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Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 211
Eric Smialek

Jan. 9 , 2013 (lecture #2)  Active Listening Practice; Dixit Dominus (Chant Psalm Setting of Psalm 110) / J.S.Bach, G Minor Fague (1703-1707) / Tchaikovsky, Serenade for Strings: Waltz (1880) / Steve Reich, Electric Counterpoint (ca. 1987)  Questions: what mood this music creates? Comparison (what makes this piece different from each other); Chant – quiet, scary sound, gloomy moody sound & melody, religious, incantation, solemn, comforting, human voice involved (tone colour) / Bach – many variations in melody, getting stronger, simple piano melody, anxiety, themes (arguing, interacting, cyclical), analytical, forward movement, frequent repetition in melody (easily recognizable), ascending & descending wave like melody (melodic contour)/ Tchaikovsky – Happy, spring mood, song in nut cracker?, uplifting, different meter, playful & jovial, delicate, dancing, romantic, violin sounds / Reich – simple, many repetitive fast sounds, no feeling nor mood, shifts (process music), churning, quick, louder, exciting & intense due to fast repetition, dreamy, static (no dramatic change), unsettling  Communicating About Music: For each listening, consider both means and effect - How are different elements of music used? - What kinds of moods are created by them?  Tone Colour (Timbre) – characteristic of music that allows us to distinguish music (descriptive terms of the music – ex. Raspy, hollow, bright…)  Some Elements of Music: Rhythm, Meter, Tempo, Pitch, Melody (phrases, etc.), Harmony (chords, etc.), Consonance and dissonance, Mode (major/minor), Scales, Dynamics (loudness), Texture, Tone colour (timbre), Instrumentation and Orchestration, Form  Some Musical Differences - Dixit Dominus (Chant Psalm Setting of Psalm 110): Entirely vocal, alternates between monophony and homophony, modal, consonant, non-metrical. - J.S.Bach, G Minor Fugue (1703-1707): Instrumental, imitative, polyphonic, organ, powerful sustained melodies, minor, duple meter. - Tchaikovsky, Serenade for Strings Waltz (1880): Strings, leisurely pace, lingering melody with start-and-stops, homophonic then polyphonic, triple meter. - Steve Reich, “Electric Counterpoint” (ca.1987): Repetition, unusual use of ensemble and guitars, pulsing, soft dynamic.  Contextual Differences - Dixit Dominus: Functions within monastic life, deliberately bare, surprising text. - J.S.Bach, G Minor Fugue: Virtuosity, solo performance, intellectual, church function. - Tchaikovsky, Serenade for Strings, Waltz (1880): Performed in concert hall, likely commissioned by wealthy patron, later used as the theme for Br.TV station “Channel Television” in the 1980s. - Steve Reich, “Electric Counterpoint”: Repetition, meditative, unusual use of ensemble and guitars, musical experimentation encouraged by university communities and self-conscious awareness of one’s place in history.  Active Listening: How did this listening experience feel compared to your usual listening experiences?  Baroque Context and Style - Baroque (1600-1750) – Early Baroque (1600 – ca.1700) – Late Baroque (ca.1700 – 1750) - Age of Absolutism: Pomp and extravagance - Age of Science: System and Calculation - Architecture, sculpture, painting, and music tend toward emotionality, exaggeration, extravagance and control, opera - One can see a desire to restore prestige to the Catholic church (after the Lutheran Reformation) in the splendor of much European Catholic art patronage, Bernini, St. Peter’s Baldachin (1623-1634) - Bernini, Monument to Alexander VII (1678) – super controlled, detailed sculpture - Bernini, Ecstasy of St. Theresa (1646): Depicts dream where an angel pierces her heart with an arrow; a divine symbol of life – intense sculpture - Literal theatricality: voyeuristic spectators gaze onwards from balconies as we do. - Extremely ornate sculpting into the roof and archways of the Capilla del Rosario (1550-1690) in Mexico (a colony of Spain during the Baroque).  New Currents in the Baroque - Increasing interest in instrumental music - Beginnings of functional harmony (order of chords): Compare – Morenzio’s “Solo e pensoso” with a standard chord progression at the piano. - Increasing importance on a single melody rather than several equally-weighted voices: Compare – Monteverdi, Cruda Amarilli (c.1595), Lamenta della ninfa – harpsichord sound (hearing underneath - accompaniment), common baroque instrument (1638) at 1:16 (
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