from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, a term somewhat loosely applied to an instrumental composition in which is expressed such a train of sentiments or images as might be or are contained in a poem. Compare symphonic poem.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This tone-poem quality is what makes him, in Auguin's view, a great opera composer -- his ability to translate the decadence of Wilde's language into musical terms, or to set a scene in a few brief moments, as he does at the very beginning of the opera.

    Auguin brings stripped-down version of 'Salome' to Kennedy Center

  • The tone-poem parts are pretty wonderful too, thanks to Newton Thomas Sigel's cinematography, which is gorgeous even when the camera is only surveying flat surfaces; to the sound track, which ranges from ecstatic harmonies to overmodulations that sound like a car's harsh exhaust note, and to the director's fondness for enchanted, attenuated encounters, as in the moments, which go from slo-mo to no-mo, when The Driver and Irene first meet.

    'Drive': A Rolls of an Action Film Noir

  • I suddenly realized that the speeches of this rally were the direct opposite of that tone-poem of lies in the annual Chase report.

    Reverend Billy: The Chase Report

  • He does everything from the traditional Balkan and Gypsy music of Luminescent to circus composing to funky tone-poem work on found objects and toy instruments - for which he's written a large part of his oeuvre.

    Jesse Larner: Sxip Shirey and Sonic New York

  • Again, so many quick trailers in a row reaked of desperation from Warner Bros, and it quickly became apparent that the studio was trying to hide what the film really was, a narratively-confused tone-poem that delivered neither high-flying thrills, realistic psychology, or any sense of grand importance to justify its existence.

    Scott Mendelson: Modern Movie Marketing Campaigns That Didn't Know When to Stop

  • They mix strong originals with classics like Morricone's Cinema Paradiso, Stanko's Balladyna (reworked as a purple-hued tone-poem of dark basslines and stealthy low-end piano figures) and Carla Bley's King Korn (delivered in bursts over rhythmic surges, turning to racing swing scattered with improv abstractions).

    This week's new live music

  • That competition is known locally as "Politico," and today, the 2010 contest appears to have been won by Roger Simon, who has penned what, for all intents and purposes, is a tone-poem to pure inanity.

    Politico Writer Whines About 'Class Warfare' That Top One Percent Decisively Won Years Ago

  • The shy, Indiana-born Thornhill had been on the swing and dance-band scene since the 1930s: a pianist, arranger and leader whose self-penned theme-song, "Snowfall," was an ethereal tone-poem in which time almost seemed to stop.

    Hidden in Plain Hearing

  • Holst's extended tone-poem, The Planets, is one of those pieces that audiophiles just love.

    Celestial Nonsense

  • Into this subject he grew, slowly, but strongly and with full interest, till by August the tone-poem was nearly done, and the opera well under way: he having worked his six hours a day assiduously.

    The Genius


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