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Programme music

Charles Saint-Saens 1835 - 1921
by

Alison Nash

on 15 September 2015

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Transcript of Programme music

Charles Saint Saens
A French composer, famous for his compositions 'The Carnival of the Animals' and 'Danse Macarbe.'
What is a symphonic poem?
Danse Macarbe was a 'symphonic poem'
written in 1874
What do you think the poem danse macarbe may have been about?
A Symphonic poem is where a composer takes
a poem and creates music to suit the text.
Listen to the music, whilst taking note of the elements of music to try and decide what the music is about...
Rhythm, pitch, dynamics, structure, tempo, instrumentation, texture
Questions in pairs/small groups
What story do you think the music is trying
to portray?
How has Saint Saens managed
to do this reflecting on the
elements of music?
Add anything you found interesting
in the piece and how it may have
portrayed the story....
Danse Macarbe is
the dance of death!
It was a late medieval allegory.....
It was a reminder of how fragile the people's lives
were in the 1400s after the tragedies of the black plague, famine and war......
Both horror and amusement were captured by
Danse Macarbe and it was known as the last
dance of cold comfort before death....
L0: to listen to music from Saint Saens and Tchaikovsky and
focus on two pieces of music which describe a story or scene.
The Carnival of the Animals
Listen to these two pieces from from 'the carnival of the animals' and decide which one it is considering the instruments and the elements of
music....
The lion
cockrels and hens
The tortoise
the elephant
the kangaroo
the aquarium
the aviary (birds)
wild donkeys
the cuckoo in the night
the fossils
the swans
Consider the........

tempo
pitch
instruments used
rhythm
dynamics
texture
It was the.........
why?
Tempo: slow
Rhythm: steady, chordal, no fast moving notes
Pitch: low
Dynamics: Fairly loud, no sudden contrast
Texture: homophonic - melody and accompaniment
It was the...............
why?
Tempo: Slow
Rhythm: Steady - no fast
moving notes
Instruments: Strings and piano
Pitch: medium
Dynamics: Fairly soft
Texture: Melody and accompaniment
The tune of this piece is one you may
already recognise...... Saint Saens has taken the famous 'can can' tune and slowed it right down to make a mockery of the poor old tortoise who would never be able to move that fast!
Homework:

For tomorrow: Come in with the name of an animal or unique character (eg., from a play or a film) You will be making a 'leitmotif' to represent that character.....
Full transcript