More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
Thomas Forrest Kelly, Harvard University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Stravinksy's Compositional Techniques: Folk Melodies
Notes taken on November 8, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
Igor Stravinsky lived almost 90 years (1882-1971)
wrote a large amount of music
although it changes over time, there is much we can say about what his music sounds like in general
1. appearance of melodies that sound like folk melodies but are different in kind than the folk melodies that we usually recognize in the Anglo-American tradition
characteristic of the Rite of Spring as well as the rest of his music
they don't come to a nice end the way we think they would
they sound like music that would be familiar to some group of people somewhere
have internal repetition
but the repetition is hardly ever literal
the scales used are not the (common( scales used in music of his time and tradition
it's music that sounds like it might be music to some other culture
he scatters these melodies throughout the score of the Rite of Spring
puts us in another cultural and chronological place
this is a particular characteristic of the Rite of Spring but certainly not limited to this piece
2. uncanny way of discovering new sounds
he does this perhaps by simply throwing his hands on the piano to see what he finds
they are sounds that have few other characteristics in common other than they just happen to fit under the hands on the piano
chords played which are just barely reachable by the thumbs
it's an unusual way of playing chords
the emphasis on the middle note of the chord is going to be important in the Symphony of Psalms piece
his ballet Petrushka
Petrushka is a puppet so you have these sounds of a puppet
puts two chords together and alternates them
Beethoven does it, but Stravinsky is a master at this
the first dance in the Rite of Spring
done to a single chord that is repeated many times
the only thing that varies is the accent pattern
it's easy to play
generating the maximum amount of disonance with the smallest number of notes
the animated dance
it all can be played on the piano