AMU-4M0 Studies of Major Works

Program Music

Assignment #1: Program Music



  Pg. 184- 185 on "Program Music"


  1. What does the author say about:
    1. music's ability to create visual and dramatic impressions.
    2. the advantages of Program Music.
    3. how proponents of "Absolute Music" view " Program Music."
  2. Overall do you think the author considers "Program Music" positively or negatively. Explain your answer.


Marking /15

  1. /10
  2. /5


Day II

Assignment #2: War of 1812

  1. Listen to the "War of 1812 Overture." (Track 9 on OAC CD)
  2. Choose two contrasting sections from the Overture. (They don't have to be adjacent.)
    1. Describe how Tchaikovsky makes these two sections musically different from each other, and how these differences serve the purpose of the program.

Marking /20

  • Musical description of two sections using appropriate terminology for the elements of music. /10
  • Description of "program" purpose of each section. /5
  • Description of how musical "differences" align with program purpose of each section. /5



Assignment #3: Symphonie Fantastique

Listen to Symphonie Fantastique (Track 8 on CD)

Write a story to accompany the 1rst Movement of Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”

This story will be “presented” to the class.

In your story you should:

  • Attach a “fixed idea” (character, plot event) to specific musical themes or events.
  • Create a “marker” list of specific cue points in your story.
    • (ie. At “2:51" Xena politely disembowels Hercules while filing her nails.)
  • Hand in a written outline or final version of your story.
  • Use at least 5 minutes of the Symphonie Fantastique either as one complete section, or
    in segments.

You will be marked as follows:

Demonstration of knowledge of the “Symphonie Fantastique” through:

  • accurate “marker” list. 10 Marks
  • appropriate alignment of “fixed ideas” to story line, characters, etc.15 Marks
  • Coherence of story. (Does it make sense?) 10 Marks
  • Overall Creativity and Impression of Story 15 Marks