Robert Ward’s "Symphony No. 2": A Masterpiece of 20th-Century American Neoclassicism
Discussion of American composer Robert Ward's "Symphony #2," including background, overview, and brief analysis, as well as public reception and suggested sources of recordings and musical scores.
Romantic Era Music Facts: The Music of the Romantic Period
In music history, there are six main periods. These different periods (eras) represent the evolution of Western art music. Read further and explore the Romantic Era.
10 Pieces by Michael Praetorius: Performances and a Biography
Michael Praetorius was a prolific composer of the seventeenth century. His compositions are loved today, and his written work about music is a valuable resource.
Yuri Yankelevich and The Russian Violin School
The writings of the great Soviet violin pedagogue Yuri Yankelevich has for the first time been translated into English and published in the book "The Russian Violin School: The Legacy of Yuri Yankelevich." This article highlights two of his original essays.
12 Recorder Consort Performances and Facts About the Music
A rich repertoire is available for recorder consorts. I describe the instrument, some music written for it, and some ensembles. I also include performances.
The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has for centuries been regarded as standard music for the church as well as a primary foundation for musicians to study young and old alike. Read about and listen to the music of this great Baroque composer.
Renaissance Songs and Instrumental Works by John Dowland
John Dowland was a popular and prolific composer of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His songs and instrumental music are still enjoyed and studied.
Folk and Traditional Songs About the Moon: Facts and Music
The beauty of the moon and its symbolic meanings have inspired many songs around the world. Some lovely folk and traditional songs about the moon exist.
Classical Music Inspired by the Wind
Passive, aggressive, and everything in between, there is rarely a time when wind cannot be detected in the air. Read how composers have been influenced by wind: Chopin, Sibelius, Debussy, Szymanowski, Britten, Takemitsu, Vaughan Williams, John Luther Adams, and Michael Burritt.
8 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Ice
The last ice age finished around 11,700 years ago, and when you think of ice, what comes to mind? Read about composers who have been inspired by ice: Prokoviev, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Waldteufel, Purcell, Peter Maxwell Davies, Terje Isungset, and George Fenton.
Classical Music Inspired by Rain: From Brahms to Schubert
Rain is a life-giver. No wonder there are so many rain gods devoted to it. Read how composers have been inspired by rain: Chopin, Debussy, Brahms, Britten, Takemitsu, Schubert, Gerard Finzi, and Hamish MacCunn.
12 Enjoyable Christmas Songs From Early to Recent Music
Lovely Christmas songs can be found in the early music genre and in the music of more recent times. In this article, I include and discuss twelve of these songs.
Classical Music Inspired by Lakes
From crystal clear mountain tarns to the Caspian Sea, lakes have drawn mankind to both appreciate and fear their charms. Read how these composers have been inspired to write about them: Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Lyadov, Eric Coates, Ola Gjeilo, Alan Hovhaness, Thea Musgrave, and Robert Farnon.
8 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Dogs, Foxes, and Wolves
Dogs are commonly called "man's best friend." Maybe not so much wolves and foxes, but read about how composers have been inspired by these wonderful creatures—Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Janáĉek, Prokoviev, Charles Lecoq, Franz Reizenstein, and George Crumb.
12 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Autumn
Many of us love autumn's warm colours. They glow beautifully before they fall and nurture the earth. These composers have been inspired by Autumn: Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Vivaldi, Rautavaara, Massenet, Britten, Milhaud, Piazzolla, Oliver Knussen, Thea Musgrave, Edward MacDowell and John Cage.
8 Roses Named After Composers
To some gardeners, roses are indispensable. Combining exquisite flowers with gorgeous scent they can be hard to resist. And when looking for a name for a new rose, why not turn to the great composers for inspiration. Read about 8 composers and the roses named after them.
11 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Ghosts
Composers have found inspiration in ghostly matters and the psychological elements they inevitably throw up. Read how Stravinsky, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Schumann, Dvorak, Wagner, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Gilbert & Sullivan and Adolphe Adam have set ghostly themes to music.
10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Wizards and Sorcerers
Now a subject very much in vogue due to the Harry Potter books, sorcerers or wizards have been a source of inspiration for many composers. Read interpretations from Dukas, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Stravinsky, Purcell, Gilbert and Sullivan, Adolph Adam and Rimsky-Korsakov, and Andrew Thomas.
10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired By the Devil
It's hardly surprising that composers have written about the devil—according to that well-known phrase he's supposed to get the best tunes. Read about composers who found devilish inspiration: Tartini, Gounod, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Liszt, Stravinsky, Verdi, Boito and John Field.
Classical Music Inspired By the Earth
The Earth, home to a myriad of flora and fauna and humans who have inhabited every continent of the planet. Read how composers have been inspired by our fascinating globe: Haydn, Mahler, Milhaud, Schönberg, John Luther Adams, Andrew Christie and Austin Fray, George Fenton and Harrison Birtwistle.
10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Trees
Man has found solace in trees, woods and forests since time immemorial. Read about how composers have been inspired by trees: Schubert, Schumann, Verdi, Liszt, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, Johann Strauss II, Respighi, Roussel and Edward McDowell.
Mirrors Reflected in Classical Music
Mirrors have played a significant part as part of man's spiritual, mystical and ceremonial heritage since the dawn of ages. Read how composers have expressed their view of reflections: Ravel, Avo Pärt, Poulenc, Henri Dutilleux, Strauss, Barber, Hendrik Andrriessen, and an unverified piece by Mozart.
10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Flowers
Whether you prefer big blooms, heavy scents, or tiny, almost insignificant florets, there is a flower for you. Read about Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss II, Schumann, Bizet, Delibes, Puccini, Jean Françaix, and other composers who have been inspired to write about flowers.
A Guide to Writing Programme Notes for DipABRSM
This article has been written as a guide for musicians taking high-level music diplomas to help in the successful production of program notes. This also provides a basis to learn an effective way to write program notes for concerts and other professional performances.
Frédéric Chopin and the Development of Early Romantic Piano Music
Explore the origins and development of romantic era piano solos. This article will delve into an analysis of Frédéric Chopin and his use of musical imagery and innovative romantic style techniques.
7 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by the Moon
For thousands of years, man has been fascinated by the moon, finally landing on it in 1969. Read about inspiration taken from the moon by composers Haydn, Beethoven, Debussy, Schonberg, Britten, Dvorak, Janacek and Vítězslav Novak.
Four Composers Who Were Priests: Music and the Divine
Priests normally preach through sermons, but these four talented priests spoke through music. Their lives of prayer served as a wellspring of creativity.
8 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Fire
Man has been able to create fire for at least a million years. Read about how composers of classical music have written music inspired by fire, including Debussy, Beethoven, Manuel de Falla, Shostakovich, Haydn, Prokoviev, Handel and Stravinsky.
10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by Food and Drink
Everyone has to eat and drink; it's one of life's pleasures. Read on to discover classical music with food at its heart by Debussy, Prokofiev, Satie, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Verdi, and Schubert.
Classical Vocal and Piano Music About Mothers and Motherhood
The classical music genre includes some lovely music about mothers. Sharing a playlist of these pieces is a great way to celebrate motherhood or Mother’s Day.
6 Classical Compositions Inspired by Storms
All of us have encountered storms of one sort or another in our lives. Unsurprisingly, composers have written music to conjure them up. Read how Haydn, Johann Strauss II, Khachaturian, Beethoven, Berlioz and Britten have found inspiration from storms in their music.
7 Classical Music Compositions Inspired by Morning
Read about classical music composers depicting morning time, Ravel, Debussy, Haydn, Elgar, Roussel, Grieg and Delius all taking inspiration in different ways, from Greek classical literature and a painted ceiling to time spent on an orange plantation.
7 Classical Compositions Inspired by the Night
Read through the night with John Field, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Manuel de Falla, Britten, Rossini and Mozart and Schönberg. On the way visit gardens, sirens and lovers working out a painful relationship, tolling bells and evening sunsets and a bit of light entertainment fit for a soirée.
9 Weird and Wonderful Instruments From Classical Music
Have you heard of the ondes Martenot, the lira organizzata, theramin, barytone, arpeggione, musical saw, musical clock, or glass harmonica? These are unusual instruments that great composers have written for.
The Cornett, Cornetto, or Zink: An Early Music Wind Instrument
The cornett, cornetto, or zink produces a lovely sound that often resembles the human voice. It has finger holes like a recorder and a mouthpiece like a trumpet.
Rigoletto: Great Music, Some Unpleasant People, and a Tragedy
Rigoletto is a popular opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi. I discuss the opera's history, plot, and leading characters. I also include some of its lovely music.
Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, Falstaff, and a Masked Ball Facts
The Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, Falstaff, and A Masked Ball are popular Italian operas. I include a synopsis, music, and a photo of a related sculpture for each work.