Music for Halloween: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

bald-mountain

Night on Bald Mountain refers to a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain on the theme of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or buy it on amazon.com.  There is also an easy version on amazon, with all the note names written in.

Interestingly, the original piece composed by Mussorgsky is not the version you typically hear. That was only published in 1968 and is performed very rarely. The piece we have come to know (and hear in places like Walt Disney’s Fantasia is an arrangement by Rimsky-Korsakov.

From Disney’s Fantasia

 

Piano version transcribed for solo piano by Konstantin Chernov (1865-1937).

 

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Thomas Ludwig

Music for Halloween: The Skeleton Dance

 

The Skeleton Dance’ comes from a 1929 Disney short film called Silly Symphony, and it’s a perfect example of classical music at its most creative. The light-hearted music scores the dancing skeletons’ movements with various percussion instruments – and one of the skeletons themselves even gets used as a glockenspiel.

As we hear the chimes at midnight and bats flutter from a belfry; as a hound howls at the full moon and black cats brawl on the tombstones; Through the gloom, white skeletons pass, Running and leaping in their shrouds!

 

Percussion

 

A color version

 

Music for Halloween: The Monster Mash

 

The Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett is in Piano Maestro with 3 different levels to play. The song was released as a single in August 1962 along with a full-length LP (record) called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The “Monster Mash” single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20–27 of that year, just before Halloween. It has been a perennial Halloween favorite ever since.

Singing pumpkins

 

From Disney

From a contest winner

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 14, 2020

 

“The Entertainer” is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.

It was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting by composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch.
The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

Find the sheet music in a variety of levels including Songs I Love to Play, Volume 1 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 4.  It’s also available in Piano Maestro and to borrow from the O’Connor Music Studio

 

 

As played in The Sting

 

Adam Swanson

 

Piano Duet

On an older piano

 

At Disney

 

Player piano

Harder than it needs to be

From a 4-year-old

Violin and piano

 

String Quartet

On guitar

 

Saxophone quartet

Miss Piggy sang The Entertainer

And, everyone’s favorite – the ice cream truck!

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 8, 2020

 

Today, we’ll listen to the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, of Ludwig van Beethoven.  It was written between 1804–1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements.

I’m sure you’ve heard the first 8 notes before…

 

Since it was written for orchestra, each instrument has its own line:

A piano version, transcribed by Liszt

From Disney’s Fantasia 2000:

Pink learns to play the violin, and interrupts a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Pink Panther theme played on various instruments.

Beethoven’s Wig:

 

Arrangements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony can be found in Piano Maestro and lots of books including Piano Pronto’s Movement 2, Movement 5 (Victory Theme) and Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music.

Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 2, 2020

 

This is the month for graduations of all sorts, college, high school, even preschool.  Perhaps you know someone who is graduating this year.  Maybe it’s you!

This piece by Sir Edward Elgar is called Pomp and Circumstance and usually heard at graduations.  It was featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

Edward Elgar’s father was a musician who tuned pianos, owned a music shop and was employed as a church organist. The young Edward learned to play the organ and violin at a young age and composed his first short piece at the age of 10. His first job was as assistant organist to his father. His main love was composition, although his music was not successful until his Enigma Variations were published in 1899. This work made him famous.

Until Elgar, there had not been a major creative composer in England since Handel’s death in 1759. He became known as England’s greatest composer and was widely recognized in his day. Unfortunately, Elgar’s fame waned at the end of his life – he composed little music during his last fifteen years and withdrew from almost all musical contact. It was not until the 1960’s that his music again became popular.

More information about Elgar

Do you know your chords well?  If so, try this version:

If not, ask at your next lesson for a version at your level.

 

Halloween Music: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

bald-mountain

Night on Bald Mountain refers to a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain on the theme of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or buy it on amazon.com.

From Disney’s Fantasia

 

Piano version transcribed for solo piano by Konstantin Chernov (1865-1937).

 

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Thomas Ludwig

July 15, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

“The Entertainer” is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.

It was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting by composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch.
The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

Find the sheet music in a variety of levels including Songs I Love to Play, Volume 1 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 4.  It’s also available in Piano Maestro and to borrow from the O’Connor Music Studio

 

 

As played in The Sting

 

Adam Swanson

 

Piano Duet

On an older piano

 

At Disney

 

Player piano

Harder than it needs to be

From a 4-year-old

Violin and piano

 

String Quartet

On guitar

 

Saxophone quartet

Miss Piggy sang The Entertainer

And, everyone’s favorite – the ice cream truck!

July 8, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today, we’ll listen to the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, of Ludwig van Beethoven.  It was written between 1804–1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements.

I’m sure you’ve heard the first 8 notes before…

 

Since it was written for orchestra, each instrument has its own line:

A piano version, transcribed by Liszt

From Disney’s Fantasia 2000:

Pink learns to play the violin, and interrupts a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Pink Panther theme played on various instruments.

Beethoven’s Wig:

 

Arrangements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony can be found in Piano Maestro and lots of books including Piano Pronto’s Movement 2, Movement 5 (Victory Theme) and Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music.

June 2, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

This is the month for graduations of all sorts, college, high school, even preschool.  Perhaps you know someone who is graduating this year.  Maybe it’s you!

This piece by Sir Edward Elgar is called Pomp and Circumstance and usually heard at graduations.  It was featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

Edward Elgar’s father was a musician who tuned pianos, owned a music shop and was employed as a church organist. The young Edward learned to play the organ and violin at a young age and composed his first short piece at the age of 10. His first job was as assistant organist to his father. His main love was composition, although his music was not successful until his Enigma Variations were published in 1899. This work made him famous.

Until Elgar, there had not been a major creative composer in England since Handel’s death in 1759. He became known as England’s greatest composer and was widely recognized in his day. Unfortunately, Elgar’s fame waned at the end of his life – he composed little music during his last fifteen years and withdrew from almost all musical contact. It was not until the 1960’s that his music again became popular.

More information about Elgar

Do you know your chords well?  If so, try this version:

If not, ask at your next lesson for a version at your level.