Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Music/Schubert

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Schubert, Franz (1797 – 1828)

Schubert cartoon.jpg

The son of a schoolmaster, he showed an extraordinary childhood aptitude for music, studying the piano, violin, organ, singing and harmony.

Schubert composed symphonies and chamber music, but is best known for composing over six hundred Lieder (German for “songs”). These songs were composed as a vocal solo with piano accompaniment.

Many were written using the words of existing poets and poems in this time period. The musics melody and accompaniment were written with an attempt to portray the themes and ideas of the poetry in music as well.

One of Schubert's famous songs is called Erlkonig, which is written to an eerie poem by Goethe, based on a legend in which anyone who is touched by the king of the elves will die.

The way that Schubert wrote the music to portray the poem is very interesting. The piano sounds the horses hooves at a gallop while the singer sings the voices of the characters in the poem. This song is often listed as an example of this type of music.