Combined Presentation:
Johann Sebastian Bach
JS Bach was born in Germany in
1685 and came from a family
full of famous musicians.
• Both of Bach’s parents died within a
year of each other before his tenth
• He went to live with his brother who
taught him to play the organ and
before long, his career began to
Although we know Bach as a famous
composer, he was best known in his day
• A skilled violinist
• Organist
• Harpsichordist
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor
(BWV 1001) in Bach's handwriting
Bach lived during the ___________
• A term which describes the fancy and
complex style of music and art produced
around the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.
• He wrote in all the popular musical forms
of the day, depending on where he was
working at the time.
While working as a church
musician he wrote many of his
famous ___________:
• Long musical works to be played and sung
during church services.
• These works demonstrate his deep
religious beliefs, which were a very
important part of his life and music.
When he was employed as a court
musician, Bach wrote many beautiful
instrumental works for his royal employers,
• Sonatas
• Suites
• Concertos
Commemorative statue of
J.S. Bach in Leipzig
Bach’s final job was working as
Musical Director for the city of
•Composing and directing music for four
churches and two choirs.
•Producing any music needed for
special occasions.
Fast Facts:
Name: Johann Sebastian Bach
Dates: 1685-1750
Country of birth: Germany
Historical Era: Baroque
Contemporary Composers: Handel, Vivaldi
Contemporary Artists: Rembrandt
Other People/Events: Isaac Newton, George
Washington, Voltaire, invention of the steam
Fun Fact:
A recording of Bach’s music is floating in
outer space! In 1977, the spacecraft
Voyager 1 and 2 were launched to probe
areas of outer space never before explored.
On board was a “Golden Record,” a collection
of the very best examples of human life and
achievement, intended as a greeting to any
form of life that may find it. Three
recordings of Bach’s music were chosen to
be included in this “Who’s Who” of human
Despite his genius as a
musician, Bach was a devoted
family man. He had twenty
children to two different
wives. Towards the end of his
life, Bach slowly lost his sight
and died at the age of 65 of
complications resulting from
eye surgery. He left behind
him a rich musical legacy
which we can still enjoy
George Frideric Handel
In the attic of a modest home in
Germany in the late 1600s, a
small boy was secretly teaching
himself to play the keyboard.
• Handel’s father wanted him to have a
proper career and become a __________.
• Handel practiced his music in secrecy.
• After his father’s death, he began formal
music training.
• Towards the end of his life, Handel went
Handel was one of the finest composers of
the ____________
Handel’s musical training was in:
• Germany
• Italy
His first love was _________.
Handel as a boy.
Handel returned to Germany in order to
Elector of Hanover on the
work for the ______________,
condition that he be allowed to take some
time off to go to London.
Handel lived the rest of his life in London.
Apart from operas, Handel wrote a wide
variety of instrumental music including:
•Chamber music
A carved marble statue of Handel, created
for the Vauxhall Gardens in 1738 by LouisFrançois Roubiliac, and now preserved in
the Victoria & Albert Museum.
He also wrote a great deal of vocal music
including cantatas and _____________.
One of his most famous _____________
•The Messiah
Portrait of George
Frederick Handel
engraved by Charles
Turner, 1821
Fast Facts:
Name: George Frideric Handel
Dates: 1685-1759
Country of birth: Germany
Historical Era: Baroque
Contemporary Composers: Bach, Vivaldi
Contemporary Artists: Vermeer
Other People/Events: Isaac Newton,
Voltaire, George Washington, invention of
the piano
Fun Fact:
Handel wrote one of his best known pieces of
orchestral music for his employer King George 1
(previously known as the Elector of Germany). It
was first performed whilst the King was floating
down the Thames River on a barge, with the
orchestra on another barge floating close by.
King liked the long series of movements so
much, that he asked for it to be played three
times that day. Needless to say, Handel and the
orchestra were exhausted. This piece of music is
aptly named Water Music.
Antonio Vivaldi
In the 1920s, an Italian boarding
school was doing a spring clean
when it discovered boxes full of
Vivaldi’s old music manuscripts!
The discovery of Vivaldi’s old music
manuscripts began a renewed interest
in his music.
Thus, Vivaldi’s reputation as a worthy
and equally important contemporary
of Bach and Handel was reinstated.
Venice, Italy
Vivaldi was born in _________.
Vivaldi was the son of a professional violin
player who gave him an ideal start in his
musical studies.
At the age of 15, Vivaldi began studying to
priest and thus, along with his
become a _____
bright red hair, he gained his life long
Il Prete Rosso (The Red Priest)
nickname of _________________________.
Vivaldi had a type of _______
that made him unable to perform
He spent much of his life working
in an _________:
•Teaching violin
•Directing the orchestra
Much of Vivaldi’s music was
written for the orphans he worked
with and includes:
• Over 500 concertos
• Sonatas
• Chamber music
• Operas
• Sacred vocal music
Some of his best known music is a series
The Four Seasons
of violin concerti called ______________.
Each concerto corresponds to a different
season of the year, the most famous one
La Primavera (Spring)
being ________________.
Fast Facts:
Name: Antonio Vivaldi
Dates: 1678-1741
Country of birth: Italy
Historical Era: Baroque
Contemporary Composers: Bach, Handel
Contemporary Artists: Caravaggio
Other People/Events: Voltaire,
Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton discovers
Law of Gravity, Fahrenheit invented the
Fun Fact:
In Vivaldi’s day it was scandalous for
females to be seen playing musical
instruments. Vivaldi and his all-girl
orchestra from the orphanage would
therefore often have to play behind a
white that was thick
enough to obscure such scandal from
sight, but thin enough that the
orchestra could be heard.
Joseph Haydn
In Austria, in 1809, two
scientists secretly dug
up the body of a
recently deceased
composer and removed
his head!
Haydn portrait by Thomas Hardy, 1792
The scientists wanted to conduct
experiments to determine whether
______ was related to ________.
Their research was __________.
Haydn’s head was not reunited with his
body for almost _________!
Haydn’s life was a classic ____________
He was born in _____.
choirboy he
After losing his position as a _______,
barely managed to make ends meet as a
Haydn was hired by ________________, a
wealthy Hungarian family.
He was their _________________________.
He worked for them for _______.
This provided Haydn with access to a fine
________ to compose for.
Haydn, along with _______ (Haydn’s close
Beethoven (Haydn’s student),
friend) and _________
represent the Classical style of music
written in the 18th century.
While Baroque music was very complex and
simpler and
fancy, Classical music was ___________
more restrained
Haydn wrote at least:
•104 Symphonies
•83 String Quartets
•62 piano sonatas
•choral music
•many instrumental works
Haydn portrait by Ludwig
Guttenbrunn, painted ca. 1791-2,
depicts Haydn ca. 1770
Fast Facts:
Name: Joseph Haydn
Dates: 1732-1809
Country of birth: Austria
Historical Era: Classical
Contemporary Composers: Mozart, Beethoven
Contemporary Artists: Thomas Gainsborough
Other People/Events: Napoleon, Jane
Austen, Australia discovered by Captain
Cook, French Revolution, American War of
Independence, Invention of the steam engine
Fun Fact:
Haydn had a fabulous sense of humor which was
often reflected in his music. On one occasion, his
orchestra in the Esterhazy court was well overdue
for some time off, so Haydn found a novel way to
inform the Prince. He composed a new symphony,
entitled the “Farewell Symphony” which ended by the
orchestra members departing the stage one by
one, leaving only Haydn and one other musician on
stage. The Prince got the hint and the group began
packing the next day!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Downloading music illegally from the
internet is considered a fairly modern
crime. Yet…
• In Rome in _____, a 14 year old ________
boy committed the 18th century equivalent
of illegal downloading.
• When Mozart was in the ____________ in
Rome, he heard a piece of music that was
so special it was illegal to write it down or
sing it outside the Chapel.
• Having heard it _____, he wrote out the
five-part work from memory.
Mozart’s musical genius became apparent
at a very young age.
harpsichord at
• He started learning the __________
age ____.
• He had written his first composition by
the time he was ___.
•He completed his first symphony at the
age of ___.
Mozart was an extremely hard worker and
600 works of every
produced over _____
traditional form popular during the time,
•Dance music
Portrait of Beethoven
as a young man by
Carl Traugott Riedel
•Mozart had the ability to write beautiful
music with seemingly little effort.
•He also had a rather _________ sense of
humor and was fond of telling jokes and
inventing silly poems.
•He died of an unknown illness at ____, and
was completely penniless.
Fast Facts:
Name: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Dates: 1756-1791
Country of birth: Austria
Historical Era: Classical
Contemporary Composers: Haydn, Beethoven
Contemporary Artists: Jean Honore Fragonard,
Other People/Events:
Fun Fact:
One evening, Mozart was attending a party where
famous composer, Josef Haydn was present. Mozart bet a
case of champagne that Haydn could not play at sight, a
piece Mozart had just written. Haydn accepted, sat
down at the harpsichord and began to play. He had only
played a few bars when he had to stop, as the music
required him to play two notes at either end of the
keyboard and one right in the middle. He declared that
it was impossible to play with only two hands! Mozart
then took his place at the keyboard and when he got to
the “impossible” section, he bent down and played the
middle note with his nose! Haydn had to reluctantly
Ludwid Van Beethoven
Someone intense,
impatient and
impulsive; quick to fly
into a temper
tantrum and stubborn
to a fault.
• Beethoven is widely considered to be
“greatest of the great”
one of the __________________
• He was born in ____________ in ____.
• His first music teacher was his
When Beethoven was ___ he moved to
He took violin lessons and studied with
classical composers:
•Joseph Haydn
•Anton Salieri
Beethoven in 1803
Beethoven quickly gained widespread
recognition as a:
•Virtuoso pianist
•Renowned music teacher
Two of his well known students were:
•Carl Czerny
•Franz Liszt
50 he was
By the time Beethoven was ___
completely _____.
He had to give up performing but he
never stopped composing .
After he lost his hearing he used
Conversation books to communicate with
his friends.
Beethoven composed in a variety of
musical genres such as:
•Vocal music
His compositions include:
•32 piano sonatas
•9 symphonies
•his only opera Fidelio
•and many other well known works
He was one of the key composers to
initiate the transition from the _______ to
romantic style of composition.
the ________
1827 at age ___.
57 He
Beethoven died in _____
never married and had no children.
Prince-Elector's Palace (Kurfürstliches Schloss) in Bonn,
where the Beethoven family had been active since the 1730s
Fast Facts:
Name: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Dates: 1770-1827
Country of birth: Germany
Historical Era: Classical/Romantic
Contemporary Composers: Haydn, Schubert
Contemporary Artists: Francisco de Goya
Other People/Events: Goethe, French
Revolution (1789–1799), Discovery of the
Rosetta Stone which lead to hieroglyph
decipherment (1799), Development of the first
electric cell by Alessandro Volta (1800)
Fun Fact:
Despite the fact that Beethoven was completely deaf by
the time he wrote his ninth symphony, he insisted on
conducting the first performance. Organizers of the
concert knew his lack of hearing would prove
problematic for the orchestra, but were too scared of
Beethoven to refuse him. They instead allowed him to
think he was conducting, while positioning another
conductor on stage and advising the orchestra to ignore
Beethoven’s beat. It was probably a good thing because
at the end of the work he was a few bars out and
continued his wild conducting even though the piece had
finished. He could not hear the wild applause from the
audience behind him and had to be turned around by
one of the performers to accept the standing ovation.
Frederic Chopin
Ask any good pianist
for a list of the finest
music ever written
for the piano and you
will almost certainly
hear the name
Frederic Chopin.
“poet of the piano”
• Chopin is known as the _______________.
• He isth among the finest composers of the
• Chopin was born in _______ in _____.
• Due to the occupation of Poland by
______, he had to leave at the age of 20.
Chopin was a child prodigy on the ______
and began composing music at a very
young age.
His work represents the Romantic style
Romanticism was free,
of art. __________
imaginative and highly emotional.
Chopin’s music was written purely to
express emotion
Almost all of Chopin’s music was written
for _________, and some of his
compositions are considered to be among
the most difficult piano works ever
He invented the form known as the
________ and also made creative
developments to other forms of music
for solo piano such as nocturnes, etudes and
Chopin was ____ and preferred playing for
small, private gatherings rather than large
public concerts.
perfectionist and
He was an extreme ___________
would often go into a temper-tantrum
while working.
He never married and he died of
tuberculosis at the age of 39.
Delacroix’s joint portrait of Chopin
and George Sand. She sews as he
plays piano.
Fast Facts:
Name: Frederic Chopin
Dates: 1810 - 1849
Country of birth: Poland
Historical Era: Romantic
Contemporary Composers: Beethoven, Liszt,
Contemporary Artists: John Constable, Eugene
Other People/Events: Charles Dickens, Hans
Christian Anderson, Charles Darwin, The Industrial
Revolution, invention of the camera
Fun Fact:
Chopin had an irrational fear of being buried
alive and therefore requested that his heart
be removed after his death... just to make
sure! His dying wish was fulfilled and his
heart, preserved in alcohol, was later taken
back to Poland by his sister where it was
buried inside a pillar of the Holy Cross
Church in Warsaw.
Richard Wagner
One of the greatest composers
of the Romantic era.
A few words used to describe the 19th
century German composer:
Memorial bust of Richard
Wagner in Venice.
Wagner’s life resembles the plot of a
He was constantly fleeing his native
Germany either to escape his enormous
debts or to evade a ______
prison sentence for
getting involved in radical political
He was also often in trouble for getting
involved with married women!
Wagner is best known for his operas, or
music dramas as he preferred to call
He wrote the scenario, the libretto and the
music all himself.
One of his most well-known works
is a series of ___ music dramas called
•Took 26 years to write
•15 hours to perform
He was so particular about how it was to
be performed that he even constructed a
specially designed theatre in __________
An annual Wagner festival is still held
Wagner was fiercely _________________
and sought to express “the German spirit”
through his music.
He was the personal hero of ___________.
Hitler had Wagner’s music played on loud
speakers as Jews were led to gas the
Many Jewish people refuse to listen to
Wagner’s music and the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra refuses to play it!
Fast Facts:
Name: Richard Wagner
Dates: 1813-1883
Country of birth: Germany
Historical Era: Romantic
Contemporary Composers: Chopin, Liszt,
Contemporary Artists: Renoir, Turner
Other People/Events: Charles Dickens,
Leo Tolstoy, Charles Darwin, Abraham
Lincoln, invention of the telephone and the
light bulb
Fun Fact:
Have you ever heard the saying “it ‘aint over until
the fat lady sings”? It is a phrase often used by
sport commentators to note the fact you can’t
state the winner of a game until it is finished.
This saying is most likely referring to one
commentator’s view that Wagner’s long,
complex operas seem to go on forever, but
finally end with a solo sung by a stout female
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Over one hundred years ago,
Tchaikovsky composed the classic
Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker.
Russian Romantic
Tchaikovsky was a ______________
composer born into a wealthy family that
wanted him to become a _______.
He became very successful, acclaimed world
Tsar of Russia
wide, and was honored by the __________.
He was invited to conduct some of his works
Carnegie Hall in New York
at the opening of __________
in 1891.
Apart from Tchaikovsky’s orchestral music,
including concertos, overtures and six symphonies,
he also wrote:
•Solo piano works
•Chamber music
•Vocal music
He is probably best remembered for his
ballets, which apart from ____________,
The Nutcracker
Swan Lake and _____________.
Sleeping Beauty
include __________
shy and
Tchaikovsky was a painfully ____
________ man.
His life was plagued with crises.
This often caused him to be intense and
After a failed marriage that only lasted
nine weeks, he tried to commit suicide.
Soon after, he had an unusual relationship
with a wealthy widow named
Nadezhda von Meck
She greatly admired his music and sent
him money so that he could devote more
time to composing, but only on the
condition that they _________________.
They wrote letters to each other, sharing
every aspect of their lives for _________,
and the abrupt and unexplained end to this
relationship left Tchaikovsky devastated.
Tchaikovsky died three years later at the
age of ___.
His official cause of death was ________,
contracted by drinking a glass of
Fast Facts:
Name: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Dates: 1840-1893
Country of birth: Russia
Historical Era: Romantic
Contemporary Composers: Brahms,
Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov
Contemporary Artists: Monet, Van Gogh
Other People/Events: Friedrich Nietzsche
view/494), Thomas Edison, American Civil
War, invention of the telephone
Fun Fact:
Tchaikovsky had an unusual and irrational fear of
his head falling off his shoulders while conducting!
To prevent this from happening, he would often
hold his chin firmly with his left hand, whilst
conducting with his right!
Tchaikovsky’s signature
Claude Debussy
Whilst not always
appreciated during his
lifetime, he has since
been recognized as one
of the key composers to
herald the new era of
20th century music.
Paris in ____.
Debussy was born near _____
His __________ paid for him to have piano
By the age of 10 he was accepted into the
Paris Conservatory of Music
He had conflict with teachers over his
unusual style of musical composition.
One of his teachers once asked him which
rules of harmony was he following.
My own
was his only reply.
unorthodox combinations of
He used __________
instruments, not resolving dissonant chords
or not sticking to accepted forms.
His relatively small output of music
includes orchestral, instrumental and vocal music
and even one opera.
His music is often given the label
Impressionism for its similarity to the
style of painting by that name that was
popular at the time.
Debussy’s creative genius seemed to go
hand-in-hand with personal crises.
He went through periods of _________
during which he was unable to compose at
individualistic disposition
Debussy had an ___________
that enabled him to shrug off the rules
and traditions of the past to create a
truly unique style of music.
Debussy at the piano, in front of the
composer Ernest Chausson, 1893
Fast Facts:
Name: Achille-Claude Debussy
Dates: 1862-1918
Country of birth: France
Historical Era: Early 20th century
Contemporary Composers: Ravel, Stravinsky,
Contemporary Artists: Monet, Renoir, Picasso
Other People/Events: Edison, Einstein, Hitler,
World War 1, invention of the first automobile
Fun Fact:
Debussy was quite a class clown. One day his
harmony teacher was unexpectedly
absent so he took it upon himself to take
the class. He was in the process of
teaching the most outrageous sounding
chords and melodies (which he knew his
teacher would be horrified by) when
another lecturer walked past and threw
him out!
Ralph Vaughan Williams
In the early years of the
20th century, a young
English composer by the
name of Ralph Vaughan
Williams took to his
bicycle and traveled
around the rural
countryside of England.
Williams wanted to find and preserve
English folk music which was fast
disappearing from oral tradition.
This contributed greatly to the development of a
English style of music.
truly “______”
A statue of Ralph Vaughan
Williams in Dorking.
Vaughan Williams was born into a wealthy
English family in ____.
He was the great nephew of ____________,
the author of the theory of evolution.
He was related to the renowned __________
family, makers of fine china.
All over the world, composers were
seeking to express their _____________
through a unique voice.
A Hungarian composer by the name of
__________ was recording and collecting
the folk music from his native countrymen
and using it in his compositions.
In America, ____________ also found great
success in developing a unique style using
folk music.
The influence of folk music on Vaughan
Williams was immediately recognizable in
the music he wrote and eventually became
synonymous with “____________”.
Even though his use of folk song was quite a
new development, most of his music was
traditional forms such as
written in ______________
symphonies (he wrote 9), chamber music,
concertos, operas, and choral music.
Vaughan Williams suffered hearing damage
World War 1 and gradually
serving in ____________
became deaf.
He maintained the reputation of a true
British gentleman He was generous with his
time, money and skills, and was thoughtful
and patriotic.
85 was mourned
His death at the age of ___
by an entire nation.
Fast Facts:
Name: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Dates: 1872-1958
Country of birth: England
Historical Era: 20th century
Contemporary Composers: Schoenberg,
Stravinsky, Copland
Contemporary Artists: Renoir, Kandinsky, Picasso
Other People/Events: Einstein, World War 1,
World War 11, Queen Elizabeth 11, invention of
automobile, the first crossing of the English
channel in an airplane, the sinking of the Titanic
Fun Fact:
During World War 1, Vaughan Williams was walking
along the cliffs of Dover in England, minding his
own business when a sudden burst of inspiration
gripped him. He paused to sit and write down a
tune that had just come to him. Unbeknown to
him, a group of British soldiers were performing
training maneuvers nearby and Vaughan Williams
was promptly arrested and accused of spying and
writing coded messages for the enemy. It took
some swift talking, but eventually the officer was
convinced and let him go.
Arnold Schoenberg
Few composers in
history have caused
the kind of controversy
that Arnold
Schoenberg has.
Schoenberg was born in _____________,
where he began his career as a _________
and _______.
He was forced to flee Austria when Hitler
came to power, partly due to his _______
heritage and partly because Hitler banned
his music, labeling it “___________”.
After a brief stay in Paris, he settled
in _______________ and lived there for the
rest of his life.
Schoenberg was very ___________ because
he pushed the boundaries of musical
composition to the absolute limits.
For centuries, western music had been
based around particular _____________.
Schoenberg moved further and further
away from this basis until he eventually
abandoned it altogether.
atonal or lacking any
His music became ______,
sense of key or tonal center. His well known
Pierrot Lunaire is an example of
work ____________
Schoenberg’s created a system or formula for
writing music in which all the twelve musical
equal emphasis
notes are given ____________.
twelve-tone music
This style became known as ______________
serial music
or __________.
Throughout all these changes in styles,
Schoenberg still wrote in ________ forms
such as:
String Quartets
Orchestral Music
Vocal Music
Schoenberg’s compositions can be quite
difficult to listen to because our ears are
not used to music that is not based on a
tonal center
Many musicians have dismissed his works,
whilst others have labeled him a genius.
Schoenberg is regarded as one of the
most influential composers of the 20th
Schoenberg's grave in the
Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Fast Facts:
Name: Arnold Schoenberg
Dates: 1874-1951
Country of birth: Austria
Historical Era: 20th century
Contemporary Composers: Stravinsky,
Copeland, Gershwin
Contemporary Artists: Munch, Kandinsky
Other People/Events: Einstein, Freud, World
War 1, World War 11, invention of the ballpoint
Fun Fact:
Schoenberg suffered from a condition known as
triskaidekaphobia: a fear of the number 13.
He was terrified of his 65th birthday, as 65 was a
multiple of 13 and he feared he would die during
that year He survived, but his paranoia was fueled
by an astrologer who wrote to Schoenberg on his
76th birthday, warning him that this was a very
dangerous year for him as 7 + 6 = 13. It could be
that Schoenberg literally scared himself to death,
for on Friday the 13th of July that year he felt ill,
went to bed and died just before midnight.
Igor Stravinsky
In 1913, in a theater
house in Paris, a
hushed and expectant
audience sat awaiting
the start of the
premiere of The Rite of
ballet by
The Rite of Spring was a new _______
Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky.
prominent _______
What began as murmurs of protest from the
audience at the unusual music of the opening
riot as the
refrain, erupted into a ____
wild dance movements
violent rhythms and __________________
It was a huge scandal in Paris and also one of
the defining moments in ushering in the
modern era of music.
Stravinsky’s father was a ________ opera
His parents wanted him to become a _____.
Like so many artists around the turn of the
century and beyond, Stravinsky was truly
He spent time living in France, Switzerland and
the United States.
There were many different musical
techniques and styles being developed
during this time.
Stravinsky wrote in the following styles of
•Nationalistic Russian
•Serial or Twelve Tone
•Modern Sounding Music
Stravinsky is probably best known for his
______ which include:
•The Firebird
•The Rite of Spring
He also wrote:
•Choral Music
•Instrumental Music in Unusual Combinations
Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso
collaborated on Pulcinella in 1920.
Picasso took the opportunity to
make several sketches of the
Despite all these different styles and
forms, his unique and remarkable _______
_________ can be heard throughout all his
His creativity and influence changed
musical composition forever, and in doing
so, earned him a place in Time Magazine’s
list of the
the 20 century
Fast Facts:
Name: Igor Stravinsky
Dates: 1882-1971
Country of birth: Russia
Historical Era: 20th century
Contemporary Composers: Ravel, Schoenberg,
Copeland, Gershwin
Contemporary Artists: Picasso, Degas
Other People/Events: Einstein, Freud, J.F.
Kennedy, World War 1, World War 11, first man
on the moon, invention of the television
Fun Fact:
In 1940, Stravinsky was arrested in Boston, USA for
breaking a law that forbade tampering with the
National Anthem. Stravinsky had added an unusual
harmony to his arrangement of the Star Spangled
Banner and was subsequently taken into custody.
He was released when he finally convinced the
police that he meant no harm by the arrangement.
You can see a photo of his mug-shot here:
George Gershwin
The early 20th century in America is a
time in history that we associate
with jazz and dance-hall music and the
growing popularity of
Broadway musicals.
jazz and
George Gershwin combined both _____
classical characteristics into a
traditional ________
distinctive style.
He was born in ________ in _____ to
Russian-Jewish parents who had recently
He began playing the piano when he was __.
Gershwin’s ___ Broadway musicals, whose
lyrics were written by his brother, Ira,
include songs that are universally
recognized and loved, such as:
•I’ve Got Rhythm
•Strike up the Band
•Someone to Watch Over Me
Gershwin also wrote several orchestral
works including:
•Rhapsody in Blue
•An American in Paris
•the folk opera Porgy and Bess
Even though these works are considered
classical they are still heavily influenced
by _____ characteristics.
Schoenberg and
Gershwin asked composers __________
Ravel to teach him composition but they
both declined.
They felt his style was so unique that pure
classical training would ruin it!
Gershwin’s life was cut tragically short. He
brain tumor at the age of ___.
died from a __________
Fast Facts:
Name: George Gershwin
Dates: 1898-1937
Country of birth: USA
Historical Era: 20th Century
Contemporary Composers: Stravinsky, Ravel,
Prokofiev, Schoenberg
Contemporary Artists: Kandinsky, Picasso
Other People/Events: Albert Einstein, Franklin
Roosevelt, World War 1, invention of movies
with sound, first hamburger sold in the USA
Fun Fact:
Gershwin’s memory was not one of his better
traits. In 1924 he agreed to compose a new jazzinspired work for a concert his friend was
organizing. He was busy at the time and
completely forgot about it, only remembering
when he saw an article in the newspaper
advertising the premiere of this new work! He not
only completed the work in three weeks, but it went
on to become his best-known composition:
in Blue.
Aaron Copland
Cowboys and outlaws are
not something you
would normally
associate with classical
music, but Copland
used these subjects as
topics for ballets!
Copland was the 5th child in his family and
had to receive music lessons from his
Later he studied with _____________ a
famous French woman, who was known for
helping her students to develop a truly
unique style.
For Copland, this meant seeking to create a
voice that was uniquely “_________”.
At first Copland used jazz elements, but later
he incorporated ___________ into his music.
Copland is best known for his “_______”
Billy the Kid and ______.
ballets __________
He wrote a variety of different types of
instrumental music including:
•Film Music
Copland was investigated by the FBI during
the 1950s for suspected ties to _________
He was put on a ________ which
temporarily banned him from working in
the entertainment industry.
Eventually Copland devoted less time to
composing, instead focusing his
attention on:
•Writing books about music
His dedication to teaching and
mentoring young up-and-coming
composers led to his reputation as
Fast Facts:
Name: Aaron Copland
Dates: 1900-1990
Country of birth: USA
Historical Era: 20th century
Contemporary Composers: Stravinsky,
Schoenberg, Gershwin
Contemporary Artists: Picasso, Warhol,
Georgia O’Keeffe
Other People/Events: Einstein, The Beatles,
World War 1, World War 11, commercial air
travel, mass production of cars, invention of
the computer
Fun Fact:
Copland won an
Academy Award! He was awarded
the Oscar for the best musical score in a
dramatic film in 1950 for his music for the
movie The Heiress. He had been nominated for
the same award three times previously.
Aaron Copland
School of Music,
Queens College
(part of the City
University of New

Composers Powerpoint Presentation