Essay sample - The History of Program Music and its Composers

Pages 10 (2510 words)
Download 0
Since the ancient times, music has been used to mimic the sounds of life and nature, real or imagined (Hoffman para. 2). As musicians wanted to build a bridge between literature and music, various sounds from animals and nature like tweets, cuckoos, toots, shrieks, cries, horns blowing, hiccups, roars, rain pouring, wind blowing and the like are being used to form a coherent musical composition that conveys a story or a plot.


Liszt calls composers of programme music as "poetizing symphonsts" (F. Niecks 278). Furthermore, he also strived to be able to distinguish the programme and its object. He claims that "the programme has no other object than to indicate preparatively the spiritual moments which impelled the composer to create his work, the thoughts which he endeavoured to incorporate in it. It would be childishly idle, indeed in most cases a mistake, subsequently to devise programmes and wish to explain the emotional content of an instrumental poem, as then the word must destroy the charm, desecrate the feelings, and tear the finest webs of the soul, which assumed just this form because it could not be put into words, pictures, and ideas." (qtd. from F. Niecks 279).
As programme music is described as music that tells a story or portrays a scene, it is distinct from the abstract classical music composition in the sense that the music was chosen to suit the programme, story, poem, or scene (Schmidt-Jones para. 18). ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

History of Music Industry
Many artistes, especially the new, less-established artists, are in immediate danger of being marginalized out of our business. Ripping is stealing their livelihood one digital file at a time, leaving their musical dreams haplessly snared in this World Wide Web of theft and indifference. (Greene, M)…
8 pages (2008 words)
American Music Composers
These learnings were then inculcated in the styles and forms apt to American culture and tradition to be able to compose "American classical music" (Sherrane 2007).…
10 pages (2510 words)
Ninteenth Century Music
Change, which is in most cases disliked by many, has to come and do its part in order to have a very meaningful life. The problem is, on how to go along these changes. Retaliation is just a part when new ideas are brought in the open to be deliberated, and it is only after the "trial" of such ideas can the real advantages be seen and appreciated.…
12 pages (3012 words)
Modern music education
Weinberger argues that 'feeling' is merely an intuitive reward of music, and that when one considers the complexity of actually playing music (translating sheet music, following the conductor, etc.), it proves to be every bit as challenging as traditional scholastic subjects1. Unfortunately, too much of the administrative and scholastic approach have infused the methodology with which music…
5 pages (1255 words)
Music and History
Tower's works, moreover, evoke an energy, a use of color and texture which are uniquely her own, and which make them not only exciting to listen to, but continue the traditional lineage of Western art music (Scholes, 1979). Conductor Leonard Slatkin states that Tower's works come from the "roots" of the "traditional playing repertory. "He describes her work as being "a continuation of historical…
9 pages (2259 words)
Music History
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Alleluia was introduced into Western churches around the fourth century and sung in response to the reading of the psalms (Bewerunge, Henry. "Plain Chant."). However, it is generally believed that the official recording occurred in the eighth century when St. Gregory made the effort to compile his beloved church music. It is at this time that the neum,…
3 pages (753 words)