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German Lieder

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Alison Nash

on 15 March 2016

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Transcript of German Lieder

Area of Study 2:
'Shared Music'
- Voice and accompaniment
- small ensembles
- large choral ensembles

- What is Lieder?
- Where does it come from?
- What features does it have?
History of the Lied
Listen to....
Features of the Lied
- Lied is a german word, meaning 'song'
- It is mostly used as a term for European romantic music songs, known as ‘Art Songs.’
- It was used specifically for songs composed
to a german poem during the 19th century.
- Famous composers of the German Lied were,
Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.
- The poems that Lied’s were written to were
based on nature or love
- German Lied’s were arranged for a
single singer and piano.
- Sometimes, they are gathered in a
'Liederkreis' (song cycle) which is a
'series of three songs or more,
connected by a single theme.
- As this was a more formal style of singing, performers learned the songs from written music. They were sung in a more formal setting, such as a concert hall
- For German speakers, the lied has a long history, dating back to 12th century folk songs.
- In Germany, the great age of song came in the 19th century, known as the romantic period in music.
- The lied became popular in this time due to the popularity of german literature and poetry. Composers became inspired by this.
- The composer Schubert wrote over 600 lieds.
'The Trout' by Schubert

Read the poem as you listen....
Voice and single accompaniment
German Lieder

Melisma - where one word is held over many notes
Word Painting - where the pitch of the notes matches the meaning/name of a word or mood of a phrase. Eg., a high pitch note on the word high or notes going down in pitch
on the word ‘falling,’ a minor chord on a
sad or negative word.
Two key words you need to know
in German Leider are:
The Erlking (Erl-King)
by Schubert....
Schubert wrote the music to The Erlking in 1815.
Read the english translation of the poem,
taking note of the three roles
(The Erlking, father, and son.)
Listen to The Erlking
Follow the poem and its translation
as you listen. Then answer the following
1.How does Schubert use the piano part to
conjure up the scene?
2.How does Schubert distinguish between the
three speakers- the father, the child,
and the Erlking?
Consider, in particular, the lengths of the phrases that they sing, and the pitch at which they sing them.
3. Find one example of word painting and one example of melisma in this song.
The Erlking in
Schubert's handwriting
Musical Features of Lieder cont...
For solo voice and piano

* Voice and piano have equal importance in the music.
* The singer sings with expression to convey the mood.
* The piano part is usually very descriptive creating
effects such as a babbling brook with rippling passages.
* Texts are often based on emotional themes,
such as love, sadness, loss or anger.
* A melody and accompaniment texture.
* A strophic structure (in which each verse is set to the same music)
or a through-composed structure (each verse is set to different music).
* Music that reflects the mood and emotions conveyed in the song
In the opening of The Erlking, the piano sets the mood with its minor key, pounding triplets and rumbling bass depicting the galloping horse and the mounting anxiety.
The Piano
Full transcript