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MUS110H1 Lecture 7 Context 10-12-07 2:10 AM
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Music & Context
What is “Context”?
• Text: Is the object of study: the words or notes on the page, the
translation of the symbols into sound --- but removed from
everything else, including its cultural environment
• Con: Everything that goes with it, relates to it, causes it, is affected
by it --- economics, politics, religion, changing social roles of
musicians, technological developments, music in popular culture,
Why do we feel compelled to know something about the context of a piece of
Music is always the same, the text doesn’t change, but the context can
What are some of the differences between live and recorded studio
performances? Between recorded studio and recorded live performances?
• i.e. M. Praetorius, In dulci jubilo, for 5 choirs (1619)
To what extent might our knowledge of context determine the historical
importance of a composition?
• i.e. J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto Nr. 5, 1st movement (1723)
W.A. Mozart (1756-91)
• Child prodigy
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
We want to know the person behind the composition
• i.e. Beethoven, Symphony Nr. 3 in E-Flat (1803)
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