Music Report

This report should be considered your “final project” in this course. Planning ahead is the key to this assignment. Mark your calendars and plan your schedules accordingly, as no late concert reports will be accepted without documented verification of extreme circumstances. You will need to attend the concert enough in advance to have time to write and submit the report before the due date.

As the final project in this course, the concert report is your opportunity to illustrate to me that you can identify, in an independent setting, the elements and concepts we’re covering in the course. The better you do so, the better your grade will be.

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You may attend any type of classical music concert, recital, or opera. This does NOT include rock, hip-hop, musicals, pop, jazz, world or folk concerts, or concerts that are comprised solely of movie music or “poppy” holiday music. Approximately 99% of this course focuses on classical music and your report should be a reflection of the course material.

Live simulcasts — either online or at movie theaters — are NOT considered live performances for the purposes of this assignment. You must attend the concert at its originating venue.

If you are unsure whether or not a particular performance will qualify, contact me ahead of time for approval. I would be happy to help you determine whether the concert event is acceptable.

At the bottom of this page is a long list of links to performing groups throughout Michigan. Start there, but do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions about how to locate a concert in your area.


**Please read and adhere to these directions carefully. Should you not follow these steps, you will receive zero credit for the report.



To submit your proof of attendance, please:

1) Bring it to my office and put your proof of attendance in the manila folder on my office bulletin board (354 Alexander Building). Please print your name clearly on the program or attach a memo so I know it belongs to you.

2) Mail it to me via snail-mail:

Prof. Deborah Pae
354 Alexander Building
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197

The postmark date must be visible and show that it was sent on or before the due date. For your records, please get a postal delivery receipt.


This is a report in your own words about what you heard at the performance. This report should incorporate, accurately and in a meaningful way, the concepts and terminology you have learned in the course. Please do not use outside sources such as websites or program notes as part of the report. Students have been caught plagiarizing material so please be careful not to look up online program notes and paraphrase. It is very obvious…

FORMAT: Please read the guidelines CAREFULLY. Points will be deducted for not following directions carefully.


The very first page of your report MUST include the following in bullet point or list format.

Your name, location of the concert (city and concert hall), date of the concert

If this is a recital or small group, list names of the performers. If the performance is by a large ensemble such as a symphony orchestra, only include the name of the ensemble and the conductor (if any), as well as any featured soloists. You do NOT need to list the names of all members of large ensembles or casts (for example, all the musicians in the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, or all singers in an opera).

A complete listing of titles and composers of the musical selections performed. In order for me to accurately grade your report, I need to know the exact pieces you heard AND the composers. (There are literally hundreds of pieces entitled “Concerto for Violin” — I absolutely need all composers’ names.)

The body of your report begins AFTER the above information.


The body of the report should be a separate page from the title page. It must be at least 2 pages long, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins. THE LISTING OF TITLES AND COMPOSERS IS NOT CONSIDERED PART OF THE BODY OF YOUR REPORT.

It is best to focus on one or two pieces from the concert and describe them in detail using the terms you have learned thus far in the course, rather than “glossing over” the entire performance briefly. Or, if there is a multi-movement piece on the program, give a detailed comparison of the movements using the elements below.

Reports are highly subjective in nature; state your ideas and offer supporting evidence. Discuss how the music made you feel (uneasy, happy, calm, etc.). But don’t stop there! To be complete, you must also accurately identify what musical elements created those feelings. In doing so, you should demonstrate your knowledge of any of the following which is applicable to the performance:

Tempo: Describe specific tempos heard in different movements or sections of the music. Avoid broad sentences such as “I heard tempos from slow to fast”. Use the terminology found in your reading.
Tonality: This refers to whether the music is in major or minor, or possibly atonal. This may be hard to catch, but you’ll be given credit for an honest effort! Avoid vague comments such as “The tonality was wonderful.”
Dynamics: Again, be specific. Name the dynamics you hear and offer explanations of how a sudden dynamic change may have caused tension or surprise. Avoid sentences such as “There were lots of dynamics.”
Technical Style: Describe whether the music was, for example, staccato, accented, smooth, legato, etc. Make sure to identify which instruments are contributing to those technical styles.
Meter: Duple, triple, or even mixed meter or no meter at all.
Form: Could you hear a return of the first theme? If so, was this ABA form? Verse/chorus? Variations? Etc.
Texture: This refers to monophonic, polyphonic, or homophonic textures. Listen for those at the concert. Sentences such as “The music had a great texture” will not receive credit.
Instrumental or vocal timbre: For example, how did the tone of the brass instruments contribute to a confrontational mood in the music? Did vocal styles contrast in different parts of a composition? What were the ranges of the voices or instruments? Was it the soft, light sound of a flute solo that created images of the outdoors? Did the heavy low brass create an ominous sound?
Rhythms, melodic contour, imitation– these are also important and worth mentioning.
Note the stylistic periods of the music and the characteristics of those styles. For example, if you’ve heard a fugue by Bach, point out that the fugue was an important form in the Baroque era. If you’re listening to 20th-century music, note that dissonance is common in 20th-century composition, etc.

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