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Georg Philipp Telemann:
Self-Taught Composers


Georg Philipp Telemann never studied composition — he taught himself how to write music. There are quite a few composers who taught themselves, including Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Edward Elgar, Francis Poulenc, Scott Joplin and others.

Music heard in this episode:
Elgar: Wand of Youth Suite
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Poulenc: Gloria
Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
Beach: Celtic Symphony
Bach: Violin Concerto in E
Villa-Lobos: Bach Brasileiras #5
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Telemann: Gigue from Suite in D
Elgar: Wand of Youth Suite
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Poulenc: Gloria
Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
Beach: Celtic Symphony
Bach: Violin Concerto in E
Villa-Lobos: Bach Brasileiras #5
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Telemann: Gigue from Suite in D

Other shows about Georg Philipp Telemann:
About Georg Philipp Telemann
Go for Baroque
The "Gigue" is Up!

Download this month's activity sheet



About Georg Philipp Telemann
3/14/1681 - 6/25/1767
Born in Germany

Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg, Germany. He came from a long line of ministers, so everyone expected him to become one, too. But as a kid, he learned to play several musical instruments, and taught himself to compose.

When Telemann went to the university in Leipzig, he was supposed to study law and forget about music. But his music-loving roommate found out that Telemann was a composer, and arranged to have one of his pieces performed. The next thing Telemann knew, he was writing music for the biggest church in town.

For a while, Telemann was a court composer, but eventually he got tired of working for counts and dukes. So he became a municipal music director -- first for the city of Frankfurt, and then for Hamburg, a very important German port.

Unlike many composers, Telemann was famous and appreciated in his day. He was friends with most of his fellow composers, and was godfather to one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach has his middle name!

See other composers born in Germany

 

This Week's Quiz:

1. Which of the following composers was NOT self-taught?

Elgar

Rimsky-Korsakov

Mendelssohn

Telemann

Joplin


2.What was the name of the African-American composer who taught himself how to play the piano and to write piano rags?

Copland

Bernstein

Ives

Joplin

Gershwin


3. Who did Johann Sebastian Bach learn composition from?

family members

a professor at a music college

George Philipp Telemann

his wife



 

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