Music and poetry - How are they similar

All topics musical, not specifically piano-related

Postby 108-1121887355 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:40 pm

Music and poetry, poetry and music. It is hard to separate them.

Music has poetry, even when no words are present in the score.

Poetry has music, even though none may be written with the poem.

What are the things that unite them? How can they be learning tools for the child?

I have some ideas - would like to hear others first.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:38 am

Poetry and music are all but inseparable, as many composers would agree. Everybody knows that the "Ode to Joy" in the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony is based (and named after) a poem in German by Schiller. There are many other examples. Perhaps it's the inherent meter of both poetry and music that leads to such a close relationship. There are very few examples of musical works based on blank verse that I'm aware of, though somebody could correct me on it if I'm wrong.

I'll leave the teaching comments to others, though poems are used in teaching all kinds of subjects to youngsters, even those which are completely unrelated to music.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby jenscott90 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:38 pm

Music and poetry give the composer and interpreter permission to dream. The fantastical becomes reality for a moment in the best examples. We feel ennobled to reach higher and do better when listening to the inspirational pieces, but can dig down deep into our gut and experience virtually unquenchable longing, sorrow and even anger where we explore darker themes. The whole range of human emotion is lengthened and made broader through imagination and our "willing suspension of disbelief".

How can we transfer this experience to our students? I think they have to do several things....beginning with listening to the masters at work. Knowledge of music history comes into play when history or circumstance influences mood in a piece; and visual images can help, too. Young children may not have the vocabulary to identify emotion, but they can draw, and just using colors, I think we could help them develop a listening ear and a sensitive heart.

Poetry is often set to music; perhaps we could use literature from the English teacher at school during their study of poetry and find or offer music as a setting, whether live or by CD. What fun it would be to have a middle school English class sit on a stage with a truly capable pianist who could improvise according to the teacher's (or student's) reading of some classic poetry!

I like this thread! Let's be creative and stretch!
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Postby Tranquillo » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:36 am

Heard of Lieder?

Schubert wrote over 600! Lieder involves poetry (often in German) sung by a singer set to a melody and with piano music. The piano is not merely an accompainment but an essential part to the music itself.

The text is considered very important in lieder as well as the voice and piano.
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