Music appreciation

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Since we are unable to see a concert this semester, I am posting the concert report selections here. There will be a few symphonic pieces for which you will have to watch videos, and complete your report as though you were watching them in a concert. The benefit of this – you get to hear the examples as many times as you need to. The links are posted here, but you must follow the prompts in the Assignment 5 instructions. You can work at it a bit at a time (recommended, since it is not live), or all at once.

Here are the pieces – you must listen to and write about all three selections, in their entirety, as though you were attending an actual concert: – Danse Macabre – Camile Saint-Saens Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin – Symphony #25 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (4 movements)

Write the equivalent of a 2-3 page report giving a review of the concert you attended. Your review must include the following:

  • What kind of listener were you (see the lecture on “Types of Listeners)?
  • What pieces were performed?
  • If there are multiple movements (as described in the “instrumental music” section of the Classical Period), each must be analyzed separately.
  • Explain how the instrumental groups were arranged on stage for each example. You do not have to list each instrument, but describe where groups of
  • instruments were located on the stage. If there is a soloist, explain his/her position on stage.
  • Explain the role of the conductor in the concert. Did the conducting gestures and motions seem to be conveying the feeling of the music? Was the conductor dramatic or understated? Did the musicians watch and respond to the conductor’s gestures?
  • Did you enjoy the concert? Why, or why not?

Analyze each piece played in the concert with the following criteria from the course:

  • Unity and Variety – which elements of music change and which stay the same throughout the different pieces/movements?
  • Purpose of the Music – is it program music? absolute music? utility music? You can simply use one purpose for the entire piece of music, even if it has multiple movements, as the purpose is not likely to change within the same piece.
  • Memorable features of the music – which elements of the piece/movement were most memorable? For example, did you tend to remember fast, exciting parts, or slower, lyrical sections? Did you hear a beautiful melody or lush, rich harmony that stuck with you?
  • Historical Period (you can look this up, since how would you know?)
  • Remember that separate movements must be analyzed separately. If a piece on the concert has FOUR movements, there should be FOUR different analyses (one for each movement)
  • A chart of the stage setup for the concert, including the names of instruments/instrumental groups. If there is a significant change in the setup between pieces, that must be noted in your chart.

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