Fine Arts

Fine Arts (X) - A History of Music in Western Civilization (X) - Music (X)

New Arts for Old: Medieval Music 1100-1480

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Explore the early domination of Gregorian chant, the flowering of love poetry in France, and much more. The liberal use of musical examples helps to convey the extrovert boldness and excitement of Medieval music. Hosted by Dr. Christopher Page, the founder and director of Gothic Voices, the first professional vocal ensemble to specialize in Medieval secular music.

Music Credits

Musick's Feaste: Music of the Renaissance 1480-1600

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Follow the musical renaissance in Europe and England, tracing the spread of the Flemish School through France to Italy. Hosted by Anthony Rooley, Director of the Consort of Musicke and founder of the Early Music Centre in London.

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"A Pearl Distorted": The Baroque Period 1600-1750

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The complex period known as Baroque embraced many different types of music and covered a large geographic area. An examination of opera, considered the great dramatic spectacle of Baroque entertainment, is also included. Hosted by Michael Oliver of the BBC Radio program Music Weekly; and Christopher Hogwood, Musicologist, broadcaster, and Director of the Academy of Ancient Music.

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Sonata and the Creative Ideal: The Classical Period 1750-1830

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The principle and importance of classical Sonata Form is aided with keyboard examples on an eighteenth-century traveling square piano. We move to Vienna for a discussion of opera and the reforms of Gluck, before looking ahead to the Romantic period through the music of Schubert and Weber. Hosted by Alan Hacker, lecturer of Music at the University of York. The recordings are performed by Peter Wilson, Associate Director of London's Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.

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Expression and Extravagance: The Romantic Period 1830-1900

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The speakers examine the meaning of romanticism in music, while exploring the rise of Nationalism within the period and tracing the development of the orchestra. Hosted by conductor Norman Del Mar and broadcaster/musician John Amis.

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Contemporary Music 1945-1980

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Post-war music has seen a wealth of innovations—many of then strikingly original, some exceedingly complex. This illuminating appraisal features illustrations from the music of such composers as Stockhausen and Peter Maxwell Davies. Hosted by Hugh Wood, composer, lecturer, and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

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From Cave to Cavern: The History of Percussion Instruments

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The remarkable history of percussion instruments is traced through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the Classical Period. Hosted by James Blades, consultant Professor of Percussion at the University of Surrey.

A Jug of This: An Introduction to English Folk Music

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Folk songs have served as an illustration and illumination of social history. Here, these songs explore love, marriage, and affairs. Hosted by Roy Palmer, co-editor of Folk Music in Schools. He has compiled numerous anthologies of folk songs and street ballads.

Islands in the Sun: The Story of Reggae and Calypso

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Learn about the progression of music in the Caribbean from Rhythm and Blues to Reggae. Also included here is a demonstration of how a simple calypso tune can be composed and performed. Hosted by Felix Cross, composer, performer, and playwright who has written extensively about Caribbean music.

Reaction and Revolution: The Modern Period 1900-1945

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From Wagner to Schoenberg, this enlightening discussion focuses on the change in musical language around 1900. You will also hear some of the less radical elements of twentieth century music, finishing with the place of jazz in the period. Hosted by Dr. Wilfrid Mellers, composer, author, and formerly Professor of Music at the University of York.

Instruments Around the World

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This is truly world music—an international collection of musical instruments, including the koto (a Japanese zither), the duda (a Hungarian bagpipe), mbira (a linguaphone from Zimbabwe), and hardanger fiddle (a folk violin from Norway). Author and composer Andy Jackson talks to Jim Smith, editor of the Sussex Tapes Music series and Director of Music at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, U.K.