THE MEANING OF MUSIC by JEAN SELIGMANN & JULIET DANZIGER

THE MEANING OF MUSIC by JEAN SELIGMANN & JULIET DANZIGER

THE MEANING OF MUSIC
by JEAN SELIGMANN & JULIET DANZIGER

The Toung fisteners Quide

 
Illustrated by Donald Leake

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to
reproduce the photographs used in this book:

The Cleveland Orchestra, p. 26 (Miller Ertler Studios photo);
pp. 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 38, 41 ( Hastings- Willinger & Associates photos) ;

p. 36 ( Geoffrey Landesman)

Columbia Records Photo Department, pp. 115, 118

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., p. 106

The New York City Ballet, p. 117

Edgar Vincent Associates, p. 42

Peter Moore, for the photos on pp. 37, 121, 122

Sylvania Electric Products, Inc., for the Joseph Costa photos on pp. 98, 99 ,

1963 by Sylvania Electric Products, Inc.
Richard Wagner-Gedenkstatte Bayreuth, p. 103

Published by The World Publishing Company

2231 West r roth Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44102

Published simultaneously in Canada by

Nelson, Foster & Scott Ltd.

Library of Congress catalog card number: AC 66-10644

Text copyright 1966 by Jean Seligmann

Drawings copyright 1966 by Donald Leake

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced

in any form without written permission from the publisher, except for

brief passages included in a review appearing in a newspaper

or magazine. Printed in the United States of America.

Designed by Jack Jaget

(Contents

FOREWORD

// What Is Music? n

2/ Musical Patterns 16

3/ Instruments That Make Music 25

4/ The Fugue and Each 44

f/ The Symphony and Haydn 52

61 The Concerto and Mozart 60

7/ Beethoven and the Symphony 67

8/ The Overture 75

^ I The Song and Schubert 79

G717Q2&

io / Piano Music (Nineteenth Century) 86

/// The Opera. 95

12} The Symphonic Poe?n 107

Modern Trends 113

GLOSSARY 123

INDEX 127
Foreword

The authors of this book have wrestled successfully with one
of the most difficult of tasks discussing music, a complex art
that often defies description except in its own terms. What is
more, they have accomplished this for young people, who, like
all listeners to music, will derive much more pleasure from their
listening if they know something about the conventions of our
musical language, the various forms in which it has been cast,
and the great composers associated with those forms.

In order to achieve their laudable aim, the authors have wisely
concentrated on carefully selected types of musical expression
that the young person may encounter today either in his home
or the concert hall. Their choices have been discerningly made

and although the young person who reads this will have much
more to learn about music as he grows older, he will be adding
to what he has acquired here rather than eventually disregard-
ing it as oversimplification for juveniles.

Our audiences of tomorrow are the young people of today.
In this lucidly written, admirably condensed introduction to
music, its authors have provided our young people with a con-
cise guide that will be informative as well as provocative of a
lifelong interest in an art that includes some of man’s noblest
utterances.

MARTIN BERNSTEIN

Professor of Music
Ne r w York University

THE MEANING OF A4USIC
1/WhathtMmic?

What is music? It is not a mystery, as some people seem to
suppose. Like almost everything else in the world, music is
made up of definite ingredients. The only truly mysterious
thing about it is that some human beings have been given the
genius to put these different ingredients together in such a way
as to create great and beautiful and lasting music. The rest of us
have to be content to hear and enjoy, and perhaps play, the
great music that men of genius have created. And the best way
to understand and appreciate music is to listen to a great deal
of it; to play, if possible, some instrument yourself; and to
know something about the various ways works of music are
constructed.

ii

Since music is something that we hear, the materials of
which music is made are also those which we hear. In other
words, music is made up of patterns of sounds arranged in
patterns of time.

Sound is an exceedingly important part of our daily lives.
Close your eyes for a moment and just listen. Perhaps you
hear the rumbling of a train, or a boy whistling, a baby crying,
a mother calling to her child, a dog barking, the toot of an
automobile horn, the wind blowing through the trees, crickets
chirping, the far-off call of a foghorn. Or you may hear your
neighbor’s radio or television set, or perhaps someone playing
on the piano or violin. You probably hear something, at any
rate, and what you hear is sound, or a number of sounds. In
our conversations with our friends, in most of our entertain-
ments such as plays, movies, and especially concerts, sound
plays a vital role.

As this book is about music, and music is made up of sounds,
let us find out what sound really is. We can see a painting with
our eyes, and touch it with our fingers, but sound is something

12

that can only be heard. It is something that comes to our ears
through the air.

We live in air. Every time we make the slightest motion we
stir the air around us, though we cannot see it move. When
you knock on a door or strike a table, a quivering is set up in
the wood itself as well as in the air around it. These quiverings,
or back-and-forth movements in an object or in the air, are
called vibrations. Vibrations travel out into the air, somewhat
like the ripples circling out in all directions in a quiet pool of
water when you throw a pebble into it.

When vibrations strike our ears, we hear a sound. But we
would never have heard a sound if something had not started
the vibration, if there had not been the air to carry the vibra-
tion to us, and if we had not ears to receive it.

There are many kinds of sounds. They can be loud, soft,
sweet, harsh, dull, sharp, shrill and so on. Usually, sounds that
are harsh or unpleasant, or in some other way distressing to
our ears, are called noise. When sounds are agreeable to the
ear we call them musical sounds, or tones. Actually, it is often TONE
hard to distinguish between noise and music. And often, too,
it is a matter of opinion. When you blow across the top of
a soda bottle, for instance, is the sound a noise or a musical
tone? Perhaps to your father who is reading the newspaper it
is a noise, but to you it may sound like the low tone of a flute.
At a symphony concert the crash of cymbaus is musical when
it comes in at the right place, but most people would consider
it a noise if the cymbals fell to the floor during the concert.

What is a musical tone? Almost all things that we can see
or touch can be more or less easily described. Bricks have
roughness, shape, and color. Beads have smoothness, roundness,
and color. Flowers have smell, form, and color. But we cannot

13

PITCH

see or touch musical tones. They can be described only by how
they sound to us. And in order to give a description of a musical
tone, we shall have to describe it in four diiferent ways.

We say that a tone is high or low, The highness or lowness
of a tone’is known as its pitch. The tone of a policeman’s whistle
has a high pitch. The average human voice used in everyday
speech is of medium pitch. The rumble of thunder is of low
pitch. You can make an interesting experiment in pitch your-
self. Take a tall glass. Strike the side of it with a spoon. Then
pour water slowly into the glass, hitting it with the spoon as
it filk up. You will hear the pitch of the tone grow higher
and higher.

Pitch depends on the number of vibrations per second of
the sounding body that produces it. When a musician sounds
his A, for example, so that the musicians can tune their instru-
ments, that A produces 440 vibrations per second. Our ears
can hear pitches ranging from about 16 to 16,000 vibrations
per second.

Besides having pitch, a tone also has duration-that is, long-
ness or shortness. If you ring a doorbell and keep your finger
on the button for a long time, you are producing a long tone.
If you lift your finger immediately after pressing the button,
you will produce a short tone.

A musical tone also has loudness or softness, or intensity. If
you strike a key on the piano very lightly, it will produce a
very soft tone; strike it hard and it will produce a loud tone.
TONE COLOR Tones also have what is known as tone color. We know that
objects like bricks and beads and flowers have color. But tone
color is not green or red or blue, naturally, for a tone is not
something we can see. Tone color is rather the quality of a
tone. A tone played on the violin, for example, has a different

DURATION

INTENSITY

tone color from a tone of the same pitch played on the piano
or the saxophone. Each musical instrument has its own tone
color. No two singers have voices that sound exactly alike.
Every individual human voice has its own distinctive tone color.

We can speak of tone colors as thick, thin, light, dark, sharp,
brilliant, dull, smooth, coarse, warm, cold, fuzzy, velvety,
round, or even neutral.

Pitch, duration, intensity, tone color every musical tone
has these four .characteristics. No one is more important than
any other. In listening to music, however, we do not separate
these characteristics one from the others. They are all blended
together.

Musical tones, then, are the raw materials of music. Just as
a wall may be built up of bricks, or a necklace made up of beads,
or a bouquet made up of flowers, or words made up of letters,
so music is made up of musical tones. But we must put the bricks
in rows and pile them up to make a wall; the beads must be
strung to form a necklace; the flowers must be arranged to make
a bouquet, the letters put together to form a word. Musical
tones, too, must be arranged in some order to create music.
2 1 ^Musical Patterns

MELODY

All of the various types of music-the folk song, the waltz, the
symphony, the fox trot, and so on-are merely some of the
many ways of arranging musical tones. A composer arranges
these tones into patterns. All music is made up of different kinds
of tone patterns. They will become easier to recognize as you
listen to more and more music. And then, too, you will usually
hear these patterns repeated in the same composition-patterns
of melody, patterns of rhythm, and patterns of harmony.

Perhaps you have heard some music that you thought had
no melody, but that seldom is the case. Almost all music has
melody, but in some works it is more difficult to detect than
in others.

When we talk, one word follows another in such a way as
to make what we are saying have meaning for the listener. That
is, we group words into sentences and each sentence expresses
a thought or an idea. The composer does the same thing with
musical tones. He makes one musical tone follow another in
such a way as to have musical meaning for the listener. And
when several tones are made to follow one another to produce
musical meaning, the resulting pattern is called a melody.

Another pattern in music is created by rhythm. When we
hear a march being played by a military band, probably the
first thing we notice about it is the marked rhythm, the clear
one-two, one-two that makes us want to march in time to the
music. And as the music goes one-two, one-two, the marching
feet go left-right, left-right. If we listen carefully, we will hear
that certain beats are accented. That is, there are strong beats
and weak beats. For some reason it has usually been the custom
for men who march to step out on the strong first beat with
the left foot. Thus we get a definite pattern which is created
over and over again: STRONG-weak, STRONG-weak;

RHYTHM
ONE-two, ONE-two; LEFT-right, LEFT-right. This is the
rhythm of a march and you will find that every march that
you hear has this rhythm.

The rhythm of the march is one of the simplest kinds of
rhythm, but even in the more complicated rhythms you will
always find that there are some beats that are strong, and some
that are weak. The strong or accented beats occur over and over
again, forming a regular pattern.

Some people tap their feet in time to music. Some clap their
hands to mark the rhythm. You will find that they usually
tap or clap hard for the strong beats, and more gently or not
at all for the weaker beats. The next time you listen to music,
see if you can hear the strong beats repeating regularly.

But it is not only the accenting of beats that creates rhythm.
Rhythm also results from the differences in the length of the
notes which are played or sung. You can imagine how dull
a piece of music would be if each note were played for the
same length of time as the one before it, like the ticking of a
clock or the chiming of a church bell. Sing to yourself a familiar
tune like “Jingle Bells” or “Pop Goes the Weasel” and notice
the differences in length of the tones:

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle a.U the way . . .

Pop goes the weasel . . .

You can see from these examples that some notes are longer,
some shorter. You will discover further that these longer and
shorter notes are usually put together in groups. And these
groups are repeated in such a way as to form a pattern.

We have, then, two kinds of patterns within the idea of
rhythm: patterns produced by the accenting of certain beats,
and patterns produced by the differences in length of the tones.
You will find these rhythmic patterns in all music if you listen

18

for them. Sometimes they are easy to follow and sometimes
they are difficult. But no piece of music has ever been written
without some sort of rhythm.

The speed at which these rhythmic patterns are played is TEMPO
called tempo. The same rhythmic patterns may be played
at different rates of speed. You probably have seen moving
pictures of champion swimmers in action. Sometimes a slow-
motion picture of these swimmers is shown on the screen and
you see the identical strokes at a slower speed that is, in a
slower tempo. Tempo should not be confused with rhythm.
Rhythm is produced by accent patterns; tempo is the speed at
which these patterns move.

Composers often show in what tempo they want their music
played by labeling it with such words as Allegro [fast, lively],
Adagio [very slow], Andante [walking pace], Presto [very
fast], Vivace [lively]. These are Italian words. Composers have
used many Italian words for their tempo marks since the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries when many of the important
musicians of the day were Italians. Today, of course, composers
frequently use their native language, as well as Italian, to indi-
cate tempo.

All of the musical patterns we have discussed so far are
produced by tones played or sung one after the other that
is, in succession. But we can arrange our musical tones in still
another way. We can play several different tones at the same
time. Sound patterns created by playing two or more tones
at the same time are called chords. Everyone knows how the
guitar player can create sound patterns by sweeping his fingers
across the strings of his instrument. When he does this, we are
not so much aware of the individual notes as we are of their
patterns as chords.

Chords, then, are heard by us whenever two or more tones
are sounded together-or in very rapid succession. We hear
chords when a pianist presses several keys at the same time on
the piano. We hear chords when we listen to a band playing
on the football field. We hear chords in listening to a string
quartet or a symphony orchestra.

Let us suppose, for instance, that we are listening to a band
playing the familiar march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
We certainly are aware of the rhythmic patterns of the music;
and as the various sounds appear one after the other we are also
aware of the patterns of melody. But we perceive still another
pattern-f or as different tones fall upon our ears at the same time
we recognize them as chords.

The total number of possible chords that can be created is
unbelievably great, and composers are still finding new chord
patterns for us all the time. Great as their number may be,
however, we can classify and describe chords in a general way
without too much trouble. If you listen carefully to the chords
of a piece of music, you will discover that some chords sound
restful. The music might end with their sounding. Such chords
are called consonant chords. Other chords, however, seem to
have some sort of drive. They seem to demand that some other
chords follow them. The music would sound incomplete if it
ended with them. All chords that give this restless feeling are
DISSONANT CHORDS called dissonant chords. Do not think that dissonant chords are
at all painful. What they do is to create a sort of suspense that
will not be relieved until we come eventually to a consonant
chord.

The art of constructing chords and of arranging attrac-
HARMONY tive successions of consonant and dissonant chords is called
harmony.

CONSONANT CHORDS

20

Ludmg van Beethoven
Think of the mastery of harmony involved in creating the
Ninth Symphony of Beethoven! When you are listening to
this rich expanse of beautiful music you are hearing, among
other things, a succession of chords that lasts about seventy
minutes.

The smaller musical patterns of melody, rhythm, and har-
mony are held together by a larger framework. Musicians call
this larger framework of a piece of music its form.

Before an artist starts to paint a picture, he decides what it
is to be a portrait, a landscape, or perhaps a still life. The
architect, before designing his building, knows whether it is
to be a church, a school house, a city apartment or a country
bungalow. A cook, too, does not gather together her ingredients
without first deciding what she is going to make a pie, a pud-
ding, or a cake.

FORM

21

In much the same way the composer of a piece of music
decides beforehand whether he is going to write a song, a
symphony, or an opera. In other words, before we can con-
struct anything we must know how we are going to shape or
arrange our materials. In the case of an art work this shape or
arrangement creates its form. When you see on your concert
programs or your phonograph records titles such as “suite,”
“symphony,” “concerto,” “overture,” “sonata,” “opera,” etc.,
these words describe the forms into which a composer has
arranged his musical materials. You will enjoy music more if
you have some knowledge of these forms.

When we go to an exhibit of portraits, we have a general
idea beforehand what we are going to see: pictures of people.
But if two painters paint a portrait of the same person, the
pictures will not be exactly alike. The portraits may have the
same form, but each will be different in its details.

So too with music. That is, most symphonies have certain
features in common, most overtures have certain features in
common, and so on with all the musical forms. This book
will help you to know beforehand what to expect when you
are going to hear a sonata or a symphony or a fugue or a con-
certo, or some of the other more usual forms of iriusic. It
will make the larger framework familiar to you. Naturally, the
methods of treating the framework or form differ since each
composer uses a customary framework in his own way. It is
not the framework itself, but the unique genius and inspiration
with which a composer clothes it that makes a musical work
great.

Other words for form are “structure” and “design.” In any
design there must be some sort of balance, that is, a harmonious
arrangement of its different parts. One must be able to feel that

22

its parts bear some logical relationship to one another. This

feeling of logical arrangement can be produced largely through REPETITION AND

the use of repetition or contrast of these parts. CONTRAST

The idea of logical arrangement through repetition and con-
trast may be observed in many ways in our everyday life. In
the design of the plate put before you at lunch, in the arrange-
ment of your furniture, in the structure of the human body,
in the pattern of the linoleum on your kitchen floor in almost
everything that you look at you will find either repetition or
contrast, or both.

The use of repeated or contrasted patterns and parts (in de-
signs and structures) gives a feeling of unity and variety to our
eyes. In music, too, there is repetition and contrast of parts and
patterns, and these give a feeling of unity and variety to our
ears. Not only is there repetition and contrast of whole parts
or sections of a musical composition, but also of the patterns
of melody, rhythm, and harmony within the parts themselves.
The musical use of repetition and contrast can be observed
quite simply in a song like “Drink to Me Only With Thine
Eyes.”

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss within the cup

And 111 not ask for wine.

The thirst that from the soul doth rise

Doth ask a drink divine;

But might I of Jove’s nectar sip,

I would not change for thine.

The song begins with a musical idea: “Drink to me only . . ,”
etc. Then there is a repetition of this musical idea: “Or leave
a kiss . . .” etc, Now comes a different musical ideal, a contrast-

23

ing one: “The thirst that from . . .” etc. And, finally, there is
a repetition of the first part: “But might I …” etc.
THREE-PART FORM This song is a good example of what is known as three-part
form, a term that you will meet over and over again in music,
It is one of the most common of musical forms, A-B-A. Many
folk songs, marches, dances, most popular music, as well as in-
numerable longer pieces, are written in this form, usually with
a repetition of the first part-that is, A- A-B-A. In longer com-
positions there is naturally a much more elaborate use of the
three-part form than in this simple song, Also, the repetition
may not always be an exact repetition.

Contrast and repetition are achieved in music not only in
melody, rhythm, and harmony, but also through the use of
differing tone colors, changes in loudness and softness, changes
in tempo, to mention just a few ways, When you listen to
music attentively you should be able to hear these frequent
changes of the different basic elements of music.

We see now that every piece of music we hear is built up
on a definite framework. And within this framework (or struc-
ture, or design) that we call fonn, patterns are repeated or
contrasted like the patterns in any other structure or design, As
we go on with this book, we shall discover that many musical
frameworks or forms are almost as easy to know as those of
everyday objects.
31 Instruments That

When you first look at a performance of a symphony orchestra,
you will be conscious of a stage filled with a jumble of players
and instruments. If you look carefully, however, you will soon
discover that these players with their instruments are arranged
in groups. You will notice that players of the same kinds of
instruments are grouped together on the stage.

There are four large groups of instruments in a symphony
orchestra: the string instruments, which are usually sounded by
drawing a bow over strings; the woodwind instruments, and
the brass instruments, pipelike instruments into which the

The Cleveland Orchestra

players blow to make sounds; the percussion instruments, an
assortment of instruments of various shapes and uses, which the
players strike.

THE STRINGS Over half the instruments in the orchestra belong to the
string section. You probably recognize the instruments in the
pictures: the violin, the viola, the cello, and the double bass.
These are the four members of the string section. They all look
somewhat like the same instrument built in different sizes. They
are made of wood and are hollow. Four strings made of gut are
stretched across them. A bow-a wooden wand with horsehairs
stretched from end to end-is drawn across the strings with
the right hand, while the fingers of the left hand press down
upon the strings at different places to produce different pitches.

26
Violins

Sometimes the player will pluck the strings with his fingers
when certain crisp, short-clipped sounds are desired, This
plucking is known by the Italian word pizzicato.

The string instruments constitute the most important of the
four orchestral groups because they can be made to do so much
more than the woodwinds, brasses, or percussion instruments.
They can be made to sound a greater number of pitches. They
can supply more tone colors and they have a wider control
over loudness or softness of tone than any other instruments.

The violin is the smallest and most popular instrument in
this group. An expert performer can do many things with the
violin. He can make it sound sweet and lilting, or serious and
grave. He can play slow, smooth passages, or rapid and difficult

27

ones. In the orchestra there are about thirty-six violins, It is
necessary to have this large number because the violin is not a
loud instrument and its voice would be drowned out by those
instruments with more powerful voices. The violins are so
useful, in fact, that they are divided into two sections: the first
and second violins. This does not mean that the first- violin sec-
tion is more important than the second. They are divided into
sections because the composer often wants them to play differ-
ent parts.

The viola, the second member of the string section, looks
like the violin, and is held and played the same way. It is larger

Cellos
than the violin, however, and its deep, somber tones lend it
great dignity. There are usually ten violas in the orchestra.

The third member of the string section is the cello. Its real
name is violoncello, but most people call it by its shorter name,
cello. This instrument is much larger than the viola. You can
easily recognize it because it is held between the player’s knees.
Its weight is supported at the bottom by a metal pin that rests
upon the floor. The tone of the cello is rich and vigorous, deeper
than that of the violin and viola. It is an instrument that can do
many things because of its very great range. It can give forth
melodies in most expressive tones and can also supply a full

Double basses
background for the other instruments, The symphony orchestra
usually has twelve cellos.

The double bass is the fourth member of the string instru-
ments. It is also known as the bass viol, contrabass, string bass,
or bass. The double bass is so huge that the player has to sit on
a high stool behind it while the instrument rests against him.
We rarely hear it played as a solo instrument. Because of its
tremendous size, thick strings, and immensely deep tone, its
function is mainly to give a rich and firm foundation to the
orchestra. The name of double bass originated because for a
a long time it was used only to “double” or duplicate or
strengthen the bass as supplied by the cellos. There are custom-
arily ten double basses in the orchestra.

THE WOODWINDS Originally the term “woodwind” indicated the material of
which the instruments were made, plus the fact that it was
“wind” from the player’s lungs which produced the tones.
Today the woodwinds are usually made of wood with the ex-
ception of the flute and the piccolo, which are almost always
made of silver.

The woodwind group is divided into four families: the flutes,
the oboes, the clarinets, and the bassoons.

The instruments in the flute family are the flute and the
piccolo.

If you look at the flute while it is being played, you will
see that it is held and played differently from all the other
wind instruments except the piccolo. It is held almost straight
out to the side, rather than being tilted up or down. It is made
to sound by blowing air across a hole along the side of the tube
near the end of the instrument. The fingers make the different
notes by pressing down the keys that cover the holes in the side
of the instrument,

30
Flutes

Music for the flute is usually sprightly and delicate. It can
play the most rapid and complicated passages with ease and
nimbleness. When playing at a high pitch, the tone color of the
flute is always bright and clear, while in the lower pitches it is
cool and rich.

The piccolo is half the size of the flute. The word piccolo
is Italian for “little” the instrument used to be called flwto
piccolo, or little flute. The name, through time, was shortened
to just piccolo. The piccolo is played just like the flute, but its
tone color is shrill and piercing. It is a small instrument, to be
sure, but one piccolo playing loudly can easily be heard above
the rest of the orchestra.

There are usually three flutes in the orchestra, and one of
the flutists will play the piccolo when it is needed.

In the oboe family are the oboe and the English horn. The
oboe is a medium-sized, pipelike instrument with a thin, reed-
like mouthpiece. For all the other wind instruments the player
needs a great deal of breath, and uses his rests to draw new air
into his lungs. But with the oboe just the opposite is true. The
oboe requires only a very little air to make it sound, so that
the oboe player has to use his rests to let air out of his lungs. If
you watch the oboe player you will see that he seems to be
exerting great effort in order to play his instrument, and this
effort consists in his letting out only very, very little air.

Once you have heard the unusual tone color of the oboe you
will undoubtedly recognize it again. It is twangy, nasal, pene-
trating. In fast passages it has an almost lighthearted quality, but
in slow passages its voice has been described as “pleading” or
“beseeching.”

There are usually three oboists in the symphony orchestra.
One of these three players will play an instrument related to the
oboe, that is, the English horn.

The English horn is almost like the oboe, except that its end
is pear-shaped, and it is longer in size and hence lower in pitch.
Its name is anything but accurate, since it is neither English
nor a horn. This instrument is one of the most serious and grave
in the whole orchestra. That is why the English horn can so
admirably bring forth moods of sadness, loneliness, and grief
in music.

In the clarinet family are the clarinet and the bass clarinet.
The clarinet is an instrument that has considerable range of
pitch, loudness and softness, and of tone color. It is also ex-
tremely agile. The clarinet seems to resemble the oboe from a

32
Brass-trombones and trumpets-and horns, ‘with
woodwinds in the foreground and kettledrums at the back

distance but actually its construction is quite different. The
clarinet player therefore does not have the oboist’s problem of
holding back his breath. The tone of the clarinet is smooth
and clear and pleasant, often resembling the human voice. There
are usually three clarinetists in the orchestra.

The bass clarinet is a larger clarinet of lower pitch, with a
grave and serious tone.

In the bassoon family are the bassoon and the contrabassoon.
The bassoon, a long, pole-like instrument, is the bass of the
woodwind group. Its tone is hollow and quite serious. It is a
flexible instrument-rapid and difficult passages can be played
upon it, so that it often produces a rather humorous, clownish

33

effect. But it may also be used to deliver solemn, serious pas-
sages. There are usually three bassoonists in the orchestra. One
of these will occasionally play the larger, deeper-pitched con-
trabassoon, an instrument that is rarely heard by itself.
THE BRASSES The members of the brass section are the horn, the trumpet,
the trombone, and the tuba. As you would suspect, they are
called the brass instruments because they are all made of brass.
Like the woodwinds, the brasses are made to sound by air blown
from the player’s lungs. But the manner in which this air pro-
duces a tone is different. In the woodwinds the air is blown
either across a hole at the end of the instrument (the flute and
piccolo), or into a reed at the end of the instrument (the clari-
net and bassoon). When playing a brass instrument, however,
the mouthpiece is placed against the lips, and it is through alter-
ing the tension of the lips and by changing the length of the
instrument’s tubing that different pitches are produced. The
length of the tubing is changed for the trombone by means of
its slide; for the other brass instruments this is done with valves,
Of the brasses, the horn-sometimes called the French horn-
is the most expressive. It is easy to recognize because of its coiled
tubing and the broad, flaring bell. Before it was used as an
orchestral instrument, this horn was a simple hunting horn.
Its tone is warm, round, and full, and has been described as
“heroic.” The horn also has the widest range of all the brasses,
and is seldom silent for long in the symphony orchestra. There
are usually four horns in the orchestra, but sometimes as many
as eight are called for.

The second instrument of the brass section is the trumpet.
The trumpet possesses great brilliance and flexibility It can re-
produce many different types of passages-dignified and serious
at one moment, light and gay the next. It can execute broad

34

flowing melodies, and also rapid, complicated ones. There are
usually three trumpets in the orchestra.

The third member of the brass instruments is the trombone.
This instrument may be quite readily identified by its slide-an
outer tube made to slide back and forth over an inner tube to
produce different pitches. It is more easily blown through than
the other brasses, but it also uses up the player’s air supply very
rapidly. The quality of the trombone is stately, noble, and
majestic. There are usually three trombones in the orchestra.

The fourth member of the brasses is the tuba. Like the double
bass, the tuba is not often used as a solo instrument as it is
rather ponderous and heavy. Its main purpose is to provide a
full-bodied foundation for the rest of the orchestra. There is
one tuba in the orchestra.

The instruments in the percussion section are those which PERCUSSION
are made to sound by striking. The most important and oldest
members in this group are the kettledrums, or timpani. A
kettledrum looks like a large copper kettle, with sheepskin or
calfskin stretched across the top. Its pitch can be changed by
turning large screws around the edge of the drum. The tighten-
ing or loosening of these screws controls the tension of the
stretched skin, called the “head,” of the drum. The player
makes the kettledrum sound by striking upon the head with
hammers with large felt ends. You might think that it does not
require much musical talent just to “bang” on a drum. Just
the opposite is true. The performer on the kettledrum must be
an exceptionally fine musician. First of all, he must have what
is called absolute pitch-the ability to know or identify from
memory the pitch of any tone in the scale. He must be able,
moreover, quietly to tune his drums to whatever pitch is needed
no matter what the rest of the orchestra is dinning in his ears.

35

*
The timpani

And thirdly, while all this is happening, he has to keep counting
the rests on his music so as to come in at the right time with
the correctly tuned drum, or drums. If you watch the timpanist
in a symphony orchestra, you will see that a great deal of his
time is spent rapidly turning the screws, with his ear down close
to the drums, and softly tapping the drumhead, in order to set
the correct pitch.

The kettledrums may be used to produce thunderous effects,
to accent the rhythm, to reinforce loud passages, and even in
certain instances to render a melody. There is usually one kettle-
drum player in the orchestra, commanding from two to four
drums.
Max Neuhaus ‘with percussion instruments

There are many other percussion instruments in the orchestra
which may be briefly described, since they are used mainly for
special sound effects.

Snare drum% small, untuned drum, commonly used in
marching bands, played with two wooden sticks.

Bass drumz large, untuned drum with a very deep tone.

Cymbals two platelike brass disks that are struck together
to produce a sharp, metallic clash.

Glockenspiel-z set of small, tuned metal bars in a frame.
When struck by hammers, it produces high, bell-like sounds.

Xylophone-2. series of small, tuned wooden bars on a stand,
struck by small wooden hammers.

37
The harp

Gong-z huge brass disk struck by a large felt-headed stick
and producing a grave, ominous tone.

CWawj-large tubes struck with a mallet, producing deep,
resonant tones like church bells.

Triangle-z metal bar shaped into a triangle open at one
corner. When struck with a small metal rod, it produces a clear,
tinkling tone.

Instruments like the castanets, tambourine, the rattle, the
wood block are also among the better-known members of the
world’s great number of percussion instruments.

The groups of instruments which we have just described
might be called the bow, blow, and strike groups. Besides these,
there are two other important groups of instruments of the
orchestra. One is instruments whose strings are plucked, the
other, the keyboard instruments.

Of this group, the harp is the only one which really has a
permanent place in the orchestra. No doubt you have heard
the rippling music of a harp, but perhaps you did not know that
the strings are actually plucked to produce this effect. Another
effect achieved on the harp is made by a quick sweep of the
fingers over the strings. This is called a glissando. At the base
of the harp are seven pedals by means of which the pitches of
the strings may be raised or lowered one half tone or one whole
tone. The use of the harp in the orchestra is for special color
effects, for accenting, or as an accompaniment. There are
usually one or two harps in the orchestra.

Other instruments whose strings are plucked are the guitar
and the mandolin, but these are rarely used in the orchestra.

The most familiar of the keyboard instruments is the piano.
Although it has not yet become a regular member of the sym-
phony orchestra, certain modern composers have included it
in their orchestral compositions. The piano is actually a string
instrument which is made to sound by hammers that strike
against the strings. When keys of the piano are pressed down
they cause felt-headed hammers to strike the strings. There are
eighty-eight keys-black and white-on the piano. You will
hear more about this most popular of all instruments in a later
chapter on piano music.

INSTRUMENTS WHOSE
STRINGS ARE PLUCKED

KEYBOARD
INSTRUMENTS

39

The celesta, a small keyboard instrument, gives forth delicate,
clear notes like soft chimes. The mechanism of the celesta is
like that of the piano, except that the hammers of the celesta
strike against metal bars instead of against strings. It has a little
more than half as many keys as the piano. There is one famous
solo part for celesta; it appears in the “Dance of the Sugarplum
Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.

The organ, an instrument used mainly in church, but occa-
sionally in the orchestra, has a number of keyboards. One is
operated by the feet, the others by the fingers. Music is
produced by letting air into pipes. The largest organs have
thousands of pipes and thus can achieve many effects and tone
colors.

THE CONDUCTOR What is the conductor’s part in the symphony orchestra?
What, specifically, are his duties?

The conductor has two duties to perform. He chooses the
music which is to be played, and he sees to it that the orchestra
plays it in accordance with what he believes are the composer’s
intentions.

Choosing the music means selecting pieces that will create a
satisfying and enjoyable program, as well as an interesting selec-
tion of music of varying types and periods. The art of choosing
programs is called “program making,” Not every great con-
ductor, unfortunately, is always a good program maker.

Arranging a program is something like planning a meal. For
most people a meal is more interesting and enjoyable if it has
variety and balance. To achieve variety and balance, the con-
ductor may plan to present some of the great classics, such as
the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven, and in the same
program he may include some works of composers of our own

time.
40
The conductor, George Szell, communicates with the pianist,
Rudolf Firkusny, during performance of a concerto

The length of each composition must be taken into account.
The overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro lasts about
three minutes, while the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven lasts

over an hour.

Some works, like the Mozart overture mentioned, are gay
and sparkling and require no really intense concentration on
the part of the listener. But others, like the profoundly earnest

4*
Tho?nasSchippers, internationally known symphonic
and operatic conductor

Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, demand continuous attention
and concentration from listeners who wish to grasp its full
import. These differences must be considered in the making of
a well-balanced program.

The second task of the conductor realizing the composer’s
intentions is more difficult to describe. When you attend a
concert, what you hear is the result of many hours of rehearsals
by the conductor and the members of the orchestra. In the
music that the conductor has before him there are, in addition
to the notes themselves, many other directions for the perf orm-

42

ance of the work. There are directions for the tempo of the
music, for loudness and softness, for general mood or style, to
mention a few. The conductor must see to it that not only are
these directions observed, but that the members of the orchestra
play the music correctly as written; that they play with fine
tone quality; that they play together; that the string players
bow properly; that the wind players breathe properly; that the
various tones appear in satisfactory balance, and so on. Some
conductors use a baton, a short stick held in the hand, to beat
time, give cues, indicate phrasing, among other things.

As you can see, a conductor must be a very sensitive musician,
one who knows a great deal about individual instruments of
the orchestra and about the various styles of orchestral music.
And finally, a great conductor must have a special spark of some
sort in his personality which inspires his orchestra members to
give of their very best.

43
41 The Fugue and

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is the first of what have
been called the three great B’s of music. The other two are
Beethoven and Brahms. There are, to be sure, other composers
whose names begin with B. But these three so overshadow all
the others that they are often known as “the three B’s.”

Does music run in families? In the case of Johann Sebastian
Bach it certainly did, for he was one of a line of fifty German
musicians to bear this family name. His father was the town
musician in the German city of Eisenach, where besides play-
ing violin and viola for weddings and festivals and other cele-
brations, he chimed the hours and spread the alarm for fires.
His older brother, Johann Christoph, was a composer and

44

organist. It was mostly through this brother that Johann Sebas-
tian received his early musical training; he was taught to play
the violin, viola, and organ when still a young boy. And indeed,
the musical tradition was continued by Johann Sebastian Bach’s
own sons, ten of whom became musicians. Two of them, Carl
Philipp Emanuel Bach and Johann Christian Bach, are fairly
well-known composers in their own right. But Johann Sebastian
is undeniably the supreme genius of the Bach family.

The music of Bach fills fifty-four large volumes yet during
his lifetime he was better known as an organist than as a com-
poser. For in Bach’s day, composing music was not so much a
matter of inspiration as it was part of a job. Bach’s principal
duty was to compose music for the Lutheran Church. He had
to provide appropriate music for every Sunday of the year, and
special music for services held on church holidays such as Easter
and Christmas. For these many occasions Bach composed the
music much the way any competent and conscientious crafts-
man would do his job.

One important thing to remember about Bach is that he did
not write music for the concert hall. The greater part of the
music of Bach was written to be performed in the church by
choral singers, a small orchestra, and organ. The rest of his
music was composed for musicians performing either alone or
in small instrumental groups (chamber ensembles) in the draw-
ing rooms of the nobility. Today, to be sure, some of this music
is played by an orchestra in the concert hall instead of as Bach
originally intended it.

Music written because it is needed for a certain day or occa-
sion might easily be dull and humdrum. The music of Bach,
however, is as dramatic and moving as any you will ever hear,
and ranks among the world’s most inspired works of art. Even

45

as a

THE FUGUE

schoolboy Bach looked on music as a way of expressing
religious feeling, and he composed much of his music “for the
glory of God.” When little more than twenty, he became a
church organist to serve God through his music.

Bach composed in many forms, and on all of them he left the
mark of his genius. But the form that we can connect most
often with the name of Bach, since it appears with such great
frequency in his works, is the fugue.

What is a fugue? It is a composition which uses a single
melodic idea or theme, called the fugue subject, in a special way.

A fugue is written in parts known as voices-and these are
called voices whether they are played by an instrument or
actually sung. This special way of handling a theme is called
many-voiced writing. (Musicians use the word “polyphonic”
instead of “many-voiced.” It comes from the Greek word
meaning many sounds.)

THE FUGUE SUBJECT We may compare the entrances of the fugue subject in a
fugue to the arrival of guests at a party. Upon entering the
door, the first guest says, “How do you do; it is so nice to see
you.” The second’guest arrives a few minutes later and in turn
says, “How do you do; it is so nice to see you.” The second
guest then joins the first guest and they proceed to discuss the
weather or the aff airs of the world or the latest moving picture.
Meanwhile, the third guest arrives and he, too, upon entering
says, “How do you do; it is so nice to see you,” and then goes
in to join the general conversation. This continues until all the
guests have arrived.

In a fugue the voices enter one after another to announce the
fugue subject, just as the guests entered one after another and
repeated, “How do you do; it is so nice to see you.” The theme,
or fugue subject, is announced by the first voice at the begin-

46

ning of the work, and it is repeated in turn by each voice as it
enters. Most fugues are written for three or four voices.

After one voice has finished the announcement of the subject,
the next voice takes it up. When the subject has been announced
by all the voices, the composer then goes on to treat the subject
in any way his imagination suggests. He may turn the fugue
subject upside down. Or he may make the fugue subject twice
as slow or twice as fast. He may make the subjects overlap-
that is, a second voice will follow on the heels of the first before
the first has completed the announcement of the theme, and
the third will follow on the heels of the second, and so on. Thus
the different voices pile up on each other in what may sound
like confusion, but which produces an exciting musical effect.

He may interweave the voices, tossing the theme from one
voice to another. Often the voices of the fugue are not heard
all at one time but are made to enter and exit over and over
again like characters in a play. These are only a few of the more
common methods used by composers to develop the fugue
subject.

You rarely hear a Bach fugue by itself. Usually a musical PRELUDES, FANTASIAS,
composition of contrasting mood and style is played directly AND T CCATAS
before the fugue. Bach called these pieces preludes, fantasias,
or toccatas. All you need to remember about these three names
is that they describe music which flows along freely, as the
fancy of the composer dictates. These Preludes and Fugues,
Fantasias and Fugues, and Toccatas and Fugues were written
for the organ or keyboard instruments called clavichords and
harpsichords. (There were no pianos during most of Bach’s
lifetime.)

Bach wrote a series of forty-eight preludes and fugues,
known as The Well-Tempered Chvier, for young musicians

47

m&m&m*

&’fy&ty The Well-Tempered Clavier
“anxious to learn.” “Well-tempered” refers to a system of tun-
ing that was used in Bach’s day, and clavier meant any key-
board instrument.

The subjects of Bach’s fugues are, for the most part, expres-
sive melodies which under his masterful treatment reach great
heights of beauty and emotion. His crowning achievement
in fugue writing is a musical work called The Art of Fugue.
This gigantic composition lasts over two hours and consists of

twenty fugues written on the same fugue subject-which lasts
about twelve seconds! That a work of this length on this simple
theme is sufficiently animated and varied to hold the listener’s
interest for so long is indeed proof of Bach’s amazing richness
of imagination and his great genius.

Other keyboard works of Bach, perhaps among his best-
known, are the compositions called Inventions. If you play the
piano, you may be familiar with this collection of short pieces.
Bach wrote them as exercises for his sons and pupils. It is in-
teresting to think that if Bach had been your music teacher, you
would have been practicing these same pieces on a clavichord
or harpsichord instead of on a modern piano. The Suites or
Partitas, groups of short, dancelike pieces, are also widely per-
formed by pianists today.

It is in the realm of choral music, however, that Bach made
his most important contribution. Solo singers and a small chorus
took part in the church services of Bach’s day just as they do
today. But unlike present-day custom, a small orchestra was
used in the church in addition to the organ. In his many years
of activity in the church, Bach composed some two hundred
works for this combination of performers and instruments.
These works rank among our greatest masterpieces of choral
music. They are called cantatas. The word cantata is Italian, and
means “a sung piece.” A cantata lasted about thirty minutes and
was performed in the middle of the Sunday service. It con-
sisted of six or seven pieces for solo singers, the chorus, organ,
and orchestra. Precisely as the minister interpreted the biblical
text throughout his sermon, Bach interpreted this same text in
a musical way through the cantata.

The famous Mass in B Minor, Bach’s most monumental choral
work, is usually performed today in the concert hall. It is a

INVENTIONS

CANTATAS

49

Johann Sebastian Bach
musical setting of the text of the Roman Catholic Mass, and
like the cantatas, written for chorus, soloists, and orchestra.
Bach was a Lutheran, not a Catholic. He composed part of this
work for his sovereign, Augustus II, who was a Roman Catho-
lic. Although based on a religious text, the Mass cannot be
considered church music. Because of its great length it can not
be performed in its entirety in the church as part of the service.
Among Bach’s finest works are the six Brandenburg
Concertos. Their name derives from their dedication to the
Margrave of Brandenburg, but they were clearly written for

5

performance by the small orchestra that Bach directed at the
court of a prince in the town of Cothen.

When you think that Bach created music in so many forms,
and achieved such perfection in all of them, it is hard to believe
that in his day he was not recognized as a great composer. In
fact, it was not until 1829, eighty years after his death, that
his works began to be performed. It was in this year that the
composer Felix Mendelssohn, then only twenty years old, con-
ducted a first performance of one of Bach’s large choral works.
From that time on, the appreciation of Bach’s music has grown
more and more. Today Bach is recognized throughout the
world as one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time.
5/ The Symphony and Haydn

In the days of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) noblemen employed
composers just as they did cooks and coachmen. The various
members of the family as well as the household servants usually
played some musical instrument, and it was generally the
custom of noblemen to give many informal concerts in their
palaces. And just as the cook had to prepare food for the table,
so the composer had to provide music for these private concerts.
Joseph Haydn himself was employed by Prince Esterhazy,
who maintained at his estate in Austria a very fine orchestra of
fourteen performers. It was Haydn’s duty not only to take
charge of all the music for this orchestra, but also to see that
the musicians appeared in white stockings and with their wigs

52

thoroughly powdered, and “to compose such music as His
Highness shall order, divulge these new compositions to no
one, and compose nothing for anybody without His Highness’
knowledge and gracious permission.”

He remained in the employ of the Esterhazy family for
almost thirty years. During this time he composed a vast quan-
tity of works, and achieved fame throughout most of Europe.
Oxford University in England honored him with a degree of
Doctor of Music. He was a kindly, generous, fatherly person,
loved by almost all who knew him. Most of the musical world
affectionately called him “Papa Haydn.”

For his orchestra, which contained most of the instruments
of our present-day orchestra, Haydn composed many works
built on the same musical framework. These works are called
symphonies. You may be familiar with Haydn’s “Surprise
Symphony” and the “Clock Symphony.” These names, inci-
dentally, were given to the symphonies by Haydn’s admirers,
and not by Haydn himself. They were not composed with the
idea of telling a story.

At most orchestral concerts you will hear a symphony
played. One of the things you will notice about a symphony is
that it is comparatively long; it usually lasts over a half hour.
Another thing you will notice is that it is divided into separate
sections, in most cases four. These sections are called move-
ments. In the concert hall you can usually both see and hear that
there are separate movements. You see that there are separate
movements because at the end of each one the orchestra stops
playing and the conductor drops his arms and waits before con-
tinuing with the next movement. And even with only slight
experience in listening to music you will also hear that there
are different movements. Each movement is usually a complete

SYMPHONIES

MOVEMENTS

S3
Joseph Haydn

piece in itself, and the movements of the symphony sound like
four different pieces by one composer.

Haydn composed over a hundred works in a form which
almost all the great composers of symphonies after him used
as a framework for their symphonic works. Each composer
altered the form in some way, but the general structure re-
mained the same.

The term “symphony” is used to describe all four move-
ments together. But each individual movement has its own
form, too.

54

What is the form of the first movement of a symphony? The
first movement is almost always written in a form known as
the sonata form. Form in music, as we discovered in Chapter
II, is the structure or design of a piece of music, that is, its
framework, What we mean when we say that the first move-
ments of most symphonies are in the sonata form is that, no
matter how different they may seem, they have all been con-
structed around the same framework.

In the chapter on the fugue, we found out that a fugue is
built up around one theme (musical idea). The sonata form is
built up around at least two themes, often more, seldom less.
A big advantage of working with two or more themes instead
of one is the greater possibility of contrast. One theme, for
example, can be vigorous and forceful, another gentle and song-
like. Contrast makes music more interesting. That is one reason
the sonata form has been used by so many composers.

The framework of the sonata form consists of three distinct
and well-defined parts. The first and third parts are very much
alike. The second, or center, section is different. Musicians
have given names to these different parts of the sonata form.

The first section is called the exposition because it presents
the themes on which the composer will base the whole first
movement. Often the composer will ask that the entire exposi-
tion be repeated, probably in order to give the listener a chance
to become more familiar with the themes.

After presenting his subject matter that is, the musical ideas
or themes on which he is building up his first movement-the
composer proceeds to develop them. The second section is
therefore called the development.

The effectiveness of the development depends entirely on the
imagination and cleverness of the composer. The artistry with

THE SONATA FORM

EXPOSITION

DEVELOPMENT

55

which the composer uses the themes, and the dramatic interest
in which he cloaks them, determines whether the music will
be beautiful and moving or commonplace and dull, He may
choose to work with one of the themes, or with only a part of
a theme, or with all the themes. In the development the com-
poser treats his subject matter as he pleases.

RECAPITULATION But finally these themes come back again in their original
form, The composer then reminds us what they were like be-
fore they were sent on their musical wanderings. This reminder
takes the form of a repetition-of ten with some interesting mod-
ification-of the original themes as they were first introduced.
Musicians call this third section the recapitulation. (In French
the recapitulation is called the re-exposition-“re” meaning
again-which is much more accurate.)

To avoid the monotony of exact repetition of the first
section, composers frequently make small changes in the re-
capitulation. One way to vary the repetition is by changing the
tone color-that is, having the themes played this time by in-
struments other than the ones that played it in the exposition.
Another way often used is to make the connecting music be-
tween the first and second themes slightly different.
CODA To bring the movement to an end, the composer adds a tail
or conclusion, This tail end of the sonata form is called the coda,
which is the Italian word for tail. Some composers make the
coda short, others make it long and important.

It is often not easy while listening to music to distinguish
between the different sections of the sonata form, You cannot
click them off on your fingers as they are heard. It is usually
only after hearing the music over and over again that the pat-
tern begins to come clear. But knowing that there is a pattern,
and perhaps eventually finding it for yourself, will make your

56

music listening a more meaningful and satisfying experience.

We have seen that the first movement of a symphony-a
work for orchestra in four movements-is written in the sonata
form, which uses as its subject several themes. The second move-
ment in a Haydn symphony is frequently built up on one theme
used over and over again in varied ways. These different ways
of treating the same theme are called variations. The second
movement of a symphony, when it employs this form, is called THEME

Theme and Variations. AND VARIATIONS

There are many ways of varying the theme: changing its
rhythm, making it faster or slower, decorating the outline of
the theme with additional notes, changing the tone color by
giving the theme to different combinations of instruments, pass-
ing the tune from one instrument to another in turn. In most
instances some element of the theme its melody, harmony, or
form-remains recognizable. Listening to a theme and varia-
tions can be most rewarding if you know your theme. But you
should not regard variations as puzzles challenging you to find
the theme. There are some instances in which the relationship
of a variation to its parent theme becomes apparent only after
you have heard it several times.

Many other composers besides Haydn have used the varia-
tion form, among them Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms.
Some composers, in fact, have taken themes of other composers
and written variations for them. Brahms, for example, wrote a
set of variations for orchestra based on a theme by Haydn, and
also variations on a theme by Handel for piano. Rachmaninoff
composed a piece for piano and orchestra which consists of
many variations on a theme by Paganini. Schubert used varia-
tions of the theme of one of his own songs for one of the move-
ments of his famous “Trout” Quintet.

57

MINUET

Although the variation form is very frequently employed by
Haydn for the second movement of his symphonies, he some-
times uses what is known as the three-part form, which was
described in Chapter II.

The third movement of a Haydn symphony is almost always
written in a dance form of lively tempo called a minuet. The
rhythm of the minuet is probably familiar to you: three beats to
the measure, the first one accented. The form of the minuet is a
simple one: three sections, the first and third alike, the center
section (called the trio) different. The gay, fresh, sprightly
quality of the minuets is part of what we mean when we say
“typically Haydn.” Mozart also used the minuet form for the
third movements of his symphonies, and it is found, too, in some
of the works of Beethoven.

After using the sonata form for the first movement of his
symphonies, a theme and variations or three-part form for his
second movement, and the minuet for his third movement,
Haydn often returns to the sonata form for his fourth move-
ment. A well-known English critic calls Haydn’s fourth move-
ments “kittenish,” for they are almost always fast and full of
fun.

STRING QUARTETS Besides more than one hundred symphonies, Haydn also com-
posed over seventy-five string quartets. When you have learned
the form of a symphony you have really killed two birds with
one stone, because the string quartet uses the same framework.
It is not written to be played by a symphony orchestra, how-
ever, but by four stringed instruments-two violins, viola, and
cello. Music written to be played by only a few instruments is
known as chamber music, because in order to be heard to best
advantage it should be performed in a room (chamber) or in a
small music hall.

The concerto, which will be discussed in the next chapter, is
closely related to the symphony and uses the sonata form for its
first movement and often for its last. Sonatas for piano, violin,
and other solo instruments, as you might guess from the name,
use the sonata form, too.

59
61 The Qoncerto and

CONCERTO

When a pianist or violinist or some other instrumentalist appears
as soloist with an orchestra, he usually plays a concerto. A con-
certo may be said to be a symphony for solo instrument and
orchestra. The composer of a concerto aims to make good use
of the soloist’s skill and mastery of his instrument, his ability to
play difficult passages with ease.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) set the form of the
concerto as it has been used by most of the other great com-
posers who came after him. Music flowed swiftly and abun-
dantly from the pen of this gifted eighteenth-century composer.
He jotted down his musical thoughts as easily as if he were
writing a letter; so that though his life was a short one, he has

60

left us over six hundred works of all kinds symphonies, con-
certos, operas, chamber music, and choral music. But it was
in the concerto that Mozart made one of his more important
contributions to orchestral music.

It is no wonder that Mozart excelled in writing music in a
form frankly designed for employing the skill of the soloist.
For even as a young child he had been one of the most brilliant
pianists of his day.

Do you remember yourself at six? You were probably just
about able to print C-A-T and D-O-G. And if you were a very-
smart child, you could pick out, on the piano with one finger,
the tunes of “Hot Cross Buns” and “Three Blind Mice.”
Mozart at the age of six was giving concerts at the Austrian
court in Vienna. At seven, he was playing not only other com-
posers’ music, but his own compositions as well.

This child genius also played the violin, but apparently did
not practice on it enough to satisfy his father’s ambitions. Once,
when he was about twenty-one years old, his father Leopold, in
real parent fashion, wrote him, “You probably did not practice
on your violin at all while you were in Munich; I should be
very sorry if that were the case.” And in another letter he
wrote, “The violin is hanging up on its nail, I suppose.”

Mozart was born in Salzburg, a city set like a jewel in the
midst of the snow-capped Austrian Alps. He never went to
school and had no teacher other than his father, a splendid
musician himself, who realized that his young son had extraordi-
nary talent. With the hope that this talent would ensure his
son a well-paying job when he was older, the father decided
to make the name of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart famous
throughout Europe. This he did.

For several years the Mozarts father, son, and daughter,

61
The child Mozart performing ‘with his sister and his -father

Marianne, an excellent harpsichord player rolled over the
bumpy roads of Europe in a closed coach, stopping off at the
major cities and courts to give performances and to meet other
musicians of the day. There were plenty of excellent musicians,
to be sure, and few people would come to hear just another
good performer of no reputation. But to hear a young child who

62

not only performed with amazing skill but also composed his
own music, that was indeed something new and sensational.
Crowds came to see what it was hard to believe, that a child
whose feet did not even reach the floor could sit down at the
piano and improvise that is, make up music on the spur of the
moment. Wherever the wonderchild appeared in England,
France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, as well as his native Austria-
he was cheered and applauded. Little Wolfgang was the darling
of the salons of the nobility.

The sparkle and gaiety of court life, the grace and good
manners, the humor and charm, the absence of anything harsh
or ugly all this is revealed in much of Mozart’s music. But there
is far more to Mozart’s musical genius than mere sparkle and
gaiety. His music frequently reflects a great depth of emotion,
of sadness at times, of passion and strength.

Although all the other countries of Europe applauded and
honored Mozart, his home town offered him a position as a
musical servant of the church, doing odd jobs, that paid him
an insultingly small wage. Even Vienna, the capital of his
native Austria, where he spent the last ten years of his all-too-
short life, showed little appreciation for one of the greatest
musical geniuses that Austria, or the world, has ever produced.
He was forced to eke out a humble living for himself and his
family by giving music lessons and writing dance music to order
for performance at court balls, and by giving concerts at which
he appeared as soloist in his own concertos. Although his operas
were quite successful, they brought him little money. So hard
did he have to work, because the talents enthusiastically honored
in childhood were no longer properly recognized and rewarded
in manhood, that Mozart suffered a complete physical collapse.
He died at the pathetically early age of thirty-five.

63

Before the time of Mozart, orchestral music was performed
principally in the church or at the palaces of the nobility. It
was during his lifetime that the custom was started of renting
a small hall and selling tickets for a concert of music. A pianist
who might appear at one of these concerts was expected to be
not only a highly skilled player but a composer too. He was
supposed to write at least one new work for each concert, and
in addition to compose some on the spur of the moment.

Mozart, in his later years, composed a new concerto for each
concert he gave. These concertos rank among his finest works.
They are filled with lovely melodies, yet through them there
often runs an undercurrent of sadness. The polish, the perfect
proportion, the inventiveness typical of Mozart’s music, are
all found in the piano concertos. He composed over thirty-five
concertos twenty-three for the piano, five for the violin,

A page frcmi Mozarfs manuscript score for his opera
Bastien und Bastienne, written when he was twelve
and others for various wind instruments: flute, horn, bassoon.

The concerto, as perfected by Mozart, is really a symphony
for a solo instrument and orchestra. But it has only three
movements instead of four. In the concerto as in the symphony,
the first movement is in the sonata form. The second is a slow
movement. The last movement is again often in the sonata form,
and is usually in a lively tempo. The third, or minuet move-
ment, is usually absent in the concerto.

Always introduced in the first movement of a Mozart con-
certo, and sometimes in the second and last movement as
well, is a brilliant and intricate passage for the solo instrument
without accompaniment. This passage is called a cadenza, and CADENZA
is a musical insert, put in to give the performer a chance to
display his technical ability as instrumentalist and improviser.
Mozart merely indicated a pause near the end of the first move-
ment where the cadenza was to be played. He then improvised
the cadenza right at the concert.

Up to the time of Beethoven it continued to be the custom
for the performer to improvise or compose his own cadenza.
Beethoven, who lived from 1770 to 1827, created six great
concertos five for piano and one for violin. In his famous
Emperor Concerto, at the place in the first movement where
the cadenza usually appeared, he wrote, “Do not play a cadenza,
but go on at once to the following.” There followed a short
solo passage which was completely written out and was a part
of the composition. After Beethoven’s day, the only important
composer who permitted the performer to do what he wanted
with the cadenza was Brahms. Modern performers no longer
improvise their own cadenzas. When they present a concerto
that originally called for improvisation, they play a cadenza
that has already been composed and learn it beforehand.

65

Mozart composed in almost all musical forms, and made out-
standing contributions to the world of music as a composer of
orchestral music, chamber music, choral music, and opera.
Besides thirty-five or more concertos, he produced forty-nine
symphonies, sixty-eight sacred works (music for the church),
enormous quantities of chamber music, numerous works for
piano (clavier), and twenty-two operas. All this within a life
span of only thirty-five years!

66
II Beethoven
and the Symphony

Can you imagine writing some of the greatest music the world
has even known and being unable to hear much of it? This was
the case with one of the most inspired musical geniuses of all
time-Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) . When still a-young
man he started to lose his hearing. During the last years of his
life, when his grandest works were composed, he was stone-
deaf. At the first performance of his last and greatest symphony,
the Ninth, Beethoven, whose back was to the audience, had to
be turned around so that he might see the applause, for he
could not hear it.

67

Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, a town situated on
the river Rhine. He was named after his grandfather, Ludwig
van Beethoven, an able musician. Young Ludwig inherited not
only the name of his grandfather, but also his musical talent.
Beethoven’s father, also a musician, earned his living, though a
meager one, by singing in the town chapel and by giving music
lessons.

The boyhood of young Ludwig was not a happy one. His
father, a ne’er-do-well and a drunkard, treated him harshly.
Poor Ludwig was forced to practice piano day and night with
no time to go to school or to play or to make friends like other
boys of his age. The father recognized his son’s talent and
selfishly used it for what money he could make out of it. And
the talented young Beethoven grew to be a musical genius, a far
greater one even than his father had foreseen.

Except as a very young man, Beethoven refused to be em-
ployed by the rich nobility as was Haydn, nor was he an
underpaid servant of the church as was Mozart. He took orders
from nobody. He was master of himself. He wrote music when
he felt inspired to create it, and he wrote the kind of music
he wanted to write.

He gave piano lessons to several members of noble families,
received money from them, and enjoyed their hospitality. But
he remained completely independent. He came and went as he
chose and often repaid his patrons’ kindness and interest in him
with rudeness and insults. Fifty of Beethoven’s compositions, to
be sure, are dedicated to these music lovers who befriended
him. These dedications, however, were the only thanks they
received. But so great was Beethoven’s musical genius that he
was sought after and admired despite his uncouthness and fre-
quently boorish behavior.

68

Because of his deafness, his exceedingly unattractive appear-
ance, his poverty, his need for affection, his lack of education,
Beethoven was often a bitter man. He realized his own great-
ness, but felt alone in the world. The only outlet for his feelings
was in his music. He poured all his loneliness, all his inner joys
and sorrows, all his reactions and thoughts about man and
nature, into his compositions.

As is the case with so many lonely people, Beethoven loved
to wander off by himself in the country. He would walk out
across the fields and through the woods with his notebook in his
hand and jot down his musical ideas as they came to him.

Beethoven did not compose easily. He worked over every
measure until it seemed right to him. He changed and cor-
rected and rewrote untiringly. We know this to be true, for
many of the notebooks in which he worked remain for us to
see. It was not only inspiration, but long hours of grueling
effort, often years of hard work, that molded his rich musical
thoughts into masterpieces.

Beethoven’s music is much more than pleasant entertain-
ment. One of its chief characteristics is an exuberant energy,
a tempestuous drive. Beethoven’s music embraces the universe.
His striving is not for personal triumphs but for the brother-
hood of all mankind. His cries of anguish are not for himself
alone but for all suffering humanity. Even his humor is of a
rather robust nature; gigantic jokes rather than gay or witty
pleasantries. And Beethoven’s love of nature expresses the joy
and peace and beauty that man has felt through the ages when
he wanders into the woods or rests beneath a tree by the side
of a stream. Thus his music often possesses a tender, lyrical
quality as well.

The sonata form is the mold into which Beethoven cast

69

much of his instrumental music all the first movements and
often the last movements, too, of his nine symphonies, his
sixteen string quartets, his six concertos, and his thirty-two
piano sonatas. And almost all of this large bulk of music is
performed frequently today. His nine symphonies are heard
over and over again in the concert hall, yet their power and
beauty continue to stir and enthrall us.

Beethoven’s symphonies (with the exception of the Sixth)
have the usual four movements. But although they are separate,
the four movements are closely related to one another. Together
they make a complete whole, rather than four disconnected
pieces as was often the case with Haydn’s symphonies. Beethoven
named two of his symphonies. The Third he called “Heroic
Symphony [Eroica] composed to celebrate the memory of a
great man.” In this symphony all four movements express
Beethoven’s many thoughts about heroic things. The four move-
ments are connected by this idea.

Another symphony, the Sixth, Beethoven called “Pastoral,”
which means it is about the country. The four movements are
sprinkled with tides such as “Awakening of Joyous Feelings on
Arriving in the Country,” “Scene by the Brook,” “Joyful
Gathering of the Country Folk.” Here again the four move-
ments are connected by a single idea.

The Ninth Symphony Beethoven based on the “Ode to
Joy,” by the German poet Schiller. Themes from the first
three movements are recalled in the fourth movement. In fact,
even in the other six symphonies where Beethoven has not
given us his intentions in words, we sense very strongly that
there is an underlying musical idea running through each
of these symphonies, too.

No one of Beethoven’s symphonies is like another. Each is a
IliTJDWKigWBETHQyEN

^–^

‘^
Title page of the first edition
of the score of Beethoven’s
Seventh Symphony

unique art work. In fact, one of the chief things you will notice
about Beethoven’s work is its endless variety. Beethoven found
in the sonata form, with its possibilities of dramatically con-
trasting themes, one of the best ways to express his musical
thoughts. But in using the sonata form, he changed it quite a
bit.

When a composer changes a form, he does not say to himself,
“This form needs changes. I am going to improve it by adding a
bit here and altering this and that there.” The changes come
about through the sweeping needs of his musical thoughts, like
swollen rivers overflowing their banks.

One of the important changes Beethoven made in the sonata

form was to expand it. His Third Symphony, the “Eroica,” for
example, is more than twice as long as any symphony by

Haydn.

In the first movement of a Beethoven symphony, the develop-
ment section is not only expanded but sometimes even intro-
duces new themes. The recapitulation section becomes more
than just a repetition. It is led up to by the development
section and forms an exciting climax to the development, all
the more exciting because we recognize the return of familiar
themes. Sometimes the themes of the exposition appear in the
recapitulation in a louder, more triumphant way, and with a
more brilliant use of the instruments. The coda, instead of
being a mere tail, becomes an important section in itself,
often almost like a second development. All this may be quite
difficult to comprehend in words, but is readily perceived
when listening to the music. Just play the first movements of
a Haydn symphony and a Beethoven symphony one after
the other.

You might suppose that lengthening the movement simply
meant that Beethoven rambled on and on. Just the opposite is
true. Beethoven composed in a direct, always logical style.
Every note he wrote was necessary for his musical thinking, so
necessary that you could not cut even a few measures from his
symphonies without weakening them. Yet often an entire
movement is based on one theme, so economical was he with
his musical material. In the familiar Fifth Symphony the whole
first movement is dominated by a four-note motive that you
probably know:
This sort of knocking motive is found often in Beethoven’s
music.

Beethoven also left his mark on the third movement of the
symphony. Although he continued to use the dance-like form
and rhythm used by Haydn and Mozart, he changed the
tempo to full speed ahead. He often abandoned the pleasant
title Minuet, and in its place he put Scherzo. The word scherzo SCHERZO
is Italian for “joke.” But Beethoven’s scherzos are far from
light, humorous pieces. They are enormous jokes, rip-roaring
movements of great vigor with startling contrasts and explosive
outbursts where you least expect them. These scherzos are
masterpieces of humor in music. (Often Beethoven wrote only
the tempo indications as the title of his third movements
Presto, Allegro, Vivace. But they are always known as
scherzos.)

Besides expanding the sonata form, bringing the four move-
ments of the symphony into a meaningful whole, and develop-
ing the scherzo, Beethoven in his nine symphonies used many of
the instruments of the orchestra in bold new ways. He did not
do this for the sake of being new and different, but because
his musical thoughts needed these novel ways to further expres-
sion. The double basses, for example, are raised from the role of
mere accompaniment and given the important job of announc-
ing themes; the horns are assigned important duties; and even
the kettledrums are used to give forth themes. In the triumphant
last movement of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven introduces
an entirely new “orchestral instrument” the human voice.
Soloists and chorus sing words from Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.”

Many composers after Beethoven have added to the world’s
store of symphonies. Franz Schubert, the German song com-
poser whom you will read about in a later chapter, also wrote

73

nine symphonies. His C Major Symphony and the Unfinished
Symphony are among his great works heard often today. Other
outstanding composers whose symphonies appear frequently on
our concert programs are the French Hector Berlioz ( 1 803-69) ,
the German Robert Schumann (1810-56), the Belgian Cesar
Franck (1822-90), the Russian Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
( 1 840-93 ) , the German Johannes Brahms ( 1 8 3 3-97 ) , the Vien-
nese Gustav Mahler (1860-191 1), and the Finnish Jean Sibelius
(1865-1957).

The four symphonies of Brahms, third of the three great B’s
of music, are usually classed with those of Beethoven. Although
Brahms did not write his first symphony until almost fifty years
after Beethoven’s death, his use of the sonata form belongs much
more to the period of Beethoven than to his own. Brahms is
considered a master of the art of development. His themes have
a songlike quality of rare beauty and his rhythms are original
and effective. In his writing for orchestra he did not use the
many new ways for achieving varied tone colors that had been
developed by composers of his day such as Wagner. Hence
his orchestral writing tends to be solid rather than brilliant. The
Brahms symphonies are probably played as often as the Bee-
thoven symphonies, and as with them, constant repetition does
not dim their power to move us.

Gustav Mahler was the last great symphonist of the tradition
established by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Many composers from the time of Haydn to the present
have tried their hand at writing a symphony. For while there
are many different forms of orchestral writing, the symphony
remains unquestionably one of the most important forms of all.

74
8/ The Overture

In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, operatic
composers wrote short instrumental pieces to be played before
the curtain went up for their operas. These opening pieces
French composers called ouvertures. Ouverture is the French
word meaning “opening,” and it is from this word that our
“overture” derives.

The overture of those earlier days usually had no particular THE OVERTURE
connection with the opera that followed, It merely served to
quiet the audience. It warned the late-comers to hurry to their
seats. It gently reminded gossipers to bring their chatter to an
end, as the curtain was about to go up and the opera commence.
A humble beginning, to be sure, yet over the course of years

75

the overture became more and more important in itself. Com-
posers began to describe the character or mood of the opera that
followed. Then their listeners began to expect more from
this music than mere musical entertainment designed to quiet the
audience and prepare them for the rise of the curtain.

In those early days one could never hear operatic overtures
played anywhere but in the opera house. Today, however,
their musical value has been recognized, and we hear them
played in the concert hall as separate musical compositions,
without the operas for which they were written.

You will probably get a clearer picture of the overture if
you know how it has been used by different composers.

“Some of the early overtures,” one critic remarked, “were
like locomotives that could be hitched to any dramatic train of
cars.” This did not keep them from being good music, of
course, but it showed that they had no real connection with the
operas with which they were played. One of the best-known
overtures of this type is Rossini’s celebrated overture to his
opera The Barber of Seville. The action of this opera takes
place in Spain, but the overture was originally written to come
before another opera by Rossini about a Roman emperor in
the Syrian desert. When this work failed, Rossini used the same
overture for another opera, in this case about Queen Elizabeth
of England. Finally he attached it to The Barber of Seville,
where it has remained ever since.

Composers like Beethoven and von Weber wrote another
type of operatic overture. They believed that an overture
should be a summary or synopsis of the opera or play which
followed. The result was that their overtures are almost minia-
ture dramas in themselves, summaries in music of the opera that
follows. In this way, the audience really experiences the play

76

or opera twice once in the overture as a musical synopsis of
what is to follow, and again during the actual performance
of the opera or play.

We may call overtures of this kind “synoptic,” which simply
means that they give us a synopsis of the work which they
introduce. We could hardly find a better example of this type
of overture than the one that Beethoven wrote as part of the
music he was asked to supply for Goethe’s historical tragedy
Egmont. In this overture we experience much more than a
bare synopsis of the play, for Beethoven’s music has the unique
quality of being able to express a tremendous amount in a short
space of time.

Beethoven condenses in music the plot of the play that Goethe
has written in words. In music, of course, characters and feel-
ings and situations can only be suggested. Yet Beethoven’s music
is so vivid and colorful that if you are familiar with the story
before you hear the music, it requires little imagination to know
just what is happening.

One of the world’s greatest writers of operas, Richard
Wagner, whom we will talk about at greater length in the
chapter on opera, was not only a composer and poet but also
an author. Among his writings he has left us an interesting
essay on the overture. Although in this essay he seemed to have
definite ideas on what an overture should be, Wagner ap-
parently found it difficult to carry them out in his music, since
several different types of overtures were used by him.

In his early operas, The Flying Dutchman and Tmnhwser,
Wagner labels his introductory music Overture, and these over-
tures, like Beethoven’s, are summaries of the entire opera that
follows.

For all his other operas, Wagner changed the label Overture

77

to Prelude [ Vorspiel] . In the four Ring of the Nibelung operas
these preludes are not introductions to the whole opera but
merely to the first scene. In the preludes to his Lohengrin,
Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal, Wagner conveys in music the
underlying dramatic concept of the entire opera.

Wagner’s overtures and preludes are such splendid musical
works that we have come to regard them as concert pieces apart
from the operas, and they are now among our more frequently
performed orchestral works.

Still another type of overture is really no overture at all. It is
called a concert overture, and has no connection whatsoever
with any play or opera. When you hear a concert overture,
you may consider it to be merely a single movement for
symphony orchestra having some descriptive purpose. This
purpose is told to you by the title of the overture, such as
Mendelssohn’s FingaPs Cave, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian
Easter, Tchaikovsky’s 2822, Brahms’s Academic Festival, and
so forth.

Modern opera composers have to a large extent done away
with the overture. While, to be sure, they introduce their operas
with some music, whatever is played is usually short in duration
and could not possibly be separated from the whole work and
be played as a selection in the concert hall.
91 The Song and Schubert

The human voice is really a musical instrument, and it is most
likely that the earliest type of musical expression was singing.
Probably the very first kind of music which you yourself made
was with your voice that is, you sang a song.

People have always felt the need to express their feelings in
a musical way, to use their voices for something beyond mere
speech. They sing songs at their work and at their play, for
their dancing and for their celebrating. Youths sing of love.
Many of the songs that grew out of people’s need to express
themselves musically have passed down from generation to
generation, and are still being sung and played today. These are
called folk songs. No doubt you know and sing many of them

79

yourself, songs like “Au Clair de la Lune,” “Auld Lang Syne,”
“The Erie Canal,” “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”
and the like. Christmas carols, spirituals, and cowboy songs are
folk songs, too.

Folk songs reflect the many different moods of people in all
walks of life: the boisterous sea chanteys of the sailor at sea;
songs, sometimes happy, sometimes grumbling, of people at
work; the poignant laments of the disappointed lover and the
joyous outpourings of the happy one; the gay ditties of men
and women and children at play; the lusty songs of railroaders;
the mournful chants of men alone on the vast prairie.

Every country has produced its own folk songs; but these
songs were not written down generally nor do we know who
composed them, They have come to us merely by being sung or
played down through the years. Although at times some instru-
ment may have been played as a background to the songs, no
accompaniment was composed to go with them. In other words,
folk songs, with their pure melodies, are simply poems and
stories to be sung rather than recited.

THE ART SONG There is another type of song called the art song. In this
kind of song the composer chooses a poem-or occasionally
some piece of prose and sets it to music. This music is com-
posed’ for voice and for some accompanying instrument, most
often the piano. Of course in the case of the art song we usually
know who the composer is, because he writes down his melodies
and instrumental accompaniments just as he would record any
other musical works he created.

Many composers have written songs. But the art of song writ-
ing reached a new height with one of the most gifted of all
song writers-Franz Schubert.

Schubert (1797-1828), the son of a schoolmaster, was born

80

in a suburb of Vienna. His first lessons in music came from his
own family; his father taught him violin, and an older brother
taught him piano. But so exceptional was the boy’s natural
musical ability that he soon knew more than they did. Schu-
bert’s father sent him to the choirmaster of the parish for more
professional instruction. From the choirmaster he received
lessons in singing as well as piano and violin. And this man, too,
was constantly astonished by the genius of his young pupil.
Here was a boy not yet eleven years of age singing first soprano
in the local choir, playing whatever violin solos occurred in the
service, and using his spare time at home to compose little songs
and pieces.

Because of his marked musical talent, he was sent to a
school that trained boys to sing in the court chapel, and pro-
vided their general schooling as well. Here, in his gold-laced
uniform, Schubert played violin in the school orchestra. Al-
though younger than most of the boys, he was soon playing first
violin and even taking the place of the regular conductor when
he was absent.

Most of us who are studying a musical instrument have to be
urged and reminded to practice. But not Schubert. He was
so entranced and excited by music that he neglected his school
studies to further himself musically. He was constantly com-
posingindeed, he could not even get enough paper to write
down all the musical ideas that flooded his brain. All through his
life this was true of Schubert; he could scarcely write quickly
enough or find enough paper to keep up with all the music
within him.

In spite of his passion for music and his remarkable talent
for it, Schubert’s father urged him to take up the career of
school teaching rather than that of music. He taught for three

8r

years at his father’s school, a dull and routine job for one who
had such a burning need to compose music. But and perhaps
this is an important difference between geniuses and ordinary
human beings during this time Schubert composed an astonish-
ing amount of music of all kinds. Some of the world’s greatest
songs are among these compositions, several of them written
when he was only seventeen and still a student.

One of the amazing qualities of Schubert’s genius was the
extraordinary speed and complete lack of effort with which
he composed. In the case of his songs, this did not lead to
slipshod and careless results, as might be imagined. On the con-
trary, it gave to these creations a flowing, spontaneous simpli-
city. At the same time he had the inspired faculty of expressing
in music the deeper meanings and varying emotions and moods
of the poems to which he set his music. Schubert set to music
poems of some of the greatest poets of all time poets such as
Shakespeare, Goethe, and Heine, to name a few.

When you listen to a Schubert song, probably the first thing
that will strike you is the beauty of its melody, for Schubert’s
brain produced an abundance of beautiful melodies. These
melodies are so admirably suited to the text of the poem that a
famous writer on music described it this way: “Schubert read
the poem, and the appropriate tune, married to immortal verse
(a marriage, in his case, truly made in Heaven), rushed into his
mind, and to the end of his pen.”

Schubert’s genius, however, was not limited to the creation
of melodious and appropriate tunes. One of his greatest contri-
butions was the elevation of the piano accompaniment to a posi-
tion of great importance. In his songs this accompaniment often
depicts the mood or atmosphere of the poem. Or it describes
with remarkable effectiveness persons, objects in the poem,

82

sounds of nature. Some Schubert songs have often been called
miniature dramas, because of the revealing musical settings he
has given their texts.

In his song “Gretchen at the Spinning- Wheel,” for example,
the humming of a spinning wheel is heard throughout the song
in the rolling-note piano accompaniment. In u The Post,” one
hears in the introduction the galloping horses and the horn of
the mail coach. In the highly dramatic “The Erl King,” the
poem first tells of a father clutching his sick child in his arms,
wildly riding through a stormy night. In the furious piano ac-
companiment at this part one can hear the galloping of the
horse through the black night. Although the song is meant to
be sung by only one person, Schubert gives each one of the
characters the father, the child, and the Erl King (an imaginary
figure) a completely different kind of personality. You hear
the worried father trying to comfort his child, the wheedling
voice of the Erl King who is attempting to entice the child
to his realm, and the fright and ever-growing terror of the
child. The poem ends with the simple words, “In his arms the
child was dead.”

Songs, in general, can be divided into three types. One type
is a song in which all the stanzas of the poem have the same
musical setting that is, the same music is repeated for each
stanza. In the second type, all of the verses have the same musical
setting except for one or two in which the meaning of the poem
seems to demand a different treatment. The third type has no
set pattern at all. Here the composer has tremendous op-
portunities for creating music which expresses the changing feel-
ings and meanings of the poem. Schubert was equally successful
in all three kinds of songs.

Unfortunately, Schubert did not receive the recognition he

83
Schubert as accompanist in a performance of his songs

deserved during his lifetime. He had an extremely difficult time
getting his works published, and when he did succeed in having
them published, was paid heartbreakingly little for them. Part
of his failure in this direction was probably due to his own
personality. A sweet, lovable man, modest and self-effacing, he
was not able to push himself forward or to demand even what
was his due. A devoted group of friends and admirers-artists,
musicians, and writers whom he used to meet in the coffee-
houses of Vienna-helped to bring to Schubert the little recog-
nition that he did receive.

And yet, in spite of extreme poverty and lack of wide ap-
preciation, he was constantly composing. His well of musical
inspiration never seemed to be dry. As he explained once to

a visitor, “When I have finished one piece I begin the next.”
In the course of his tragically short life Schubert died when
he was thirty-one years old he composed over uoo works.
Among these were nine symphonies, fifteen string quartets and
other instrumental pieces, several operas, a great quantity of
piano music, and over six hundred songs.

Schubert’s beautiful melodies, his intense feeling for poetry,
his unusual sense of the dramatic, his understanding of the vari-
ous possibilities of the human voice, his tremendous creativeness,
the naturalness and simplicity, the depth and tenderness of his
music all these combined to make him one of the world’s great-
est composers of songs.

Other well-known composers of songs appearing frequently
on song recital programs include Schumann, Brahms, Richard
Strauss, Hugo Wolf, and Claude Debussy. Since these com-
posers are European German and French the poems they
have used are either written in, or translated into, their language.
Even those poems of Shakespeare which they used were trans-
lated first, and then made into songs. Naturally, the fullest ap-
preciation and enjoyment of these great works is for those who
are fortunate enough to understand the language the composer
used in fashioning his songs.
10 7 Tiano

(Century)

Have you a softloud in your home? Never heard of it, you will
probably answer. Translate softloud into Italian and you get
pianoforte. That is the name given to the keyboard instrument,
invented in Italy in the early eighteenth century, that we call
for short piano.

If you lift up the top of a piano and look in, you will see
many metal strings. Press down any one of the keys on the key-
board and you will discover that sounds are made by felt-
covered hammers striking the strings. The keys, both black and
white, act as levers. When these levers are pushed down they
make the hammers strike the strings.

86

The piano has eighty-eight keys. Thus it offers the player a
much greater pitch range than an instrument of only four
strings, like the violin or cello. Besides, many notes can be
played at the same time. For this reason the piano can be made
to sound more like a whole orchestra than can any other single
instrument played by a single player, with the exception of
the organ. Then, too, the piano can be played more naturally
and comfortably than other instruments. For these reasons
it holds first place in our homes and is a most popular instru-
ment for solo performance on the concert stage.

Many important composers, from Haydn to the moderns,
have written great music for the piano. There is also much
music composed before the piano was invented that we can
play as piano music today. Before the time of Haydn and
Mozart, composers such as Couperin, Scarlatti, and Bach wrote
copiously for the keyboard instruments of their day, the clavi-
chord and harpsichord. Yet most of their music is readily
transferable to the modern piano. The Inventions and The
Well-Tempered Clavier of Bach, for instance, are familiar to
almost every pianist.

Haydn, Mozart, and especially Beethoven, about whose
orchestral music you have read, also enriched the piano litera-
ture. Their more important piano works are molded into the
large forms like those used for their orchestral music. Some are
in variation form, but for the most part they are sonatas.

Piano sonatas, like symphonies and concertos, are written in SONATAS
separate movements. The sonatas of Haydn and Mozart usually
have three movements a slow middle movement between two
contrasting movements in a faster tempo. Beethoven sometimes
inserted a scherzo before the last movement. As in the sym-
phony, the first movement of these sonatas, and often other
movements, too, uses the sonata form.

8?

It was Beethoven, in his thirty-two sonatas, who brought
the form to its high point of artistic achievement. Other com-
posers after him also used the form, but while several of their
sonatas were significant works, they did not reach the heights of
those of Beethoven at his best.

During the nineteenth century a large number of new types
of piano music arose to challenge the sovereignty of the sonata,
so many that the nineteenth century may be called the golden
age of piano music. Composers broke loose from what they
considered the confining mold of the sonata form and turned to
shorter, more freely constructed pieces. Passing dreams, mo-
mentary longings, “snapshots” of people and things are de-
scribed in their music. They consciously tried to do with music
what poets did with words and regarded themselves as “musical
poets.” The style of most of these pieces is free and fanciful.
Sometimes they used titles to help convey in words what they
were trying to say in their music. Such titles as Schumann’s
Scenes from Childhood or Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage are
typical. Schumann, who was one of the leading musicians of
this period, summed up these new ideas neatly. It was not a
question of figures and forms, he said, but of whether or not the
composer was a poet.

Another favorite type of piano music in the nineteenth cen-
tury was based on the folk music of the various countries:
Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, Chopin’s Polish dances .(the lively
peasant mazurkas and stately court dances like the polonaises),
and Brahms’s Hungarian Dances for piano duet.

It is quite usual today for a musician to present a piano recital
-that is, a concert given by a single performer on the piano.
But it was the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811-86),
probably one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known,

88
Franz Liszt as a young man

who actually originated the piano recital. The public flocked
to hear this brilliant, handsome virtuoso whose playing was
as sensational to watch as it was stirring to hear, He was the
first musician who could fill a large concert hall without the
assistance of an orchestra to accompany him in a concerto.

Mozart and Beethoven, of course, could also dazzle audiences
with their virtuoso piano playing, but when they performed in
a large hall they played concertos with orchestra. On the oc-
casions when they played alone it was before small private
audiences at the homes of the upper nobility and the wealthy.

To be sure, the piano played by Liszt had undergone con-
siderable mechanical improvement over the piano of Mozart’s
Liszt playing for friends in fans

and Beethoven’s day. It had more strings, the key mechanism
worked faster, the sound itself came forth with more brilliancy,
and it offered more variety of tone color. But Liszt also devised
many new techniques in piano playing that made the instrument
more full-sounding and brilliant. He sat on a higher chair so
that his arms could swing freely from one end of the keyboard
to the other and could come down with greater force. In his
own compositions he introduced complicated hand crossings,
sensational leaps from the highest notes to the lowest and
back again, and rich musical effects that continually utilized
every finger on both hands.
Liszt composed many works in almost every field. Some

90

musicians raise their eyebrows at his music, however. They
claim that it was obviously written for its sensational effect on
his audience. That may be, but the fact remains that much of
Liszt’s music is most enjoyable and exciting to hear.

Among Liszt’s contributions to music are his transcriptions. TRANSCRIPTIONS
A transcription is the arrangement of music written for one
instrument or combination of instruments so that it can be
played by a different instrument or different combinations of
instruments. “Transcription” was Liszt’s own term for a free
arrangement of a pre-existent work. You may be familiar with
his often-played La Campmelk [The Little Bell], a transcrip-
tion for piano of a movement of a violin concerto by Paganini.

Liszt arranged Bach organ works, Schubert songs, operatic
selections, Beethoven’s symphonies, the overture to Wagner’s
Tunnhduser, and much other music, to be played on the piano.
He truly made the piano “symphonic.”

The dramatic figure of Liszt blazes over the whole nine-
teenth century. But equally important on the scene, though
not so colorful, was the quiet, modest German composer,
Robert Schumann. Schumann’s music is heard regularly today.
Especially charming are his pieces written for children, Scenes
from Childhood, in which he depicts familiar happenings in
a child’s life and characters from German fairy tales. Among
the popular collections of shorter pieces by Schumann are
Papillons [Butterflies], Noveletten [Romantic Tales], Fan-
usiestucke [Fantasy Pieces]. Perhaps the most frequently per-
formed of all Schumann’s piano works is Camml, which he
describes as “little scenes composed for the piano, based on
four notes.”

This series of sketches Carnttval is in the form of a theme
(based on the four notes) and variations, and describes a mas-

9 1

querade ball. The four notes represent the name of the town
Asch, from which a former love of Schumann’s had come. In
the German language these letters stand for four musical tones:

S = E-flat

C^_ /”^
~~ v>

H = B-natural

Schumann not only uses this combination of the four letters,
but also this one:

As = A-flat

C =C

H = B-natural

The names of some of the pieces in this work describe oc-
currences or situations at the masked ball: Reconnaissance
[Recognition], Aveu [An Avowal of Love], Promenade [A
Stroll]. Some are named for characters at the ball: Pierrot,
Arlequin, Pantalon et Columbine, and some for real people:
Chiarina represents the Clara Wieck whom Schumann later
married; Chopin describes this composer by employing the
style of one of his nocturnes. Liszt gave part of this work its
first performance.

Schumann also gained fame as a music critic. He edited a
musical journal in Leipzig, and through his writings helped
many fellow composers to get the recognition due them. He
befriended Chopin, and extended a helping hand to the young
Brahms.

The Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810-49), unlike
other great composers, wrote almost solely for the piano. Like
Schumann, he turned to simple, short forms that allowed his
imagination free play. Chopin extended the tone-color possi-
bilities of the piano and developed a new style of accompani-

merit for the left hand. The style of his music is elegant, intense,
and often dramatic. His large output of piano works, all fanciful
and imaginative short pieces etudes, preludes, nocturnes, bal-
lades, impromptus, waltzes, and so on are widely played and
enjoyed in the home and in the concert hall today.

Johannes Brahms, whom we discussed in the chapter on the
symphony, was still another outstanding contributor to the
piano music of the nineteenth century. The help and friend-
ship that Schumann gave to Brahms was continued by Schu-
mann’s wife Clara after his death. It was Clara Schumann, a
pianist herself, who introduced many of Brahms’s piano works.
The young Brahms in one year composed three dramatic, vigor-
ous piano sonatas. But as he grew older he tended to write in
the smaller forms, in somber tone colors rather than brilliant
ones, and in a pensive, melancholy mood. These shorter piano
works bear titles such as Ballade, Rhapsody, Capriccio, Inter-
mezzo. Among Brahms’s most popular piano pieces are those in
dance form sixteen waltzes and the four sets of Hungarian
Dances for piano duet. Like Liszt and Chopin, Brahms was
interested in folk music and much of his music has a folk-song
quality.

Another piano piece of Brahms that is frequently heard is the
Variations on a Theme by Paganini. This is a set of twenty-
eight variations on a tune that has also been treated by quite a
number of other distinguished composers, among them Schu-
mann, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff. Brahms’s variations were origi-
nally designed to be studies for the piano and are so tremendously
difficult that Clara Schumann dubbed them Hexenvariationen
[Witches’ Variations].

Twentieth-century composers in most instances made a
complete break with the past. It is as if they speak an entirely

93
Robert and Clara Schumann

new musical language. Some modern composers who have
made important contributions to piano music are the French
composers Debussy and Ravel, the Russian Prokofiev, the Aus-
trian Schoenberg, the Hungarian Bartok, the American Samuel
Barber.

94
777 The Opera

If you believe in supernatural or fanciful tales while you are
reading them even if you know they cannot be true; if you
like tales of knights in shining armor even though they could
not possibly be real; if you enjoy flying away from everyday
life aboard a magic carpet, then you are probably the kind of
person who will enjoy opera. For opera is not realistic; it is not
like everyday life. An opera is a play whose characters sing
rather than speak, and their singing is accompanied by an
orchestra.

In everyday life two people do not customarily talk at once
for a considerable length of time. But in opera two people
frequently sing the same or even different words at the same

95

time-that is, they sing a duet. Even four or five or six characters
may sing together; this is known as ensemble singing. (Ensemble
is the French word for “together.”) In opera large groups of
people often sing in unison. They are the chorus. Huntsmen,
fishermen, flower girls, townspeople, soldiers sing explanations
of the action on the stage or comment upon it, or form
an audience to which the leading characters can tell their
life stories, their troubles, their forebodings, or their plans,
THE ARIA There is also a solo song, called an aria (from the Italian word
meaning “tune” or “melody”), that is really just a musical inter-
ruption to give a leading singer the chance to express his or
her feelings or emotions.

Real life is definitely not like this. To get the fullest enjoy-
ment from opera you should not compare it to real life.
THE LIBRETTO An opera is made up of two elements: the libretto, which is a
play or story, written in poetry or prose and the music that has
been composed to intensify it. With the exception of a few
composers, notably Richard Wagner, almost every opera com-
poser has used a libretto written by someone else. Without the
libretto the music would not have been composed, for the
ideas, the characters, and the plot of the libretto are what
brought forth the kind of music the composer wrote. Thus
the libretto and the music must be taken together, and the music
understood through the words of the libretto. Words have not
been added to music, but music to words. It is important for
the understanding of opera to keep this in mind.

But, you will ask, how can one understand what an opera is
all about when the words are usually sung in a foreign language
-Italian, French, German, Russian? And even on the rare
occasions when an opera is sung in English it is hard to catch
the words because of the musical accompaniment. There is

96

only one way to understand what an opera is all about: Read
the libretto or story of the opera before you hear it. There
are word-for-word English translations of almost all the operas
you hear today, and short synopses in English may be found
in various books on the opera.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it is worth the effort,
If you have ever heard an opera without knowing the story, and
then hear it again after you do know it, you will find that your
tremendously increased enjoyment amply rewards your efforts.
When you hear an opera over the radio or on television or on
phonograph records (and for many of us this is the only way
we do hear opera), it is a good idea to sit with your libretto in
your hand and follow the words as they are sung.

Although many thousands of operas have been written, fewer THE REPERTORY
than a hundred are now preformed regularly. These well-
known, constantly repeated operas form what is called the
operatic repertory. Opera companies the world over in Lon-
don, Paris, Milan, Buenos Aires, New York are always ready
to perform the operas in the repertory. And opera singers, who
also have a repertory of roles they know well, can be called on
at any time to sing these parts when the operas are put on.
Occasionally some old opera will be revived for a season
to add new flavor to the operatic menu, and from time to time
a new opera will be performed. If the new opera proves to be
very popular with the opera audience it may gain a place in the
opera repertory, but in recent years there have been very few
operas that have achieved this form of immortality.

It was in Italy that opera came to flower. The earliest operas
were plays accompanied by a few string instruments. The music
served to make the ideas and emotions of the play more effec-
tive. The play was the important thing, not the music. As time

97
The old Metropolitan Opera House in New York,
‘with its famous gold curtain

went on and the opera became a favorite form of entertainment
for the wealthy Italian nobility, the performances became more
and more lavish and spectacular. The stages were enormous,
the scenery fantastic, with all manner of serpents, horses, ele-
phants, and sea monsters cavorting about the stage. The char-
acters were not mere mortals but gods and goddesses of Greek
mythology, or emperors and empresses of Rome. The play
became a mere rack on which to hang glamorous trappings.

98

The glamorous interior of the old Metropolitan Opera House

Audiences had their favorite singers, and soon came to hear
the singing of these favorites rather than to enjoy a play with
music.

Italian opera became a fad that spread all over Europe. The
nobility invited Italian composers to their courts, showered
honors upon them, and performed their works. And operas of
other nations were correspondingly neglected. As a result, com-
posers wanting to share in the sweet-tasting fruits of success
turned out hundreds of operas in the pattern that had become so
popular. Through constant repetition of this pattern, certain
rigid customs developed. Every opera had to have a set number
of characters, each of which must have a set number of arias to
sing in a set order. Each act had to end with a set kind of en-
semble. There had to be a ballet in the second act and choruses
in other fixed places. The libretto had to take all these rules of
operatic etiquette into consideration. It was a case of the tail
wagging the dog. The play became secondary to the music.

In the middle of the eighteenth century a German composer,
Christoph Willibald Gluck, had the courage to break away from
this tradition of artificiality. He believed, as the earlier operatic
writers did, that the drama was the primary thing and that the
other aspects of the opera should follow the demands of the plot.
His Orpheus and Eurydice, the oldest opera in the modern
repertory, though written in Italian is not the traditional
Italian opera. But although Gluck had some measure of success
in his day, he did not alter the course of popular operatic taste.
His ideas died with him and were not revived until almost a
hundred years later.

Mozart, with whose amazing career and copious musical pro-
duction you are already familiar, also contributed richly to the
world’s operatic repertory. Five of his twenty-two operas are

100

performed frequently today. For the most part Mozart did not
stray from the path beaten by the Italian composers, though
he did use a German libretto for one of his most popular operas,
The Magic Flute, and for his The Abduction from the Seraglio.
These were the first great operas written in the German lan-
guage. His others, however, conform to the popular taste of
the time and use Italian librettos. The plots and counterplots of
the Mozart operas, like the Italian operas, are delightfully con-
fused; but Mozart’s lovely melodies, his colorful use of the
orchestra, and his ability to create his characters through music
lift such works as Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro
into the realm of imperishable masterpieces.

Two important Italian composers whose operas enjoy a
warm spot in the hearts of audiences all over the world are
Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) and Giuseppe Verdi (1813-
1901). Of Rossini’s thirty-eight operas, many were famous in
their day, but only one survives in the repertory the fresh,
spirited comic opera The Barber of Seville, which is filled with
sparkling melodies.

Verdi’s contribution to the modern repertory is more sub-
stantial, and comprises such favorites as Rigoletto, 11 Trovatore,
La Traviata, and his later masterpieces, A’ida, Otello, and Fal-
staff. The stories of Verdi operas are usually melodramas of
love, passion, bravery, treachery, patriotism, or sacrifice. Al-
though many of the stories could not possibly have happened,
the emotions felt by the characters and many of the ideals they
strive for are very real. We can be moved by them and under-
stand them even today, for there are certain feelings and ways
of behaving that have been common to all peoples in all places
down through the ages.

It is true that the librettos of the Verdi operas drip blood

101

and tears. Somebody always dies a tragic death. Emotions are
overwrought and tensely dramatic. But these very qualities
provided Verdi with the means for creating his marvelously ex-
citing music. His ability to portray dramatic situations in beau-
tifully expressive vocal melody has made the operas of Verdi
universally moving and beloved. There is plenty of opportunity
in these operas for singers to exhibit the luster and range of
their voices. Verdi, like the other great Italian composers, under-
stood the human voice and used it for all it was worth. But
Verdi used singing not so much for its own sake, as so many
other composers had done, but to heighten the emotional in-
tensity of the plot. His orchestral writing, too, abounds with
rich color, robust rhythms, flowing melody.

The big break away from the Italian style of opera was
made by Richard Wagner (1813-83). This German composer,
born in Leipzig, had the courage to create a completely new
kind of opera. He believed so strongly in this new kind of opera
that he wrote many books and treatises explaining his musical
Richard Wagner
The Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, i8j6

theories. And because of his faith and perseverance he left us
a heritage of great operatic works that form the core of the
repertory of opera houses all over the world. These operas
are: The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, Tannhduser, the set
of four operas known as Der Ring des Nibelungen [The Ring
of the Nibelung]: Das Rheingold [The Rhine Gold], Die
Walkure [The Valkyrie], Siegfried, and Die Gotterddm-
merung [The Twilight of the Gods], Tristan und Isolde, Die
Meistersinger von Nurnberg [The Mastersingers of Nurem-
berg], and Parsifal.

The new kind of opera that Wagner created he called a music
drama. Wagner wrote his own librettos in a unique style of
dramatic poetry based on stories from mythology and folk
legend. His poetry tends to be somewhat complex. But his
characters are so strongly etched and their emotions portrayed
with such deep understanding that they are as unforgettable as
many of the characters of Shakespeare.

In the music drama Wagner went back to the basic idea of

103

THE MUSIC DRAMA

opera, namely that the purpose of the music was solely to
heighten the dramatic action of the play. But his methods of
using music to achieve this end were new and original. Instead
of being chopped up into arias, choruses, and separate tunes,
Wagner’s music flows along continuously with the poetry in
what Wagner called “endless melody.” The orchestra no
longer serves as mere accompaniment, nor only as a means of
intensifying emotion. The orchestra actually becomes a partici-
pant in the drama. It reminds us of what has happened in the
past. It tells us things the characters on stage do not know. It
can tell us what is going on in the characters’ minds. It can even
foretell what will happen in the future.

How does the orchestra do all this? Through a form of musi-
cal speech. This musical speech is based on a series of musical
MOTIVES phrases called “leading motives” short descriptive phrases that
are vividly associated with some element of the opera such as a
character, an object, or some idea or event. The river Rhine
has its flowing, rippling motive. The golden ring, which brings
death to whosoever possesses it, has its ominous, somber motive.
The fire-breathing dragon, Faf ner, who is slain by Siegfried, has
his own threatening reptilian motive.

The motive is generally introduced by the orchestra when
the person or object or idea or event with which it is associated
first makes its apearance or is first mentioned. It is then repeated
at succeeding appearances or mentions of these characters, ideas,
or events. As used by Wagner, these motives undergo changes
to suit the mood or situation of the moment. For example, when
Siegfried, hero of the Ring operas, first comes on the stage as
a bold boy of the woods, the orchestra describes him with a
fresh, bright musical motive given out by the horn. As he grows
older, his motive becomes slower and more serious. When in

104

the end Siegfried meets a tragic death, the orchestra gives out
his motive in heroic, mournful tones. Wagner varies these mo-
tives in innumerable musical ways to reveal changes in situa-
tions or persons or things. And they are also woven in and out
of the orchestral playing like threads in a tapestry. Thus Wag-
ner made music, libretto, and action inseparable.

Wagner also expanded and enlarged the orchestra to fit in
with his ideas of the role of the orchestra in his musical dramas.
Not only did he add to the actual number of instruments, but
he opened up new avenues of expression for them, requiring
them to do things that had formerly been unheard of. But the
art of Wagner’s orchestration stresses above all the blending
and balance of the instruments in combination. When you
listen to Wagner’s music you cannot fail to hear the extra-
ordinary richness and fullness of his chords no matter how
softly the music may be played.

There have been a number of excellent operas added to the
repertory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Foremost among these are the well-beloved fairy tale opera
Hansel and Gretel (1893) by Engelbert Humperdinck, and
Salome (1905), Elektra (1909), and Der Rosenkavalier [The
Cavalier of the Rose] (1911) by Richard Strauss. These two
composers were German and both were strongly influenced by
Wagner.

A French opera, Carmen (1875), by Georges Bizet, is surely
one of the most popular in the opera repertory, combining
believable characters and plot with highly melodic and dramatic
music.

One outstanding Italian composer, Giacomo Puccini, added
several frequently performed works to our store of opera:
Manon Lescaut (1893), La Boheme (1896), La Tosca (1900),

105
The new Metropolitan Open House at Lincoln Center for the
Performing Arts. To the right is Philharmonic Hall and
to the left is the New York State Theater.

Madma Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (1926). These operas
are based on stories mostly about everyday people. With a
true theatrical flair, they combine moving melodies like Verdi’s
with subtle touches of modern harmony and orchestration.

There are French, Czech, Russian, English, and American
operas, too-all kinds and all styles-that have not been men-
tioned in this chapter. But the road to the enjoyment of each
and every one of them is the same: Read the story before you
see or hear it, and let the music carry you away from reality.

106
12 / The Symphonic

The symphonic poem is a large work for orchestra that fol-
lows no set musical form and is played in one single movement.
This does not mean that the music just wanders about aim-
lessly. Each symphonic poem does have its own pattern. But the
pattern or form of the music, and its style as well, is more or
less determined by a poem or a poetic idea of the composer’s
choice. Sometimes a poem is actually presented with the com-
position; sometimes just the title will suggest the idea behind
the music.

It was Franz Liszt who invented the term “symphonic poem.”
For most of his series of twelve symphonic poems he chose
actual poems or portions of poems, and attempted to portray

107

in a musical way what the poet had conveyed in his poetry. He
felt that the substance, the meaning, and the emotional tone
of the poem should dictate the form of the music. He was try-
ing to bring about a closer relationship between literature and
music, and believed that the musical form in each individual
case would grow out of the content of the poetry.

Although only one of Liszt’s symphonic poems Les Pre-
ludes\s still played today, his influence on later composers is
extremely important. Liszt is largely responsible for the fact
that the symphonic poem is an accepted form in our times.

Nowadays when we hear the term “symphonic poem,” the
composer whose name often comes to mind is Richard Strauss.
At least six of his symphonic poems, which he called “tone
poems,” are played regularly in the concert hall today. These
are: Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspie gel’s
Merry Pranks, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Don Quixote, and A
Hero’s Life.

Richard Strauss was a German composer who was born in
1864 and died in 1949. When he first started to compose, his
music followed the old traditional style. Although he was highly
gifted musically, this earlier music had little that was new or
original to offer. It was the influence of a friend, who urged
him to develop his music along the lines of Berlioz, Liszt, and
Wagner, which caused his music to take a different turn.

This turn was in the direction of a more expressive, descrip-
tive type of music. The symphonic poem proved to be the ideal
medium for Strauss’s aims and gifts. Here he could establish the
form of each “tone poem” according to his musical needs,
choosing the form which would best suit his ideas. Here, also,
he had ample scope and opportunity to create highly descriptive

music.
1 08
Richard Strauss

Strauss uses all kinds of subjects as inspiration for his
symphonic poems, and generally succeeds admirably in ac-
complishing what Liszt set out to do. His writing for the
instruments of the orchestra is tremendously skillful and im-
aginative. His use of the individual instruments to describe
different characters in his works is an outstanding characteristic
of Strauss’s compositions. In Don Quixote, for example, the
viola represents the character Sancho Panza. In his A Hero’s
Life (generally referred to by its German title of Bin Heldenle-
ben), the solo violin represents the Mate, actually his wife.
The Adversaries are characterized by wrangling, carping pas-
sages in the tubas and the woodwinds. (Strauss here hits back
at those critics who had made disparaging criticisms of his
works.)

109

By his imaginative use of instruments, Strauss often produces
boldly humorous and realistic effects. In Don Quixote you hear
the bleating of a herd of sheep reproduced with delightful ac-
curacy by the brasses. In this work, too, Strauss uses a wind
machine-the apparatus used in the theater to reproduce the
sound of wind.

ORCHESTRATION But clever and ingenious as this sort of realistic imitation is,
it should not be considered the most important part of Strauss’s
orchestral genius. For Strauss is a great master of orchestration
-the art of employing the instruments of the orchestra in ac-
cordance with their own special tone colors and individual
characters. He almost always uses a large orchestra modeled
after the orchestra of Wagner. But he expanded even Wagner’s
orchestra, and found new and original uses for the individual
instruments. He wrote passages for certain instruments that
up to that time had been considered beyond the normal range
for those instruments. In his music are also found passages of
such great difficulty that before then they would have been
judged impossible of performance. In these ways Strauss had
an important influence on raising the standards of orchestral
playing.

Through his extraordinary talent for orchestration, and
through the creation of fine melodies as well, Strauss produced
passages of wonderful beauty and exceptional richness of tone
color. And in many of his works, especially in Till Eulenspie-
gelj there are instances of delightful humor.

When Strauss’s tone poems first burst upon the musical world
they caused a storm of argument and agitation, as new and dar-
ing developments in any art form so often do. One of the crit-
icisms was “formlessness’-decidedly an unfounded objection,
for each of his tone poems has a quite formal design. In Till
Eidenspiegel, for example, the form is a rondo, a classic form.

no

Claude Debussy
For Don Quixote Strauss uses the variation form, and in Bin
Heldenleben the form resembles very closely that of the sonata.

Another criticism was that in his works you hear some pas-
sages of quite unlovely sounds, especially in some of his realistic
representations. This charge may have some truth, but these
passages are only a small part of the whole and have very little
significance today.

Despite these original denunciations, Strauss lived to see his
tone poems become standard works for orchestra. He also lived
to see the influence that his works had upon orchestration and
upon the standards of orchestral performance as well.

You have probably heard the symphonic poems of other
composers, perhaps without realizing that they were symphonic
poems. Some of these are: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas,
Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens, The Afternoon of a Faun by

in

Debussy (called a “prelude” by the composer), the overture
Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky (actually a symphonic
poem), TheMoldau by Smetana. The composer of a symphonic
poem assumes that everyone knows the literary or poetic idea
which brought forth the music. Therefore becoming familiar
with the story before hearing the music played might help you
to realize and appreciate the composer’s intentions. But it should
also be kept in mind that no musical work should be judged
solely by how closely or how cleverly it depicts literary ideas or
situations. Music, if it is to be considered worthy or great, must
be able to stand on its own feet as music.

112
13 /^Modern Trends

As in art and literature, throughout the history of music there
have always been those artists who have wanted to go beyond
the musical language of their day, to say things in a new way,
or even to say new things in a new way. You have seen how
this was so with Beethoven, with Wagner, with Richard Strauss.
They all began composing in the manner of the composers who
came before them, gradually adding their own new ideas as their
creative talents directed them. We have also seen how some-
times composers who are trying to say something new or dif-
ferent are not appreciated in their own lifetime, but unfortu-
nately have to wait for posterity to honor them.
This does not mean, however, that every odd- or unfamiliar-

sounding piece of music is a work of genius. There are those
who tend to praise all “modern” music without discrimination,
just because it is modern. And there are others, at the opposite
extreme, who throw up their hands in horror and close their
ears to any music that sounds the slightest bit novel or un-
familiar.

These are extremes, of course. But how should one listen to
modern music? First of all, you must have an open mind; no-
body who is prejudiced either way beforehand is going to make
an intelligent listener. Perhaps you will never like Bartok as
well as Beethoven; on the other hand, you might come to prefer
him to Beethoven. Secondly, it is important to try to understand
some of the things that modern composers are trying to say and
the new ways in which they are trying to say them. Thirdly,
the more you hear modern music, the more familiar the lan-
guage becomes, and the more meaning that language has for
you. If you hear two foreigners talking together it may sound
like gibberish. But if you understand their language you will
know what they are talking about.

In the beginning of this book we said that music was made up
of the patterns of melody, rhythm, and harmony. A composer is
an inventor of patterns, an explorer of the tonal world. The
development of music therefore has been a continuing develop-
ment of new patterns. It is frequently difficult for the ear, which
has become accustomed to the old familiar patterns, to grasp
the new ones. Thus much new music at first seems planless
that is, patternless. With more and more listening, however,
its design will usually become evident. Stravinsky’s epoch-
making Le Sacre du Printemps [The Rite of Spring], written
in 1913, violently disturbed the audience and was greeted at
its first performance with expressions of hostility. Yet in 1941,

114
Igor Stravinsky

less than thirty years later, some of the music of this same work
was included in Walt Disney’s popular film Fantasia. In other
words, Stravinsky’s musical language was no longer strange and
unfamiliar and shocking; people had been slowly becoming
acquainted with its idioms by hearing it, and other music like
it, throughout the years, until it had become “popular.”

One of the early important pioneers in modern music was
Claude Debussy, a French composer who lived from 1862 to
1918. His type of music was called “impressionistic”-that is,
he tried to give the feeling of impressions or moods, suggestions
of atmosphere. If you listen to any of Debussy’s orchestral
pieces-Preferfe a /’ Apres-midi Sun Fame [Prelude to the
Afternoon of a Faun] , La Mer [The Sea] , Iberia, for example-

IMPRESSIONISTIC
MUSIC

you will readily get this feeling of mood and atmosphere, of
subtle suggestions. Debussy also devised new melodic and har-
monic patterns, many of which departed radically from the
existing standards of his time. A great number of Debussy’s
contributions to the language of music have been widely
adopted by contemporary composers.

Besides composing many colorful and imaginative piano
pieces, many sensitive songs, a number of fine orchestral works,
and a string quartet, Debussy also composed one opera, Pelleas
et Melis&nde, a setting of the play by Maurice Maeterlinck.
The unusual and important characteristic of this opera is that,
unlike most operas, the orchestral music portrays a minimum of
dramatic expression and the vocal parts are written in almost
tuneless chant. Yet it is music of a suggestive, delicate, quiet
sort, and it also has depth and strength.

Debussy is only one of the many composers who have con-
tributed to the development of modern music. It is not our
intention here to go into all the intricacies of this development,
but merely to point out a few of the ways you yourself may
hear, become familiar with, and perhaps even perform some of
this new music. Modern music is not only for adults or for the
initiated few, but for everyone.

THE BALLET In recent years there has been a tremendous revival of in-
terest in the ballet. In a ballet program today one is apt to see
at least one ballet for which a modern composer has written the
music. In the early nineteen-hundreds the Russian Sergei Dia-
ghilev, famous organizer of the Ballet Russe, commissioned
many composers to write music for his ballet company. Some
of these composers were at the time unknown and obscure, and
many of them were given public attention for the first time
through Diaghilev’s baUet. The music of the great modern com-

116
A performance by the New York City Ballet of The Firebird

poser Igor Stravinsky (1882- ) first received public notice
through the music he composed for this ballet company. Among
these ballets are the now well-known UOiseau de Feu [The
Firebird], The Rite of Spring, and Petrushka. Excerpts from
these works, arranged as orchestral suites, are often heard in
the concert hall today.

Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe and Manuel de Falla’s
The Three-Cornered Hat are also famous ballets composed for
Diaghilev’s ballet company.

Aaron Copland (1900- ), the modern American com-
poser, has composed music for three fine ballets; Billy the Kid,
Appalachian Spring, and Rodeo. Khachaturian’s Gayne Suite,
Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and Leonard Bernstein’s Fancy
Free are some other examples of modern ballets.

117

Aaron Copland
MUSIC FOR Moving pictures have also provided opportunities for a num-

MOTION PICTURES her of modern composers. Perhaps you are so engrossed in the
picture that you are barely aware of the music that often ac-
companies it. And yet several well-known composers have done
musical scores for the films, especially during the nineteen-
thirties. Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) composed music for
at least thirty-five films, among them Pygmalion. The dis-
tinguished Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953),
wrote music for many Russian films, including Lieutenant Kije
and Alexander Nevsky. Aaron Copland composed music for the
films Of Mice and Men, Our Tom, The Red Pony, and The
Heiress. Another American composer, Virgil Thomson, wrote
music for The Plow that Broke the Plains, The River, and
Louisiana Story. Many of these film scores have been arranged

118

by their composers to be played as orchestral suites in the con-
cert hall.

There are still other ways in which you may become familiar MUSIC FOR
with modern music, or even perform it yourself. Several well- YOUNG PERFORMERS
known modern composers have written works which have been
designed especially for performance by young people. They are
modern, but not so complicated and difficult technically as
are the majority of modern works. Paul Hindemith (1895-
1963) wrote an opera, We Build & City, which was to be per-
formed by children. The contemporary British composer Ben-
jamin Britten (1913- ), composer of the operas Peter
Grimes, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Rape of Lucretia,
and The Turn of the Screw, and many choral works, has writ-
ten a work for children entitled Lets Make an Opera. This is
designed to be performed by adult actors for an audience of
young people who participate by singing the choral parts.
Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane is a “play opera for
high school performance,” and Kurt WeilTs folk opera, Dom
in the Valley, based on a well-known American folk tune, was
written for performance by college students.

A number of other modern composers have composed works
in the modern idiom but without the usual technical difficulties,
designed to be performed by amateurs and young people. These
compositions have been deliberate attempts on the part of con-
temporary composers to bring good modern music to a wider
audience.

Other composers who, like Debussy and Stravinsky, have
made significant contributions to modern music are the German
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) whose so-called twelve-tone
technique has had a tremendous influence on later composers;
and the Hungarian Bela Bartok (1881-1945) whose distinctive

119

JAZZ STYLE

AVANT-GARDE MUSIC

ELECTRONIC MUSIC

musical style is based upon the scales and melodic patterns of
Hungarian folk music.

Another important musical development in the twentieth
century was the blossoming of jazz in the United States. Our
own American composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) used
the jazz idiom in most of his music. His Rhapsody in Blue, a
work for piano and orchestra, was an attempt at writing a
“symphonic” work in jazz style, Similarly, his Piano Concerto
in F contains strong jazz elements. Jazz has had its influence on
many other composers from many countries since about 1918.

A real pioneer in musical composition was the American
Charles Ives (1874-1954). In his music, which is thoroughly
American in character, you will hear snatches of hymn tunes,
patriotic songs, popular melodies, and even early jazz styles
intermingled with his highly unconventional and radical har-
monies. In his Three Places in New England, for example, a
large orchestral work, we hear fragments of the familiar Civil
War songs “Marching Through Georgia” and “The Battle
Cry of Freedom.” In another section of this work marching
tunes and patriotic songs-among them a favorite of the Revolu-
tionary army, “The British Grenadier’-haphazardly weave in
and out. Artistic recognition came very late to Charles Ives,
but his music has had an important influence on younger Amer-
ican composers.

Composers continue to explore new possibilities in the realm
of musical creation. We call the most recent attempts to widen
musical horizons in different and new ways avant-garde music.
(Avant-garde is a French expression used to refer to leaders in
an intellectual or artistic movement or their works.) Perhaps
you have heard electronic music. Here the possibilities of the
use of electronic tape are being explored. This creating and

120

Edgar d Varese
manipulating of sound through electronic tape recording is
one way in which some avant-garde musicians are experiment-
ing. Edgard Varese (1885-1965) pioneered in the use of me-
chanical sounds in music in the 19208 and 19305, and in the
19508 started composing electronic music. One such work is
Deserts, a composition for winds, percussion, and tape-recorded
sound. Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany and Milton Bab-
bitt in America are two leaders in the field of electronic com-
position.

Another avant-garde movement in music is the continuing
search for new uses of instruments, such as the “prepared”
piano where objects like thumbtacks or paper are placed on the
strings or hammers, thus altering the sound. The “prepared”
piano was invented by John Cage, who has been experimenting
with new ways of producing music since the 19305.

121
ALEATORY MUSIC

^ “prepared” piano

The so-called aleatory, or chance-created, music is still an-
other recent development in musical composition. To many
listeners these avant-garde creations do not seem to be music
at all because they depart so radically from the elements of
music to which we have become accustomed. There are no
familiar patterns of melody, harmony, and rhythm such as we
know them. But our ears and our minds have not yet had
enough opportunity to grasp and comprehend this newest musi-
cal language fully. We will therefore have to wait and see what
influence it will have on the development of music.

122

glossary

Adagio: slow

Aleatory: chance-created

Allegro: fast, lively

Andante: “walking pace,” that is, a moderate tempo

Aria: a solo song with accompaniment

Art song: a poem, or sometimes a piece of prose, set to music for voice
and accompanying instrument, usually the piano

Avant-garde wzusic: the exploration of new possibilities in the realm of
musical creation; music that is ahead of popular taste

Eaton: the short stick used by some conductors to give directions to
performers

123

Cadenza: in a concerto, a brilliant unaccompanied section for the solo-
ist

Cantata: in Bach’s usage, a composition for the church service, con-
sisting of six or seven pieces for solo singers, chorus, organ, and
orchestra

Chord: sound created by playing two or more tones at the same time
Coda: the conclusion or tail end of a movement

Concerto: a composition for orchestra and solo instrument (or some-
times more than one) of symphonic dimensions, usually in three
movements

Conductor: the director of an orchestra who chooses the music, re-
hearses the musicians, and conducts the concert

Consonant chord: a chord that sounds restful

Development: in the sonata form, the section where the themes pre-
sented in the exposition are developed

Dissonant chord: a chord that is in a state of unrest and gives a restless

feeling
Duet: music for two performers

Duration: the relative longness or shortness of a musical tone

Electronic music: music produced by the manipulation of tape-recorded
sounds

Ensemble: a group of performers

Exposition: the first section of the sonata form, in which the themes of
the movement are presented

Fantasia: a freely constructed instrumental composition

Form: the framework or plan of construction of a musical composition

Folk song: a song, by no known composer, that has been passed down
from generation to generation

Fugue: a composition that treats a single melodic idea in a polyphonic
(many-voiced) manner

124

Fugue subject: the melodic idea or theme of a fugue

Glissando: on the harp, the effect achieved by a quick sweep of the
fingers over the strings. (This term is also used to describe a gliding
effect in other instruments.)

Harmony: the art of constructing chords and of arranging attractive
successions or consonant and dissonant chords

Intensity: the relative loudness or softness of a musical tone
Invention: the name Bach gave to a short, two-voiced clavier piece
Libretto: the text of an opera
Melody: a meaningful succession of musical tones

Movement: a self-contained section of a suite, symphony, concerto,
string quartet, or sonata.

Music drama: the term used by Wagner for his later operas

Opera: a play whose characters sing, to the accompaniment of an
orchestra, rather than speak

Orchestration: the art of employing the instruments of the orchestra
in accordance with their own special tone colors and individual
characters

Overture: an orchestral composition that serves as an introduction to
an opera or play; or at times an independent single movement for
symphony orchestra having some descriptive purpose, called a con-
cert overture

Partita: another designation for a suite

Pitch: the relative highness or lowness of a musical tone

Pizzicato: plucking the strings of a string instrument with the fingers,
producing short-clipped sounds

Prelude: an introductory piece; in keyboard music, often in freely
constructed form; in Wagner’s later operas, the title he gave to the
overture

Presto: very fast

125

Recapitulation: in the sonata form, the third section, consisting for the
most part of the repetition of the exposition

Rhythm: patterns of accent produced by the stressing or lengthening
of certain tones

Scherzo: in Beethoven’s music, a boisterous movement in a fast tempo

Sonata: usually a composition for piano, or for another instrument
with piano, in three or four movements

Sonata form: the form frequently appearing in the first movements,
and often in later movements, in instrumental works with titles
such as sonata, string quartet, symphony, concerto

String quartet: an instrumental ensemble consisting of two violins,
viola, and cello; also, music written for such a group

Suite: in Bach’s day, a composition for a keyboard instrument con-
sisting of a set of pieces in various dance styles

Symphonic poem: a work for orchestra in a single movement and
with a descriptive tide

Symphony: a comparatively long orchestral composition, usually di-
vided into four sections (movements)

Synoptic overture: an overture that gives a synopsis of the work it
introduces

Tempo: the speed of a musical composition
Theme: a musical idea

Three-part form: one of the most common of musical forms, consist-
ing of three main sections: ABA

Tone color: the characteristic quality of sound produced by a par-
ticular instrument or voice

Tone poem: Richard Strauss’s term for his symphonic poems

Transcription: an arrangement of a work for an instrument or en-
semble other than the one for which it was originally composed

Variations: a series of modifications of a theme
Vivace: lively

126

Index

(Asterisks Refer to lllustt worn)

aleatory music, 122
aria in opera, 96, 100
Art of Fugue, The, 48
art song, 80
avant-garde music, 120

Babbitt, Milton, 121

Bach, Johann Sebastian, 44-46, 47-

51, 50*, 57, 87, 91
ballet, 116-17, H 7*
Barber, Samuel, 94
Bartok, Bela, 94, 114, 119
bass clarinet, 32, 33
bass drum, 37
bassoon, 30, 33-34
Eastien und Bastienne, page from,

64*

Bayreuth (1876), 103*
Beethoven, Ludwig van, 21, 21*,

40, 41, 42, 44, 57, 58, 65, 67-73,

76, 77, 87, 88, 89, 91, 113
Berlioz, Hector, 74, 108
Bizet, Georges, 105
Brahms, Johannes, 44, 57, 65, 74, 78,

85, 88, 93

Brandenburg Concertos, 50-51
brass instruments, 25, 27, 33*, 34-

35
Britten, Benjamin, 119

cadenza, 65
Cage, John, 121
cantatas, Bach’s, 49
Carnaval, 91-92
castanets, 39

celesta, 40

cello, 26, 28 *, 29-30

chimes, 38

Chopin, Frederic, 88, 92, 93

choral music, Bach’s, 49-50, 51

chord, 19-20, 21

chorus in opera, 96

clarinet, 30, 32-33, 34

clavichord, 49

Cleveland Orchestra, 26 *

coda of sonata form, 56

concert overture, 78

concerto, 59, 60

and Beethoven, 65, 70

movements of, 65

and Mozart, 60, 6 1, 64, 65
conductor of orchestra, 40-43
contrabassoon, 33, 34
Copland, Aaron, 117, 118, 118*,

119

Couperin, 87
cymbals, 37

Debussy, Claude, 85, 94, in *, 115-

16, 119

Diaghilev, Sergei, 116, 117
Don Quixote, 108, 109, in
double bass, 26, 29 *, 30
duet in opera, 96

Em Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life),

108, 109, in
electronic music, m
Elektra, 105, in
Emperor Concerto, 65

English horn, 32
ensemble singing, 96

Falla, Manuel de, 117
fantasias and fugues, Bach’s, 47
Firebird, The, 117, 117*
Firkusny, Rudolf, 41 *
flute, 30, 31, 31*, 32, 34
Flying Dutchman, The, 77, 103
folk song, 79-80
form, musical, 21, 22, 24, 55
fugue subject, 46, 47
fugues, 46, 47, 55
Bach’s, 46, 47-49

Gershwin, George, 120

glockenspiel, 37

Gluck, Christoph Willibald, 100

gong, 38

guitar, 39

Handel, George Frederick, 57

harmony, 20-21

harp, ^38*, 39

harpsichord, 49

Haydn, Joseph, 52-54, 54*, 57, 58,

68, 70, 72, 73, 74, 87
Hindemith, Paul, 119
Honegger, Arthur, 118
horn, 33 *, 34

impressionistic music, 115-16
Inventions, Bach’s, 49, 87
Ives, Charles, no

I2 7

jazz, 120

kettledrums, 33 *, 35-36, 36*
keyboard instruments, 39

libretto, 06, 97, 100

Liszt, Franz, 88, 89*, 89-91, 90*,

93, 107-08, 109
Lohengrin, 78, 103

mandolin, 39
march, rhythm of, 17-18
Mxrrfage ‘of Figaro, The, 41, 101
Mass in B Minor, 40-50
Mendelssohn, Felix, 51, 78
Metropolitan Opera House, New

York, new, 106*

old, 98*, 99*
minuet, 58, 65
modern music, 114-16, 119
motion pictures, music for, 118-19
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 40,

41, 57, 58, 60-66, 62*, 68, 87, 89,

100-01

music drama, 103-05

Neuhaus, Max, 37 *

New York City Ballet, 1 17*

Ninth Symphony, Beethoven’s, 21,

41, 42,’ 67, 70, 73

notes, differences in length of, 18
oboe, 30, 32

opera, 77^78, 95-106, in
orchestration, Richard Strauss’, no

Wagner’s, 105, no
organ, 40
overture, 75-78

Paganini, Nicolo”, 57, 91
Parsifal, 78, 103
partitas, Bach’s, 49
percussion instruments, 26, 27, 33 *,

piano, 39, 49, 86-88, 89-90

“prepared,” 121, 122*
piano sonata, 87-88, 93
piccolo, 30, 31, 32, 34

128

polyphonic writing, 46
preludes, Wagner’s, 78
preludes and fugues, Bach’s, 47
program making, 40-42
Prokofiev, Sergei, 94,117,118
Puccini, Giacomo, 105

Rachmaninoff, Sergei, 57, 93
rattle, 39

Ravel, Maurice, 94, 117
repertory, operatic, 97
repetition and contrast, 23-24
Rhapsody in Blue, no
Ring of theNibelung, 78, 103
Rossini, Gioacchino, 76, 101

Scarlatti, 87

Scenes from Childhood, 88, 91
scherzo, and Beethoven, 73, 87
Schippers, Thomas, 42 *
Schoenberg, Arnold, 94, 119
Schubert, Franz, 57, 73-74, 80-85,

84*, 91

Schumann, Clara, 92, 93, 94, 94*
Schumann, Robert, 74, 85, 88, 91-

92, 93, 94*

Seventh Symphony, Beethoven’s,
^ title page of, 71*

Sibelius, Jean, 74

Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony, Bee-
thoven’s, 70

snare drum, 37

sonata, piano, 87-88, 93

sonata form, 55-57, 58, 59, 65, 70,

73, 74, 87
song, 79-80, 83, 85

and Schubert, 80, 82-83, 85, 91
Strauss, Richard, 85, 108-11, 109*
Stravinsky, Igor, 114, 115, 115*,

117,119
string instruments, 25, 26-30, 27*,

28*, 29*

plucked, 39
suites, Bach’s, 49
symphonic poem, 107-12
symphony, and Beethoven, 67, 70-

73, 74. 9 1

and Haydn, 53, 57, 58, 72

movements of, 53-58

symphony orchestra, conductor’s
part in, 40-43
instruments of, 25-40, 27*, 28*

*9*. 3i*. 33*. 36*. 38*’
Szell, George, 41 *

tambourine, 39
Tannhduser, 77, 91, 103
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 40, 74, 78,

112

theme and variations, 57

Third (Eroica) Symphony, Bee-
thoven’s 70, 72

Thomson, Virgil, 118

three-part form, 24, 58

Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks,
108, no, in

timpani, 33*, 35-36, 36*

toccatas and fugues, Bach’s, 47

tone, musical, 13-15

tone color, 14-15

transcription, 91

triangle, 38

Tristan und Isolde, 78, 103

trombone, 33*, 34, 35

Trout Quintet, 57

trumpet, 33*, 34-35

tuba, 34, 35

Var&e, Edgard, 121, 121*
variations on theme, 57
Verdi, Giuseppe, 101-02
viola, 26, 28-29
violin, 26, 27-28, 27*
voices of fugue, 46-47

Wagner, Richard, 74, 77-78, 91, 96,

102-05, I02 * IQ 8, no, 113
Weill, Kurt, 119

Well-Tempered Clavier, The, 47-
*

I ‘ I ‘ /

wind machine, 109-10
wood block, 39

woodwind instruments, 25, 27, 30-
34, 3 I# ,33*

xylophone, 37

young performers, music for, 119