Summary Music Articles


"Music is the art of the soul, which turns in itself." - G. W. F. Hegel, Lessons on Aesthetics
ancient greek vase
The origins of music

People have always wondered about the origin of music, from Plato to Rousseau and Darwin, and many have tried to find an answer. Darwin, for example, hypothesised that music is the evolution of a natural behaviour linked to courtship, so the better a specimen can sing, the more chance it has of reproducing, but is it really that simple?

ancient greek vase
History of musical notation

Of all human advances and inventions, one has been chosen as the symbol dividing humanity's timeline into prehistory and history: writing.

music manuscript by Johann Sebastian Bach
Musical forms

Every piece of music, whether classical or popular, is composed according to a starting structure that we call "musical form". In addition to the forms discussed below, there is the simple form called Lied, that is that of a song, in fact takes this name from the German language and is structured in two or three parts: A, A-A', AB or ABA where B does not have a development and is therefore a new section.

The lute player by Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi
Baroque musical forms

In the Baroque period between 1600-1700, various musical forms and genres were born and developed: for instrumental music, the concerto grosso, the solo concert, the suite and the sonata, and for vocal music, the madrigal, the opera, the cantata and the oratorio.

inside a theater
The origins of Italian Opera

In 1600, a new theatrical and musical genre was born in Italy: Opera, which was destined to occupy theatre seasons and bring people together in a single hall to this day. Italian opera was born in the courts, moved to the theatre, changed its form and became one of the most beloved and profitable genres in the history of music. Among the greatest masterpieces are Verdi's Traviata, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Boheme and Turandot, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia etc..

Claudio Monteverdi portrait
Claudio Monteverdi and the madrigal

Through the works of Claudio Monteverdi it is possible to get to know the history of the madrigal which, despite the magnificent fruits of the composer from Cremona, suffered an unstoppable disappearance in the mid-seventeenth century. In fact, at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, important changes took place, changing the way music was produced and enjoyed, stylistic choices and the transition from the modal to the tonal system began.

Johann Sebastian Bach portrait
Johann Sebastian Bach: life and works

In the musical landscape of the late Baroque, a great composer emerged: the german Johann Sebastian Bach. Although he led a sedentary life, always including permanent assignments at courts or religious institutions, he had the ability to introduce the novelties of the changing atmosphere into his music while remaining tied to his own German tradition.

Georg Friedrich Haendel portrait
Georg Friedrich Händel: life and works

Händel was a composer and musician of the Baroque period who, unlike Bach, changed many residences and led a rather eventful life. There is no real justification for this, but it is probably due to an intolerance of stable jobs (such as Kantor or Kapellmeister) together with a strong drive towards an international career at ever higher levels.

portrait of the king of France Luigi XIV
Music at the Court of the Sun King

In 1643 King Louis XIII died and was succeeded by his son Louis XIV with a small problem: he was only 5 years old and so in his place ruled his mother Anne of Austria and Cardinal Julius Mazarin. Mazarin was an Italian who had served at the court of Antonio Barberini in Rome where he had seen Italian works such as stefano landi's Saint Alexis.

sator square

“The Path to the New Music” is the title given by Anton Webern to a series of sixteen lectures he gave in a private house in Vienna in 1933 in which the composer wanted to illustrate the process that led Schönberg to the theorisation of dodecaphony.

poetic natural landscape, trees in the fog rise
The invention of ambient music

We are always surrounded by sounds that change from place to place, from time to time, from season to season, we are not used to paying attention to them and we mostly hear them passively. On the contrary, a composer would like his music to be listened to actively and with maximum concentration, but there is music that is created specifically to be ignored and this, in some ways, is absolutely brilliant.