Pierrot Lunaire (Night)
Fantasiestuke (Soaring)
Elf King
Rite of Spring
Three Nocturnes for Orchestra (Clouds)
Slavonic Dances
Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath (Fantastic Symphony)
The Valkyrie
What is the awesome mnemonic device I created to remember the composers/events in order of dates?
Schubert buried shoemakers wang very revolutionarily. Dvorak dubbed Shoney’s strawberries war worthy.
Nation of Birth: Wagner
Nation of Birth: Schoenberg
Nation of Birth: Schumann
Nation of Birth: Schubert
Nation of Birth: Stravinsky
Nation of Birth: Debussy
Nation of Birth: Dvorak
Czech Republic
Nation of Birth: Berlioz
Nation of Birth: Verdi
Story, Narrative, or Image: Tutto nel mondo e burla – Falstaff – Verdi

Story about an aristocrat who has no money and is plump and balding. He tries unsuccessfully to marry a rich widow.

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Ends with our piece: the whole world is a joke. man is born a jester. we are all mocked. etc.


Story, Narrative, or Image: Night – Pierrot Lunaire – Schoenberg
“obscure gialg black moths killed the suns splendor. Unseeable monsters glide down into the human heart…” from Albert Girauds poem for which it is based.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Soaring – Fantasiestucke – Schumann
Schumann conceived of “Aufschwung” as a depiction of the character Florestan (from Beethoven’s Fidelio) indulging in his desires, and as the Norton Anthology of Western Music describes “at the height of his passions.”
Story, Narrative, or Image: Elf King – Schubert
Based on german fairy tale. The elf king is a forest troll that steals souls of travellers esp. children who are lost in the woods. The story is about a father who is riding with his ill son on horseback to seek help for him. The son is “taken” by the elf king and dies in the end.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Rite of Spring – Stravinsky
fairly unspecific. An imagination of a pagan rite. Sage elders seated in a circle watch a young girl dance herself to death. Sacrificing her to the gods of spring.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Clouds – Three Nocturnes for Orchestra – Debussy
evocative of the night- possibly clouds. Very impressionistic.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Slavonic Dances – Dvorak
none. It is just a dance.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath – Fantastic Symphony – Berlioz
(Previous movements about a young musician who is obsessivly in love with a woman who does not return his love) This movement is right after he has killed her and is hanged for his crime. He and his beloved come together at a witches sabbath and take part in an orgy. (Idee fixe of the beloved keeps returining throughout in different ways). Dies Irae illuded to. Col leno on strings.
Story, Narrative, or Image: Valkyrie – Wagner
Like lord of the rings. This is the second opera of 4 in the ring cycle. The first is about the ring, This one is about the main character being pursued by the gods because his offspring will destroy them. He seeks refuge in the cottage of Seglinde (who turns out to be his twin sister and is also married). They become lovers and have a son. The next opera is about the son out to destroy the ring and the final opera is when he destroys it and the gods that were created with it.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Romanticism
Cultural movement of the nineteenth century that valued subjectivity, feeling, and inspiration and venerated individuals whose work expressed those valies; a romantic sensibility that had a focus on individuality, an obsession with size, and fascination with the exotic.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Realism
anti-heroic and pessimistic about human nature. everyday people caught up in familiar circumatances. Photojournalism – war inform realism.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Nationalism
in music, a nineteenth-century movement that sought to portray a unique national identity by drawing on the legends, myths, history, and literature of the people; creating vocal music in their own language; drawing on folk song and dance.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Exoticism
the fascination by the west in the non western; the foreign other. Caused by colonialism, coming in contact with foreigners and hearing about them.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Modernism


Modernism in music is characterized by a desire for or belief in progress and science, surrealism, anti-romanticism, political advocacy, general intellectualism, and/or a breaking with the past or common practice. Sound based composition, extended techniques and sounds, expansion on/abandonment of tonality.


Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Impressionism/Expressionism
Late 19th and early 20th century movement in the arts that favored exploration of elements such as light, color, and sound over literal representation. Prefers vague suggestion of transient experiences rather than fixed romantic narratives.
Meaning and essential expressive orientation: Primitivism


Primitivism is a Western art movement that borrows visual forms from non-Western or prehistoric peoples.

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, is “primitivist” in that its programmatic subject is a pagan rite: a human sacrifice in pre-Christian Russia. It uses dissonance and loud, repetitive rhythms to depict “Dionysian” modernism, i.e., abandonment of inhibition (restraint standing for civilization).



What is program music?
Instrumental music in which a composer depicts an extramusical inspiration, such as a scene, story, or idea.
Program music: What is a symphonic poem?


;a piece of orchestral music in which the content of a poem, a story or novel, a painting, a landscape or another (non-musical) source is illustrated or evoked.


Program music: What is a program symphony?
symphony whose movements depict a series of scenes relating to the work’s overall program or theme.
Program music: What is a characteristic piece?
piano music based on a single idea or program.
Program music: What is ballet music?
example – rite of spring. When played on its own it is a symphonic poem.
Program music: What is a nocturne?
a musical piece that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night
Non program music: What is a nationalistic dance?
a dance that is of a particular nationality. Very popular in opera during the romantic period.
Non program music: What is lied?
song for voice and piano in which both melody and accompaniment amplify dominant themes and images in the text.
Non program music: What is an opera ensemble (duo, trio, quartet, etc.) piece?
a piece for a group of people in the opera, like a quartet. Not an aria or recitative.
Opera styles and narrative types: What is a German mythological opera?
much of German opera had mythological themes. Wagner draws on this in Ring Cycle.
Opera styles and narrative types: What is opera buffa?
Comic opera
Opera styles and narrative types: What is rescue or liberation opera?
deal with the rescue of a main character from danger and end with a happy dramatic resolution in which lofty humanistic ideals triumph over base motives. Popular in France and Germany, 18th century.
Opera styles and narrative types: What is “artwork of the future”?
A long essay written by Wagner. He talks about how Opera is the artwork of the future.
What is miniaturism? Give an example.
The closet drama- music at home for the middle class. Elf King.
What is gigantism? Give an example.
Romantic music is gigantic or grandiose. Symphony Fantastique by Berlioz.
What does through-composed mean?
Through-composed music is relatively continuous, non-sectional, and/or non-repetitive.
What are bass variations (Passacaglia)?
Variations on a bass idea. In Nacht by Schoenberg.
What is rounded form?
Name the form: ABA’
Name the form: A A’ A” A”‘
variations, variation-form, theme and variation form
Name the form: A B C D
through-composed form
What is polymeter?
The simultaneous occurrence of two or more conflicting rhythms. Example- triplets over duplets.
What is ostinato?
Ground bass or basso ostinato is a type of variation form in which a bassline or harmonic pattern is repeated as the basis of a piece underneath variations.
What is col legno?
a violin technique that involves tapping the wooden part of the bow on the strings.
What is idee fixe?
“Fixed idea”; melodic representation of the object of the artist’s obsession. It appears early in the first movement and returns in various forms throughout the work. (In Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath).
What is leitmotiv?
Motive or theme assigned to a character, object, emotion, or event in Wagnerian music drama.
What is dies irae?
a section of the Requiem Mass that deals with the day of judgement
What is furiant?
in czech – “a proud, swaggering, conceited man.” The furiant is a couples dance in a moderate fast triple meter characterized by a specific rhythm in the melody. (In Slavonic Dance).
What is Sprechstimme?
“Speech voice”; vocal style between speech and singing required in Schoenbergs music. (in Nacht).
What is a diatonic scale?
Scales with seven notes per octave. Example – Major and minor scales.
What is a pentatonic scale?
A scale containing five pitches within each octave.
What is an octatonic scale?
a scale containing eight pitches.
What is a whole-tone scale?
Scale that divides the octave into six equal segments a whole tone apart.
What is a chromatic scale?
The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone apart.
What are some important wars/revolutions that frame the context of our Unit 3 studies?
Industrial revolution (1820-1914), Italian Wars of Independence (1848-1861), American Civil War (1861-1865), Seven Weeks’ War (1866), Franco-German/Prussian War (1870-871), Spanish-American War (1898), Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), Russian Revolution of 1905, World War 1 (1914-1918).
What three countries unified themselves as their own new centralized nation-empires?
Germany, Italy, and Japan
Nacht – Schoenberg
Soaring – Schumann
Rite of Spring – Stravinsky
Nuages – Debussy
Slavonic Dance – Dvorak
Dream of A Witches Sabbath – Berlioz
The Valkyrie – Wagner