Music Comparison Essay

MusicComparison Essay

Music is theuniversal language of all the people. This clearly indicates thatmusic has a communicative quality to people. Music can stimulatepeople’s senses of hearing thus, it can convey information. Indifferent forms, music can express fury, triumph or regret,exuberance or serenity. Music can express all these moods as well asmany others through differences and shadings. However, it is worthnoting that a single piece of music can cause significantly differentreactions among different listeners. There has been a composition ofmusic in various genres. However, each and every piece of musicbelong to one of the five categories, namely, opera, orchestral,choral, solo instrumental or chamber. This research paper willcompare and contrast two different pieces of music from the differentperiods: “The Barber Of Seville”by Gioachino Rossini and “Metamorphosen” by Richard Strauss.

Comparisonbetween Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber Of Seville”and Richard Strauss’ “Metamorphosen”

“TheBarber Of Seville” is a piece of music belonging to the genre ofopera. An Italian opera musician composed this piece of music by thename during the nineteenth century. The name of this musician isGioachino Rossini. Opera music was a popular genre of music in Italyduring that period. It appealed to audiences of all professions andclasses ( Opera was the musical life’s central partin various countries such as Germany, France, and Italy. In thiscase, Gioachino Rossini’s music, “TheBarber Of Seville” was used as a source of entertainment. Besides,this piece of music followed the national trends when it was composedbecause the ideas in the music were borrowed across the nationalboundaries. Additionally, the composer often composed satiricand comic music (Fisher 69). In this case, satire the composer usedthroughout this piece of music. In addition, this piece of music alsocontains various features such as rhythmic vitality, bold energy, anda unique melodic inventiveness (Fisher 69). Furthermore, the composerused catchy tunes with which the audience can easily follow bysinging. In addition, this piece of music has plinking accompanimentand dainty melodies in the beginning, which increases in tempo as themusic progresses. Indeed, it is arguably true that “TheBarber Of Seville” is “considered the greatest comic masterpiecein the entire operatic canon” (Fisher 70).

Contrary toGioachino Rossini’s piece ofmusic, Richard’ Strauss’ “Metamorphosen” isan orchestral piece of music. Similarly, “TheBarber Of Seville” emerged during the nineteenth century while“Metamorphosen” emerged during the twentieth century. During thisperiod, the efforts towards developing orchestral music were futile(Manning 1). This implies that orchestral music was not a populargenre of music as it was the case for opera music. In thissong, there are more than eight players. In addition, Straussperformed the piece of music using various accompaniments such asviolins, base guitars, cellos, and violas. It is thus arguably truethat “The Barber Of Seville”was performed using significantly less components than“Metamorphosen. On the other hand, ‘The Barber Of Seville” hasa comical effect to it contrary to “Metamorphosen” whichexpresses a somber mood. In this case, Manning argues that the pieceof was composed after the Second World War (1). As a result,“Metamorphosen” expressed a somber mood following the destructionof Germany in the Second World War. Nevertheless, Strauss’“Metamorphosen” was created using unprecedented tonal and sizeresources.


Fisher, Burton. OperaJourney’s Guide at Movie Theatres (Season 2013-2014), 2014. New York: Opera Journeys Publishing.

Manning Bryant. Strauss, Reflectingon his Artistic Life, in ‘Metamorphosen’. ChicagoSymphony Orchestral Association. [Online]Available from Opera and DramaticMusic in the Nineteenth Century. ConciseHistory of Western Music, 2006.[Online] Available from