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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Music History
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Lieder & Miniatures

  • Smaller pieces for voice and piano that were experimental in own way
  • Lieder: Schubert wrote a tone and these were more like art songs, lacking the technical virtuosity in opera, but sung in operatic style
  • Miniatures: Chopin wrote a ton and they were programmatic pieces that were generally short, with crazy harmonies, and extremely difficult technical sections
  • Purpose was to experiment: Lieder experimented by looking within and led to Expressionism; Miniatures experimented by blurring lines of tonality and later led to serialism

Lieder & Miniatures

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • What In The World Are These?! 0:40
    • Lieder = Songs or Song Cycles
    • Miniatures = Short, Self-Contained Works
    • Why Short Pieces?
    • Wagner's Opera Cycle, Mahler's Symphony, Concertos
    • We All Need a Mental Break
    • Opportunity for Short, More Experimental Pieces
  • Lieder 2:39
    • Songs or Song Cycles (Collection of Songs)
    • Sung in Operatic Style, But Not an Opera
    • Features Singers, But Not Divas
    • More of an Art Song
    • Always Had Piano Accompaniment
    • Very Challenging Works Mentally and Physically
    • Schubert
  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828) 5:25
    • A Romantic and Programmatic Composer
    • Wrote Over 600 Lieder
    • Song Cycles were Unified and Deceitfully Difficult
    • Musically
    • Difficulty Modulations
    • Strophic Forms Around Text
    • Sets Poems
    • Song Sections Alternated with Declamatory Song
    • Dramatic Text
    • Piano Centered On Text, Set Mood
    • Example
  • Piano Miniatures 10:01
    • Not Large Works
    • Often Shorter in Length, But Not in Scope
    • Schumann and Chopin as Examples
    • Very Programmatic and Nationalistic
    • Musically Experimental, Especially Harmony
    • Written by Virtuosos for Virtuosos
    • Extremely Difficult
    • Nocturne, Mazurka, Polonaise
    • Strong Forms, Hard Rhythms, Thick Textures
  • Why Important/Review 12:37
    • Example: Chopin
    • Lieder and Miniatures Were Essential for Experimental, Eventually Leading to 20th Century
    • Lieder: Simple in Some Ways, But Deeply Evocative and Expressionistic
    • Miniatures: Paved Way for Major Dissonance and Extreme Use of Musical Parameters