The Friday Symposium: Songwriting

Franz Schubert is the Father of Song, so it seems appropriate to pause to talk a little bit about songwriting. The oldest and most basic form of song is the strophic form, which derives from the Greek strophē (turn). In sum, a strophic song has repeating music (the so-called "AAA" structure in which all stanzas … Continue reading The Friday Symposium: Songwriting

Classical Music V: Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

So great was the shadow cast by Beethoven over the musical landscape of Vienna (and so great the popularity of Rossini among the masses) that it nearly obscured another, perhaps even more tortured, musical genius roaming its streets and haunting its taverns. Franz Schubert was born, lived and died in Vienna. He studied with Salieri, … Continue reading Classical Music V: Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

The Friday Symposium: Beethoven’s Legacy

How does one even begin to assess the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven? The King of Harmony well-deserved his title, even if his revolutionary use of rhythmic motifs would arguably prove to be his most lasting contribution to the language of music. His symphonies are unquestionably his lasting legacy, even if I personally find his … Continue reading The Friday Symposium: Beethoven’s Legacy

Armageddon: Beethoven’s Final Statement

Do not go gentle into that good night,Old age should burn and rave at close of day;Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas And now, the end. Like Bach before him, Beethoven ends (at least for this history) with a fugue. Beethoven had written a grand fugue to close his String Quartet … Continue reading Armageddon: Beethoven’s Final Statement

A Thanksgiving

The Te Deum hymn traces its origins back to the 4th Century and is traditionally attributed to St. Ambrose, who is said to have written it for the baptism of the future St. Augustine in 378. The Te Deum melody is one of the oldest in the Gregorian tradition and has inspired composers throughout history. … Continue reading A Thanksgiving