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Dmitri Kabalevsky:
Incidental Music

Incidental music creates a mood, or illustrates the action for what is going on in a play, movie or television show.

Music heard in this episode:
Kabalevsky: Galop from The Comedians
Williams: E.T. - Flying Theme
Purcell: The Indian Queen
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Beethoven: Egmont
Schubert: Rosamunde
Copland: Our Town
Kabalevsky: Galop from The Comedians

Other shows about Dmitri Kabalevsky:
About Dmitri Kabalevsky
The Comedians Suite
What's a Galop
Musical Jokes

Download this month's activity sheet

About Dmitri Kabalevsky
12/30/1904 - 2/14/1987
Born in Russia

Dmitri Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersburg, which was then the capital of Russia. He started playing the piano by ear when he was six. In 1918, after the Russian Revolution, the family moved to Moscow, where Dmitri finally started studying music -- including composition.

Kabalevsky lived in a difficult time and place for a composer. In the Soviet Union, the government told artists -- painters, writers, composers, you name it -- exactly what they were expected to create, and how it should look or sound. Kabalevsky managed to make the authorities happy as he continued to compose.

Kabalevsky wrote a lot of piano music, including pieces for children. He really enjoyed writing for children. Other Kabalevsky compositions include songs for children's chorus, and a set of songs for solo voice based on some wonderful Russian translations of Mother Goose rhymes. Of course, Kabalevsky also wrote plenty of adult pieces, including symphonies, concertos, and music for the theater.

See other composers born in Russia


This Week's Quiz:

1. Which piece of incidental music did Felix Mendelssohn write?

The Indian Queen

A Midsummers Night Dream

Hary Janos

Rhapsody in Blue

2.Dmitri Kabalevsky composed incidental music for which play?

Romeo and Juliet

Peer Gynt

Our Town

The Inventor and the Comedians

Our Town

3. Incidental music has been written for movies such as ET and Our Town.




Dmitri Kabalevsky
"Galop" from The Comedians

Composed in 1940
Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Kenneth Jean, conductor

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