Part I: Short answer, complete sentences please. Remember with the arts, some observations are objective, while others are more interpretational or personal.
For questions 1-5: https://youtu.be/IUmow6oV3BU
This is a performance of an arrangement of the folk tune â€œCarnival of Venice,â€ played by the Canadian Brass.
1. What is the instrumentation of this piece?
2. Which instrument is playing in the foreground?
3. Therefore, what is the texture of this piece? The arrangement of the musicians gives a visual clue!
4. How would you describe the timbre of the foreground instrument (give one or two descriptive words)?
5. Do instruments that play in a low range tend to be bigger, or smaller, than their family members?
For questions 6-9: https://youtu.be/R3nqrQsL9HY?si=mNMYAq67UzG3YJVI
This is a performance of Music in Similar Motion by Philip Glass, played by the chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. By the way, this music is an example of the extreme repetition of minimalism that became popular with the avant-garde art scene of the 1960s and 70s.
6. What is the instrumentation? There is a funky wind instrument that is not played and placed on the groundâ€”you can ignore that, but FYI it is a bass clarinet!
7. The meter of this piece changes constantly. What is a possible effect of a composer purposely changing meter in a piece?
8. What is the texture of the piece for the first minute?
9. What happens to the texture at 1:24 and what texture does it become?
For questions 10-12: https://youtu.be/zp1tWOm0q4I
This is a performance of the first movement, Prelude, from Bachâ€™s Cello Suite No. 3, played by (the one and only!) Yo-Yo Ma.
10. Describe the timbre of the instrument.
11. How would you describe the pitch contour of the cello line from 0:00-0:15?
12. What texture is this piece?
For questions 13-17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xol4cEFiGOs and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dEb8uwmEGY
This is the same piece, Rameauâ€™s Tamborin, first on a harpsichord played by Julian Frey, second on a piano played by Alberto Chines. The work was originally written for harpsichord but is today more commonly played on piano.
13. Compare the timbres of the two instruments. Which do you prefer?
14. How did the piano (the instrument) get its name? The name refers to an ability that the piano has but the harpsichord does not.
15. What is the texture of this piece? It seems that one hand has the melody, while the other hand accompanies.
16. Instead of the term â€œvolume,â€ which term do we use in music to refer to relative loudness or softness?
17. The left hand imitates a tambourine and drum, marking many of the beats. Instead of the term â€œspeed,â€ which term do we use in music to specify the rate of the beat?
For questions 18-20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcPtGF9R_-4
This is a performance of the second movement, â€œSongbird,â€ from Montgomeryâ€™s Break Away, played by the PUBLIQuartet.
18. Which instrument family is being represented in this piece?
19. In the second half of the piece, it seems that the four instruments are talking together and sometimes over each other with their independent musical lines. Which texture does this piece eventually find itself in?
20. If dissonance is â€œdisagreeableâ€ harmony, why is it important?
Part II: Music report. Choose 2 selections and write a mini-report on each, consisting of observations of both the music and the performance as well as your own opinions and comments. Include general impressions as well as musical details. Using timestamps to â€œguideâ€ yourself through the piece is encouraged. Be a tour guide!
Since this is the first written assignment, do not feel pressured to include lots of analysis- we will get more and more comfortable as the semester goes on! Make sure to include essential information such as the name of the piece, composer, performer(s), and their instruments. 150-300 words each.
1. Venezuelan Brass Ensemble performing Bernsteinâ€™s â€œMamboâ€ from West Side Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTs3cShqbhI
2. â€œThe Presidentâ€™s Ownâ€ US Marine Band playing â€œOmie Wiseâ€ from Dessnerâ€™s Murder Ballades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PkoPaKAs5g
3. The TransAtlantic Ensemble performing â€œHarlemâ€™s Summer Nightâ€ from Colemanâ€™s Portraits of Langston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF4xb_pD-zI
4. Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovskyâ€™s Dance of the Reed Flutes from The Nutcracker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O8vV3AbFMk
5. Orquestra SinfÃ´nica de Santo AndrÃ© performing Ravelâ€™s Les entretiens de la belle et de la bÃªte (â€œConversation of Beauty and the Beastâ€): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAYSSMUwj80
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