagner
Date: 1856, first performed 1870 in Munich.
Genre: Music drama, second in a cycle of 4, The Ring of Nibelung
Characters: Wotan, father of the gods (bass-baritone). Brunnhilde, one of the Valkyries, the favorite of the nine daughters of Wotan.

Uses chromatic harmony. Use of 4 leitmotifs (recurring themes) to unify drama.

1.Slumber motif used while Wotan, father, is putting Brunnhilde, his daughter, to sleep
2.Magic sleep motif used as sleep falls asleep. Very chromatic, all based on half steps. Semi-tonal.
3.back to slumber motif
4.has magic fire motif, slumber motif again
Post-Romantic music:
characteristics of Italy
Verismo Opera
 Verismo = realism. Instead of plots about nobility or myths, it’s about real people.
omajor composer: Puccini
 wrote La Boheme (the inspiration for “Rent”)
 wrote Madame Butterfly about a Japanese Naval officer who has an affair with a geisha. Incorporates realism and verismo to look at exoticism (the inspiration for Miss Saigon). Have children, and geisha is upset about her children being taken away.
Post-Romantic opera:
chracteristics of Germany
oSymphony and lieder (art songs)
o Strauss (1864-1949)
 Wrote symphonic poems and operas
oMahler (1816-1911)
 wrote symphonies and symphonic lied
Post-Romantic opera:
chracteristics of France
oFrench type of music in this era is called Impressionism
o based on Impressionist painting
 prominent artists
- Monet, Manet, Renoir
o trying to creating natural settings, focusing on nature.
o Used color, light, texture, realism
o Trying to create a real scene
-symbolism writing
oWriters: Poe, Mallarme, Verlaine
- Edgar Allan Poe, in United States

ocomposers: Debussy, Ravel
part of German post-romantic era.
 Wrote symphonic poems and operas
 Continued programmatic trend
 Breaking down tonality, very chromatic
 Very well known for symphonic poems
 A beacon of post-romanticism
part of German post-romantic music era.
 wrote symphonies and symphonic lied
 an outsider: a jew and a homosexual
 born in Germany
 worked there for many years. Spent last years in the US
 wrote 9 symphonies and died while at work on the tenth symphony (like Beethoven)
 a lot of his songs are about death
 wrote Lied von der Erde
part of French post-romantic music era
 Born near Paris
 Trained in the Paris Conservatory
 primary impressionist composer
 used alternate scales and church (i.e. dorian) modes
 used whole tone scales, chromatic scales (all half steps)
 focused on upper instruments, winds, harps, etc.
 used a lot of elements that were frowned upon
- used lots of parallels
o coined term planing: parallel chords, intervals
 heavily influenced by world music
- went to Paris Music Exhibition
o inspired by Indonesian instruments. Influenced by their tamboral music
o inspired by African-American cakewalk music
 1884 – his cantata called “The Prodigal Son” won the Prixe de Rome
 Upper Register
Prelude to the “Afternoon of a Faun”
by Debussy
-Composed in 1894
-Genre: symphonic poem
-Based on a symbolist poem by Mallarme
-Form: free ternary
o A-B-A, Statement-departure-return
-Orchestra: strings, flute, oboes, English horn, clarinets, French horns, and antique cymbals
oEmphasis on upper instruments
-has opening chromatic melody in flute
-dream-like sound
-uses musical technique to create an evocative mood
General changes in the 20th century
•Paradigm shift resulting form Psychology
o Self-conscious, Started thinking about ourselves more deeply
 Idea of sub-conscious
oFreud, Jung = prominent thinkers
o Looking at the interior instead of the exterior (i.e. impressionism)

o Uses dissonance
o Chromatic
o Melody is adjunct
Two main movements of the 20th century
(kind of intertwined)
⬢ Expressionism, evolves into Serialism
⬢ Neo-classicism
20th century
o Composers: Stravinsky, Copeland
o Emulated composers of the early 18th century
o Preferred absolute music
o Had an objective style
o Structured, but had unexpected elements
o Polytonality, mixed meter
o Chromaticism
o Lots of theatre music
20th century

Igor Stravinsky
o Born near St. Petersburg
o Grew up in a musical environment (father was the leading bass at the imperial opera)
o Student of Rimsky-Korsakov
o Experimented with rhythm and new instrumental combinations
o Noticed by a famous Russian dance impresario named Serge Diaghilev
Stravinsky’s primitive period (1910-1914):
 Diaghilev commissioned him to compose three works for the ballet
• The Firebird
• The Rite of Spring
• Petrushka (about putting on a clown face)
The Rite of Spring – Scenes of Pagan Russia (1913)
by Stravinsky
Used in Disney’s Fantasia
A two-part ballet
About Pagan, primitive cults
Interaction between rhythm and meter
Started a historic riot when it was first performed because of shocking nature
o Have polymeter or polyrhythm
o Lots of different instruments playing against each other
o Mixed meter 2/4, 6/8, 2/4, 2/2
o Polytonality: two or more melodies playing simultaneously
 Copeland, Charles Ives
-by Verdi
-based on a play by victor hugo.
-has five different characters: tenor, bass, soprano, baritone, etc.
-Quartet reflects emotions of each character
-about a woman who's fickle.
-has opening orchestra ritornello.
lyric opera
the mix between the spectacle of the grand opera and simplicity of the opera comique. used a lot by Bizet, his opera "Carmen" is the best example.
opera comique
smaller performance forces, simpler composition style, and included spoken dialogue instead of recitatives.
opera seria, opera buffa, and bel canto
opera seria and opera buffa were favored in italy, marked the pinnacle of bel canto.

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