Program Music – The Art Of Narrating Lively Stories Using Music Dynamics

Read about the program music – an art of narrating musical stories using the music dynamics.

Let’s not confuse the word with music programming.

Music programming is a music production technique used in modern electronic music production paradigm. It is all about identifying and plotting the musical notes on the music production software.

What is program music?

Program music or programme music is an art music that gives musical expression to a narrative.

A program music may have descriptions including the program notes.

The program note is an element of a concert music that gives audiences a sense of what to expect in the piece along with the historical information.

It may have instructions about peculiar things to identify in the piece when listening to the concerto.

Here are few examples of the program music concerts.

Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique

Watch Leonard Bernstein conducting the “Orchestre National de France” in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique 4th Movement.

Symphonie fantastique is a program symphony narrates an episode in the life of an artist. French composer Hector Berlioz composed the music during Romantic period in 1830.

Leonard Bernstein, the renowned conductor describes the symphony as a one of the earliest psychedelia consisting hallucinatory characteristics.

It narrates the plight of an artist who hurts himself with substance abuse after a failed love story.

Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Season

The Four Seasons Concerti consists a set of four concertos each written for the specific season – Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

The Four Season is known for its unusual timing and poetic narrations.

Antonio Vivaldi rendered artistic instructions about the dramatic seasonal changes. For example, the expressions for the barking dog in the second movement of the Spring concerto.

The concept of program music was popular during the Romantic era. The narrative style became rare thereafter.

However, program music has clearly influenced the modern film music.

Thanks for reading my 94th article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more informative articles.

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Published by Bharat

Hi, I'm Bharat. An artist, blogger, musician and digital marketing professional dedicated to sharing musing and stories about music, art and mindful resonance! Follow me @bharatpc