Skip to main content
28 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Symphonies were historically commissioned pieces of work. The commission was to pay for the writing and then the performing. Commissioning for symphonies has mostly disappeared so orchestras are not ...
Phillip Siebold's user avatar
22 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

All musical forms, from Gregorian chant to hip hop, are most closely associated with a particular time and place, they go in and out of popularity. Older forms become a niche product, created and ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
19 votes
Accepted

Why do many vinyl albums place sides I and IV on one record and II and III on the other?

Many phonographs were able to play multiple records in sequence with a mechanism that would hold one or more records on the turntable, and one or more additional records elevated on the center post. ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 372
17 votes

Slow and deliberate, hauntingly beautiful classical piece (identify from score)

This is the second movement (the Allegretto) of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony (score). Your notation is slightly different from the Beethoven, but this is certainly the piece you're looking for. It's ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 2,010
15 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

There are still symphonic compositions being made but most are created as scores for movies. John Williams is one of the most prolific soundtrack composers, writing scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones,...
Michael Brown's user avatar
15 votes

Are there any examples in classical music history of "mashups" of two unrelated works?

The technical term is "quodlibet" (meaning "whatever you please"). A famous example is Bach's "Goldberg Variations" in which two folksongs are combined in various ways. ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 261
11 votes

Which part of Schubert's Symphony No.8 is unfinished?

Wikipedia's article on Schubert's Symphony No. 8 gives details. Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 3,905
10 votes

What did Chopin think of the saxophone?

Chopin was uninterested in any instrument other than the piano. As is known, other than pure piano pieces, he only wrote the cello pieces and songs in his very early youth and the two concertos. And ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
9 votes

Religious music - one note for extended period

The style of singing you describe is known as "intoning". Here is a description from online copy of ["A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1900) edited by George Grove", article by William Smyth ...
Angst's user avatar
  • 4,252
8 votes

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

In the begining of 19th century US law (copyright act of 1790) protected only American authors.(1) There were no international copyright agreements between the US and other countries, making it nearly ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
8 votes

Which part of Schubert's Symphony No.8 is unfinished?

Classical symphonies are supposed to have four movements. This one has only two, therefore it is technically incomplete. (Works in which individual movements are incomplete usually don't get published ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Flute melody from classical symphony

I would say it's "Morning Mood" from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Peer Gynt started life as incidental music to the play of the same name by Henrik Ibsen; it included vocal as well as ...
George Law's user avatar
7 votes

What does "classical" mean? Is Dvořák classical?

The term Classical in terms of music has two main distinct meanings that have been mentioned in the comments. In the broadest sense Classical refers to music that is related mostly to the history of ...
jomki's user avatar
  • 429
7 votes
Accepted

Who is the Elise that Beethoven composed about?

Wikipedia offers some possibilities: Max Unger suggested that Ludwig Nohl may have transcribed the title incorrectly and the original work may have been named "Für Therese", a reference to ...
BCdotWEB's user avatar
  • 2,884
7 votes
Accepted

Chopin wrote a plagal cadence at the end of his Scherzo No. 1 that resembles a final "Amen" on a choral hymn. Was he a Christian?

Frederik Chopin was almost certainly born and bred as a Catholic, as were almost people in Poland during his lifetime. His father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 6,094
6 votes

What piano piece is this?

This is Ludovico Einaudi - Divenire, the quoted part starts around 2:00. A friend of mine plays this song. The original is much faster than the recording you supplied.
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
6 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Musicians make music with the technology available. Do you think if Beethoven were alive today that he would scoff at the intricate variations in sound possible with modern equipment, and stick with ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 169
6 votes
Accepted

Why is Beethoven's Op 81 split into "81a" and "81b" instead of No. 1 and No. 2?

This is mainly a historical accident, arising from the fact that the pieces were published by different publishers. The piano sonata was published originally by Breitkopf & Härtel as Op. 81 in ...
John Gowers's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Classical piece used as hold music on call to local GP

This is the famous "Celebrated" Minuet, by classical composer Luigi Boccherini, frequently used in movies and on television as a signifier of elegance, class and refinement. For Suzuki-trained ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
5 votes

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

(Very good answers above!) There are so many examples of music communicating more information than mere artistic expression. The only reason that the Romans developed the brass horn was to signal ...
Everett Steed's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Are all ORIGINAL VERSION classical sheet music in the public domain?

Laws vary from country to country in details (e.g. number of years a copyright is valid, the ways it can eventually be prolonged, weather the author is till alive or not influences the permanence of ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
5 votes
Accepted

Identify Chopin Prelude or Rondo from sheet music snippet

It's Chopin's Prelude in B-flat minor, Op. 28, No. 16. Here's a video where it's performed just plain too damn fast.
Richard's user avatar
  • 2,010
5 votes
Accepted

Antiphonal violins

I'd heard something in a TV documentary long ago, that 2nd violins used to be on the right - the documentary was discussing how Tchaikovsky's melodies would have been perceived to a contemporary ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 7,765
5 votes

Is there any evidence that Georg Friedrich Händel was gay?

In the Journal of the Royal Musical Association Vol. 136, No. 1 (2011), pp. 33-71 there is an article "Handel and Homosexuality: Burlington House and Cannons Revisited" by Thomas McGeary. I can't find ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 6,094
5 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

I am puzzled by the basic assertion that there are no great symphonies from the twentieth century. This page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:20th-century_symphonies, lists several hundred ...
user4416's user avatar
5 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Not every work we think of as "great" today started out that way. Greatness moves with fashion. If you closely listen to Beethoven's Ninth and compare it to what was being written at the time, it was ...
Arkady Pletnikov's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Classical piece performed on hammer organ

This is an original improvisation by the creator of this video, Brita falch Leutert. Source: I asked the author of the video (look at the YouTube comments).
suckrates's user avatar
  • 351

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible