VPMB82 Lecture 7

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11 Apr 2012
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VPMB82 Lecture 7
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
-African American composer
-wrote 5 symphonies, 9 operas
-wrote music for film, including “Penny from Heaven”
-jazz influence, ex. blue harmony, syncopation, call & response
Still’s Afro American Symphony (Symphony No. 1), First movement, Moderato assai (p. 473)
-4 movements (typical European symphonic form)
-Sonata form: including scherzo-banjo, fast finale
-programmatic: based on poetry of Paul Dunbar
-jazz/ blues influences: syncopation, call & response, 1st theme in 12 bars blues form, blue notes
-blue notes ex. flatted third & fifth
First Movement
-1st theme played by trumpet
-2nd theme (p. 481) responds to 1st theme, call and response
-jazz like timbre, trumpet gets main theme
-use instrument as voices, trumpet sounds like singing the melody
Third Movement
-blues influences (flatted chords)
-syncopated banjo
Milton Babbitt (1916-2011)
-insulated art from commercialism
-professor university
-mathematical approach to music
-artistic statement, not appealing to audience
Babbitt’s Philomel: Section I (p. 602)
-genre: monodrama for soprano, recorded soprano, and synthesized sound
-merging of human voice with machine
-style: serialism, including 12 tone, dynamic, pitch, example of mathematical approach
-madrigalism: sound that suggests pain, example of word-painting
-synopsis: transformation to a bird
-synthesizer part is written out as well
-opening starts with screaming, recall of the violation
-ending ends with the voice & taped voice sung in unison, blending of the tape & real voice
George Crumb’s (b. 1929) Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land (p. 596)
-genre: electric string quartet
-in memory of Vietnam War
-13 sections, section 7 is the climax
-non-traditional musical notation
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