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Frédéric Chopin:
Military Music

In his Military Polonaise, Frédéric Chopin uses the piano to imitate the drums that accompanied armies marching into battle. A lot of composers have put battle sounds into their music.

Music heard in this episode:
Scheidt: Galliard Battaglia
Gabrielli: Aria della Battaglia
Braga: Batalha
Janequin: La Guerre
Meder: Sonata di Battaglia
Monteverdi: Combattimento
Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky
Kodaly: Hary Janos
Beethoven: Wellington's Victory
Tchaikovskt: 1812 Overture
Chopin: Military Polonaise

Other shows about Frédéric Chopin:
About Frédéric Chopin
The Polonaise
Famous Pianist-Composers

Download this month's activity sheet

About Frédéric Chopin
3/1/1810 - 10/17/1849
Born in Poland

Frédéric Chopin was one of the greatest pianists of his day. Chopin was born in a town just outside of Warsaw, Poland. His mother introduced him to the piano; by the time he was six, Chopin played extremely well and was starting to compose. He gave his first concert at the age of eight.

When Chopin was 20, he left Poland to seek fame and fortune in other European cities. When Chopin got to Paris, he decided to stay.

There's a story that when Chopin left his native country, his friends gave him some Polish soil, which he carried around with him for the rest of his life. That's probably not true, but Chopin did continue to be passionatly patriotic about Poland, even though he never went back there.

Chopin was never healthy, and he was only thirty-nine when he died of tuberculosis. When he was buried -- in France -- a special box of earth was brought from Poland to sprinkle on his grave. But Chopin's heart is in Poland -- literally. His heart was put in an urn and taken to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.

See other composers born in Poland


This Week's Quiz:

1. In music that imitates battles, an important instrument is the






2.Which composer did NOT write a piece that sounds like a battle?





3. One of the most famous classical pieces with a battle theme is

1812 Overture

La Mer




Frédéric Chopin
Military Polonaise

Composed in 1838
Performed by
Idel Biret, piano

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