Final Exam Study Guide

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Final Exam Study Guide
2017 Vocal Literature Final exam study guide

1. What is important to remember about each composer?

2. List one composition of each composer.


ALFVÉN: Hugo Alfvén (1872–1960)
ANCHIETTA: Juan de Anchieta (1462–2006)
ARGENTO: Dominick Argento (b. 1927)
BACON: Ernst Bacon (1898–1990)
BARBER: Samuel Barber (1910–1981)
BARTÓK: Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
BEACH: Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867–1944)
BEETHOVEN: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
BELLINI: Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835)
BERG: Alban Berg (1885–1935)
BERIO: Luciano Berio (1925–2003)
BERLIOZ: Hector Berlioz (1803– 1869)
BERNSTEIN: Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
BIZET: Georges Bizet (1838–1875)
BOLCOM: William Bolcom (b. 1938)
BORODIN: Aleksandr Porfir’evich Borodin
BOULANGER: Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
BOWLES: Paul Bowles (1910–1999)
BRAGA: Francisco Ernani Braga (1868–1945)
BRAHMS: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
BRITTEN: Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)
BURLEIGH: H. T. Burleigh (1866–1949)
BUSH: Geoffrey Bush (1920–1998)
BUTTERWORTH: George Butterworth (1885–1916)
CACCINI: Giulio Caccini (1546– 1618)
CAMPION: Thomas Campion (1567–1620)
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968)
CHABRIER: Emmanuel Chabrier (1841–1894)
CHAMINADE: Cécile Chaminade (1857–1944)
CHANDLER: Theodore Chandler (1902–1961)
CHAUSSON: Ernest Chausson (1855–1899)
Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
CIMARA: Pietro Cimara (1887–1967)
CLARK: Rebecca Clark (1886–1979)
COPLAND: Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
CUI: César Antonovich Cui
DEBUSSY: Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
DELIUS: Frederick Delius (1862–1934)
DICKINSON: Peter Dickinson (b. 1934)
DONAUDY: Stefano Donaudy (1879–1925)
DONIZETTI: Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848)
DOWLAND: John Dowland (1563–1626)
DRING: Madeleine Dring (1923–1977)
DUKE: John Duke (1899–1984)
DUPARC: Henri Duparc (1848–1933)
DURANTE: Francesco Durante (1684–1755)
DVORÁK: Antonín Dvorák (1841–1904)
ENESCU: George Enescu (1881–1955)
FAITH: Richard Faith (b. 1926)
FALLA: Manuel de Falla (1876–1946)
FAURÉ: Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924)
FINZI: Gerald Finzi (1901–1956)
FOSTER: Stephen Collins Foster (1826–1864)
FRANCK: César Franck (1822–1890)
FRANZ: Robert Franz (1815–1892)
GINASTERA: Alberto Ginastera (1916–1983)
GLINK: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka
GLUCK: Christoph Wilibald Gluck (1714–1787)
GOUNOD: Charles Gounod (1818–1893)
GRANADOS: Enrique Granados (1867–1916)
GRIEG: Edvard Grieg (1843–1907)
GRIFFES: Charles Griffes (1884–1920)
GUASTAVINO: Carlos Guastavino (1912–2000)
GURIDI: Jesús Guridi (1886–1961)
GURNEY: Ivor Gurney (1890–1937)
HAGEN: Daron Aric Hagen (b. 1961)
HAHN: Reynaldo Hahn (1874–1947)
HANDEL: George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
HAYDN: Franz Josef Haydn (1732–1809)
HEAD: Michael Head (1900–1976)
HOIBY: Lee Hoiby (b. 1926)
HORDER: Mervyn Horder (1910–1997)
HUNDLEY: Richard Hundley (b. 1931)
IBERT: Jacques Ibert (1890–1962)
IRELAND: John Ireland (1879–1962)
IVES: Charles Ives (1874–1954)
JANÁČEK: Leoš Janáček (1854–1928)
KILPINEN: Yrjö Kilpinen (1892–1959)
KODÁLY: Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967)
KORNGOLD: Erich Korngold (1897–1957)
LAITMAN: Lori Laitman (b. 1955)
LARSEN: Libby Larsen (b. 1950)
LEGUERNEY: Jacques Leguerney (1906–1997)
LISZT: Franz Liszt (1811–1886)
LOEWE: Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe (1796–1869)

MAHLER: Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
MARX: Joseph Marx (1882–1964)
MENA: Gabriel Mena (fl. 1511–1516)
MENDELSSOHN: Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
MENDELSSOHN-HENSE: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805–1847)
MILHAUD: Darius Milhaud (1892–1974)
MOMPOU: Federico Mompou (1893–1987)
MONTEVERDI: Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
MONTSALVATGE: Xavier Montsalvatge (1912– 2002)
Cristóbal de Morales (1500–1553)
MOZART: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
MUDARRA: Alonso Mudarra (1510–1580)
MUSSORSKY: Modest Petrovich Mussorsky
MUSTO: John Musto (b. 1954)
NIELSEN: Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)
NIN: Joaquín Nin (1879–1949)
OBRADORS: Fernando Obradors (1897–1945)
ORR: Charles Wilfred Orr (1893–1976)
PASATIERI: Thomas Pasatieri (b. 1945)
PAULUS: Stephen Paulus (b. 1949)
PERGOLESI: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736)
PERSICHETTI: Vincent Persichetti(1915–1987)
PFITZNER: Hans Pfitzner (1869–1949)
PIZZETTI: Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880–1968)
POULENC: Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
PROKOFIEV: Sergey Sergeyevich Prokofiev
PURCELL: Henry Purcell (1659–1695)
QUILTER: Roger Quilter (1877–1953)
RAKHMANINOV: Sergey Vasil’evich Rakhmaninov
RANGSTRÖM: Ture Rangström (1884–1947)
RAVEL: Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
RESPIGHI: Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936)
RIGHINI: Vincenzo Righini (1756–1812)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov
RODRIGO: Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999)
ROREM: Ned Rorem (b. 1923)
ROSSINI: Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868)
ROUSSEL: Albert Roussel (1869–1937)
SANTOLIQUIDO: Francesco Santoliquido (1883–1971)
SATIE: Erik Satie (1866–1925)
SCARLATTI: Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725)
SCHOENBERG: Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
SCHUBERT: Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
SCHUMANN: Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
SCHUMANN: Clara Wieck Schumann (1819–1896)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich
SIBELIUS: Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)
STENHAMMER: Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927)
STRAUSS: Richard Strauss (1864–1949)
STRAVINSKY: Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky
STROZZI: Barbara Strozzi (1619–1664)
SZYMANOWSKI: Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Pyotr Il’ich Tchaikovsky
THOMPSON: Virgil Thompson (1896–1989)
TORRE: Francisco de la Torre (1485–1504)
TOSTI: Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846–1916)
TURINA: Joaquín Turina (1882–1949)
VERDI: Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901)
VIARDOT: Pauline Viardot (1821–1910)
VILLA-LOBOS: Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887–1959)
VIVALDI: Antonio Vivaldi (1676–1741)
WAGNER: Richard Wagner (1813–1883)
WARLOCK: Peter Warlock (1894–1930)
WEILL: Kurt Weill (1900–1950)
WILLIAMS: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
WOLF: Hugo Wolf (1860–1903)
WOLF-FERRARI: Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876–1948)
ZAIMONT: Judith Lang Zaimont (b. 1945)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

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Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Linden Lea
Silent Noon

Songs of Travel
“The Vagabond”
“Let Beauty Awake”
“The Roadside Fire”
“Youth and Love”
“In Dreams”
“The Infinite Shining Heavens”
“Whither Must I Wander”
“Bright Is the Ring of Words”
“I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope”

Our first selection is: “Linden Lea”

Our next selection is: “Silent Noon”

Our next selection is: Songs of Travel

French Language Suffers (try “Blind Date” — French movie with subtitles!)

French Language Suffers (try “Blind Date” — French movie with English subtitles!) :

Having problems singing French? Time for a movie! “Blind date”, available on Netflix, is a lovely French romcom about a young musician who falls in love. Try to watch some scenes twice over to get a deeper comprehension of at least some of the French language. And, have fun while you’re at it.

Here is the trailer…

Now, go watch the movie on Netflix and enjoy. I’m sure the French will be easier for you after watching this. Good luck!

Slavic Inspired Repertoire

The following is a nice selection of Slavic inspired repertoire to add variety and interest to your audition repertoire.


Our first selection is “Rusalka’s Song to the Moon” from the opera Rusalka by, Antonín Dvořák:

[Click here for TRANSLATION: ]
Moon, high and deep in the sky
Your light sees far,
You travel around the wide world,
and see into people’s homes.
Moon, stand still a while
and tell me where is my dear.
Tell him, silvery moon,
that I am embracing him.
For at least momentarily
let him recall of dreaming of me.
Illuminate him far away,
and tell him, tell him who is waiting for him!
If his human soul is in fact dreaming of me,
may the memory awaken him!
Moonlight, don’t disappear, disappear!

See also…

Our next selection is “Vilja” from The operetta The Merry Widow by, Franz Lehár:


Our next performance is Жаворонок by, Michail Glinka:

[Click here for TRANSLATION: ]


Our next performance is “How Beautiful Are the Feet” from the Messiah by, George Frederick Handel:


Our next performance is “Mai” by, Gabriel Fauré:

[Click here for TRANSLATION: ]


How to Plan a Rectial


Dear students,

Here are your listening and stylesheet assignments for Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Please email your stylesheets to me by PDF by 11:00 PM the night before the class.


Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
Old American Songs, First Set
1. The boatmen’s dance
2. The dodger
3. Long time ago
4. Simple gifts
5. I bought me a cat

Old American Songs, Second Set
1. The little horses
2. Zion’s walls
3. The golden willow tree
4. At the river
5. Ching-a-ring chaw

Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson
1. Nature, the gentlest mother
2. There came a wind like a bugle
3. Why do they shut me out of Heaven?
4. The world feels dusty
5. Heart, we will forget him
6. Dear March, come in!
7. Sleep is supposed to be
8. When they come back
9. I felt a funeral in my brain
10. I’ve heard an organ talk sometimes
11. Going to Heaven!
12. The chariot


Samuel Barber (1910–1981)

Sure on this Shining Night
Rain Has Fallen
I Hear an Army

Hermit Songs
1. At Saint Patrick’s Purgatory
2. Church bell at night
3. Saint Ita’s vision
4. The heavenly banquet
5. The crucifixion
6. Sea-snatch
7. Promiscuity
8. The monk and his cat
9. The praises of God
10. The desire for Hermitage

The Secrets of the Old

O Boundless, Boundless Evening

A Green Lowland of Pianos


Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
La Bon Cuisine
1. Plum Pudding
2. Queues de Boeuf
3. Tavouk Gueunksis
4. Civet à Tout Vitesse

Two Love Songs
1. Extinguish my eyes
2. When my soul touches yours

A Simple Song (Mass)

Glitter and Be Gay (Candide)

I Hate Music!: A Cycle of Five Kid Songs
1. My name is Barbara
2. Jupiter has seven moons
3. I hate music!
4. A big Indian and a little Indian
5. I’m a person too



The little horses
At Saint Patrick’s Purgatory

The boatmen’s dance
Ching-a-ring chaw
A Green Lowland of Pianos

At the river
Going to Heaven!
Glitter and Be Gay (Candide)

Simple gifts
The monk and his cat
I hate music!

The dodger
Civet à Tout Vitesse
A Simple Song (Mass)

Long time ago
I bought me a cat
Extinguish my eyes

Why do they shut me out of Heaven?
I felt a funeral in my brain
The crucifixion

Nature, the gentlest mother
Sure on this Shining Night
Saint Ita’s vision

SYLLABUS: MUSG 06210–Vocal Literature

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SYLLABUS: MUSG 06210–Vocal Literature
Professor Bonnie Hoke-Scedrov
Rowan University
Mondays and Wednesdays: 12:30—1:45pm
Wilson Hall, Room #203


Welcome to Vocal Literature! This course is designed to give you a thorough and functional knowledge of the rich body of classical solo song repertoire (artsong) available to you as a trained classical singer. Here is a breakdown of how the course will be organized:


Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature
by, Carol Kimball. Copyright 2005. Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation, Milwaukee, WI.


Attendance: 5%
Homework: 30%
Midterm examination: 25%
Final examination: 20%
Final project: 20%



Since classroom participation is an essential part of this course, you will be graded on attendance (that means your grade will go down if you have missed classes). Do all you can to attend every single class or you risk falling behind.



You will be assigned a great deal of listening for this course! To assist you, I have placed all of the required listening for this course on my professional blog,

On this blog page there is an alphabetical list of composers, each hypertexted to a destination page containing YouTube performances of that composer’s songs for study. I will determine after each class which songs will be assigned for the next class as well as which pages of the textbook to read before the next class. I will be sure to send you an email confirming that next assignment by the end of the same day of each class.

Each of you will need to complete three listening stylesheets per class (see: to be mailed to me by 8:00 PM the night before each class ( (Stylesheets sent later than 8:00 PM will be marked late and your grade may suffer.) The STYLESHEET HOMEWORK TEMPLATE can be easily downloaded as a PDF by clicking the blue download button at the beginning of the “homework” section of this syllabus.

Here is my strategy for the classroom experience:

There will be a minimum of 15 songs which every student must listen to before each class. Each student will have a different set of 3 songs to “review” from anyone else in the class. That means your stylesheet-assignment will be unique from the other students in the class. As there are five students in this class, that will yield a total of 15 unique style sheets for each class. The style sheets will be used as a jumping-off point for classroom discussion and analysis of the repertoire we are studying for that day. The stylesheets will also serve as research material for completion of the final project (see below). Please note that homework counts for 30% of your grade! It is absolutely vital that you do not fall behind in doing this homework. Your stylesheets will be an essential part of classroom discussion for the next class—your classmates are depending on you! Attendance is consequently quite important (5%). Please do not miss class!


The midterm exam will consist primarily of definitions and terms necessary for understanding style, and which are constantly referred to in the stylesheets you will be submitting as homework each week. All of these terms have been drawn from “PART I STYLE” (pages 1-37) of the textbook. To assist you in your study, you can access the blog version of the stylesheet ( where all the terms which appear in the stylesheet are hyper-texted to the definitions you will need to memorize for the midterm exam. This post serves as “flash cards” for study.


The final exam will cover what you have learned reading the textbook and during the classroom discussion and study. Your reading, listening, stylesheets, and notes that you take concerning the stylesheet-analyses of your classmates will constitute a lot of what you will find on the final exam. To assist you in your study, I will be sure to provide you with an extensive study-guide before the final exam. CLICK HERE FOR FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE


For your final project, you will need to produce two contrasting and complete recital programs for your self, based upon the repertoire we have studied in this course. If all goes well, you will find this enjoyable and not very difficult. Here is where your stylesheets will really prove their worth. By the time you’re working on your final project, you will have a good idea of what repertoire is best for you professionally amongst this enormous body of repertoire available. The two recitals should each be 50 minutes worth of music, nicely grouped into appropriate and balanced groups, with an intermission. You should provide program notes appropriate with the repertoire chosen and, if possible, a title or theme for this recital. Ideally, these programs should be right for you and your voice NOW (not ten years from now when your voice is more mature). My hope is that you will be eager to perform what you create. To help you with this project, please see the post: “How to Plan a Recital” (

Good luck and enjoy!

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Vocal Literature




Is melody linear (scalar & stepwise) or disjunct (large interval leaps)?

Are phrases long or short? A combination?

Is the vocal range narrow or wide?

Is the tessitura high, low, or mid-range in the voice?

Are there any surprises in the melody? A sudden upturn or downturn for expressive effect.

Is there a recurring melodic motive in the song (a rhythmic or melodic pattern)? Is it sequential? Is a motive used throughout the piece or only in part of the piece? Does the motive symbolize an emotion or dramatic situation? Does it provide atmosphere?

What is the style of vocal articulation in the melody? (recitative-like, syllabic melody, melismatic melody, or long lyric melody)

Has the composer embellished or ornamented the melodic line with grace notes, appoggiaturas, or turns?

What is the chromatic texture of this piece? Does the composer embellish the melody with notes foreign to the key? (“Chromaticisms”) What is the expressive effect of these chromatic changes?

Is the vocal line primarily text-driven, using “text painting” to illustrate text?

What is the emotional effect of the text painting? Deep emotion? Breathless excitement? Humor? Melancholy?


What is the tonality of the piece? Diatonic Major? Diatonic minor? Chromatic? Modal? Twelve-Tone (serial) or atonal?

What is the key scheme? Does the key modulate? Does the composer modulate the key to delineate a section or change in the poetry? Does composer use cadences in an unusual way (deceptive)?

Does this composer use consonance? Does this composer use dissonance? What is the effect?

Does the composer use recurring harmonies in this piece, such as diminished or augmented chords, to illustrate text or highlight a dramatic mood?

What effect do harmonic techniques produce in this piece? Does it produce an unsettled feeling? Stability? Sadness? Happiness?


What is the tempo marking of this piece?

What is/are the meter(s) of the song?

Are there rhythms that unify, such as an ostinato?

Does the piece contain syncopation or suspension? What purpose does it serve?

Are dotted rhythms used in song to expressively illustrate text?

Are hemiolas used in this composition? How do they expressively illustrate text?

Are there polyrhythms or cross-rhythms with the voice in this piece? What is the effect?


What is the predominant accompaniment figure? Block chords? Arpeggiated figures? Broken chords?

Does the song begin with one figuration and change to another? Does this change occur at a significant dramatic point in the text, or just at a new musical section?

Does the composition have a prelude, interlude, or postlude? Does it unify the larger cycle? How?

Are there any distinctive dramatic effects in the accompaniment, such as an “event”?


What kind of poem is this? A folk song? Is it a ballad? How would you describe this poem?

What form does the composer use for the song? Strophic form? Modified Strophic? If modified strophic, is it binary or ternary in form? Is it a rondo? Perhaps palindrome form (very unusual)?

Is the song through-composed (durchkomponiert):

Is the composer setting a prose text, such as a letter or journal entry, rather than an actual poem?

Is this a good poem from a substantial poet, or is it a lesser work from, perhaps, a personal friend of the composer?



Do YOU like this song? (Be honest!)

Could you use this song for performance yourself?

If yes . . .
Where on a program would you program it? At the beginning of a group? Internally in a group? As an opener to the recital? As an ender-piece either before the intermission or at the end of the recital? As an encore? Please give reasons!

What kind of singer could perform this work? Soprano/mezzo-soprano/tenor/baritone/bass? A beginner? An advanced singer? Why?


All definitions are drawn from the course textbook:

Song: A Guide to Art Song, Style, and Literature by, Carol Kimball. Copyright 2005. Publisher: Hal Leonard. Pages 1-21.

[Click here to return to Vocal Literature ARTSONG STYLESHEET]


What is an art song? A composer blends music and poetry in such a way that it is impossible to think of them apart. It is experienced as a complete entity — an overall impression.

We understand a song through images. Composers create the images we see when we hear an art song with words, abilities, harmonies, and rhythms. (back to the top…)



What is style? Style is a combination of all the songs parts – melody, harmony, rhythm, accompaniment, and poets/texts. (back to the top…)


What is a sound print? Answer: the sonic result of the composer’s style, like a fingerprint. Why make a stylesheet or digest of a song? Answer: to define variety in programming. (back to the top…)


What is range? Answer: range refers to the highest and lowest notes of the song.

What is tessitura? Answer: the average pitch level throughout the song (high or low?) (back to the top…)


What is the chromatic texture? What does “chromatic” mean? Answer: a Greek word meaning “color”. In music this refers to a composers habit of “coloring” or embellishing a melody with notes foreign to the key. He/she uses chromatic alterations within a particular phrase usually to illustrate the meaning of the poem. (back to the top…)


What is a motive? Answer: a small melodic pattern that repeats throughout the song. Motives can symbolize characters, emotions, or dramatic situations, or can simply stand on their own for their own musical merit. (back to the top…)


What is articulation? Answer: It is how you use or articulate your voice in the song. The way we articulate a melody reveals the musical features of that vocal line. (back to the top…)


What is recitative? (Other names – parlando or declaratory recitative)
Answer: Vocal style that closely approximates speech rhythms. (back to the top…)


What is a melisma? More than one note—a melodic figure—on a single syllable of text. (back to the top…)


What is a lyric melody? Answer: Lyric melodies are beautifully “tuneful” within the phrase structure. (back to the top…)


What is text painting? Answer: using a melody to “paint” or illustrate the text by using certain intervals, rhythms, or melodic patterns that capture the sense in sound of the words. (back to the top…)


What is harmonic texture? Answer: harmonic texture is the sum total of all the harmonic elements in the song. Texture is a large umbrella covering many sub elements. (back to the top…)


What is tonality? Answer: refers to which scale is used. (back to the top…)


Diatonic: what is diatonic harmony? Answer: diatonic harmony does not deviate from the major or minor scales. All notes in the melody and the harmony are within either a major or minor scale. (back to the top…)


What is chromatic harmony? Answer: chromatic harmony includes notes which are not found in the major or minor scale. Often chromatic alterations to a chord are used for key modulation or to give dramatic emphasis to the text. (back to the top…)


Modal Harmony: What is modal harmony? Answer: the mode of a harmony is the type of scale that is used. In contemporary times, this refers to major or minor scales. Prior to the 17th century, music was based on a system of six different modes, given Greek names and represented by the white notes on the modern keyboard. Modal melodies may contain altered tones which correspond to these medieval modes. Example: The song “Lydia” by, Fauré is in the Lydian mode.(back to the top…)


Twelve-Tone (serial). What is Twelve-Tone (serial) harmony? Answer: A system of composition originated by Arnold Schoenberg in which the twelve tones of the chromatic scale are placed into a tone row in a particular order. The rules are that you always present the row in the complete form, although it may be inverted or used backwards (retrograde). (back to the top…)


What is tonal music? Answer: tonal refers to music that has a key center.Tonal centers can shift or modulate during a song or they can remain the same. (back to the top…)


What is atonal music? Atonal refers to the absence of a key feeling or centered tonality. This is more frequent in 20th-century music. (back to the top…)


What is dissonance? Answer: dissonance refers to a state of tension (employing chromatic elements) between various tones in a chord, which generally produces an unsettled, often disagreeable sound. Dissonant intervals or chords have a restless quality that is highly important for a song’s sense of movement and energy. (back to the top…)


Consonance: what is consonance in harmony? Answer: consonance is the opposite of dissonance; consonant intervals sound stable and complete; consonant chords contain harmonious, compatible sounds. (back to the top…)


What are recurring harmonies? Answer: any harmonic chord or device that the composer chooses to use often or repeatedly within a song or within his entire output. (back to the top…)


What is key scheme? Answer: key scheme refers to the way a composer organizes the tonal centers within a piece. Key centers are the primary way a composer can delineate the sections in a song or effectively point up an emotional change in the poetry. (back to the top…)


What are cadences? Answer: cadences are chord progressions that indicate closure, either temporary or complete. Cadences occur at the ends of periods (two musical phrases), end of musical sections, or at the end of the complete song. (back to the top…)


What is text illustration through harmonic means? Answer: a composer using specific harmonies or harmonic progressions to suggest mood, atmosphere, or dramatic content. (back to the top…)


What is rhythm in song? Answer: rhythm is the “backbone of music” since it is the underlying pulse of the musical work. (back to the top…)


What is tempo in song? Tempi in songs are clues to the composer’s perception of the text and are revealed through the metric indications or tempo markings. (back to the top…)


What is metric organization of a song? Answer: the metric organization of the song is the way in which the composer organizes various meters within a song. A composer generally ties meter to word stress in the poetry. Often there will be only a single meter for the entire song. But, pieces composed during the 20th century can include irregular and/or multiple meters within one piece used for expressive purposes. (back to the top…)


What is irregular meter in music? Answer: Irregular meters have an odd number as the upper figure in the meter signature. (Example: 5/8, 7/8, etc.)(back to the top…)


What are non-metric, improvisatory meters? Answer: This refers to some 20th-century works which have nontraditional notation that requires improvisation by the composer. (back to the top…)


What is a unifying rhythm in a song? Answer: A rhythmic motive around which an entire song’s composition is built. This can result in a highly unified song in which the rhythm perpetuates the tension in the poetry. (back to the top…)


What is an ostinato? Answer: an ostinato is a motive, phrase, or short cell repeated many times at the same pitch level. It may be long or short, several notes, a complete phrase, or an octave pattern that continuously repeats. Composers use this ostinato pattern to sustain mood, create tension, or unify the structure of the song. It is normally found in the piano accompaniment. The most common pattern is a ground bass, or constantly repeated bass phrase. (back to the top…)


What is syncopation and suspension? Answer: syncopation accents or stresses a normally weak or unaccented beat in a metric line. Suspensions are another form of syncopation where an expected tone is delayed, then held or suspended. Composers use syncopation and suspension for emotional expression, tension, and release. (back to the top…)


How are dotted rhythms used in song? Answer: they are used to expressively illustrate text. (back to the top…)


What is a hemiola in song? Answer: A hemiola in song is another form of rhythmic interruption which produces tension by temporarily altering the metric pattern. A hemiola upsets the normal rhythmic flow by constantly accenting a week beat which changes the meter momentarily (usually making ¾ become 2/4 or vice versa.) (back to the top…)


What are Polyrhythms/cross-rhythms with the voice? Answer: Polyrhythms/cross-rhythms with the voice refer to the simultaneous use of contrasting rhythms in different lines of the musical texture. Cross rhythms interrupt the flow of regular rhythmic actions creating a sense of distortion or inbalance. Cross rhythms can occur in the piano accompanimet or can be used between the piano and the voice. (back to the top…)


What is texture in accompaniment? Answer: texture in accompaniment can be thought of as the “fabric of the song” woven to support and define the poetry. It can be dense and thick or light and clear, conceived in linear form or chordal form. The end result is to produce imagery. (back to the top…)


What is a prelude? Answer: a prelude is a musical introduction to a song that is longer than a few measures, but is rather substantial in length and is almost a mini-musical form of its own. (back to the top…)


What is an interlude? Answer: an interlude is a connecting passage used between sections of a song. An interlude is used to sectionalized a piece, or to “comment” on what has gone before, or to introduce what is coming next. (back to the top…)


What is a postlude? A postlude is a section of music for the piano that closes the song. Postludes occur more frequently than preludes and interludes in songs and serve as a moment of reminiscence by bringing back melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic material heard before. (back to the top…)


What is accompaniment texture? Answer: accompaniment texture generally refers to the density or sparseness of the piano accompaniment. It may contain many threads of melody, harmony, or distinctive figures or many numerous strands of color. Or, it can be more monochromatic and simple. (back to the top…)


What is linear texture? Answer: Linear texture is sparse, fashioned of only a single line in each hand of the piano accompaniment. The texture usually evokes clarity, elegance, and control. Often the composer will begin a song with linear texture and then expand to a fuller sound. (back to the top…)


What is contrapuntal texture? Answer: contrapuntal texture is “in the style of counterpoint.” A contrapuntal accompaniment will contain independent melodies used simultaneously. (back to the top…)


What are distinctive dramatic effects in song accompaniment? Answer: they are striking affects for the piano that point up text or action in the text. (back to the top…)


What are unifying elements in a song or song cycle? Answer: They are unifying elements from the music or the poetry in a single song or across several songs in a song cycle. They can be musical motives, rhythmic cells or patterns, or harmonic progressions. These elements may be found in the vocal line, the accompaniment, or both. Linked themes and motives are usually used as symbols of remembrance to connect all the songs. (back to the top…)


What is strophic form? Answer: Strophic form refers to songs with several poetic verses, in which the composer repeats the same music for each verse, with little or no change. (back to the top…)


What is modified strophic form? Answer: The composer makes changes to the music of one or more of the verses of a strophic song to create interest, such as changing the key, the rhythm of the melodic line, or the piano figures. (back to the top…)


What is through-composed (durchkomponiert )? Answer: Through-composed (durchkomponiert) is a song where there is virtually no repetition of sections or phrases. (back to the top…)


What is binary form? Answer: Binary form divides a song into two parts, usually AB, with more complex variations possible, such as AA’BB’. (back to the top…)


What is ternary form? Answer: Ternary form divides a song into three musical sections, usually ABA or ABA’. It is a very popular song form with composers as it allows variation (the “B” section) as well as the thematic unity from the repetition of the A section. It is a nicely balanced type of song form. (back to the top…)


What is rondo form? Answer: Rondo form refers to a design that features a recurring section that alternates with a number of different sections, such as, ABACA or ABACADA. (back to the top…)


What is palindrome form (“bogenform” (or bow))? Answer: It is a formal design, which reads the same backward as it does forward.

What is a ballad? Answer: A ballad is a poem or song that tells a specific story. Ballads were influential in widening the dramatic scope of artsong, because special compositional techniques in the accompaniment were required to illustrate the emotions and the dramatic story line.

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Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)

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Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)

1. What do we need to know about this composer?
Possible answers . . .

  • Transition figure between Claude Debussy and Les Six (six significant, later French composers).
  • Wrote elegant and subtle melodies. Liked folk-like songs.
  • Rich and complex harmonies with lots of augmented triads, unresolved dissonances, and pandiatonicism.
  • Used driving rhythms a lot.

2. Name a song composition by this composer.
Possible answers . . .

George Enescu (1881–1955)

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George Enescu (1881–1955)


1. What do we need to know about this composer?

Possible answers . . .

  • Romanian composer whose vocal composition, Sept chansons de Clément Marot, evoke medieval sounds–modality with a distinctly French flavor.
  • Based on the poetry of a medieval poet.

2. Name a song composition by this composer.

Possible answers . . .

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