Music Inspired by the Land, Air and Sea, Art and the Word

In these lectures, we will discuss how composers have been inspired by nature – the land, air and sea and by other art forms – art and the written word, Composers have developed techniques to sonically imply these elements in their compositions. We will look at specific artists, writers and composers who illustrate these relationships and how they have changed throughout time.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Composers often find inspiration for their music in the natural world, including the ‘Land’ in which we inhabit, although many interpret it in different ways. Some see it as the ‘Earth’, some as a specific land mass, while others find inspiration from the myriad of Flora and Fauna that inhabits the ‘Land”.
  • Interestingly, music inspired by the ‘Air’, or the world above the Earth, was mostly written in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this period there are many pieces written about the cosmos, the planets and space. Earlier compositions we associate with these elements like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata are not the official titles but nicknames coming about often after the composer’s death.
  • The classical music world is full of compositions inspired by oceans, lakes and streams both specific and general. Many of these pieces have wonderful stories behind their titles. It is interesting to explore the different techniques composers use to evoke water in their music and discover how this has changed over the centuries.
  • On the face of it there would seem to be little in common between music and painting; music being for the ears, while painting is for the eyes. But in actual fact artists have often portrayed music-making in their works – think Picasso’s Three Musicians - and have been inspired by musical sounds or musical concepts.
  • In both the religious and secular worlds music and words have always been entwined together. Beautiful words are made more poignant by sweeping melodies while text gives music added dimensions. The relationship between literature and music has been treated differently by composers throughout the centuries. Initially there were single line vocal melodies, then songs where word painting becomes all important, then great operas with specifically written libretti.

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify some of the elements composers have been inspired by.
  2. Explain how composers have used these inspirations.
  3. Discuss various different techniques.
$166 Limited / $149

<p>In these lectures, we will discuss how composers have been inspired by nature – the land, air and sea and by other art forms – art and the written word, Composers have developed techniques to

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08 Feb

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