Friday February 18, 2011
Beethoven’s last string quartet has seven movements, instead of four.
Composers started becoming very aware of musical history in the 19 th century. Not
for the 1 time (Bach was well aware of Palestrina), but by the 1800s it was no
Beethoven’s 5 Symphony: The first movement is in C minor (tonic), but the last
movement is in C major. This is somewhat foreshadowed by the use of C major,
where it shouldn’t be used, in the first movement.
Romanticism: one aspect is the fixation on the dark (horror, death, etc) and the
other aspect is a fixation on nature.
Typically in Francophone countries as well as the USA, there is a real interest in
people from other nations- EXOTICISM.
Program Music is usually clear about its inspiration.
If music is Programmatic, it must be instrumental.
If it has a text, the text focuses your attention. But if you don’t have any
text, you have to use the music itself (and the title) to tell you what it is
about. Therefore program music always has a telling title.
A salon is usually in a wealthy home, sometimes from some of the few surviving
aristocracy. Some would be pretty famous, with politicians and poets coming. It
depended on the woman of the house, who her friends were and what kind of music
was being played.
Every daughter of every well-to-do family could play piano.
In salons, this was where women in the 19 century had a lot of power. At the time,
their power was in the domestic sphere. But if the domestic sphere included hosting
parties with hundreds of famous and influential people, then this really was a lot of
Example of an Art Song: Gretchen am Spinnrade by Schubert
He was very influenced by Beethoven
Very poor, and died very young (probably from Syphilis)
Also centered in Vienna
It is typical that the poetry in Art Songs were not written by the composer.
thFiguration: the notes are imitating the spinning of the spinning wheel
In the 19 century Art Song, the piano part (always the piano, never harpsichord) is
part of the expression and is not just an accompaniment. Pianos were a staple in
everyone’s homes by this point.
Sometimes you can have a piano part that says something about the
poetry that is not actually in the poetry- it can comment