A Rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations.
1. Exalted or excessively enthusiastic expression of feeling in speech or writing.
2. A literary work written in an impassioned or exalted style.
3. A state of elated bliss; ecstasy.
4. Music A usually instrumental composition of irregular form that often incorporates improvisation.
5. An ancient Greek epic poem or a portion of one suitable for uninterrupted recitation.
Closely related to the rhapsody is the term Fantasia.
1. A free composition structured according to the composer's fancy.
2. A medley of familiar themes, with variations and interludes.
The term was first applied to music during the 16th century, at first to refer to the imaginative musical "idea" rather than to a particular compositional genre. With its roots in the art of improvisation, it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form, but rather has the sense of "the play of imaginative invention” (as with the impromptu).
Most people will recall the animated Disney movie of that name. According to JustDisney.com the title was selected because it 'means two things, a compositions in which the composer strays from the accepted form, and a potpourri of familiar arts, both apply to the film.' If you would like to watch the Nutcracker Suite clip from the movie, click HERE.
|Modern Rhapsody ~ Salvador Dali (1957)|
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My challenge today is for us to write a poetic rhapsody. From my reading, I get the impression that anything goes but I suggest the following ideas to get us started:
- The poem could consist of several parts or variations on a theme.
- Free verse is preferred over form but it should be structured according to the writer's fancy.
- Mixed media could be utilized - especially for those who like to include photography or art with their writing.
- A sense of improvisation is preferable to a piece which is over-worked.
- The mood should be impassioned or exalted. (Some synonyms for 'rhapsodize' include babble, carry on, declaim, freak out, fume, go bananas, orate, prattle and rage.
- The content should focus more on the imaginative than the concrete.