But while American literature already had staked a formidable reputation, our serious music along with painting and theatre remained mired in Old World models. That didn't sit well with a handful of American patrons who sought to develop and project our own national character. Among them was Jeanette Thurber, wife of a wealthy New York merchant, who had founded the National Conservatory of Music, a pioneering venture which opened its doors in to promising African-American musicians but needed strong leadership.
She found it in Antonin Dvorak — Influenced and inspired by his compatriot Bedrich Smetana, Dvorak had achieved great fame as an ardent champion of his beloved Czech music, fluently melding folk-tinged melodies into classical forms.
Born and raised a Bohemian peasant, Dvorak never strayed far from his roots. Like the saying goes, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy. He loved simple pleasures, was enthralled by trains and far preferred a chat with manual laborers to learned discourse. This humble man brought Czech music to the world's attention by showcasing its intrinsic appeal.
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He often is compared to Schubert, with whom he shared effortless melodies, spontaneous harmonies and a relaxed ease, but Schubert's music wafted from Viennese taverns, while in Dvorak's you could feel the fresh rustic breeze and smell the hale country air. Dvorak was lured to New York in with the promise of a fee twenty times his salary in Prague.
Upon arrival, he enthusiastically grasped Mrs. Thurber's charge. He proclaimed: I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies.
These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil.
They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them. At one extraordinary moment in this movement, the string section fades briefly into the intimate single voices of a string quartet. There are no unimportant musical lines here. Just the Black Keys.
Free sheet music : Dvorak, Antonin - Largo Theme (2d Mvt) - New World Symphony (Accordion)
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson! The Adventures of Tonsta. A perfect read aloud storybook for little boys or girls.
The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble. With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.
Available at Amazon. Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years Close Help. Entering your story is easy to do. Just type!
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Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World")
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