UMS Faculty Focus Blog

UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at


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Video, Wagner, Leitmotifs

In my last video I shared a video of Schubert's Erlkönig created for my students. I have since gotten a better grasp of iMovie--which is just advanced enough for what I want to do--and created a video of the overture to Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger. The video displays the two-piano score along with the main leitmotifs. Leitmotifs are a, usually short, melody associated with an object or character. This is used in movies are the time, perhaps the most famous one being this for a shark:

Or this for a galactic villain:


Wagner's leitmotifs are more complex, changing as the characters they represent evolve. This particular opera is about German guilds of the 14th - 16th centuries including one for singing (Die Meistersingers/The Mastersingers). In the story a young outsider (Walter) falls for the daughter of a Meistersinger (Eva) and has to audition to be accepted to the guild and win Eva's hand. It's Wagner's only comedy. 
Here's the video:

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