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What makes music Heroic?

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What makes music Heroic?

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#1

Dec-31-2010, 03:15

michel
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What makes music Heroic?


Hello!,
I'm very new here, so be kind!
Okay, so I want to write an essay on Heroic music and was
wondering if you lot could help me.
So what makes music heroic? I'm looking at specific elements of the
music such as pitch, instrumentation, key, texture, time, and melody
for example.
We all know get that sense of heroism when we listen to 'Nessun
Dorma', but what Qualities of the music gives us this feeling?
If you could maybe give me a fair few points on the subject and if
anyone knows anything that I could get reading that would be great!
thanks!
Michael
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#2

Dec-31-2010, 03:19

Jean Christophe Par


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Maestoso tempo.

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#3

Dec-31-2010, 04:12

Astrognash
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The key of E-Flat Major is often regarded as good at portraying


triumph or heroism, although other keys can be heroic too. Also,
brass fanfares can be used to convey heroism, and I've found that
heroic pieces are often very uplifting.

Dec 2010
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#4

Dec-31-2010, 04:34

Huilunsoittaja
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How funny! Both people above me mentioned exactly what I would


have: "Maestoso" tempo marking, and E-flat Major, I've always
considered that the Heroic key. So that's a sign, you got more than
one person to support those elements.
E-flat Major examples I can think of at the moment:
Beethoven's Symphony no. 3 "Eroica"
Wagner's Funeral March from Gotterdammerung
Mussorgsky's The Great Gate of Kiev (Pictures at an Exhibition)
Sibelius' Symphony no. 5, the Swan Hymn especially (Final
Movement)
Brass instruments often connote royal or military themes. All the
pieces I mentioned above use a lot of brass at their climaxes.

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What makes music Heroic?

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#5

Dec-31-2010, 04:44

Aksel
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I adore E-flat major. And also A-flat major. And all the flat keys all
the way until C-flat major. Flat keys sound better, especially on brass
instruments. Also, they are a lot easier to play.

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#6

Dec-31-2010, 13:44

emiellucifuge
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Its about a hero overcoming the odds to be triumphant. See


Beethoven symphony 3

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#7

Dec-31-2010, 14:57

Aramis
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Originally Posted by emiellucifuge

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2/10/16, 10:54 AM

Its about a hero overcoming the odds to be triumphant. See


Beethoven symphony 3

Yes, the most important thing in heroic music is that it's preceded by
antithesis, music expressing sorrow, resignation and stuff. Most of
heroic works are builded in cyclic form beginning with
pessimistic/distressing first movement which resolves in the last one.
Also, chorale is common in these last movements as final sign of
victory.
These chorales are often partly presented in middle movements as
omen/promise of forthcoming victory (Mahler 5th, Karowicz
"Rebirth").
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#8

Jan-01-2011, 02:58

Webernite
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I should point out that the key of C minor is also often associated
with Heroism, at least in Beethoven.

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#9

Jan-01-2011, 19:33

MEDIEVAL MIAMI
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Maestoso tempo = tempo 92 on the metronome?

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COMO YO, NADIE

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What makes music Heroic?

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#10

Jan-01-2011, 19:50

emiellucifuge
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Roughly yes, but it also denotes a majestic feeling.

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#11

Jan-01-2011, 20:22

starry
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Originally Posted by emiellucifuge

Its about a hero overcoming the odds to be triumphant. See


Beethoven symphony 3

Which is perhaps a theme of Beethoven's music in general, and a


thing that probably contributed to its influence and popularity in the
Romantic period.
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#12

Jan-01-2011, 22:43

ScipioAfricanus
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Other heroic music are


Brahms 3rd Symphony
Draeske's 2nd Symphony
Draeseke's Piano Concerto
Bruckner's 8th, Finale
The key to Heroic music is Maestoso and Appasionata.
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Jan-01-2011, 22:57

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#13

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Aquinas
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Pieces which convey a heroic atmosphere tend to employ the tonic


triad in arpeggio a lot, especially near the recapitulation (if in sonata
form). An example of this is, of course, the opening of Beethoven's
third symphony: Eb-G-Eb-Bb-Eb-G-Bb-Eb.

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Take a look at the Missa in angustiis by Haydn! You won't find many
people who deny the triumphant character of its Gloria, especially the
final amen. The soprano section sings the D major triad in broken
ascensions, almost forcing you out of your seat in anticipation of the
final cadence. Later, in the Credo movement, Haydn sets the words
"Judicare vivos et mortuous" - "Will judge the living and the dead"
with such intensity of triadic, major-mode victory that you almost
cheer for the unseen battle being waged in the music! The word
"judicare" itself is set: "ju-di-car-e", in D major: "G-F#-E-D",
shimmering and glistening under the sound of the brass, supported
by timpani strokes. The appearance of the descending major fourth in
the Credo echoes part of the earlier Gloria, so the heroic feeling is
achieved by the glorious reappearance of a theme from an earlier
movement.
Heroism is often conveyed by the occurrence of: I-I6-I6/4, but in
arpeggio. Example: D-F#-A-F#-A-D2-F#2-D2-F#2-A2, etc.
Don't forget dotted rhythms, which convey a march-like mood.

Last edited by Aquinas; Jan-01-2011 at 23:03.


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#14

Jan-03-2011, 19:12

woodwind_fan
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Definitely agree about brassy things being heroic. Give Richard


Strauss' 'Ein Heldenleben' a listen (can't believe no one has
mentioned it yet!). You need to be a hero at the horn to be able to
play the opening theme...
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#15

Jan-04-2011, 01:22

Ukko
Senior Member

Heroic
Thanks, Michael. The title of your post is... special. If you could have
given it to Berlioz, he would have made an entertaining 'Evening' out

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