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The History of Program Music and its Composers - Essay Example

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Author : rosario40


The researcher of this essaay discusses the Programme Music, as well as its History and Significant Composers, such as hungarian composer Franz Liszt, who actually coined the term “programme music” in the mid 19th century, a time when Romantic music was very pravalent…

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The History of Program Music and its Composers

The researcher of this essay states that since the ancient times, music has been used to mimic the sounds of life and nature, real or imagined. 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. This form of music has been existent since the ancient times, yet it was the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt who actually coined the term “programme music” in the mid 19th century, a time when Romantic music was very pravalent. For the purpose of discussion, programme music may be defined as instrumental music that attempts to convey a story or arouse mental images without the use of words. Liszt calls composers of programme music as “poetizing symphonsts”. 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. Given the examples of the composers and their works, that were mentioned in the essay, it is hence apparent how experimentation in the genre of programme music was important. It was indeed a risk for these composers to hence pattern the form of their composition to a certain programme they have pictured in their minds.
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