Robert Schumann was the first to use this word in music; referring to piano works of his that had literary or other extra-musical references. The term was subsequently taken up by many other composers, and is generally taken to mean a short piece that has some kind of imaginative, narrative quality – though not necessarily strictly programmatic or ‘linear.’

Anyway, I’m going to use the term to refer to short stories that delve into the lives of the great (and not-so-great) composers. They will be little snippets of historical fiction that drill down into the emotional core of music making.