Class Notes: What's in a Title?

Karl wonders how classical pieces are named.Classical MPR

September 22, 2014

Works of classical music are almost always more satisfying to listen to than their titles are to read. Georg Phillipp Telemann's "Trio Sonata No. 6 in D Minor for Flute, Oboe, and Continuo, TWV 42:d4," to take one example, doesn't exactly trip off the tongue!

Nor does Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No.14, Op.27 No.2," though its familiar name —"Moonlight" — immediately identifies it as one of the composer's most beloved and atmospheric works.

The Class Notes™ video What's in a Title? offers teachers a fun way to dispel some of the confusion classical titles can cause. Using Haydn's lively "Lark" quartet (otherwise known as "String Quartet No. 53 in D Major, Op. 64, No. 5, Hob.III:63, 5"!), the video breaks its catalogue title into separate components, explaining what each means and why they're sequenced in a certain way.

The video is geared to elementary school kids, but may help bewildered classical music lovers of all ages. Enjoy!

To view more Class Notes™ videos, go here.