Perspective 1.4 - Programmatic Music

Assignment 1.4: Programmatic Music

Watch the video of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and be prepared to answer the following two questions.

You may want to refer back to the lesson and download the Elements of Music presentation to review before writing down your answers.

Symphonie Fantastique - Movement 4: The March to the Scaffold

Question 1

Complete the chart by listening to Movement 4 of Symphonie Fantastique and filling in the boxes.

Musical

Element

Beginning

(0:00 – 1:50)

Middle

(1:50-3:45)

End

(3:45-4:47)

Key

 

N/A

N/A

Tempo (Italian term)

 

N/A

N/A

Meter/Time Signature

 

N/A

N/A

Dynamics

 

 

 

Instrumentation

 

 

 

Texture (mono/poly/

homophonic)

 

 

 

Timbre/Mood

 

 

 

Question 2

Read the full translation of Berlioz's program notes on the fourth movement and listen to the piece again.

"Convinced that his love is unappreciated, the artist poisons himself with opium. The dose of narcotic, while too weak to cause his death, plunges him into a heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions. He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution. As he cries for forgiveness the effects of the narcotic set in. He wants to hide but he cannot, so he watches as an onlooker as he dies. The procession advances to the sound of a march that is sometimes sombre and wild, and sometimes brilliant and solemn, in which a dull sound of heavy footsteps follows without transition the loudest outbursts. At the end of the march, the first four bars of the idée fixe (love theme) reappear like a final thought of love interrupted by the fatal blow when his head bounced down the steps."

Select three quotes from these notes and describe how Berlioz illustrates these elements in his music. Be specific in regards to instrumentation and musical ideas.