Copland—Piano Variations

The Great Courses
Show More

Related videos

Gottschalk: The Union - 1862
Louis Moreau Gottschalk was the first truly American composer. Delve into his early life in New Orleans, and observe the richly diverse cultures that shaped his music, encompassing European, Caribbean, Latin American and African influences. Follow his remarkable career as a touring composer-piano virtuoso, his tireless work for the Northern…
Beethoven—Diabelli Variations, Op. 120
Arguably the greatest of all works for solo piano, these glorious variations were written on an invitation from composer Anton Diabelli. Grasp the extraordinary ways in which Beethoven varies the theme, using allusion, humor, and parody.
The Complexities of Musical Rhythm
Begin your study of musical rhythm by distinguishing periodic from non-periodic rhythmic patterns. Periodicity can be thought of as beat; non-periodicity involves expressive techniques such as timing variations and phrasing. Close by asking whether composers write music in the rhythmic patterns of their native language.
Popular Culture: Jazz, Modern Art, Movies
Take a wide-ranging look at the transformation of American art and entertainment during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Chart the accomplishments of the Ashcan School of painting and realist fiction. Witness the birth of ragtime, blues, and jazz, and the rise of spectator sports, stage entertainment, and the new…
Debussy—“The Sunken Cathedral”
Here, journey into Debussy's early life as he broke with the musical past to create stunningly original piano works. Study five elements of Debussy's revolutionary style used to evoke the mythical cathedral of Ys rising from the sea. In particular, observe how he uses "modal" melodies and harmonies, rhythmic fluidity,…
Copland: Symphony No. 3 - 1946
Trace the Depression-era movement of populism in American art, based in the notion that high art should speak to the broad, general population, and learn how Copland's Symphony No. 3 captured the euphoric mood of the country following victories over the Depression, fascism, and Japanese imperialism. Note also how the…
SYNCOPATION
A jazz trumpeter tries to woo a fellow musician in mourning for her dead lover, and sets up a band in an attempt to bring them closer together. Covering a quarter-century of American "syncopated" music (ragtime, jazz, swing, blues, and boogie boogie), Syncopation features music from the turn of the…
Arousing Expectations: Melody and Harmony
Melodies and harmonies combine pitches according to rules that we have internalized through experience. Listen to musical examples that demonstrate unresolved and resolved expectations. Consider the analogy to grammar in language, and search for a connection between music and language in the brain.
Rachmaninoff—Études-tableaux
Explore Rachmaninoff's dual life as a composer and a peerless piano virtuoso, and the linking of his musical destiny with the American-made Steinway piano. In the Etudes, see how Rachmaninoff uses ingenious virtuoso effects, layered rhythms, and sophisticated harmonies to evoke a boisterous fair, a seascape, a funeral ceremony, and…
Music and the Brain Series
Music is an integral part of humanity. Every culture has music, from the largest society to the smallest tribe. Its marvelous range of melodies, themes, and rhythms taps into something universal. Babies are soothed by it. Young adults dance for hours to it. Older adults can relive their youth with…
The Great Works of Sacred Music
Western classical music is one of humanity's most sublime artistic traditions. This musical language - encompassing genres from symphonic and instrumental music to choral works and opera - was created through the meeting of art and faith. The lineage of sacred works produced some of the greatest masterpieces in Western…
Additional Patterns of the First Declension
Episode 4 of Greek 101
Look at two variations in the pattern of the first declension--one used in Homeric Greek and the other in Koine, the Greek of the New Testament. Despite being separated by almost a thousand years, the two dialects have remarkable continuity.