Glossary of musical terminology
This is a list of musical terms that are to be encountered in printed scores, music reviews, program notes. Most of the terms are Italian, in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions. Sometimes, the special musical meanings of these phrases differ from the original or current Italian meanings. Most of the other terms are taken from French and German, indicated by "Fr." and "Ger.", respectively. Unless specified, the terms are English; the list can never be complete: some terms are common, others are used only and new ones are coined from time to time. Some composers prefer terms from their own language rather than the standard terms listed here. I in violin family instrument music, used to indicate that the player should play the passage on the highest-pitched, thinnest string 1′ "Sifflet" or one foot organ stop 1 3⁄5′ Tierce organ stop 2′ Two feet – pipe organ indication. Not recommended in string parts, due to possible confusion with battuto. A bene placito Up to the performer a cappella a capriccio A free and capricious approach to tempo a due intended as a duet.
Sight-reading a tempo In time. Acciaccatura Crushing accompagnato Accompanied accuratezza Precision. Con accuratezza: with precision acoustic Relating to music produced by instruments, as opposed to electric or electronic means ad libitum At liberty adagietto Fairly slow adagio At ease adagissimo Very slow affannato, affannoso Anguished affetto or con affetto with affect affettuoso, affettuosamente, or affectueusement With affect. Alto High.
The piccolo is a half-size flute, a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The modern piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written; this gave rise to the name ottavino, which the instrument is called in the scores of Italian composers. It is called flauto piccolo or flautino. Piccolos are now manufactured in the key of C. In the early 20th century, piccolos were manufactured in D♭ as they were an earlier model of the modern piccolo, it was for this D♭ piccolo that John Philip Sousa wrote the famous solo in the final repeat of the closing section of his march "The Stars and Stripes Forever". In the orchestral setting, the piccolo player is designated as "piccolo/flute III", or "assistant principal"; the larger orchestras have designated this position as a solo position due to the demands of the literature. Piccolos are orchestrated to double the violins or the flutes, adding sparkle and brilliance to the overall sound because of the aforementioned one-octave transposition upwards.
In concert band settings, the piccolo is always used and a piccolo part is always available. The piccolo had no keys, should not be confused with the fife, which traditionally was one-piece, had a smaller bore and produced a more strident sound; the Swiss piccolo is used in conjunction with marching drums in traditional formations at the Carnival of Basel, Switzerland. It is a myth that one of the earliest pieces to use the piccolo was Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, premiered in December 1808. Although neither Joseph Haydn nor Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart used it in their symphonies, some of their contemporaries did, including Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Franz Xaver Süssmayr and Michael Haydn. Mozart used the piccolo in his opera Idomeneo. Opera orchestras in Paris sometimes included small transverse flutes at the octave as early as 1735 as existing scores by Jean-Philippe Rameau show. Although once made of wood, glass or ivory, piccolos today are made from plastic, brass, nickel silver, a variety of hardwoods, most grenadilla.
Finely made piccolos are available with a variety of options similar to the flute, such as the split-E mechanism. Most piccolos have a conical body with a cylindrical head, like the Baroque flute and flutes before the popularization of the Boehm bore used in modern flutes. Unlike other woodwind instruments, in most wooden piccolos, the tenon joint that connects the head to the body has two interference fit points that surround both the cork and metal side of the piccolo body joint. There are a number of pieces for piccolo alone, by such composers as Samuel Adler, Miguel del Aguila, Robert Dick, Michael Isaacson, David Loeb, Polly Moller, Vincent Persichetti, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Repertoire for piccolo and piano, many of which are sonatas have been composed by Miguel del Águila, Robert Baksa, Robert Beaser, Rob du Bois, Howard J. Buss, Eugene Damare, Pierre Max Dubois, Raymond Guiot, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Schickele, Michael Daugherty, Gary Schocker. Concertos have been composed for piccolo, including those by Lowell Liebermann, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Todd Goodman, Martin Amlin, Will Gay Bottje, Bruce Broughton, Valentino Bucchi, Avner Dorman, Jean Doué, Michael Easton, Egil Hovland, Guus Janssen, Daniel Pinkham and Jeff Manookian.
Additionally, there is now a selection of chamber music. One example is Stockhausen's Zungenspitzentanz, for piccolo and two euphoniums, with optional percussionist and dancer. Another is George Crumb's Madrigals, Book II for soprano and percussion. Other examples include the Quintet for Piccolo and String Quartet by Graham Waterhouse and Malambo for piccolo, double bass, piano by Miguel del Aguila. Published trios for three piccolos include Quelque Chose canadienne by Nancy Nourse and Bird Tango by Crt Sojar Voglar for three piccolos with piano. Petrushka's Ghost for eight piccolos by Melvin Lauf, Jr. and Una piccolo sinfonia for nine piccolos by Matthew King are two more examples. Gippo, Jan; the Complete Piccolo: A Comprehensive Guide to Fingerings and History, second edition, foreword by Laurie Sokoloff. Bryn Mawr: Theodore Presser Company, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59806-111-6 The Woodwind Fingering Guide, with piccolo fingerings
Albert Wolff (conductor)
Albert Louis Wolff was a French conductor and composer of Dutch descent. Most of his career was spent in European venues, with the exception of two years that he spent as a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and a few years in Buenos Aires during the Second World War, he is most known for holding the position of principal conductor with the Opéra-Comique in Paris for several years. He was married to the French mezzo-soprano Simone Ballard. Wolff was born in Paris, of Dutch parents, though he was a French citizen from birth, never lived in the Netherlands, never had a Dutch passport; when only 12 years old, he began his musical education at the Paris Conservatoire. There, he studied with such teachers as André Gedalge, Xavier Leroux, Paul Antonin Vidal. At the same time he played the piano in cabarets and was organist at the Église Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin for four years. Upon graduation at the age of 22, Wolff was awarded first prizes in accompaniment. In 1906 Wolff joined the staff of the Opéra-Comique, the theatre which became the centre of his career, while leading ensembles elsewhere in the city of Paris.
He made his conducting debut at an opera gala in Strasbourg on 9 May 1909, following this by getting as much experience as possible with many short engagements in all operatic genres around France. Meanwhile, in 1908, Wolff was appointed chorus master at the Opéra-Comique; this was his first experience with any form of stage work. He remained in that position for three years before being given an opportunity to conduct the premiere of Laparra's La jota. Impressed with his performance, the Opéra-Comique took him with them to Argentina in 1911 where he conducted the Buenos Aires premiere of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Teatro Colón, he conducted the opera again in its premieres in Naples, Copenhagen and Stockholm. In August 1910 Wolff conducted Fauré’s incidental music in Georgette Leblanc’s production of the play Pelléas and Mélisande in the cloisters and gardens of Saint-Wandrille abbey, he continued as a conductor at the Opéra-Comique until the outbreak of World War I. Throughout that conflict, Wolff served his country first as at Les Éparges as a pilot, was decorated for his courage.
At the end of the War, Wolff went to the United States to join the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera, replacing Pierre Monteux in the French repertoire. His made his debut on 21 November 1919, in Gounod's Faust. Although Wolff's work with the company received positive reviews from critics, he spent less than two full seasons at the Metropolitan Opera. While with the company Wolff was able to conduct several performances of his own opera L'oiseau bleu, the premiere being in the presence of Maurice Maeterlinck, whose play of the same name the opera was based on. Wolff returned to the Opéra-Comique in 1921, succeeding André Messager as chief conductor, a position he held for the next three years, he notably conducted the first Paris performances of L'enfant et les sortileges and Angélique by Ibert, the world premiere of Le brebis égarée by Milhaud. Around this same time, he founded the Concerts Modernes Paris to provide a medium for the public performance of new works. In 1924 he resigned his post at the Opéra-Comique and became musical director of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
In 1925 he became second conductor of the Concerts Pasdeloup extending his work in purely orchestral music. From 1928 to 1934 he became principal conductor of the Orchestre Lamoureux, he notably conducted the premiere of Roussel's 4th symphony with the Orchestre Lamoureux in October 1935. In 1938 he was twice a guest conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, he conducted a radio performance of his own flute concerto with Per Wang as soloist with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on NRK. Wolff conducted the premieres of the opéra-comiques L'École des maris and Madame Bovary by Emmanuel Bondeville. In 1945 he became director of the Opéra-Comique for a short while. While there, he conducted the first performance of Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias and although he resigned from the position not long after he took it, Wolff continued to conduct at the theatre up until his death in 1970, he conducted 124 performances of Mélisande at the house, more than any other conductor. He became associated with the Paris Opera where he became a conductor beginning in 1949.
In 1960 he conducted the Ravel Piano Concerto in G major in Stockholm with the eminent Swedish pianist Lars Sellergren. He died on 20 February 1970. Having made a couple of records with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1928, Albert Wolff made many recordings of French orchestral music for Polydor in Paris in the 1930s, along with some Russian pieces, abridged versions of Faust and La Bohème. In the 1950s he set down opera and orchestral music for Decca, first in mono and a few in stereo, his recordings included Carmen, Bizet's complete music for L'Arlésienne. With the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, his discography included Adam's Giselle and Glazunov's The Seasons, overtures by Berlioz, Auber, Hérold, Suppé, Nicolai and Řezníček, orchestral works by Falla, Ravel and Franck, Gustave Charpentier's Impressions d'Italie and Massenet's Scènes Pittoresques and Scènes Alsaciennes. With
A minuet is a social dance of French origin for two people in 34 time. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet from the French menu meaning slender, referring to the small steps, or from the early 17th-century popular group dances called branle à mener or amener; the term describes the musical form that accompanies the dance, which subsequently developed more often with a longer musical form called the minuet and trio, was much used as a movement in the early classical symphony. The name may refer to the short steps, pas menus, taken in the dance, or else be derived from the branle à mener or amener, popular group dances in early 17th-century France; the minuet was traditionally said to have descended from the bransle de Poitou, though there is no evidence making a clear connection between these two dances. The earliest treatise to mention the possible connection of the name to the expression pas menus is Gottfried Taubert's Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister, published in Leipzig in 1717, but this source does not describe the steps as being small or dainty.
At the period when it was most fashionable it was controlled and graceful. The name of this dance is given to a musical composition written in the same time and rhythm, though when not accompanying an actual dance the pace was quicker. Stylistically refined minuets, apart from the social dance context, were introduced—to opera at first—by Jean-Baptiste Lully, who included no fewer than 92 of them in his theatrical works and in the late 17th century the minuet was adopted into the suite, such as some of the suites of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Händel. Among Italian composers the minuet was considerably quicker and livelier and was sometimes written in 38 or 68 time; because the tempo of a minuet was not standard, the tempo direction tempo di minuetto was ambiguous unless qualified by another direction, as it sometimes was. Before its adoption in contexts other than social dance, the minuet was in binary form, with two repeated sections of eight bars each, but the second section expanded, resulting in a kind of ternary form.
The second minuet provided form of contrast by means of different orchestration. On a larger scale, two such minuets might be further combined, so that the first minuet was followed by a second one and by a repetition of the first; the whole form might in any case be repeated as long. Around Lully's time it became a common practice to score this middle section for a trio; as a result, this middle section came to be called the minuet's trio when no trace of such an orchestration remains. The overall structure is called rounded binary or minuet form: After these developments by Lully, composers inserted a modified repetition of the first section or a section that contrasted with both the A section and what was thereby rendered the third or C section, yielding the form A–A′–B–A or A–B–C–A, respectively. A livelier form of the minuet developed into the scherzo; this term came into existence from Beethoven onwards, but the form itself can be traced back to Haydn. The minuet and trio became the standard third movement in the four-movement classical symphony, Johann Stamitz being the first to employ it thus with regularity.
An example of the true form of the minuet is to be found in Don Giovanni. A famous example of a more recent instrumental work in minuet form is Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Minuet in G. Scherzo, a musical form derived from the minuet Blatter, Alfred. 2007. Revisiting Music Theory: A Guide to the Practice. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97440-2; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Minuet". Encyclopædia Britannica. 18. Cambridge University Press. P. 564. Little, Meredith Ellis. 2001. "Minuet". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers. Rosen, Charles. 1988. Sonata Forms, revised edition. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-30219-9. Russell, Tilden A. 2001. "Tempo di minuetto". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers. Russell, Tilden. 2006. "The Minuet According to Taubert".
Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research 24, no. 2: 138–62. Sutton, Julia. 1985. "The Minuet: An Elegant Phoenix". Dance Chronicle, no. 8:119–52. Caplin, William Earl. 1998. Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn and Beethoven. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510480-3. Elson, Louis Charles. 1908. The Theory of Music as Applied to the Teaching and Practice of Voice and Instruments, 21st edition. Boston: New England Conservatory of Music.. Example of a Minuet Choreography: "Menuet à deux pour un homme et une femme", Raoul Auger Feuillet: Recueil de Dances
The double bass, or the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. It is a standard member of the orchestra's string section, as well as the concert band, is featured in concertos and chamber music in Western classical music; the bass is used in a range of other genres, such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, psychobilly, traditional country music, bluegrass and many types of folk music. The bass is a transposing instrument and is notated one octave higher than tuned to avoid excessive ledger lines below the staff; the double bass is the only modern bowed string instrument, tuned in fourths, rather than fifths, with strings tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2. The instrument's exact lineage is still a matter of some debate, with scholars divided on whether the bass is derived from the viol or the violin family; however the body shape where it curves into the neck matches the viol family whereas in the rest of the violin family, the body meets the neck with no blending curve.
The double bass is played by plucking the strings. In orchestral repertoire and tango music, both arco and pizzicato are employed. In jazz and rockabilly, pizzicato is the norm. Classical music uses the natural sound produced acoustically by the instrument, as does traditional bluegrass. In jazz and related genres, the bass is amplified; the double bass stands around 180 cm from scroll to endpin. However, other sizes are available, such as a 1⁄2 or 3⁄4, which serve to accommodate a player's height and hand size; these sizes do not reflect the size relative to 4⁄4 bass. It is constructed from several types of wood, including maple for the back, spruce for the top, ebony for the fingerboard, it is uncertain whether the instrument is a descendant of the viola da gamba or of the violin, but it is traditionally aligned with the violin family. While the double bass is nearly identical in construction to other violin family instruments, it embodies features found in the older viol family. Like other violin and viol-family string instruments, the double bass is played either with a bow or by plucking the strings.
In orchestral repertoire and tango music, both arco and pizzicato are employed. In jazz and rockabilly, pizzicato is the norm, except for some solos and occasional written parts in modern jazz that call for bowing. In classical pedagogy all of the focus is on performing with the bow and producing a good bowed tone. Bowed notes in the lowest register of the instrument produce a dark, mighty, or menacing effect, when played with a fortissimo dynamic. Classical bass students learn all of the different bow articulations used by other string section players, such as détaché, staccato, martelé, sul ponticello, sul tasto, tremolo and sautillé; some of these articulations can be combined. Classical bass players do play pizzicato parts in orchestra, but these parts require simple notes, rather than rapid passages. Classical players perform both bowed and pizz notes using vibrato, an effect created by rocking or quivering the left hand finger, contacting the string, which transfers an undulation in pitch to the tone.
Vibrato is used to add expression to string playing. In general loud, low-register passages are played with little or no vibrato, as the main goal with low pitches is to provide a clear fundamental bass for the string section. Mid- and higher-register melodies are played with more vibrato; the speed and intensity of the vibrato is varied by the performer for an emotional and musical effect. In jazz and other related genres, much or all of the focus is on playing pizzicato. In jazz and jump blues, bassists are required to play rapid pizzicato walking basslines for extended periods; as well and rockabilly bassists develop virtuoso pizzicato techniques that enable them to play rapid solos that incorporate fast-moving triplet and sixteenth note figures. Pizzicato basslines performed by leading jazz professionals are much more difficult than the pizzicato basslines that Classical bassists encounter in the standard orchestral literature, which are whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, occasional eighth note passages.
In jazz and related styles, bassists add semi-percussive "ghost notes" into basslines, to add to the rhythmic feel and to add fills to a bassline. The double bass player stands, or sits on a high stool, leans the instrument against their body, turned inward to put the strings comfortably in reach; this stance is a key reason for the bass's sloped shoulders, which mark it apart from the other members of the violin family—the narrower shoulders facilitate playing the strings in their higher registers. The double bass is regarded as a modern descendant of the string family of instruments that originated in Europe in the 15th century, as such has been described as a bass Violin. Before the 20th century many double basses had only three strings, in contrast to the five to six strings typical of instruments in the viol family or the four strings of instruments in the violin family; the double bass's proportions are di
A carillon is a musical instrument, housed in the bell tower of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard – the stick-like keys of which are called batons – with the fists, by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet; the keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the inside of the bells, allowing the performer on the bells, or carillonneur/carillonist to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key. Although unusual, real carillons have been fitted to theatre organs, such as the Christie organ installed at the Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, in London. A carillon-like instrument with fewer than 23 bells is called a chime; the carillon is the second heaviest of all extant musical instruments, only ranking behind the largest pipe organs.
The heaviest carillon in the world weighs over 100 short tons, whereas the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia weighs 287 short tons. The word "carillon" is said to originate from the French quadrillon. In German, a carillon is called a Glockenspiel. In medieval times, swinging bells were first used as a way of notifying people of imminent church services, for such as fires, storms and other secular events. However, the use of bells to play melodic musical compositions originated in the 16th century in the Low Countries; the first carillon was in Flanders, where a "fool" performed music on the bells of Oudenaarde Town Hall in 1510 by using a baton keyboard. Major figures in the evolution of the modern carillon were Pieter and François Hemony working in the 17th century, they are credited as being the greatest carillon bell founders in the history of the Low Countries. They developed the carillon, in collaboration with Jacob van Eyck, into a full-fledged musical instrument by casting the first tuned carillon in 1644, installed in Zutphen's Wijnhuistoren tower.
The World Carillon Federation defines a carillon as "A musical instrument composed of tuned bronze bells which are played from a baton keyboard. Only those carillons having at least 23 bells may be taken into consideration."The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America defines a carillon as "a musical instrument consisting of at least two octaves of carillon bells arranged in chromatic series and played from a keyboard permitting control of expression through variation of touch. A carillon bell is a cast bronze cup-shaped bell whose partial tones are in such harmonious relationship to each other as to permit many such bells to be sounded together in varied chords with harmonious and concordant effect." The GCNA defines a "traditional carillon" as one played from a carillon mechanical baton keyboard, a "non-traditional carillon" as a musical instrument with bells, but played by automated mechanical or electro-mechanical means, or from an electrical or electronic keyboard. Since each note is produced by an individual bell, a carillon's musical range is determined by the number of bells it has.
Different names are assigned to instruments based on the number of bells they comprise: Carillons with between 23 and 27 bells are referred to as two-octave carillons. Players of these instruments use music arranged for their limited range of notes. A concert carillon has a range of at least four octaves; this is sometimes referred to as the "standard-sized" carillon. The Riverside Carillon in New York City has the largest tuned carillon bell in the world, which sounds C2. Travelling or mobile carillons can be transported; some of them can be played indoors—in a concert hall or church—like the mobile carillon of Frank Steijns. Poorly tuned bells give an "out of tune" impression and can be out of tune with themselves; this is due to the unusual harmonic characteristics of foundry bells, which have strong overtones above and below the fundamental frequency. There is no standard pitch range for the carillon. In general, a concert carillon will have a minimum of 48 bells; the range of any given instrument depends on funds available for the fabrication and installation of the instrument: more money allows more bells to be cast the larger, more costly ones.
Older carillons can be transposing instruments transposing upward. Most modern instruments sound at concert pitch. A carillon clavier has both a pedal keyboard. Carillon music is written on two staves. Notes written in the bass clef are played by the feet. Notes written in the treble clef are played with the hands. Pedals may continue up to two and half octaves. In the North American Standard keyboard, all notes can be played on the manual; because of the acoustic peculiarities of a carillon bell, music written for other instruments needs to be arranged for the carillon. The combination of carillon and other instruments, while possible, is not a happy marriage; the carillon is far too loud to perform with most other concert instruments. The great exceptions to this are some late twentieth- and early twenty-first century compositions involving electronic media and carillon. In these compositions
Georges Bizet, registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, which has become one of the most popular and performed works in the entire opera repertoire. During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857, he was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and performed in public. Returning to Paris after three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers, his keyboard and orchestral compositions were largely ignored. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of his two operas that reached the stage in this time—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were successful.
After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne was popular. The production of Bizet's final opera, was delayed because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced. Bizet's marriage to Geneviève Halévy produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, published versions of his works were revised and adapted by other hands, he had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more in the 20th century. Commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre. Georges Bizet was born in Paris on 25 October 1838, he was registered as Alexandre César Léopold, but baptised as "Georges" on 16 March 1840, was known by this name for the rest of his life.
His father, Adolphe Bizet, had been a hairdresser and wigmaker before becoming a singing teacher despite his lack of formal training. He composed a few works, including at least one published song. In 1837, Adolphe married Aimée Delsarte, against the wishes of her family who considered him a poor prospect. Aimée was an accomplished pianist, while her brother François Delsarte was a distinguished singer and teacher who performed at the courts of both Louis Philippe and Napoleon III. François Delsarte's wife Rosine, a musical prodigy, had been an assistant professor of solfège at the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 13. At least one author has alleged that his mother was from a Jewish family but this is not substantiated in any of his official biographies. Georges, an only child, showed early aptitude for music and picked up the basics of musical notation from his mother, who gave him his first piano lessons. By listening at the door of the room where Adolphe conducted his classes, Georges learned to sing difficult songs from memory and developed an ability to identify and analyse complex chordal structures.
This precocity convinced his ambitious parents that he was ready to begin studying at the Conservatoire though he was still only nine years old. Georges was interviewed by Joseph Meifred, the horn virtuoso, a member of the Conservatoire's Committee of Studies. Meifred was so struck by the boy's demonstration of his skills that he waived the age rule and offered to take him as soon as a place became available. Bizet was admitted to the Conservatoire on 9 October two weeks before his 10th birthday, he made an early impression. Zimmerman gave Bizet private lessons in counterpoint and fugue, which continued until the old man's death in 1853. Through these classes, Bizet met Zimmerman's son-in-law, the composer Charles Gounod, who became a lasting influence on the young pupil's musical style—although their relationship was strained in years, he met another of Gounod's young students, the 13-year-old Camille Saint-Saëns, who remained a firm friend of Bizet's. Under the tuition of Antoine François Marmontel, the Conservatoire's professor of piano, Bizet's pianism developed rapidly.
Bizet would write to Marmontel: "In your class one learns something besides the piano. Bizet's first preserved compositions, two wordless songs for soprano, date from around 1850. In 1853, he joined Fromental Halévy's composition class and began to produce works of increasing sophistication and quality. Two of his songs, "Petite Marguerite" and "La Rose et l'abeille", were published in 1854. In 1855, he wrote an ambitious overture for a large orchestra, prepared four-hand piano versions of two of Gounod's works: the opera La nonne sanglante and the Symphony in D. Bizet's work on the Gounod symphony inspired him, shortly after his seventeenth birthd