Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A colorful representation of Beethoven's 5th Symphony

One of Peter's Facebook friends posted this the other day, and I thought it was really fun.  It's a colorful depiction of each instrument in the 1st movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony.  This type of illustration is a great way to observe texture within the orchestra.  It is arranged vertically by pitch.  Arranging it by pitch is a great way to see how various instruments overlap and how the texture and density changes throughout the movement. 

I found this video to be really fun to watch.  Ever since taking graduate level music theory, in which we studied "alternative" ways to analyze music, I've been particularly interested in texture, density, contour, etc.  I even did a couple of projects that involved charting and graphing certain excerpts of pieces, to better depict the contour of phrases.  It's probably quite nerdy, but it's something that fascinates me.

What did you think of the video?  Cool?  Or too nerdy for your liking?  Would you like to see similar posts in the future?

By the way, the more info and a color key here.



P.S. I played the 5th symphony in undergrad, and hearing it again made me realize how much I miss playing in an orchestra... :(


  1. I miss playing in an orchestra too!! Let's go back to being stand partners!! :)

    1. Yes!!!!! I didn't fully appreciate it when I was there, but I really miss it now!


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