character piece

character piece
a short, simple piece, usually for piano, of a type developed chiefly during the 19th century, often of a descriptive or seemingly improvisatory character.

* * *

music
      relatively brief musical composition, usually for piano, expressive of a specific mood or nonmusical idea. Closely associated with the Romantic movement (Romanticism), especially in Germany, 19th-century character pieces often bore titles citing their inspiration from literature (such as Robert Schumann (Schumann, Robert)'s collection Kreisleriana, 1838) or from personal experience (e.g., Schumann's Kinderszenen, 1838; Scenes from Childhood). Others refer to specific personages directly or in disguise (such as Schumann's Carnaval, composed 1833–35) or evoke geographical and/or national images (e.g., Frédéric Chopin (Chopin, Frédéric)'s polonaises, mazurkas, and Barcarolle, 1845–46). Felix Mendelssohn (Mendelssohn, Felix)'s Lieder ohne Worte (1830; Songs Without Words) covered a particularly wide range of styles and moods, while Chopin tended to favour musico-literary genres, such as ballades (ballade), and more generalized idyllic or melancholy associations, such as nocturnes (nocturne). Many, though by no means all, character pieces are relatively simple in design, emphasizing expressive melody and harmony, not unlike the contemporaneous German lied. Although they may feature elaborate keyboard figurations, especially in Chopin's case, the 19th-century character piece may be identified as an instrumental song intended, like its German vocal counterpart, primarily for home rather than concert performance.

      Antecedents of the 19th-century character piece abound especially in French keyboard music, in which the perennial tendency to link music with extramusical subject matter accounted for a host of titled harpsichord pieces as early as the 17th century. The clavecin (harpsichord) works of François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau represent the first culmination of a French tradition pursued by Emmanuel Chabrier, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Maurice Ravel, among many others, well into the 20th century.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Character piece — The first page of Frédéric Chopin s Fantaisie Impromptu, one of the best known character pieces Character piece is a literal translation of the German Charakterstück, a term, not very precisely defined, used for a broad range of 19th century… …   Wikipedia

  • character piece — noun Etymology: translation of German charakterstück : a short musical composition especially for piano conveying a single mood or impression compare program music * * * Music. a short, simple piece, usually for piano, of a type developed chiefly …   Useful english dictionary

  • character piece — /ˈkærəktə pis/ (say karuhktuh pees) noun Music a short 19th century piano or instrumental composition designed to capture a specific mood …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Character (arts) — A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art (such as a novel, play, or film).[1] Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr (χαρακτήρ), the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration,[2]… …   Wikipedia

  • Character Options — is a British toy company, notable for having both the Disney and Doctor Who toy licenses. It hit the headlines during 2007 as the UK distributor for the Bindeez range of products was recalled due to a dangerous chemical. Contents 1 Doctor Who 1.1 …   Wikipedia

  • Pièce de résistance — is a French term ( circa 1839), translated into English literally as piece of resistance , referring to the best part or feature of something (as in a meal), a showpiece, or highlight. It can be thought of as the portion of a creation which… …   Wikipedia

  • Piece of Cake (book) — Piece of Cake is a 1983 novel by Derek Robinson which follows a fictional Royal Air Force fighter squadron through the first year of World War II, and the Battle of Britain. It was later made into a television series.Although a work of fiction,… …   Wikipedia

  • character sketch — n. 1. a short piece of writing describing a person, esp. in terms of personality traits and behavior patterns 2. a theatrical portrayal of a highly individualized character or role …   English World dictionary

  • Piece of Cake (TV series) — Piece of Cake is a six part 1988 television series, depicting the life of a Royal Air Force fighter squadron from the day of the British entry into World War II through to one of the toughest days in the Battle of Britain (7 September, 1940). The …   Wikipedia

  • Character mask — Part of a series on Marxism …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”