Worksheet 1.5

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Wind in music lessons

Music is often used to represent the sounds heard in normal life.   For example, we can make music which mimics the sound of water running over pebbles or a waterfall, the noise of a factory or the wind, rain and storms.

This type of music is called Programme music.   Programme music is music of a narrative or descriptive kind and is used to depict an object or an event.  The contents can be actions, situations, pictures or the thoughts which influenced the composer.

Antonio Vivaldi, image source:

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741),

For example in his Opus number 8, Vivaldi chose the deep sound of the violin and the speed of 1/16 notes to represent the dark grumbling sound of thunder.

More composers of Programme music:

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) wrote the song: Les Grands Vents Venus d' Outre-Mer

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) wrote the choral and orchestral piece: Le Printemps / Salut Printemps

Absolute music, in contrast, is purely abstract and is not meant to have any represent anything.

Follow these links to read more about this topic:



- Which instruments would you use to imitate the wind.
- Which orchestral instruments would you use to represent a storm?

Log on to the following website:

*Preludes Book 1
from the Debussy section and then listen to: Le vent dans la plaine (D. Worrall)

Can you hear the wind?

Or choose this link:

and listen to No 7: Ce Qu'a vu le vent d'ouest (What the West Wind Saw)

What different aspects of the wind can you hear?



About this page:

author: G. Bauer, Dr. Helmut Schrettenbrunner - University of Nürnberg, Germany
educational reviewing: Dr. Yvonne Schleicher and Julia Heres - University of Nürnberg, Germany
last update: 2003-09-09

Last modified: Thursday, 16 May 2019, 2:21 PM