Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: Alice in Wonderland


Optional Bonus Challenge: Listen to the piece first before you read the rest of this post. (It’s less than 5 minutes long and you know your poor eyes could use a break!) While you’re listening, imagine who the characters might be and what they might be doing if the music was a film score to a book you’ve read. It could be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or a different book– entirely up to you! Then you can read what I imagined below and compare the two stories (and comment letting me know how they ended up being similar or different!!).

Again, totally optional. And now without further ado:

The opening music sounds very innocent and carefree– like Alice’s innocent, carefree attitude. So I decided to explore Lewis Carroll’s story in the music!

Brief downward-moving and slower parts show her falling down the rabbit hole, only to return to her carefree curiosity. (After all, a talking rabbit is completely normal to her!) This time she is more joyful and soaringly carefree as she discovers where she is: the mysterious hall of doors…

She cries quite tragically for a long time when she discovers that she cannot get into the garden (resulting in the pool of tears), but she suddenly stops because she notices the drink that will get her in.

Once she is in, all is well again. The opening is repeated (naïve joy to down the rabbit hole to naïve joy). This time, I hear the rabbit-hole part as simply representative of the different weird, unexpected things that happen to her in Wonderland (like seeing a baby turn into a pig, etc.). She’s just not concerned, but instead revels in Wonderland’s oddities.

The piece ends on a thoughtful and solid note, compactly closing the piece’s commentary on Alice. She has been shown to be a naively joyful girl who is not affected by much of anything but rather indulges in whims.

This is only one possible hearing of the music, of course. Do you hear Alice’s adventures in this piece? Don’t forget to tell me about your interpretation in the comments!

You might also like:

What if the characters from Alice in Wonderland played sports?

Classical Music Stories: Alice in Wonderland (the first)

13 thoughts on “Classical Music Stories: Alice in Wonderland”

  1. I started listening before reading at first and heard the downward spiral into the rabbit hole too! I started to read a but after that and followed along with the more somber middle. It WAS long though, so I paused reading. It started to feel a little too mature for Alice. Or too in depth for that scene. There are upward turns and more thoughtful sequences that lend themselves to someone else with more maturity who is going back and forth more in their thoughts, grasping for hope at one moment before bottoming out in despair, only to reflect logically for a moment and come to terms with what is happening around them.

    I really liked it! I doubt I would have ever thought all that on my own if I had simply listened to it (who knows, I may have even heard this piece before and not paid attention to it). Thanks for diving deep and encouraging a more careful listen! Oh, and maybe the somber bit can also jump ahead in time to the other moments in Alice’s journey when she is really missing home and unhappy with the mess she is in, but it still returns to the happy carefree bit at the end because her spirit doesn’t darken as a result of her adventures in wonderland 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this!! First of all, did you think what I wrote was long or the piece itself (or both)? And I definitely see/hear what you mean about the higher level of maturity that doesn’t quite fit with Alice. I should probably mention that I tend to listen more for adaptations than more literal translations of characters, so I totally agree. (I don’t want to be hemmed in, but use the characters and actions as a diving point for exploring different versions or aspects of the story! So I definitely hear a more mature Alice than Carroll actually wrote. Good catch!) Or maybe it’s more of a hybrid mix between Alice in Wonderland and something like a Shakespearean tragedy where there’s more drama…? I really like the idea of the somber part being Alice’s negativity, too, tying back into the happy ending. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant that the somber part was long so I read ahead a little at that point while listening. I didn’t think it was TOO long for the song though, and I didn’t think what you wrote was too long. I mean, it probably could have been longer and I wouldn’t have minded 😀
        I really like what you said about it being a diving point! It makes me think that a mandatory part of book club discussions should include music sharing. What each person listened to, thought of, or identified with in relation to the reading. Maybe that’s too lofty, lol, but I think that an entirely new depth of insight could be reached by analyzing the literature in a different way. I dunno, I had a lot of fun with this song and thinking about Alice! Great pairing!

        Liked by 1 person

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