Bike, Photo, Music Project


During the huge bike race, many different types of photos were captured. I chose an action shot, up close and personal, of a point right in the middle of the race. It shows excitement as the bikers race by quickly only a few feet away from the younger fans. You can tell that the bikers in front of the kids are going fast because some of them are a bit blurry. It conveys a cheerful mood by the look on the kids’ faces who are smiling and seem to be in the middle of clapping. They look like they could possibly be looking at a family member in the race, perhaps their mom or dad since I do not see any adults standing with them. They both seem to be looking in the same directions which makes me want to think someone very close to them is in the race. When I look at this photo, I picture upbeat, happy music playing in the background, something that brings about anticipation as the bikers are rounding a corner of the road trying to get ahead in the race. I could also see slower portions of a song being played while a moment like this is played in slow motion to build suspense.


The piece I chose was String Quartet op. 59, no. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven, which was his second of his “Razumovsky” of string quartets.




Here’s some background info on Ludwig van Beethoven:

  • He gave his first public performance at Cologne at age 7
  • He published his first work, 9 Variations in C minor for piano before age 12
  • He started going deaf around age 25
  • After the hardest times of his life, his middle period works were more emotional expressing heroes and struggles
  • His works did not suffer due to his hearing loss, but became even better
  • He produced one of his greatest works “Ninth Symphony” three years before he died


I did not find anything significant events in Beethoven’s life that directly influenced how this piece was written, specifically the first part that I was focusing on, but I did notice that it was emotional. In this piece, it starts off quiet with quick movements. One of the amazing things about the violin is that it can make very short, quick and clear sounds, and I feel like it is much easier to do this on the violin than on most other instruments, like woodwinds for example. I kind of looked at it as a music video for the bike race, and specifically the moment that this photo was captured. I picture this song is playing from the beginning when the bikers are just starting the race, where no one is really more ahead than anyone else, and they are all together getting ready to spread out going different speeds. The music then suddenly gets louder and speeds up again at certain points. I see this as being points in the race where one biker overtakes another, or some surprising event occurs. I can see the loudest and fastest part of the music being played at a point in the race where one of the bikers in last place suddenly starts advancing and the camera zooms in on him and shows him with the anticipation of what’s going to happen next, kind of like this exact picture. There are also parts in this piece where the music is a little slower. When I hear this I think of the point in the race where they are playing it in slow motion and showing the bikers as well as all the people along-side in order to show expressions and emotion.


Musical Element What you hear (music) What you see (photo)
Melody Uplifting, exciting, anticipation, happy, violins playing, but not very strong melody Exciting crowd cheering
Harmony Happy mood, notes together sound exciting, not depressing Smiles on the kids’ faces
Rhythm Upbeat temp, slower at some points, much faster at others The bikers going at a very fast speed


Probably not going the same speed throughout the whole race

Texture Homophony, polyphony, airy at some points Bikers are accompanied by family and friends supporting them
Form Sonata allegro

Repeated themes

The fast speed of the bikers, and overall excitement


The melody is not very clear. It is hard to distinguish an exact melody, and when you think you have, it suddenly changes. It keeps you on your toes, just like the race. The melodies you can hear are very exciting and uplifting, which correlates with the photo. When I look at the photo, I see this in the excited crowds that you can tell are in motion and cheering. The harmony sounds happy which in the picture is easily shown through the smiles on the kid’s faces. The rhythm is very upbeat in most parts. In the photo the bikers are blurred, which indicates very quick movement. For the texture being homophonic, I see the bikers as the one main melody, and the fans as the chords. The support of the biker’s family and friends probably played a large role in their ability to be in this race. Without them they would not be where they are now. Just like in the song, the chords playing with the melody help make it sound the way it does in the same type of way. For the polyphonic texture, I think that the bikers on their own represent each melody that is occurring. Of course there are not as many melodies in the piece as there are bikers in the race, but each biker is on their own and is what makes up the entire race. In the song, the separate melodies make up the entire song, or parts of the entire song. The sonata form also adds to the overall excitement and really enhances the fact that the bikers are going very fast. These two pieces have a lot in common and to me, go together very well.


2 thoughts on “Bike, Photo, Music Project”

  1. fine choice of connection and mood between the photo and music you chose. this is a very well though out description. As I listen to the piece again, I can visualize each element you’re depicting. Being one of Beethoven’s latter works, the lack of an expressive, changing melody, and emotional content hint at his influence on the Romantic Era that was to follow. The counterpoint and interplay of instruments makes a strong connection with the cyclists, like little vignette’s of each rider. Just a glimpse and away they go.

  2. I also chose a piece from the Razumovsky’s quartets. The piece I chose and the piece you chose differ quite a bit which is kind of cool since they were composed around the same time. The way you described the correlation between the picture and piece was amazing! It is easy to understand how each component fits together and also to picture what part of the piece would have been playing at certain moments during the event.

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