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Encyclopedia > Song cycle

A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in sequence as a single entity. Usually all of the songs are by the same composer and use words from the same poet. A song cycle is unified by reference to a particular theme or by telling a story. A song is a relatively short musical composition for the human voice (possibly accompanied by other musical instruments), which features words (lyrics). ... A poet exists within a cultural and intellectual tradition and usually writes in a specific language, but the qualities of good poetry are to some extent timeless and address issues common to all humanity. ...

The term originated to describe cycles of songs (often called lieder) in classical music, and has been extended to apply to popular music. Lied (plural Lieder) is a German word, literally meaning song; among English speakers, however, it is used primarily as a term for European classical music songs, also known as art songs. Typically, Lieder are arranged for a single singer and piano. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and mostly distributed commercially. ...

Song cycles in classical music

The first example of a song cycle was generally thought to be Ludwig van Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte (1816). The genre was firmly established by the cycles of Franz Schubert: his Die schöne Müllerin (1823) and Winterreise (1827), based on poems by Wilhelm Müller, are among his most greatly admired works. Schubert's Schwanengesang (1828) is also frequently performed as a cycle. Ludwig van Beethoven by Carl Jäger (Date unknown). ... Beethovens only song cycle. ... Franz Schubert Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828), was an Austrian composer, considered the last master of the Viennese Classical school and one of the earliest proponents of musical Romanticism. ... Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795, is a song cycle by Franz Schubert on poems by Wilhelm Müller. ... Winterreise (Winter Journey) is a song cycle by Franz Schubert, on poems by Wilhelm Müller. ... Wilhelm Müller (October 7, 1794 - September 30, 1827), German lyric poet, was born at Dessau, the son of a shoemaker. ... Schwanengesang (Swan song) is the title of a posthumous collection of songs by Franz Schubert. ...

Robert Schumann also wrote song cycles, the best known being the Dichterliebe (1840) and Frauenliebe und -leben (1840). He also wrote two collections entitled Liederkreis (both 1840), the German word for a song cycle. Later examples include Hector Berlioz' Nuits d'été, Gabriel Fauré's "La Bonne Chanson", Modest Mussorgsky's Sunless, The Nursery and Songs and Dances of Death, Gustav Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder and Das Lied von der Erde, and Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Robert Schumann (June 8, 1810 – July 29, 1856) was a German composer and pianist. ... Dichterliebe is a cycle of 16 songs composed by Robert Schumann in 1840 and using poems written by Heinrich Heine from his Like Heine, Schumann uses the Dichterliebe to satirize and poke fun at the romantic ideal. ... Frauenliebe und -leben (A Womans Life and Love) is a song cycle with music by Robert Schumann and words by Adelbert von Chamisso. ... Portrait of Berlioz by Signol, 1832 Louis Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer best known for the Symphonie fantastique, first performed in 1830, and for his Grande Messe des morts Requiem of 1837, with its tremendous resources that include four antiphonal brass choirs. ... Gabriel Urbain Fauré (May 12, 1845 – November 4, 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. ... For La bonne chason (1892), Gabriel Fauré arranged poems of Paul Verlaine to relate a story and used recurrent themes to unify the cycle. ... Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (Russian: Моде́ст Петро́вич Му́соргский, Modest Petrovič Musorgskij) (March 9/21, 1839 – March 16/28, 1881; sometimes spelled Modeste Moussorgsky, was an innovative Russian composer famed for his songs and his operas on subjects connected with mediaeval Russian history. ... Gustav Mahler in 1909 Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor. ... Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (or Songs of a Wayfarer)(But Songs of a Wayfarer is not what Mahler called them. ... Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children) is a song cycle for voice and orchestra by Gustav Mahler. ... Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) is particularly interesting among Gustav Mahlers symphonic works. ... Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles, 1938 For the American music critic and journalist, see Harold Charles Schonberg. ... Pierrot Lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot or Pierrot in the moonlight) is an important work of Arnold Schoenberg, a setting of Albert Girauds work of French poems of the same name to music, translated into German. ...

Song cycles in popular music

Song cycles have also been written by rock musicians. Many pop albums have included a short series of songs that tell a story, thus resembling a rock opera. Two early examples are The Who's "A Quick One While He's Away" (from A Quick One, which may have influenced Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy), and James Pankow's "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon" (from Chicago's album Chicago II). The Whos Tommy, the first album explicitly billed as a rock opera A rock opera or rock musical is a musical production in the form of an opera or a musical in a modern rock and roll style rather than more traditional forms. ... The Who are a British rock band that first came to prominence in the 1960s. ... A Quick One (1966) was the second album released by rock band The Who. ... Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born May 19, 1945 in Chiswick, London) is an influential British rock guitarist and songwriter is best known for his work with The Who. ... The Whos Tommy, the first album explicitly billed as a rock opera A rock opera or rock musical is a musical production in the form of an opera or a musical in a modern rock and roll style rather than more traditional forms. ... Tommy is a given name that is the English diminutive of Thomas. ... Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon (aka The Ballet and Make Me Smile Medley), a nearly 15-minute song cycle/suite from Chicagos 1970 album Chicago II, is the groups first attempt at a long-format multi-part work. ... Chicago is a rock band that was formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. ...

Popular music song cycles that focus on a particular theme rather than a narrative theme have been produced by many artists, usually as concept albums. A well-known example is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (1973), which deals with insanity and life's hardships. Their follow-up albums Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut, can also all be considered as song cycles, as can solo albums by the man who wrote them, Roger Waters. Circular albums by other artists include Marvin Gaye's 1971 What's Going On, and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), both of which address contemporary social and political issues. In another vein, Radiohead's OK Computer starts with the words of a jubilant survivor of a car accident, and ends with a similar car crash. Outside of the United States and Europe, the song cycle form was used to great success in the seminal "Os Afro-Sambas," composed by Brazilian musicians Vinicius de Moraes and Roberto Baden Powell de Aquino. This series of songs was dedicated to various deities in the Afro-Brazilian candomblé religion, and has inspired generations of musicians since its debut in the 1960s. Sgt. ... Pink Floyd (formed in 1965 in Cambridge, England) is an English rock band, noted for progressive compositions, philosophic lyrics, sonic experimentation, cover art, and elaborate live shows. ... This article is about the Pink Floyd album. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1973 calendar). ... Wish You Were Here is an album by Pink Floyd, recorded at Abbey Road Studios between January and July, 1975 and released on September 15, 1975 (see 1975 in music). ... Animals is a Pink Floyd concept album, recorded at the bands own Britannia Row Studios in London and released on 23 January 1977 in the UK on Harvest Records and then released on 2 February 1977 in the US and Canada originally on Columbia Records. ... The Wall is a rock opera and concept album by Pink Floyd. ... The Final Cut is a rock album by Pink Floyd recorded at several studios in the UK from July to December 1982. ... George Roger Waters (born September 6, 1943) is an English rock musician and songwriter. ... Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. ... Whats Going On is an album by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. ... Janet Jacksons Rhythm Nation 1814 (commonly titled simply Rhythm Nation or Rhythm Nation 1814) is an album by American R & B artist Janet Jackson. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Radiohead are a British alternative rock band from Oxford and nearby Abingdon. ... OK Computer is the third album by British rock band Radiohead. ... A car accident in Yate, near Bristol, England, in July 2004. ... Vinicius de Moraes (October 19, 1913 - July 9, 1980), born Marcus Vinícius da Cruz de Melo Morais in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a seminal figure in contemporary Brazilian music. ... For the founder of the world scouting movment, see Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell Baden Powell de Aquino (August 6, 1937 - September 26, 2000) widely known simply as Baden Powell, was a Brazilian bossa nova guitarist. ... Ilê Axé Iya Nassô Oká - Terreiro da Casa Branca Candomblé is an Afro-American religion practiced chiefly in Brazil but also in adjacent countries. ...

Song-cycle musical theater works such as The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown are becoming extremely popular among both composers and fans of the genre. Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... The Last Five Years is a one act musical written by Jason Robert Brown and produced off-Broadway in March of 2002. ... Jason Robert Brown is a musical theater composer and lyricist. ...

Song Cycle is also the title of the debut album by Van Dyke Parks. An album is a collection of related audio tracks, released together commercially in an audio format to the public. ... Van Dyke Parks (born January 3, 1943) is an American composer, arranger, producer, and musician, noted for his collaborations with Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys on the song Heroes and Villains and the recently released cult-classic-album, Smile. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Song cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (545 words)
A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in sequence as a single entity.
Usually all of the songs are by the same composer and use words from the same poet.
Song Cycle is also the title of the debut album by Van Dyke Parks.
Song - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1108 words)
The words of songs are typically of a poetic, rhyming nature, although they may be religious verses or free prose.
Art songs are songs created for performance in their own right, or for the purposes of a European upper class, usually with piano accompaniment, although they can also have other types of accompaniment such as an orchestra or string quartet, and are always notated.
The German word for song, "Lied" (plural: "Lieder"), is used in French and English-speaking communities to refer to the serious art song, whereas in German-speaking communities the word "Kunstlied" (plural: "Kunstlieder") is used to distinguish art song from folk song ("Volkslied").
  More results at FactBites »



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