Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Songs

Continuing with my theme of poetry inspired by musical genre, I have come across a collection of songs which became popular during the Romantic Era of the 19th Century.

The Liberty Leading the People ~ Eugene Delacroix (1830) (Fair Use)
The word romanticism was first used to describe new ideas in painting and literature, towards the end of the 18th century. This word was later taken up by musicians, to describe the changes in musical style, which took place soon after the turn of the century. Unlike Classical composers, Romantic composers aimed for a store powerful expression of emotion, often revealing their innermost thoughts and feelings. Romantic music is not just about the emotion of love, it can also be about hate or death (positive or negative feelings). Many Romantic composers took an interest in art and literature:

  • Far off lands
  • The distant past
  • Dreams
  • Night and moonlight
  • Rivers, lakes and forests
  • Nature and the seasons
  • The joy and pain of love
  • Fairy tales, myths, legends
  • The supernatural
  • Magic

The Hay Wain ~ John Constable (1821)

Romance: a song with a simple vocal line and a simple accompaniment; especially popular in late 18th-19th-century France and Italy.
The term Romance in music, has a centuries-long history. Applied to narrative ballads in Spain, it came to be used by the 18th century for simple lyrical pieces not only for voice, but also for instruments alone. The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that "generally it implies a specially personal or tender quality".  The following link will take you to a performance of Brahms' Romance op.118 no.5 in F.

Chanson: French for song; in particular, a style of 14th- to 16th-century French song for voice or voices, often with instrumental accompaniment.
A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. The earliest chansons were the epic poems performed by a professional class of jongleus or ménestrels. These usually recounted the famous deeds of past heroes, legendary and semi-historical. The Song of Roland is the most famous of these, but in general the chansons de geste are studied as literature since very little of their music survives. However, it is a style which remained popular in the Romantic Era, and is still used today.
La Chanson de l'alouette is performed by Denise Duval.

Lied(er): German for song(s); in particular, a style of 19th-century German song distinguished by the setting of texts from the literary tradition and by the elaboration of the instrumental accompaniment.
This is typically 19th-century German art song characterized by the setting of a poetic text in either strophic or through-composed style and the treatment of the piano and voice in equal artistic partnership.
Lay of the Imprisoned Huntsman is the last in a series of five Schubert songs derived from Sir Walter Scott's "The Lady of the Lake".

Our challenge today is to draw from the same themes that inspired the artists of the 1800s, and to write a new poem, either narrative or lyrical, with musical qualities in its composition. Rhyme and meter are a definite option, but a strong rhythm may be achieved through the use of alliteration, assonance or repetition, as well as with the inclusion of a refrain.



Ella said...

I have mine started! I'm enjoying this challenge, but have to meet up with college bound kids. Daughter is going on a road trip-I'll be back!

Great challenge :D

hedgewitch said...

This is a great challenge, Kerry--as always, well-researched and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I currently seem to be in some sort of a desert where poetry appears like a distant mirage. Thanks for all the work you do to keep this site exceptional--I really feel bad that I can't contribute atm.

Anonymous said...

Kerry, I was SO ready for this prompt! Hadn't written a song in too long... I plan to write a tune for this and post it when it's done!

Safe travels, Ella. Amy

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the challenge Kerry! I am working on it. Trying to keep my husband content after his surgery is a challenge so it has taken me away from writing for a bit.

Kay L. Davies said...

Ah, now I'm beginning to see why there's no one up on the list except Shay and Sam. I thought I was there, too, but I was wrong.
I know what husbands are like after surgery, so I can empathize with Susie. And I know about the desert Joy Ann mentioned. Been there, suffered that. Ella is busy with kids, and Amy is going to write a tune!
I wrote words for a tune someone wrote when I was young, that's all.

Grace said...

Hi Kerry ~ Thank you for the lovely post ~ I will try my best to write for this; if not linked it up during OLN ~ Happy week everyone ~

Susan said...

Sad that EMI has blocked the Schubert Lieder link in the USA. I am working on a song. In theatre, romanticism is long suffering and tragic, full of unrequited love and hero outlaws and supernatural evils arising from pits--but I shall try to stay a little lighter.

Margaret said...

Busy with kids and preparing for school (kindergarten. 5th, 8th, 10th, freshman and junior in college. Ugh. My youngest is worried I will miss him :). And I will. Will work on this and hope to post late. Well researched Nd very interesting!

Marian said...

kerry, i'm sorry to say this made my head spin. not sure why or what's up with me, summer brain i guess. i'm back to work after vaca but still think it will be a bit before i find myself in a creative mode. :)

Anonymous said...

Kerry, this is weird. I was Number Three on the list and my blog was up there with the links. Now it's disappeared, so thanks to your comment at my blog, I replaced it. Bizarre. Let me know if it "hops off" again! Amy

Ella said...

I ended up writing three poems for this challenge, but only one came close to the ideal! I loved the idea and hope to try again. I know I didn't get it quite right, but I loved the direction I went in.
Thank you Kerry! :D

Kerry O'Connor said...

I hope we will get to see some of the other poems which grew from this prompt, Ella.

Hannah said...

Hi! I'm late...but was inspired so here I am...will try to make rounds as possible...I have a busy, (good), couple of days ahead... ♥

L. Edgar Otto said...

I am not sure I fit into this community and my access to the internet is still unstable. I thought I would still visit and read here and use my dreamikin blog for a sci fi novel project but it occurred to me to condense things into a poem first.
This prompt is rather intricate and very nice in the reach and themes but only the painting brought me back here, late. no comments necessary but I have to explain to those who for some reason followed that blog. Romance is more that good and evil it is a deep cosmic mystery and in it we do feel indeed.