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Why dont most classical songs have real names...

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(@danada)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

Ive just realized how annoying it is to find a classical peice that i am able to remember the name of, it seems like every classical artist shares the same names for many of there peices. Everyone has a minuet a requiem and etc. and then there are names like Opus31#1 (something like that to lazy to look up). I dont get why they cant just give something a real name and make it easier for everyone when trying to find something to play.

PS, Could someone give me a song to play doesnt matter if its easy or hard, but my searching has come up nil. I want a fun classical song to play.

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(@kingpatzer)
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That's just the naming convention of the age.

It also makes sense if you think about it.

When you are an orchestra director and you're putting together a program you'll know what type of music you want first. Then you'll look to figuring out which one you want to play. So a naming convention that labels a piece by the type of music it is becomes very usefull.

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(@slejhamer)
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Try Beethoven's Fur Elise - it even has a "real name." :)

http://www.wussu.com/classtab/lvb_fel.txt

There are many classical (and other) songs transcribed for guitar at that site ( http://www.wussu.com/classtab/ )

Have fun!

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(@ldavis04)
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Try these tabs for"Romanza"...that one is fun and relatively easy.....and it actually has a real name......

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=romanza&w=songs

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(@danada)
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Topic starter  

I guess not being a composer and all i wouldnt understand there organization however thanks ill try those songs :wink:

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(@noteboat)
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As Kingpatzer said, the naming conventions give clues to music directors, conductors, and musicians. Most classical music is named for the 'form', and each form has its own structure, tempo and rules.

Many classical forms are named for dances: bourree, minuet, gigue, gavotte, pavanne etc. These were actual dances that people did, and classical musicians will be familiar with how they should be played.

Others are named after the type of feeling the composer was shooting for... a nocturne should make you think of night, a bacchanale is a drunken party :)

Some are from their place in a musical play: overtures are the opening music, which often has all the themes; intermezzos are pieces written to be 'between' things (like during scene changes); arias are solos. The complete works are called operas if there's acting, and oratorios if there isn't... "Jesus Christ Superstar" is an opera; Handel's "Messiah" is an oratorio. They're both the story of Jesus, but in an opera somebody actually plays the part. Musicals, like "West Side Story" are related, but also have spoken dialogue.

A few are catch-alls that don't have strict form: fantasies, impromptus, preludes.

The rest stand for strict compositional form...

Canon - a counterpoint form in imitation (the simplest would be a round)
Cantata - vocal music accompanied by instruments, originally for church performance as hymns
Chorale - a Lutheran hymn
Concerto - a piece that contrasts one instrument (or a small group) against a large ensemble; the small group/solo parts are often very demanding, and show off the performer's virtuosity
Fugue - two or more distinct melodies that combine in counterpoint, with strict rules
Mass - a setting to music of the text of a Catholic church service
Motet - a vocal piece that plays off one part against another, like a duet
Requiem - a funeral Mass
Sonata - a theme that's developed, often with a section transposing it to a new key, and then restated
Symphony - an orchestral work in three to five movements (usually four) with the first movement in sonata form, the second usually a slow movement (like an Andante), the third a dance (often a Minuet), and the fourth a Rondo or a fast Sonata
Variation - a theme that's redone in a bunch of different ways

The 'opus' is a composition number - the word means 'work' in Latin. Many composers numbered their own compositions, which makes things easy. Since a composer's style develops over time, there will be a substantial difference between the techniques of opus 3 and opus 300 - and many composers lives are divided into musical 'periods' - a conductor will know that symphonies 1&2 show early Beethoven, 3-8 are middle period, and 9 is late.

When a composer wrote a LOT of music and didn't number anything, scholars study the stylistic development, known performances, etc. and try to piece together a probable order of composition. Instead of opus numbers, these get 'catalog' numbers, and there will be an abbreviation for which catalog effort - you'll see K for Mozart (Kochel catalog), BWV for Bach (Bach Werke Verzeichnis, a catalog by Wolfgang Schmeider), etc.

Many classical pieces have both a 'technical' name and a 'common' name. Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, opus 27 No. 2 is the technical name... Beethoven titled it Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia (Sonata, almost a fantasy), and people today call it the 'Moonlight' sonata. A lot of works are better known by the common name - Fur Elise is actually the Bagatelle in A minor.

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(@jimh2)
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Dude, can I just say...WOW!!

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(@bennett)
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Can I just say, "Noteboat, you are a freak!" :P

I only just recently looked up some of this information out of curiosity (since my wife has been listening to a lot of classical of late). And I think Noteboat's explanation is the best summary I've read yet!

Thanks mate. 8)

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(@noteboat)
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I just like music - when I'm not playing, I'm usually reading about it :)

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(@alangreen)
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A lot of works are better known by the common name - Fur Elise is actually the Bagatelle in A minor.

I read a good conspiracy theory once that suggested it was written for a girl called Therese, and therefore the dedication should have been "Fur Therese" (For Therese) rather than Fur Elise/ For Elise. Maybe she didn't like it.

Best,

A :-)

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(@barnabus-rox)
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I open this thread out of interest

( not knowing anything about classical music)

Now I am glad I did ...

Thanks NoteBoat I learned lots from your reply ..

Hilch :?:

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(@chalkoutline)
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Look at the big ole brain on Noteboat! :D

Really? Is there anything about music you don't know?

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(@greybeard)
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I read a good conspiracy theory once that suggested it was written for a girl called Therese, and therefore the dedication should have been "Fur Therese" (For Therese) rather than Fur Elise/ For Elise. Maybe she didn't like it.
Best,
A :-)
I hate it when people do this - I just have to go and see what it's all about. :? Interesting stuff, though.
The concensus seems to point to Therese von Malfatti, with whom Beethoven was said to have been in love. The story is that he wrote it for her, to be played at a soiree at her father's house, after which he was supposed to have proposed to her. He got completely blotted and could neither play the piece nor propose.
He wrote the dedication on the original score. It is assumed that it was, later, incorrectly read as "Für Elise" rather than "Für Therese", on the premise that the letters of old German script was such that Elise and Therese could be mistaken for one another. However, on a document, that has a draft of the score, Beethoven's handwriting is not in old German script (can be seen here.
As to whether she liked it or not, the original, dedicated score was found in her belongings, after her death, but is apparantly nowhere to be found anymore, so no-one can re-examine what he really did write.

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(@sobrelaguitarra)
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That's a very interesting theory Alan. Thanks for the info Greybeard. I just joined this forum, but already I've learned alot from this topic alone! Looking forward to more :)


   
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(@danada)
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Topic starter  

Yes!! Thanks Noteboat, thats what i like to see :D

Very informative and it actualy helps alot,

Much appreciated

PS "ROMANZA" Reminds me of oceans eleven...maybe that is the song, ill go check later.

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