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HISTORY OF MUSIC (THE) 2nd Edition (8 Programs)
Using period music, magnificent works of art, and colorful diagrams, this updated eight-part series thoroughly examines the Western music tradition: its roots, its major eras and movements, and many of its most significant composers.
* A Discovery Channel Production
There are eight 22 to 28-minute programs in the series:
ORIGINS AND OVERVIEW
When and where did music begin? What functions does music serve in different cultures? What major similarities and differences define the world's musical traditions? And how did early European music get its start? This program sheds light on those and other questions as it discusses the multiplicity of roles of music in different societies. The program also introduces the distinctive characteristics of music and instruments from sub-Saharan Africa, China, Japan, Indonesia, India, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Mediterranean region.
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THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE
This program describes the development of music in Europe between the 2nd and 16th centuries, from the plainchant of the early Christians to the polyphony of the late Renaissance. The motet, chanson, madrigal, chorale, mass, canzone, and songs of the jongleurs, troubadours, and minnesingers are discussed. Instruments such as the psaltery, lute, tromba marina, shawm, buisine, trumpet, trombone, portable organ, harp, and fiedel are illustrated. And key figures including Guillaume de Machaut, Francesco Landini, John Dunstable, Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Claudio Monteverdi, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina are introduced.
THE BAROQUE ERA
Baroque music, which flourished between the years 1600 and 1750, expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance while also firmly establishing opera as a musical genre. In this program, the canzone, suite, sonata, concerto grosso, concerto, toccata, prelude and fugue, chorale prelude, mass, oratorio, and opera are examined. The harpsichord is spotlighted as an iconic Baroque instrument. And pivotal figures such as Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Gabrieli, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Domenico Scarlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, and Johann Sebastian Bach are singled out.
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INTO THE CLASSICAL PERIOD
This program studies the birth of Classical music, which occurred during the final decades of the Baroque Era, and its maturation up to about 1800. Differences between Baroque and Classical music - particularly in matters of tonality and form - are identified, as a growing middle class and the Age of Enlightenment ushered Johann Stamitz, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven - a transitional figure - into prominence. The gallant and sentimental styles, the sonata and symphony, comic opera, and chamber music are given special attention, and the pianoforte, successor to the harpsichord, is spotlighted.
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While Classical composers relied on form and structure, Romantic composers gave priority to emotional expression. This program surveys the 19th century as it notes the contributions of Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Niccolò Paganini, Frédéric Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, and Giuseppe Verdi to the Romantic movement. Classical and Romantic music are contrasted, and emblematic musical forms - the symphony, symphonic poem, opera, lied, and character piece-are discussed. Also, the ongoing evolution of the piano is addressed.
This program adds the achievements of Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Modest Mussorgsky and the rest of The Mighty Handful, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvorák, Edvard Grieg, Georges Bizet, Giacomo Puccini, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss to the history of Romanticism. Opera - particularly the operatic "music dramas" of Wagner and the Italian verismo movement - is given special attention, and the dual influences of nationalist zeal and Freudian ideas on the music of the latter part of the 19th century are explored.
THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
The early 20th century saw the virtual elimination of tonality as an organizing musical principle and dissonance used as sheer sound rather than a transitional state of musical tension that had to be resolved. This program examines how Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton von Webern, and Igor Stravinsky pushed the limits of music to the point where audiences rejected and even rioted against it. Debussy's impressionism, Schoenberg's 12-tone system, and Stravinsky's elevation of rhythm over melody are emphasized. The avant-garde nationalistic music of Jean Sibelius, Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Béla Bartók, Ernest Bloch, and Charles Ives is showcased as well.
Over the past half-century, concert music has felt the influence of jazz and the Modernist innovations of serialism, "chance music", microtonality, abstractly expressionistic electronic music, and minimalism. At the same time, there has been a revival of interest in earlier forms of music - particularly Romantic and Classical. This program studies the contributions of Edgard Varèse, Henry Cowell, John Cage, Harry Partch, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Dmitry Shostakovich, George Rochberg, György Ligeti, John Corigliano, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Astor Piazzolla, Henryk Górecki, and Arvo Pärt.