What is Program Music?
Program Music is music that is intended to describe a scene or tell a story. Program music is often inspired by a piece of art, a poem, or a story that a composer has heard but can also be inspired by people and places a composer encounters in real life.
- Listen to each of the excerpts below, one by one.
- As you listen, students can either take notes using the worksheet or think about:
- How does the music make you feel?
- What types of instruments are you hearing?
- What musical devices like tempo, dynamics, rhythm, major or minor key signature, etc. do you hear?
- Close your eyes and imagine a scene – what scene or event do you think this piece is about?
- Then, gather groups of students or as a class to discuss:
- The qualities of the music: the musical devices, the mood, instruments used, etc.
- What do you think this music is meant to portray – what story, scene, landscape, etc.