col legno
(Italian for with the wood) an instruction to string players to strike the strings of the instrument not with the horsehair of the bow, but with the wood of it
a brass instrument that looks like a short trumpet; it has a more mellow tone than the trumpet and is most often used in military bands
Dies irae
a Gregorian chant composed in the thirteenth century and used as the central portion of the Requiem Mass of the Catholic Church
a reduction, usually by half, of all the rhythmic durations in a melody
double counterpoint
counterpoint with two themes that can reverse position, the top theme moving to the bottom and the bottom to the top (also called invertible counterpoint)
English horn
an alto oboe, pitched at the interval a fifth below the oboe, much favored by composers of the Romantic era
a short one-movement composition designed to improve one aspect of a performer’s technique
George Sand
the pen name of Aurore Dudevant, the author who was Chopin’s lover and protector
Gewandhaus Orchestra
the symphony orchestra that originated in the Clothiers’ House in Leipzig, Germany, in the eighteenth century
Harriet Smithson
the English actress who, as the object of Berlioz’s obsession, served as the inspiration for the Symphonie fantastique
idee fixe
literally a fixed idea, but more specifically an obsessive musical theme as first used in Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique
(German for song) the genre of art song, for voice and piano accompaniment, that originated in Germany ca. 1800
the term describing the sensationalism that characterized the audience response to Liszt’s concerts
a fast dance of Polish origins in triple meter with an accent on the second beat
modified strophic form
strophic form in which the music is modified briefly to accommodate a particularly expressive word or phrase in the text
a slow, introspective type of music, usually for piano, with rich harmonies and poignant dissonances intending to convey the mysteries of the night
a low brass instrument originating in military bands about the time of the French Revolution; the precursor of the tuba
a concert of chamber music, usually for a solo performer
a slow, lyrical piece, or movement within a larger work, for instruments, or instrument and voice, much favored by composers of the Romantic period
a social gathering for music and poetry that featured the songs and piano music of Franz Schubert
song cycle
a collection of several songs united by a common textual theme or literary idea
strophic form
a musical form often used in setting a strophic, or stanzaic, text, such as a hymn or carol; the music is repeated anew for each successive strophe
through composed
a term used to describe music that exhibits no obvious repetitions or overt musical form from beginning to end