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Composer Study

"It is a pity that we like our music as our pictures and our poetry mixed, so that there are few opportunities of going through as a listener a course of the works of a single composer . . . Let young people study as far as possible under one master until they have received some of this teaching and know its style." Charlotte Mason

Choose three composers to study: one per term during the year. You can either select composers who correspond to your history time period or choose somewhat diverse styles and time periods.

Playlists for each composer are linked below via Amazon Music.  Simply choose the three artists you would like to study and add them to your schedule.  If available, you may enjoy adding a biography of the composer's life to read each week before listening to the artist's music.

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When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sat down at the keyboard at the age of three, it was clear to his father Leopold that he had a genius on his hands. From the first pieces he composed as a five-year-old, to the Requiem he was working on when he died, right before his 35th birthday, Mozart wrote an astonishing amount of beautiful music.

Johann Strauss II was born in Vienna, where his father was an enormously famous musician. When the elder Strauss decided that Johann, Jr. should be a banker, his mother encouraged him to go into music. 

When he was 19, Johann Strauss, Jr. started his own orchestra, and conducted his first public concert. Eventually, people began to realize that the younger Strauss was even better than his father. 

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                           Great Musician Series pulls back the curtain to reveal the lives and times behind these great classical compositions. Explore the persons, places, and events that influenced the masters and the beautiful music they created. This series engages students of all ages, using all learning modalities, thereby providing the richest and most memorable learning experience for your children. 

01 Strauss II – Voices of Spring 00:00

02 Bizet – Carmen: Les Toreadors 07:33

03 Tchaikovsky – Lo Schiaccianoci: Danza Russa 09:38

04 Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Wedding March 10:51

05 Mozart – Symphony No. 40: I. Molto allegro 15:18

06 Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. “Summer”: III. Presto 23:29

07 Mozart – Requiem: Dies Irae 26:07

08 Rossini – The Barber of Seville: Overture 27:48

09 Strauss I – Radetzky March 34:43

10 Tchaikovsky – Lo Schiaccianoci - Valzer dei fiori 37:08

11 Strauss II – On the Beautiful Blue Danube 44:12

12 Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro: Non Più Andrai Farfallone Amoroso 55:36

13 Grieg – Holberg Suite: I. Praeludium 58:53

14 Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: III. Allegro 1:01:38

15 Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”: I. Allegro ma non troppo 1:06:22

16 Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. “Spring”: I. Allegro 1:17:14

17 Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: I. Allegro (1:20:30)

18 Haydn – Cello Concerto No. 1: I. Moderato 1:26:29

19 Boccherini – String Quintet Op. 11 No. 5: Minuetto 1:35:13

20 Tchaikovsky – Serenade for Strings Op. 48: II. Valse 1:38:38

21 Dvorak – Serenade for Strings Op.

22: II. Minuet 1:42:34 22 Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique”: II. Allegro con grazia 1:49:14

23 Sibelius – Andante Festivo 1:57:10

24 Bach – Orchestral Suite No. 2: III. Sarabande 2:01:16

25 Puccini – Vissi d’Arte (instrumental) 2:04:15

26 Saint-Saens – The Carnival of the Animals: The Swan 2:06:53

27 Satie – Trois Gymnopedies: No. 1, Lent et douloureux 2:09:32

28 Chopin – Nocturnes, Op. 9: No. 2 2:12:19

29 Bach – Orchestral Suite No. 3: II. Air 2:17:50

30 Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight Sonata”: I. Adagio sostenuto 2:24:12

31 Debussy – Suite Bergamasque: No. 3, Clair de Lune 2:30:52

32 Ravel – Pavane pour une Infante Defunte 2:36:43

33 Grieg – Lyric Pieces, Op. 54: No. 4, Nocturne 2:43:43

34 Beethoven – Fur Elise 2:47:14

35 Debussy – The Girl with the Flaxen Hair 2:51:03

36 Mendelssohn – Lieder ohne Worte Op. 19b: No. 1 2:54:02

37 Bach-Gounoud – Ave Maria 2:56:47

38 Beethoven – Piano Sonata Op. 8 No. 13 “Pathetique”: III. Rondò 2:58:31

39 Chopin – Fantaisie Impromptu 3:02:38

40 Mozart – Piano Sonata No. 11: III. Turkish March 3:06:46

41 Ravel – Bolero 3:10:25

42 Tchaikovsky – Lo Schiaccianoci: Danza della Fata Confetto 3:24:07

43 Brahms – Symphony No. 1: II. Andante sostenuto 3:26:16

44 Barber – Adagio for strings 3:34:40

45 Mozart – The Magic Flute: Overture 3:41:44

46 Beethoven – Symphony No. 7: II. Allegretto 3:48:57

47 Schubert – Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished Symphony”: I. Allegro moderato 3:57:55

48 Brahms – Tragic Overture 4:08:52

49 Dvorak – Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”: IV. Allegro con fuoco 4:22:56

50 Verdi – La Traviata: Addio del passato 4:34:05

Younger Readers & Read-Alouds

Some great books for younger students and for read-aloud, morning time, etc are The Story of the Orchestra series.  This series is delightful for young and old.  Other music inspired books to check out are:  The Jazz Fly, Peter and the Wolf, The Carnival of Animals, Zin, Zin, Violin, Can You Hear It?, This Jazz Man.

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Getting to Know The World's Greatest Composers:  

A wonderful series of books on individual composers and their life stories.


Notes on Composer Study:

Music appreciation is done in much the same way as art appreciation. Simply listen to the music of one composer at  various times throughout the week. Tell students which composer you are  listening to.  You may also  play the  music  in the car while running errands,  or play it at home in the background  during a  meal. Be sure to  begin the album  at different  songs  to  make sure the students have a chance to  hear more than just  the first  selection.

Continue to listen to pieces by the same composer for several weeks until the students become familiar with that composer's style . If possible,  read or listen to  a  short biography  about that  composer  sometime  during  your study of  his or her work.

Be sure to enter each composer you study into your Book of Centuries/Timeline.

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