Musical Timeline by Piece - Josquin through Copland

(Josquin, Purcell, Bach, Handel, Mozart); Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Chopin, Schumann, Verdi, Wagner, Ives, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Ellington, Copland

Midterm Composers

9th C - 1788: Anonymous, Josquin, Purcell, Bach, Handel, Mozart

Anonymous - 9th Cent

1400 - 1401

In paradisum

-Monophonic texture
-Thru-composed, no set meter

Josquin Pange Lingua Mass 1510

1510 - 1521


-Imitative polyphonic texture
-Vocal color

Imitative Polyphony predominates throughout piece
This style led to word painting seen in Madrigals later in the period

Counter Reformation & Council of Trent

Purcell Dido & Aeneas 1689

1659 - 1695

1689 – Dido & Aeneas

-Ground bass (bass instruments playing a single short melody many times) supports upper melody for dramatic contrast/emphasis
-Form: da capo, aria

Greatest English Composer
Organist at Westminster Abbey
Wrote first English examples of Italian sonata

Bach Brandenberg Concerto 1721

1685 - 1750

1721 - Brandenberg CONCERTO GROSSO

-Color: flute,harpsichord & strings
-Basso continuo of harpsichord provides contrast for melody above (Baroque hallmark)
-Virtuosic soloist flights

Most important Baroque composer
From big musical family in Germany; spent whole life in Germany
Seldom traveled
Church organist; composed many choral pieces
Well Tempered Clavier - comprised of 48 preludes & fugues in each major/minor key (for harpsichord/clavichord)

1722 - composed Prelude & Fugue (part of WTC)

Baroque period ended with his death in 1750

Handel Julius Caesar 1724

1685 - 1759

1724 - Julius Caesar BAROQUE OPERA "Empio diro tu sei"

-Flourishes and melismas indicative of Baroque style
-Marked cadenzas
-Da capo style aria

Mozart Symp 40 1788

1756 - 1791

1788 - composed Symphony #40 in G minor

-Elegant, polyphonic texture
-Refined instrumental style indicative of Classical period
-ABA Sonata Form in 1st movement

Romantic Composers 1808-1870

1800-1900: Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Chopin, Schumann, Verdi, Wagner

Beethoven Symph #5 1808

1770 - 1827

1808 Symph #5 in C minor (I&IV)

I-Saturated by single, rhythmic MOTIVE (da da da daaaa)
-Broader instrumentation
-Scherzo replaces Minuet

IV-Triumphant, triadic C major
-Brass transforms the minor mode opening

-Hallmark Romantic technique used for expressive intensity (Classical technique used for non-Classical result)

Beethoven as Romantic Icon
-tortured genius
-withdrawn from society
-living for art alone (for now and for posterity)
-society's redeemer

Advancements of Beethoven's Symphonies
-music as psychological progression
-power and rhythmic drive more important than refinement
-expansion of traditional forms
-broader instrumentation (trombone, piccolo, contrabassoon
-addition of SCHERZO to replace Minuet - violent/energetic
-MOTIVE unity: from a Kernal, grow/create something huge & expansive

-Letter to his brothers
-Expressed his despair over failing psych health/deafness and his desire to fulfill his ARTISTIC DESTINY

-Music is most ROMANTIC and highest of art forms; its inexpressibility mimics the infinite
-Art/music should open us up to huge/terrifying world of EMOTION
-Composer is not a craftsman, but an artist serving a higher ideal, and thus is ALLOWED TO BREAK THE RULES

Schubert Erlking 1815

1797 - 1828

1815 The Erlking

Schubert is Master of the LIED (German for "song")
Wrote 630 in his 31 year life

-"good" poem set to music
-single voice accompanied by piano; intimate emotion shared between voice & piano
-THROUGH COMPOSED (new music for each stanza; non-repetitive)

-type of Miniature
-meant for living room not concert hall

Berlioz Symph Fantistic 1830

1803 - 1869

1830 - Symphony Fantastic (II & V)

Expands Program Music to Program Symphony
Links music to something outside itself

Notable Aspects:
-Expanded from 4-5 movements
-Influenced by Opera, Beethoven's 5th, Shakespeare
-Written Program is handed out for audience
Program functions as Recitative (advances the action)
Symphony is the Aria
-Each movement is named (e.g. I is "A Ball," V is "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath")
-Expanded instrumentation (130 instruments + voices), more brass, percussion, tuba + HARP
-contains IDEE FIXE: repeating motive/image throughout the piece (e.g. melody= "the beloved"); similar to but much longer than the kernel motive Beethoven introduced; melody=the beloved
-Formal deconstruction/playing with normative forms
-Insertion of real-world topoi (e.g. harp waltz in 2nd movement)
-Onomatopoetic representation
Special effects:
strings depicting wind rustling
bird calls, hear guillotine chop off a head
funeral bell
Dies Irae (lament for the dead) - polyphonic fugue
represents witches dance; combines with Dies Irae

Chopin Nocture F Sharp 1831

1810 - 1849

1831 Chopin Nocturne F Sharp
Character Piece

Depicts characters of the night; dreamy feel

-Chromatic, descending motion
-Marked use of Tempo Rubato
-Presents an idea, then ornaments the idea; contributes to improvisatory feeling of piece

Born in Poland, moved to Paris
Copyright laws strong there; good for composers to make $
Tendency towards specialization - only wrote for piano

Schumann Florestan/Eusebius 1835

1810 - 1856

1835 Florestan/Euseubius - Carnavale
20 Character Pieces meant to be performed as a set
Each depicts a character from Commedia dell'arte
Contain musical pictograms (his name, Henrietta's name)

-more dramatic
-rapid changes in dynamics
-heavy use of accents
-imparts impetuous feel

-neatly 4 measures
-pull/push in the rhythm
-imparts quiet, intellectually contemplative feel

-Father wanted him to study law; went to Liepzig (Germany)
-Started as piano virtuoso but injured his hand and turned to composing
-Fell in love w/music teacher's daughter
-Left his then fiancee for Clara Wiek
-Composed & wrote musical critiques (as Flores/Eus)
-Went crazy (split personality) and died in an asylum

Schumann Dichterliebe ("May") 1840

1811 - 1856

1840 Dichterliebe (song cycle) - "In the wonderfully lovely month of May" is the LIED from this cycle
(like Shubert's lied, Erlking)

-halting and ruminative piano intro
-winds its way in and out of the vocal line, ebbing and flowing rhythmically and sometimes dwelling on quiet but piercing dissonant harmonies (expresses longing of piece)
-Strophic: stanzas are set to identical music

Schumann was a fan of Schubert (explains the Lied)

Verdi Rigoletto 1851

1812 - 1901

1851 Rigoletto (Act III)
La bella figlia dell'amore (quartet)

-Masterful example of ensemble piece
-Goes from juxtaposed performances to superimposed performances
-All registers brought together: Tuneful melody (Duke + Maddelena's flirtation) + plaintive (Gilda) & authoritative (Rigoletto)
-Bel canto (emphasizes beauty of human voice)
-Dramatic contrast (Gilda's heartbreaking vocals against Maddalena's light-hearted "ha ha" flourishes)

-Verdi (and Wagner) specialist in the role of Romantic opera
-Son of a shopkeeper
-Despite being denied entrance into conservatory in Milan, attained international stature, writing 24 operas
-Known for tuneful melodies, and contrasting of light/dark for dramatic purpose
-Became figurehead of Liberation movement (against Austrian control of Italy)
-Operas follow the "numbered" structure
-Frequent use of tuneful, conventional phrase structures
-Recitative is melodic & dramatic, accompanied by full orchestra
-Masterful creator of ensemble pieces (e.g. quartet in III)
-Rigoletto, Aida, La Traviata are some of his best known works

Wagner The Valkyrie 1870

1813 - 1883

1870 The Valkyrie
(Act I Excerpt)

-Homophonic texture with voice prominent
-Declamatory vocal lines; music flows for long spans of time
-Chromatic, endless melody (avoids regular phrase structure/cadence)
-Prime melodic interest is within the orchestra

GESAMTKUNSTWERK - Opera as ideal union of diverse artistic forms (becomes control freak to implement this)
-Proponent of Germanic cultural superiority (exploited by Nazi party)
-Revolutionary thinker, writer, composer
-Wrote his own librettos
-Innovator of harmony and orchestration
-Does away "number opera," dividing operas into clearly delineated groupings
-Unifies large works through LIETMOTIFS - motives associated with a person, thing, idea or symbol in drama
-Timeless, mythological subjects (e.g. Norse legends)
-Known for massive works (Der Ring des Nibelungen, to be performed over 4 cons evenings)

20th Century Composers

1900 to Present: Ives, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Ellington, Copland, Parker

Debussy Nuages 1899

1862 - 1918

1899 - Nuages

-fluid, overlapping fragments of melody which appear and disappear (like clouds)
-very relaxed meter imbues piece with a sense of stasis

**Musical color over form
-Marked the end of Romanticism (backlash against Wagner)
-Focus on COLOR: Subtle, mysterious washes of sound
-Themes and motives are fragmentary and tentative
-Evokes sense of Impressionist painting (e.g. Monet), natural themes with blurry lines

Ives Yale-Princeton 1898

1873 - 1954

1898 - Yale-Princeton Football Game
MODERNIST Musical representation of a famous football game

-Incorporates American materials (band marches, folk songs, hymns) among radical Modernist techniques
-Highly dissonant atonal or polytonal (to invoke "real world")
-Collage-like layers of multiple levels of distinct sound (HALLMARK OF IVES WORK)

-ALEATORIC - choices left to discretion of performer
-Radical use of the traditional de-familiarizes the ordinary
-Found parallels in the Modernist art world (e.g. Picasso's 'Guitar')

Son of a band leader born in CT
Didn't do well at Yale
Graduated and moved to NYC to sell insurance
Not "discovered" until the 1950s
Precursor to Schoenberg & Stravinsky

Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire 1912

1874 - 1951

1912 Pierrot Lunaire
(Numbers 8 & 18)
Based on Commedia dell'arte's clown

Example of Middle period of Schoenberg's work
-Fragmented, distorted forms; unnerving imagery
-Voice fighting against instruments creates tension
-Sinking motive (evokes descending black butterflies)

Part of 21 miniatures
Scored for solo voice and 5 players playing 8 instruments (voice, piano, flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin/viola

Parallels EXPRESSIONIST painting (e.g. Munch's 'The Scream')
Pushes limits of inner conflict, fear, subconscious; fragmented, distorted forms

Mixture of modern & archaic (rough ABA form) provides tension
Creepy, winding motive

Later Work:
EMANCIPATION OF DISSONANCE (musical, historical progress); move away from "binary" of consonance/dissonance to full spectrum
Lack of form initially limited work to short duration; Ostinato anchors the piece
Later used text to define the form
-developed 12-tone method (relate to each other, not to tonic)
-Mathematical composition
-From one form create:
Retrograde (form backwards)
Inversion (mirror image of form)
Inversion Retrograde (mirror image of form backwards)

Stravinsky Rite of Spring 1913

1882 - 1971

1913 Rite of Spring Ballet
(Part I)

-marked dissonance (dissonant "tonic")
-free rhythm, amorphous meter
-many fermatas
-layered, fragmented cells
-wind instruments play in strange registers
-fragments of melodies over dissonant ostinatos

MODERNIST (looking for modernity outside of society, like Matisse)

Performed by the Ballets Russes in Paris (Sergei)
Very controversial
Preceded by Romantic Chopin piece, which made it seem even more strange
Not a "storied" ballet"
-Collaborative piece
-The story of the very First Spring
-Features tribal elements, pagan rites, violence
-Features a girl dancing herself to death as a sacrifice to the gods in front of tribal elders


Ellington Conga Brava 1940

1899 - 1974

1940 Conga Brava

-incorporates Latin rhythms in opening
-strophic form
-showcases virtuosity of individual instruments (soloists)
-recurring Piano Ostinato
-played rhythmically with syncopated beats

Ellington from DC; son of a White House butler
Called "Duke" due to his regal bearing
Considered being an artist, but started playing in bands then formed his own

-African and European musical traditions brought together in the south
-Vitality and improvisation (jamming)
-Musical layering of complicated rhythmic & textured patterns

RAGTIME was first (Joplin); Left-hand plays rhythmic bass pattern; Right-hand plays displaced melody on top

BLUES came next
Themes of depression and loneliness
Raspy vocal-based style accompanied by instruments (piano)
Call/Response between vocals and instruments

-Jazz was in New Orleans
-Syncopated popular music and free melody (within square phrases)
-Jamming (collective improv)
-Trumpet in charge (Armstrong)

Great Depression hits
SWING - 30s & 40s Big Band with lots of musicians (cheap due to Depression)
Lots of Brass & Reed Instruments
White leaders (Goodman, Miller)
Ellington best known of Black BB leaders

Shift away from big sound to smaller technical instrumental virtuosity

Copland Appalachian Spring 1945

1900 - 1990

1945 Appalachian Spring

One-act Ballet (Martha Graham) depicting Pioneer celebration of spring
Rewritten as concert piece

-Introduces "characters" 1x1
-Low basses with clear notes above
-Very slow unfolding of harmony
-Uses traditional American themes (Simple Gifts)
-Sense of openness and spaciousness of harmony evokes open plains (open 5ths & 4ths)
-High clarinet over low bass

-Copland was born in Brooklyn to Russian immigrant parents
-Trained in Paris in the 1920s
-Exposed to/influenced by Stravinsky (1930 Piano Variations sounds a lot like him, abstract, cold, sterile)
-Had a large & varied output