From Words to Music
From Words to Music looks at orchestral compositions inspired by literature. Five Canadian composers – Linda Bouchard, Oskar Morawetz, Gary Kulesha, Violet Archer and Robert Turner – are considered. The eclectic literary sources of inspiration include medieval romances (Bouchard's Exquisite Fires), fairy tales (Morawetz's Overture to a Fairy Tale), Virginia Woolf's The Waves (Gary Kulesha's The Boughs of Music), Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (Violet Archer's Prelude-Incantation) and the poetry of Canadian poet Earle Birney (Robert Turner's Group of Seven).
In some cases the literary text provides general inspiration for the musical mood, in some it provides a more specific back story for the music, and in one instance the text is written into the music. The guided listening and learning activities encourage students to consider the relevance of knowing the story behind the work, and how music can reflect, enhance or heighten text.
From Words to Music is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives:
Gain an understanding of how music can be used to capture the spirit of a story, heighten the telling of a story or to inspire the mood of a musical composition.
Consider why literature is an important source of inspiration to composers.
Create compositions in response to a literary stimulus.