Creative process

How do composers work and what can their manuscripts tell us about the creative process?

Frederick Delius, Brigg Fair

Delius's workshop

Article by:
Daniel M. Grimley

Daniel M. Grimley examines Frederick Delius's compositional routine and looks at the processes involved in assembling a large-scale musical work

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Music and the Creative Process

Music and the creative process: Elgar’s Third Symphony

Article by:
Anthony Payne

The composer Anthony Payne, who completed Elgar’s unfinished Third Symphony, describes Elgar’s compositional methods as seen in the surviving sketches for this work at the British Library.

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Vaughan Williams and The English Hymnal

Vaughan Williams and The English Hymnal

Article by:
Simon Wright

Simon Wright explores the role of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in selecting and arranging the music for The English Hymnal

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Music for film

Music for film: Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten

Article by:
Nicholas Clark

Music formed an important component of the propaganda and educational films produced during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath. In this article, Nicholas Clark explores the film scores composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten between 1940 and 1948.

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Enigma variations

Exploring Elgar's 'Enigma' Variations

Article by:
Julian Rushton

Julian Rushton discusses the early history of Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations.

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Further themes

Creative process

Find out how sketches, drafts, proofs and annotations can reveal the inner workings of a composer's mind

Music and modernism

Explore how composers after 1900 challenged and reinterpreted musical traditions

Music and place

Learn more about the impact of nationalism, folksong and a sense of place on classical music since 1900

Music and words

Discover the relationship between music and words in classical music written since 1900

Music for stage and screen

Learn more about the collaboration between composers and other artists in the creation of works for stage and screen

Music, politics and society

Discover the impact of war, political unrest and social structures on music composed since 1900

Musical style

Explore approaches to musical style in classical music composed since 1900

Performance and reception

Learn more about the performance of twentieth-century classical music and how it was received