Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Carmina Burana

Music History Monday: To Dance With the Devil

Today we recognize the birth – 122 years ago, in Munich – of the composer and educator Carl Orff. Orff lived a long and productive life. He died on March 29, 1982 at the age of 86. He was a composer of great talent whose works draw on influences as diverse as ancient Greek tragedy and medieval chant, Baroque theater and Bavarian peasant life. His so-called “scenic cantata”, Carmina Burana (1936), remains an audience favorite today. Along with the German educator Gunild Keetman, Orff developed a musical education method in the 1920s called the Orff Schulwerk, or the “Orff Approach”, a methodology that integrates music, movement, speech and drama in a manner based on what children do instinctively: play. Today, the Orff Approach is employed around the world and is one of the four major developmental musical educational methodologies; the other three are the Kodály Method, the Suzuki Method, and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Orff’s success as a composer and educator garnered him great honors in his native Germany. From 1950 to 1960 he was the Chair of Music Composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, one of the most prestigious conservatories in the world. In 1956 he was given membership […]

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