Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Retro Music Education: Rimsky- Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee

Monday, April 29, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Uncategorized

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (B. March 18, 1844-D. June 21, 1908) wrote Flight of the Bumblebee as part of the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. In the story a magic swan turns the prince into a bumblebee so the prince can visit Tsar Saltan without being seen. 

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was very good at using the instruments of the orchestra to create pictures and stories. In “Flight of the Bumblebee” he used the string family to create a musical “bumblebee.” But, this is no ordinary insect—this bee is really a prince!  As you listen to the music, can you imagine a bumblebee buzzing around the Tsar and then quickly flying away so it doesn’t get caught?