Program music

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Program music (program of gr. prógramma, public, written proclamation) calls itself instrument valley music, from topic defaults from the non-musicalRange (like film art, Dichtkunst, painting, sculpture, nature, technology, history, philosophy, politics, sport among other things) to energize and affect leaves.

The use of the term Programmusik marks in principle different position within the music-aesthetic discourse: Contrary to Absolute music or “pure”, auschliesslich the own laws obeying music, program music in the broadest sense is also led by a except-musical idea, a feeling, a thought or an optical or acoustic impression, which the composer attaches as heading, explanation or Inhaltsangabe to the workand into music “translates”. The term refers essentially to instrument valley music e.g. for orchestras or solo instruments. The so-called clay/tone painting, which describes except-musical noises with musical means, forms flowing transitions from absolute to music by program e.g. in the Renaissance music. Besides it gives alsoMusic with poetic so mentioned programs, which is characterised by a looser connection between program and music, so e.g. in Beethovens 3. Symphony (Eroica), in its 6.Symphonie (Pastorale). Film music, military music or national anthems, songs, Volkslieder, Oratorien, operas, fairs, church songs orthe entire popular music of all kinds of style are no program music, but customs music. Although this music adapts to the text or the cause, approximately in the beautiful passages “et incarnatus est” in the Credo of numerous measuring compositions, it does not act with the musical reflection of a put underneath textaround program music.

In music history it is disputed whether the term from around 1800 the term Symphonie developed in France developed à programs over musique à programs or whether it was educated independently of it around 1850 as program music in Germany and then admission foundinto that among other thingsItalian one (musica A programma) and the English (program [ME] music).
When 1855 a controversy about the condition of the instrument valley music generally and the up-to-dateness of classical symphonies in the special one are inflamed, the word program music became as it were “program”.

One generally arranges program music andmusic-historically somewhat in a diffuse way the epoch of the romance too (parallel for example to numerous arising descriptions of nature and nationalpolitical topics particularly in the German and Russian literature). The classification is however only conditionally applicable, there z. B. Romantic such as Schumann and Brahms also absolute, Classical authors composed music such as Beethoven however pieces already by program to have strictly speaking delivered, z. B.Wellingtons victory and rage over the lost groschens.

Table of contents

to program music in individual epochs


already in the verfackten time….Baroque music gave it to compositions, which wanted to convert outside impressions in music, early examples is isolated already the Orchestersuite Les élémens from Jean Féry Rebel (1666-1747) and Vivaldis famous Violinkonzerte the four seasons.

classical period

in the classical period this music-aesthetic position only decreased continued, since the maxim homophonen here, “clear style” prevailed, “programless” Sonaten and symphonies the music scene controlled. Examples are the Dorfmusikantensextett Mozart and some symphoniesHaydns (about “the clock”).


in the romance unfolded the program music in the more general sense in the work form of the Sinfoni seal - Franz Liszt wrote those equal twelve - or the Konzertouvertüre , e.g. with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. As a “father” thatfor modern program music however Hector Berlioz with e.g. applies. Harold in Italy or Roman Karneval, that among other things large influence on works by program of Franz Liszt such as Hunnenschlacht had.

In Russia the program music reached strictly speaking its high point in the second half 19. Centurywith composers such as Mussorgsky, Borodin or Rimsky Korsakow, which exclusively or predominantly composed program music. Of political and social pagings and controversies these composers tried coined/shaped eve of the Russian revolution to convert Patriotismus and love for the Russian homeland from their view into music works. Admitted examplesare among other things Mash ensuring ski of pictures of an exhibition and Borodins steppe sketch from Central Asia. Rimsky Korsakows of famous Hummelflug, actually an uncoupling from its opera the fairy tale of the Zaren Saltan, applies in its accurate orchestralen rendition Fluggerräu of the Hummeln as cabinet bit of the program music.

About at the same time wroteamong other things also the Böhmen Antonin Dvorak (among other things Midday witch, from the new world) and Smetana (among other things The Moldau out my native country) in the Austria Hungary at that time patriotic, however romantic-clay-pictorial dyed program music. Also smelling pool of broadcasting corporations bunch created with clay packings like a hero life and thus spoke Zarathustra program music.

modern trend

with 20 beginning. Century lost the term at meaning, since it became natural to put on works absolutely or by program. However it is also the wedding of music by program. Example are the Sinfoni seals of smelling pool of broadcasting corporations bunch, Siegfried Wagner and Emil Nikolausof Reznicek. While the composers mentioned are to be assigned rather to the after romance, also the modern trend brought out some famous examples of program music. To call as different works are as Strawinskis Le Sacre you printemps, Honeggers sinfonische sets of Pacific 231 and Rugby in this connection, as well as Messiaens Vingt regards sur l `enfant Jésus. Later examples are among other things Three Screaming Popes for orchestras of the British composer Mark Anthony door-gnaws after a picture collecting main of Francis Bacon or the turbulent orchestral composition at Orkney Wedding (a Orkney wedding) of Peter Maxwell Davies.

acquaintance of examples

see also


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