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A is for...Adagio, Applause...and what else? Each week 3MBS presenters and producers have created a short, five minute, segment that covers all manner of classical music terminology, composers, instruments, places and people!

Listen each week during Intermezzo at 6.00pm or stream each letter on demand.

The A-Z of Classical Music is a daily segment that offers an explanation of a huge variety of classical music terms. It airs five times a week with a different letter each week!

Mar 2 2016

Z: Final

Just as ‘Z’ concludes the alphabet, ‘Z’ also concludes our series. Amy Bennett looks back over what we’ve covered to wrap us up and sign off…..for now…. 😉

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Aug 8 2015

A cappella

Finishing up our A theme, Amy Bennett gives an overview on A cappella; singing without instrumental accompaniment.


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Aug 7 2015

Adagio

In our very first episode of the A-Z of Classical of Music, Amy Bennett gives us an overview of the adagio, featuring the works of Barber, Giazotto (Albinoni) and Morricone.


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Aug 7 2015

Applause

Amy Bennett gives us a brief history of applause in classical music.


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Aug 7 2015

Aria

Amy Bennett provides us with an overview of the aria; a song form found in operas, oratorios and cantatas.


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Aug 7 2015

Auspicious Composers

Composers John Adams and Hugo Alfvén feature for our A theme as ‘auspicious composers‘. Amy Bennett talks about their lives and works.


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Aug 14 2015

Bach, Beethoven, & Brahms

Starting off our B theme, we have the holy trinity of great composers: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Ted Davies explains how these composers came to be known as the ‘three Bs’.


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Aug 14 2015

Ballet

Ted Davies gives an overview of the history of ballet.


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Aug 14 2015

Baroque

Ted Davies takes a trip back in time to the period between 1600 and the middle of the 18th century, which we now identify as the Baroque.


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Aug 14 2015

Bayreuth

Ted Davies takes us on a trip to the town of Bayeuth, located in northern Bavaria, which was the home of Richard Wagner between 1872 and 1883.


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Aug 14 2015

Bel canto

Bel canto is a musical term that literally means ‘beautiful singing’. Ted Davies explores the use of Bel canto singing throughout the history of classical music.


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Aug 22 2015

Cantata

In the final edition of our C-theme, we feature the musical term Cantata. Originating in the 17th century, this originally described music intended to be sung, as Leila Engle explains.


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Aug 22 2015

Castrato

Laila Engle takes us through the (very) highs and lows of the Castrato: a type of male singing voice popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.


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Aug 22 2015

Classical Period

Leila Engle reflects on the historic period of Western music between 1750-1820 We now identify this as the Classical Period, with the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
exemplifying the time.


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Aug 22 2015

Conducting

Whilst many would recognise a conductor as the one standing in front of a group of musicians directing the performance, there is much more to the role. Laila Engle explains by
conducting this overview of conducting.


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Aug 22 2015

Cor Anglais

As we move in to our C series, Laila Engle introduces the instrument known as the Cor Anglais, sometimes also known as the English Horn.


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Aug 29 2015

Dames

Callum Moncrief starts off our D-theme by introducing us to some Dames. Three noted Australian dames feature: Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Nellie Melba and…


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Aug 29 2015

Debussy

French composer Claude Debussy marks the conclusion of our D-theme. Callum Moncrief talks about the life of and works of Debussy.


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Aug 29 2015

Divertimento

The term ‘divertimento‘ refers to a kind of work popularised in the classical period, derived from the Italian for diversion. A divertimento should be light and entertaining, much like our weekday program, as Callum Moncrief explains.


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Aug 29 2015

Dress Code

Callum Moncrief talks fashion in relation to classical music, giving an overview of what one might wear to a classical performance, whether you’re in the audience or performing.


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Aug 29 2015

Dynamics

The ever-dynamic Callum Moncrief gives us an overview of dynamics: the use of loud and soft sound within music.


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Sep 5 2015

Early Music

Finishing up our E-Theme, Amy Bennett and Mark Shepheard explore the formative years of classical music as we now know it: a period between the early Medieval to the Baroque, pieces from which we now refer to as ‘Early Music’.


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Sep 5 2015

Elgar

We now move into our E-theme, starting off with the lauded English composer Edward Elgar. Amy Bennett discusses his life and music, including excerpts from the Enigma variations.


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Sep 5 2015

Etude

Amy Bennett gives us an overview of the Etude; a challenging musical study piece designed to perfect a musical skill of the performer.


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Feb 21 2016

Eugène Ysaÿe

Sascha Kelly concludes our Y-Theme with a look at the man who was dubbed “The King of the Violin”: the great Eugène Ysaÿe.


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Sep 5 2015

Euphonium

The Euphonium is a brass instrument, a little higher in range than the trombone. Amy Bennett takes us through the terms and technicalities of this popular band instrument.


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Feb 14 2016

Exes

Callum Moncrieff details a story of love and exes, as he explores one of most notable relationships in classical music, focussing on Franz Liszt, his daughter Cosima, Richard Wagner, and Hans von Bülow.


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Sep 12 2015

Fanfare

Laila Engle discusses the role and styles associated with the musical flouish we call fanfare.


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Sep 12 2015

Fanny and Felix

With Felix Mendelssohn now being named as the subject of our 2016 marathon, Laila Engle introduces us to the German early romantic composer, and his equally gifted sister Fanny.


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Sep 12 2015

Film Music

Laila Engle begins our F-theme with popcorn in hand in this overview of film music.


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Sep 12 2015

Fortepiano

The fortepiano is the predecessor to what we now identify as the piano, so named due to it’s ability to easily produce loud (forte) and soft (piano) sounds, as Laila Engle explains.


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Sep 12 2015

Fugue

A fugue is a compositional technique that introduces melodic material in two or more voices, and then repeats these using a set of structural rules. Laila Engle explains.


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Sep 18 2015

Gavotte

Callum Moncrieff is joined by Mark Shepheard to talk about the history and style of the Gavotte: an Early Music dance form.


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Sep 18 2015

Goldberg

One of J.S. Bach‘s most popular solo keyboard works is the Goldberg Variations – named for his performing student Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. Callum Moncrieff explains.


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Sep 18 2015

Grainger

Melbourne-born pianist and composer Percy Grainger achieved notable international success in his lifetime. Callum Moncrieff presents this overview of the life of Percy Grainger.


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Sep 18 2015

Grove

Callum Moncrieff begins our G-theme with a definition of ‘Grove‘ – referring to the popular encyclopaedic dictionary containing a vast number of facts on music and musicians.


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Sep 18 2015

Guitar

Callum Moncrieff concludes our G-theme with a historic overview of one of the most popular instruments ever known: the guitar.


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Sep 29 2015

Harp

Sascha Kelly introduces our H-theme with an overview of the popular plucked string instrument; the harp.


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Oct 3 2015

Harpsichord

Sascha Kelly concludes our H-theme with an overview of the harpsichord, a popular keyboard instrument often associated with baroque music.


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Sep 29 2015

Haydn

Joseph Haydn is considered one of the most noteworthy composers of the Classical period. In this instalment, Sascha Kelly provides a historic overview of the life and works of Haydn.


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Sep 29 2015

Holst

English composer Gustav Holst is primarily known for his orchestral suite ‘The Planets‘. There’s much more to his musical life though, as Sascha Kelly explains.


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Sep 29 2015

Hymn

A hymn is a type of song written for the purpose of praise, prayer, and typically addresses a god, as Sascha Kelly explains.


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Oct 3 2015

Icelandic Music

When looking at classical music in Europe one might often look to the likes of Italy, Germany, or France, yet the small nation of Iceland has produced many works of note, as Amy Bennett explains.


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Oct 3 2015

Impressionism

Most often associated with the visual arts, the impressionist movement was not without it’s influence in classical music as well. Amy Bennett explains impressionism in classical music.


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Oct 3 2015

Improvisation

Amy Bennett finishes up our I-theme with a concept not often used in Classical music, but appears often in Jazz music: improvisation.


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Oct 3 2015

Intermezzo

Amy Bennett introduces are I-theme with ‘Intermezzo‘ – a kind of piece performed between other sections of a performance.


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Oct 3 2015

Intervals

In music, an interval describes the distance in pitch between two notes. Amy Bennett conducts this small music theory lesson on intervals.


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Oct 12 2015

Janáček

Laila Engle introduces are J-theme with a look at the life and works of Czech composer Leoš Janáček.


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Oct 17 2015

Jazz

We finish off our J-theme with a look at Jazz; a genre of fine music familiar to our listeners through our dedicated programs. Laila Engle gives this overview of the relationship between Jazz and classical music, focussing on the works of Gershwin, Stravinsky, and Copland.


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Oct 12 2015

Julliard School

The Julliard School is a prestigious performing arts school located in New York City. Laila Engle gives this overview of the history of this noted institution.


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Oct 12 2015

Jupiter

Out of the many symphonies Mozart composed, his Symphony No. 41 – often titled ‘Jupiter’ – is among the most popular. Laila Engle describes the work and the context behind it’s creation.


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Oct 17 2015

Karajan

Tom Ford presents our K-theme starting with a look at the life and work of internationally acclaimed conductor Herbert von Karajan.


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Oct 17 2015

Kats-Chernin

Elena Kats-Chernin is one of the most cherished Australian composers, most well known for her ballet work Wild Swans. Tom Ford presents an overview of her life and works.


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Oct 17 2015

Kempff

Tom Ford gives an overview of the life and work of Wilhelm Kempff: a pianist considered one of the greatest of the 20th century.


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Oct 17 2015

Keys

In music, a ‘key’ indicates the pitches of the notes to be used, or to which any notes will be oriented. Tom Ford gives this technical explanation.


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Oct 17 2015

Köchel

When referring to the works of Mozart, you might often here them referenced with a ‘K’ number e.g. K622. This ‘K’ refers to Ludwig von Köchel, who catalogued the works of Mozart. Tom Ford finishes our K-theme with an overview of his life and catalogue.


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Oct 24 2015

Leipzig

Leipzig is a city in Germany, most commonly associated with J.S. Bach. Ted Davies finishes our L-theme with an exploration of the rich musical output from the city.


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Oct 24 2015

Leitmotif

A ‘leitmotif‘ is a short musical theme or concept used within a piece of music, as Ted Davies explains.


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Oct 24 2015

Libretto

‘Libretto’ refers to the words used within opera, which can often by written by a dedicated librettist rather than the composer. Ted Davies explains.


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Oct 24 2015

Liszt

Ted Davies begins our L-theme with a look at composer and performer Franz Liszt; one of the greatest showmen of his time.


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Oct 24 2015

Lute

Ted Davies talks about the technical aspects – and the pieces written – for the lute; a guitar-like string instrument often heard in Early Music.


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Oct 31 2015

Marimba

Our M-theme concludes with Callum Moncrieff giving and overview of the popular xylophone-like percussion instrument, the marimba.


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Oct 31 2015

Mezzo-Soprano

Callum Moncrieff introduces our M-theme, and the classical voice classification known as the mezzo-soprano.


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Oct 31 2015

Minimalism

Minimalism describes a genre of music based on a simple use of repetition, pulse, consonant harmony and gradual transformation. Callum Moncrieff explains.


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Oct 31 2015

Monteverdi

Callum Moncrieff gives an overview of the life and works of Claudio Monteverdi, one of the most significant figures in Early Music.


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Oct 31 2015

Movement

A movement describes a section of a larger musical work, as Callum Moncrieff explains.


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Nov 8 2015

Naples

The city of Naples in Italy is historically viewed as an artistic hub, and a source of many great classical works, as Sascha Kelly explains in this concluding instalment of our N-theme.


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Nov 8 2015

Nationalism

Nationalism in music refers to the concept of music taking inspiration from particular locations, and reflecting this in melodies, harmonies and rhythms, as Sascha Kelly details.


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Nov 8 2015

Neoclassicism

In the 20th century, the neoclassical movement in music emerged in which the music, and musical concepts of, the late 18th and early 19th century was revisited. Sascha Kelly explains.


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Nov 8 2015

Nocturne

Sascha Kelly brings us in to the N-theme with this overview of the nocturne; a piece of music that is inspired by, or evocative, of the night.


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Nov 8 2015

Notation

The notation of music refers to the visual recording of symbols and stylistic instructions that indicate how a piece is to be performed. Sascha Kelly presents this overview of musical notation.


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Nov 15 2015

Oboe

Amy Bennett returns to present our O-theme and begins with an overview of the popular woodwind instrument; the oboe.


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Nov 15 2015

Opera and Oratorio

Both the opera and the oratorio are similar in that they are both musical forms written for vocals with accompaniment, but the key distinction is that opera does so with the intention to drive drama. Amy Bennett explains.


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Nov 15 2015

Opus Number

An opus number is a common means of cataloguing a large body of works a composer has written. Amy Bennett give his overview of the opus number.


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Nov 15 2015

Orchestra

Amy Bennett concludes our O-theme with and overview of the different sections and roles within the modern orchestra.


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Nov 15 2015

Overture

An overture was originally devised as a piece of music played as an introduction to a larger work (usually an opera), yet later on also was used to describe standalone pieces, as Amy Bennett explains.


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Nov 21 2015

Paganini

Laila Engle returns to present our P-theme, starting with and overview of the life of famed Italian violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini.


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Nov 21 2015

Percussion

Laila Engle is joined by Tim White and Callum Moncrieff to conclude our P-theme with the classification of instruments known as ‘percussion’.


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Nov 21 2015

Piano

The piano is one of the most recognisable and versatile instruments of all time. Laila Engle explores the history and workings of the piano.


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Nov 21 2015

Pitch

In music, pitch refers to the quality of sound and where it sits in relation to other notes in a scale, as Laila Engle explains.


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Nov 21 2015

Pizzicato

Pizzicato is a technique for playing string instruments where the strings are plucked rather than bowed, as Laila Engle explains.


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Nov 29 2015

Quarter Notes and Quavers

In music notation, quarter notes (or crotchets) and quavers are two particular note types of different durations, as Callum Moncrief explains in this technical overview.


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Nov 29 2015

Quartets and Quintets

In classical music, chamber ensembles – and pieces for – four musicians are referred to as quartets. Similarly, with five performers, such pieces and ensembles would be called quintets. Callum Moncrieff explains.


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Nov 29 2015

Queen’s Music Master

Callum Moncrieff returns to present our Q-theme, starting with an exploration of the title ‘Master of the Queen’s Music‘ – a royal role that has lived on since the 1620s.


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Nov 29 2015

Quilter

English composer Roger Quilter is known primarily for this vocal works and the incidental music to the children’s play Where the Rainbow Ends. Callum Moncrieff presents this overview of his life and works.


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Nov 29 2015

Quotations

In music, a quotation is a technique where a piece will include a sample or nod to an existing work. Callum Moncrieff concludes our Q-theme with quotations.


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Dec 4 2015

Rattle

Ted Davies presents our R-theme this week, starting with a famed English conductor who was in Australia earlier this year to conduct the Australian World Orchestra. We speak of course of Sir Simon Rattle.


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Dec 4 2015

Ravel

Maurice Ravel was a French composer, known for writing one of the most popular classical pieces of all time: Bolero. Ted Davies gives this overview Ravel’s life and work.


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Dec 4 2015

Reed

Ted Davies provides a technical overview of the ‘reed’ – a component of many woodwind instruments (such as an oboe or clarinet) that produces sound when blown upon.


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Dec 4 2015

Renaissance

In classical music, the Renaissance describes a period of early music between 1430 to 1600. Ted Davies is joined by Mark Shepherd to conclude our R-theme with a look at what defined musical works from this period.


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Dec 4 2015

Russian Five

In the Romantic period, a circle of five composers were identified as embodying the spirit of Russian music. They were Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin. They were collectively known as The Five, as Ted Davies explains.


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Dec 17 2015

Serialism

Sascha Kelly presents our S-theme, starting with Serialism: a term that describes music ordered by it’s value and pitch rather than it’s melodic or harmonic qualities.


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Dec 17 2015

Sonata

In our final A-Z podcast of the year, Sascha Kelly presents on overview of one of the most popular forms of classical music: the sonata.


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Dec 17 2015

Song Cycle

A song cycle is a collection of songs designed to be performed in a sequence, with some overarching theme connecting the songs. Sascha Kelly explains.


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Dec 17 2015

Strauss

German composer Richard Strauss is recognised as one of the great composers of the late 19th and early 20th century, with operas such as Der Rosenkavalier, and tone poems like Don Juan to his name. Sascha Kelly details his life and works.


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Oct 12 2015

Sumi Jo

Sumi Jo is a popular coloratura soprano from South Korea. Laila Engle discusses her life and performances.


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Dec 17 2015

Symphony

The Symphony is recognised as one of the most popular forms of classical music. It typically refers to a multi-movement piece for orchestra originating and championed in the classical era by composers such as Haydn. Sascha Kelly presents this overview of the symphony.


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Jan 24 2016

Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most iconic Russian composers of the Romantic period, well known for his ballet works including The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. Zoe Barker explores his life and works.


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Jan 24 2016

Theorbo

The Theorbo is a string instrument in the lute family heard in early music. Zoe Barker is joined by Mark Shepheard to conclude our T-theme with an exploration of the instrument.


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Jan 24 2016

Time Signature

In music notation a Time Signature is an indication of the groupings of beats in a piece of music. Zoe Barker gives a technical exploration of how the concept is used.


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Jan 24 2016

Trumpet, Trombone and Tuba

Three members of the brass family have our focus in this in this instalment: the trumpet, trombone and tuba. Zoe Barker gives a break down on their workings and sound.


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Jan 24 2016

Twentieth Century

As the A-Z of Classical Music returns to our airwaves 6pm Monday-Friday on 3MBS, we look back to last year, and continue with the letter T. In this instalment, Zoe Barker takes on a whirlwind tour of classical Music in the twentieth century.


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Jan 24 2016

Unfinished Symphony

With symphonies characteristically been large-scale and complex works, it stands to reason that many great composers have left with some of the symphonic work unfinished. Amy Bennett presents this overview on some notable examples.


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Jan 24 2016

Unison

In music, to perform in ‘unison’ means for two or more performers to play the exact same notes simultaneously. This technique is used often in orchestral writing to create interesting timbres by combining instruments, or to create a larger sound. Amy Bennett concludes our U-theme with a look at ‘unisons’.


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Jan 24 2016

United States

The American classical music scene can be seen as a branch of the European scene, which followed settlers, finding character and influence particular to this new location. Amy Bennett presents this overview of the history of classical music in the United States.


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Jan 24 2016

Upbeat

We move into our U-theme, with Amy Bennett presenting. She starts us off with a discussion on the musical term ‘upbeat’ (sometimes called an anacrusis) which refers to a note (or notes) that come before the first bar of a piece (or section) of music.


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Jan 24 2016

Urtext

Urtext is the concept of producing sheet music representing the intention of the composer as close as possible, as Amy Bennett details.


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Jan 30 2016

Variations

Ted Davies returns to present our V-theme, starting with an overview of Variations; the musical concept of taking a theme and altering it in subsequent statements of that theme.


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Jan 30 2016

Vibrato

Vibrato is a performing technique common to vocals, woodwinds and string instruments where a performer will waver the pitch they are performing. Ted Davies presents this overview on the concept.


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Jan 30 2016

Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos is one of the most notable of Latin-American classical composers of all time, known for his Bachianas Brasileiras, which shows his influence from Brazillian folk music along with the classical music tradition. Ted Davies presents this overview of his life and work.


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Jan 30 2016

Violin

The popular instrument known as the violin has it’s origins in Italy in 1480, where it’s first incarnation was as a three-stringed dance music instrument. Ted Davies presents this history and technical overview of the instrument.


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Jan 30 2016

Virtuoso

Rounding out our V-theme, Ted Davies presents this look at the term ‘virtuoso’; a descriptor usually signifying a performer of immense skill.


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Feb 6 2016

Wagner

We conclude our W-theme with a look at the life and works of one of one of the giants of romantic, operatic, and German music; Richard Wagner. Zoe Barker presents.


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Feb 6 2016

Waltz

Zoe Barker returns to present our W-theme, starting in lively fashion with the popular dance form known as the waltz.


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Feb 6 2016

Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic refers to the period in German history between the world wars, and is recognised as being a time where the arts flourished across many disciplines. Zoe Barker explains.


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Feb 6 2016

Winterreise

Winterreise (Winter Journey) is the title of Franz Schubert’s popular song cycle set to the poetry of Wilhelm Müller. Zoe Barker presents this overview of the work.


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Feb 6 2016

Woodwind

Woodwind is a classification of instruments including the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, so named as they were originally constructed in wood. Zoe Barker presents this look at the range and characteristics of these instruments.


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Feb 14 2016

X Factor

If a performer is said to have the ‘x factor’ they are said to have an additional quality or allure that positions them above other performers of similar skill. Callum Moncrieff details the interpretations of the ‘x factor’ in classical music.


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Feb 14 2016

X Ray

Callum Moncrieff is joined by Mark Shepheard to conclude our X-theme with a look at the X-ray, and other biological and medical connections to classical music.


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Feb 14 2016

Xenakis

Iannis Xenakis was 20th-century Greek composer, known for his Metastaseis, and influences of mathematics in music. Callum Moncrieff details his life and works.


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Feb 14 2016

Xylophone

We now move into the most challenging of our A-Z themes: the letter X. Callum Moncrieff, along with WAAPA’s Tim White, start us off with an historical take on the xylophone.


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Feb 21 2016

Yo-Yo Ma

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is one of the most popular figures in modern classical music,with numerous accolades to his name. Sascha Kelly presents this look at his life and performances.


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Feb 21 2016

Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra

The end is in sight, as Sascha Kelly returns to present our Y-theme. We start with a focus on a piece of music that should be familiar to those who have listened to the series. Benjamin Britten’s orchestral work The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is not only one of the most popular youth-oriented pieces of classical music, but is also the theme tune for this series.


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Feb 21 2016

Youth Orchestras

Youth Orchestras are orchestras comprising of young composers, typically in their teens or early twenties. They form a great means for young performers to gain experience in an orchestral setting and develop their overall performance skills, as Sascha Kelly explains along with input from current youth orchestra members.


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Feb 21 2016

Youtube Symphony Orchestra

Popular video-sharing website Youtube has an orchestra to it’s name, consisting of members assembled from around the globe. Sascha Kelly details the (very modern) history of this orchestra.


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Mar 2 2016

Z: Final

Just as ‘Z’ concludes the alphabet, ‘Z’ also concludes our series. Amy Bennett looks back over what we’ve covered to wrap us up and sign off…..for now…. 😉


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Mar 2 2016

Zimmer

When it comes to Hollywood blockbuster film scores one cannot look past German composer Hans Zimmer. Amy Bennett has some popcorn in hand for this overview of his work.


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Mar 2 2016

Zoo

We now move into our final letter (but not our final theme 😉 ) as Amy Bennett presents this look at the inspiration and representation of animals in classical music.


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Mar 2 2016

Zukerman

Pinchas Zukerman is a highly regarded Israeli violinist and violist known for his virtuosity and vast recording catalogue. Amy Bennett presents this overview of his life and work.


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Mar 2 2016

Zzzzz

Amy Bennett manages to stay awake and alert for this exploration of the lullaby in classical music.


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