IV. Know the following:
Chromatic harmony (256) - Constructing chords on the five additional notes (from the seven notes of
the major and minor scales). These were known as the chromatic notes within the full twelve note
chromatic scale. This gave more colors to their harmonic palette, allowing the rich, lush sounds we
associate with Romantic music. Chromatic harmony made it possible to glide smoothly to chords only
a half step away, and to slide progressively away from the tonic key, moving, for example, from a C
major tonic (with no sharps or flats) to some tonally far-off, exotic land of six or seven sharps or flats.
Rubato (257) - An expression mark for the performer written into the score by the composer. A
performer playing tempo
"stole" some time here and gave it back there, moving faster or slower
so as to effect an intensely personal performance. The free approach to tempo was often reinforced by
fluctuating dynamic levels.
Virtuoso (261) - A solo master. Like Bach on the organ and Mozart on the piano - just really good.
However, they were uncommon until the Romantic period. Now, performers began to expend
enormous energy striving to raise their performing skills to an unprecedented height. Pianists and
violinists in particular spent hours practicing technical exercises - arpeggios, tremolos, trills, and scales
played in thirds, sixths, and octaves - to develop wizard-like hand speed on their instrument.
Idee fixe (278) - In Berlioz, a single melody that reappears eight times during the symphony. This
melody, which represents the protagonist's beloved within the story, became, like Harriet Smithson, the
composer's obsession. This fixation was called an
, or a fixed idea. As the protagonist's feelings
about the beloved changed, so the
transformed. The composer alters the pitches slightly and
assigns the theme to different instruments, each of which adds its own tone color and feeling.
Dies irae (279) - Again, part of Berlioz'
. In SF, suddenly, the music becomes
ominously quiet and, in one of the most strikingly original moments in all of classical music, great
Gothic church bells are heard. Against this solemn background sounds the burial hymn of the medieval
, played by opicleides (tubas) and bassoons. In more recent years, the
has been used to signal doom and gloom in three horror films: Nightmare before Christmas, Sleeping
with the Enemy, and The Shining.
Recital (292) - Despite their obvious sensationalism, Liszt's concerts in the 1840's established the
format of our modern-day piano recital. He was the first to play entire programs from memory (not
reading music). He was the first to place the piano parallel with the line of the stage so that neither his
back nor full face, but rather his extraordinary side profile, was visible to the audience. He was the first
to to perform on the stage alone - up to that point concerts traditionally had included numerous