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"Never turn down a front row seat for human folly."

Norah Ephron

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Music Workshop at Stony Brook

OLLI workshops are suspended for the Thanksgiving Break, from November 20-24. Our workshop “Classical Music Themes and Variation, Part II” will resume on November 27, as usual in Humanities 1003 from 1 pm to 2:15 pm. Details will be posted here and e-mailed to participants.

November 20: Thanksgiving break – no workshop meeting.

November 27: The pleasures of chamber music (with talk and demonstration by the Serenade Duo).

December 4: Classical music in the twentieth century: modernists and movies

Some useful musical terms

Adagio: slow movement or passage (often romantic or sad)
Allegro: quick, lively movement or passage
Atonal: not in any key (rather nasty)
Baroque: dominant style of music roughly from 1600-1750 (elaborate, complex)
Cadence: progression of chords leading to the end of a piece of music.
Cantata: a piece to be sung.
Chamber music: composed for a small group of instruments
Classical music: technically the style of the Vienna School, roughly 1750-1805 (Haydn, Mozart)
Concerto: any work for solo instrument with orchestra (usually violin or piano).
Fugue: an elaborate, complex, highly disciplined polyphonic composition for three or four parts.
Harmony: more than one note played at the same time but blending together.
Key: the set of notes chosen as the main material for a composition.
Libretto: the text of an opera.
Lied/lieder: short song based on a poem, popular in 19th century Germany (e.g.Schubert)
Madrigal: lyrical poem sung by several unaccompanied voices (16th/17th cent.)
Monophony: (Greek – “one sound”) a single melody, one note at a time (see “polyphony”)
Movement: self-contained division of a larger composition (see “symphony”).
Oratorio: sacred work sung by a choir without action, scenery or costumes.
Polyphony: two or more parts combined harmoniously but with different melodies.
Program Music: paints a picture or tells a story (e.g. Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”).
Romanticism: style of expressive music popular from 1805 to the early 20th century.
Scherzo: (Italian – “a joke”) a lively, amusing movement or piece.
Sonata/Sonata form: extended work for piano or solo instrument with piano accompaniment, in three or four movements. The form of each movement is clearly defined.
Suite: (French – “a series”) a cycle of pieces, often dances, popular in the Baroque period.
Symphony: an extended musical composition for orchestra, usually consisting of four movements, typically: 1. Long opening introducing themes; 2. slow movement, such as adagio; 3. minuet or scherzo with trio; 4.lively allegro, rondo or sonata conclusion.