Beethoven and Star Wars Part 2: The Funeral Imperial March

As you may know, classical music of all kinds inspired composer John Williams as he wrote the Star Wars score. But what I’m really interested in is how master composer Beethoven exerted his influence on a galaxy far far away. Because there’s so much wonderful music to discuss in regards to the Star Wars score,…

Music Inspired by Winter: Tchaikovsky

It’s almost December! I hope you are all enjoying this season of love, family, and twinkling lights. 🙂 I personally love the cold weather – especially the snow and the music! And because Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is a winter classic, that got me thinking. Has he written any other music inspired by winter? The answer is yes! So in…

Music Inspired by Water Part 1

This weekend I’m spending a few days at the coast, so I thought I’d create a playlist of music inspired by the ocean. And because there are many many pieces that were inspired by and evoke images of water, expect future installments of this post. 🙂 [Click here for part two.] First up:  “Die Hebriden”…

History of the Nocturne

A nocturne is a piece of music, typically tranquil and expressive (and sometimes so gloomy), that is inspired by the night. The first musical appearance of the word nocturne occurred in the 1700s. However, these early nocturne-types were small ensemble works written specifically for an evening party rather than evoking images and feelings of the night. One example of…

Johannes Brahms, Intermezzi Op. 117

“Three lullabies for my sorrows.” That’s how Johannes Brahms (German pianist composer who lived from 1833-1897; read more about him here) described his op. 117. Written in the summer of 1892, op. 117 consists of three piano pieces categorized as – and named – Intermezzi (Brahms titled many of his pieces Intermezzo, which is defined as…

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…

Scriabin’s Piano Concerto

Alexander Scriabin: one of the most influential composers of modern music. The Russian composer and pianist, who lived from 1872-1915, either crazy or a genius (or both), influenced prominent 20th century composers (such as Igor Stravinsky and Prokofiev). Scriabin is known for his harsh dissonance and atonal music (music that does not have a tonal center or…

Liszt and Italy’s Inspiration

Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, and author Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was a virtuoso. He began playing the piano at a young age, and by the time he was eight years old he was already composing. And, as you can see, he spent his whole life studying, writing, and performing music. I’m not…