Today’s Music in Nature Series brings you a 15-Minute Music Lesson of Music Inspired by the Moon. Numerous composers throughout the centuries have written music that the gorgeous nighttime celestial body inspired them to write. Enjoy listening to three pieces today, but there is also a list of more if you’d like to continue your lesson beyond 15 minutes.
Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven
When Beethoven originally wrote Piano Sonata No. 14, it wasn’t inspired by the moon at all. The name came later, five years after Beethoven’s death. German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab explained in 1892 that he felt like the first movement reminded him of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.
Now, none of us can hear the Moonlight Sonata without picturing the same.
“Song to the Moon” by Antonín Dvořák
This beautiful song is an aria (operatic solo) from the 1901 opera Rusalka by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The story is of a mermaid who wishes to become human because she’s fallen in love with one. She sings to the moon to tell her where her beloved is.
“Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy
The French composer Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune” is from the Suite Bergamasque and was originally written for piano, although you can find versions for full orchestra now, too. The music is based on a poem by the composer’s friend, poet Paul Verlaine.
The first stanza of Clair De Lune by Paul Verlaine:
Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
Of being sad in their fantastic trim.
The original French:
Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Free Printables to Use with the 15-Minute Music Lesson of Music Inspired by the Moon
Other Music Inspired by the Moon Music to Explore:
- Tchaikovsky: Lake in the Moonlight
- Einaudi: Full Moon
- Schumann: Mondnacht
- Bingham: Moon over Westminster
- Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
- Britten: “Peter Grimes, Four Sea Interludes: No. 3 Moonlight”
- Janacek Opera: “The Excursions of Mr Broucek to the Moon”
- Haydn: “Opera ‘The World of the Moon'”
- Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 – Romance
**Have you heard some other music inspired by the moon that you love? Please share in a comment below so I can add it to the list!
A Podcast Episode and Nature Study About the Harvest Moon:
My kids have enjoyed learning from Cindy West of No Sweat Nature Study Live for years! Coming the first Tuesday in October 2023 is a lesson all about the Harvest Moon!
And, today her brand new podcast episode about the harvest moon is ready for you.
Use it to add science to today’s lesson!
She even provides a free Podcast Plus+ Packet you’ll want to download.
Related Posts for Music Inspired by the Moon (Nature):
- 15-Minute Music Lesson of Music Inspired by Rivers and Seas ~Music in Nature Series
- 15-Minute Music Lesson on Dvorak and African American Spirituals
- 15-Minute Music Lesson on Music Inspired by Outer Space ~ Music in Nature Series
- Round Up of Fun Moon Activities to do in Your Homeschool
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