The piece discussed in this paper is The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) by Igor Stravinsky. It is music written for ballet, which is sometimes performed in concert by an orchestra. It was first performed at the Theatre Des Champs-Elysees in Paris on May 29, 1913. The outrageous costumes, unusual choreography and bizarre story of Russian pagan sacrifice as well as the piece's musical innovations that tested the patience of the audience to the fullest, made its premier scandalous. The impact on music ever since has been tremendous. The choreography that contributed to the infamous premier was created by Vaslav Nijinsky. .
The excerpts addressed in this paper include three scenes from Part II: Glorification of the Chosen One, Evocation of the Ancestors, and Ritual Action of the Ancestors. .
In the Rite of Spring, the composer declares a modernist style combining folk melodies from Russia, combinations of sound never heard before and hard-driving complex rhythms. One cannot miss the huge orchestral forces, contrasts in volume and polyrhythms that give this work its individuality among ballet music.
However, most people will have met the Rite of Spring through Walt Disney's Fantasia, a 1941 animated movie showing imaginative illustrations to classical music. The Rite of Spring is the fourth piece to be played, illustrated by a "a pageant, as the story of the growth of life on Earth" according to the narrator. The sequence shows the beginning of simple life forms, evolution up to the dinosaurs, and their eventual destruction. .
This paper focuses on the timing of this work by paying special attention to rhythm (the combination of longer and shorter durations), meter (the creation of regular groups by placing an accent or stress on a pattern of beats), and tempo (speed).
Discussion of Musical Elements.
Rhythm, meter, and tempo.
In "The Rite of Spring", Stravinsky's composition contains three parts: "Glorification of the Chosen One, Evocation of the Ancestors, and Ritual Action of the Ancestors.