Can you tell a composer from a score?

My doctoral orals are in two days, and one of the challenges I'll have to face will be to tell a composer from a random piece of music.

Here are some of the things I am looking for in a score to tell one composer from the other.

  • Scarlatti: More figured-bass oriented. Looks almost like Mozart.
  • Donizetti: a little more adventurous than Bellini. Use of ornaments, Alberti bass. Some chromaticism.
  • Bellini: many short piano and voice pieces. 
  • Donaudy: more bel canto in that the accompaniment supports the voice, but richer than bel canto. Lots of instructions on the page. Strophic.
  • Tosti: more sophisticated than Donaudy.
  • Puccini: piano parts look like orchestral reductions.
  • Respighi: elaborate piano parts, frequent modulations, advanced harmonic language. Italian Wolf. Chromatic, lush.
  •  Brahms: Hemiolas. Accents on weak beats. Flok like. 1+1+2 phrase structure.
  • Schumann: tempo markings often "Nicht Schnell." Middle voices. Strong dynamic contrasts.
  • Strauss: orchestral, thick chords, long phrases.
  • Wolf: very chromatic, shorter phrases. Piano part motivic, not broad. Lots of changes.
  • Offenbach: more operetta than Massenet. 
  • Massenet: a cross between Gounod and Offenbach.
  • D'Indy: looks like Franck
  • St Saens: harmony very romantic, close to Schumann.
  • Chausson: more harmonically out there.
  • Duparc: orchestral piano parts, really big.
  • Hahn: like Faure, set the same texts as Faure, but not as advanced as Faure. More than one mood in a song. His songs look like light Faure.
  • Debussy: declamatory vocal lines. Stresses don't always match the right words. 4ths, 5ths and octaves.
  • Millhaud: short songs. Polytonal.
  • Messiaen: octatonic scales.
  • Barber: really hard piano parts. Romantic and lush.
  • Copland: very spare, wide chords on the piano. Lots of open fifths.
  • Bernstein: very rhythmic, more popular influence. 
  • Ives: polytonal, cluster chords, motives. 
  • Bartok: one motif in one voice, picked up by other voices. 
  • Hindemith: neo classical, traditional concepts of organization and design combined with newer material. 
  • Prokovief: more rhythmic drive.More playful.
  • Shostakovitch: spare textures.
There. You. Go.
Your turn!

Photo from http://guides.library.ubc.ca/music

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