Music History: Baroque Music

Background When we say Baroque music, we typically think of composers like Bach and Handel. These composers – and this musical era in general –  were vital in shaping music as we know it today. Beginning around 1600, the Baroque era was instrumental (pun definitely intended) in the normalization of tonality (harmony as we know…

Unearthing the Greats: Beethoven

Ludvig van Beethoven: German composer, pianist, conductor. Was he really all that great? And what is it about his music that has left him his legacy? Let’s find out! Born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany, to a family with prominant musical history – his grandfather, also Ludvig van Beethoven, was a professional singer and Kapellmeister (city music…

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is known for being slightly eccentric, a little romantic, quite avant-garde, and extremely gifted . He composed all kinds of pieces in a wide variety of musical genres ranging from symphonies to piano sonatas to ballets. Overall he was rather brilliant (music and otherwise), and he is one of my most favorite composers…

Haydn’s Piano Variations

Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (also known as Joseph Haydn or Papa Haydn) is a staple of the Classical era. Throughout his lifetime (1732-1809), he was highly regarded as a composer; in fact, he is known as “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” because he was instrumental (pun definitely intended) in shaping…

Beethoven and . . . Star Wars?

Yes, that’s right. Beethoven and Star Wars. What do they have in common? This post will explore that very question, but I am not going to explain the correlation until you have a little bit of background, so stay with me. First, a brief history of Ludvig van Beethoven – pianist and composer extraordinaire.  A…