absolute music
Music that is independent of words, drama, visual images, or any kind of representational aspects. There are themes. Brahms.
programme music
introduced by Liszt. Instrumental music with a narrative or descriptive meaning. For example, music that depicts a scene or story. Wagner and Liszt
bel canto
“beautiful singing” Elegant Italian vocal style of the early nineteenth century marked by lyrical, embellished, and florid melodies that show off the beauty, agility, and fluency of the singer’s voice.
“singing play” opera with spoken dialogue, musical numbers, and usually a comic plot. Inspired by ballad operas.
“total artwork” coined by Richard Wagner. Dramatic work in which poetry, scene design, staging, action, and music all work together toward on artistic expression.
“leading motive” In opera, a motive, theme, or musical idea associated with a person, thing, mood, or idea, which returns in original or altered form thoughout.
character piece
Only for piano. No programme. Depicts a character, emotion, or theme. Not an entire story, like programme music.
song cycle
a group of songs performed in succession that tells or suggests a story.
Lieder (strophic, modified strophic, through-composed)
song with German words. songs for voice and piano in 18th and 19th centuries.
symphonic poem
Coined by Liszt. same as tone poem. one movement work of programme music for orchestra that conveys a poetic idea, scene, or succession of moods by presenting themes that are repeated, varied, or transformed
concert overture
independent orchestra work in one movement, usually descriptive.
tone poem
Strauss: Don Juan. Same as symphonic poem.
idee fixe
fixed idea or obsession. Coined by Berlioz for a melody that is used throughout a piece to represent a person, thing, or idea. Used to transform the music to suit the mood or situation.
thematic transformation
Berlioz and Liszt. method devised by Liszt to provide unity, variety, and a narrative-like logic to a composition by transforming the thematic material into new themes or other elements, in order to reflect the diverse moods needed to portray a programmatic subject.
music drama
Gesamtkunstwert, or total artwork. Wagner’s vision has been called music drama, but he rejected that. He suggested the phrase as “acts of music made visible”
parlor song
songs for home performance in English. Usually strophic. Expressiveness is entirely voice, the accompaniment is simply there. Meant to be altered by the performer based on the interpretation (unlike lieder) Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair.
finding out more about other cultures. Bizet’s Carmen and Saint-Saen’s Samson and Delilah
The Mighty Five
moguchaya kuchka. Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov
strophic song
of a poem. Consisting of two or more stanzas that are equivalent in form and can be sung to the same melody
modified strophic song
variant of strophic form. The music for the first stanza is varied for later stanzas. There is a change of key, rhythm, character, or material.
Through-composed song
Composed throughout. Each stanza or other unit of the poem is set to new music rather than a strophic manner to a single melody
people united through characteristics, such as common language, shared culture, historical traditions, national institutions and rituals
Grand Opera
In Paris. Middle-class audiences, always included ballet, stage machinery, choruses, crowd scenes. Rossini’s William Tell
Opera Comique
comic or semi-serious opera including spoken dialogue and fewer singers. Predecessor of Lyric Opera (Theatre Lyrique) Gounod’s Faust or Romeo et Juliet
Light opera
Gilbert and Sullivan.
Anton Rubinstein
established St. Petersburg Conservatory
Nikolay Rubinstein
Moscow Conservatory
Minstrel Show
White actors blackened their faces to impersonate African-Americans
Mainstream of European music. Education was in German. 1860- Czech National Theatre established in Prague. Smetana: national Czech music, inspired by music of Liszt, and Italian and German opera. Dvorak: Rusalka
Paris conservatoire
orchestra that performed works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Gounod.
National Society of Music
supported French music. Focuses on works by Rameau, Gluck, and 16th century French composers.
Ecole Niedermeyer
focused on church music
Schola Cantorum
founded by Vincent d’Indy
French tradition. Drew upon works of Gounod and Couperin. Became a professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire. Requiem.
Cosmopolitan tradition. born in Belgium. Studied at the Conservatoire and became a professor of organ there as well. Wrote using classical forms, genres, and counterpoint. Thematic transformation, cyclic unity, Wagnerian harmony. Three Chorales.
art songs: individual, self-contained pieces that are not a part of a larger story. based on poetry, accompanied by piano. published individually, in a collection, or as a set/cycle. intended to be performed in a recital. lieder, chanson, text painting, accompaniment equals importance of vocal line. Chromaticism is acceptable. Schumann, Schubert
short mood piece with beautiful embellished melodies about sonorous accompaniment. “song without words.”
designed to develop certain skill
Polish folk dance. Chopin