Music Question

Music Question


ADA 3 India rhythms and more on the form:  Due date Thursday, 10/13 (80 points possible) This is a learning assignment with guidance throughout.

  1. (10 pt.) Simoncic review of Scales, chords, consonant, dissonant, and phrase forms: Write a brief review of parts that helped clarify some items from previous Simoncic videos.
  2. (10 pt.) A Simoncic Video presenting: Several composing devices found in most music: Write a review pointing out the specific devices, especially sequence, inversion, and retrograde (melody from last note to first) and how these were used in specific music pieces.
  3. (10 pt.) Great Video and simple approach to South Indian rhythms: First, keep in mind that when the presenter, Dr. Levin, is tapping his hands, he is tapping the beat, not the rhythms.

It is expected that students in World Music, participate with Dr. Levin. If it’s difficult, then stop the video and focus on specific parts. I don’t expect you to “get this” completely, but at least spend 30 minutes watching and participating.

Answer this: Describe how this video helped clarify the complex rhythms of Indian music and share with us how successful you were participating with the more simple rhythms.  

  1. (10 pt.)   How to Speak in Odd Time Signatures/asymmetric meters: Answer this: Watch carefully then comment on how it was presented and what was most helpful.

Next is Music form: Most pop songs are structured as phrase A, then phrase A repeated, sometimes using the same lyrics and sometimes slightly but the melody is the same as the first A phrase. Next comes, the musical departure that we call phrase B. Phrase B hosts a new melody but rather quickly returns to phrase A. Usually, these phrases are 4 measures long. They are most often in a 4-beat per measure pattern.  The first four measures of 16 beats are repeated. Musically, they are the same. The B phrase is 16 beats long.  

Now let’s take a look at something called, a larger song form:  Song form A, A B A. Section A has multiple phrases then repeated after that enters the large B section.

Memory, from the musical, “Cats”.

Follow along: timestamp (counter number):  First large A section, 0:00 to 0:39.  The second, A, with the same melody is played from 0:40 to 1:16.

The large B section begins at timestamp 1:17 to 1:48. As a general rule, most Americans are consumed by the lyrics and fail to know or even recognize the melody without the lyrics. The A and B melodies are quite different.  The A section returns at 1:49 to 2:21 but what is being played by the orchestra from timestamp 2:22 to 2:37? If you recognized it as part of the A section, then you are becoming a listener rather than just a hearer of words.

  1. (5 pt.) Answer this: Which part do you recognize at timestamp 2:38 and why is it a clear example of that part? If you said the B section, then you are correct. Timestamp 3:08 is obviously Section A. You won’t lose points if you didn’t say “B” but answer with more than just one word.
  2. (10 pt.) Answer this two-part question: If you are a person programmed to focus on lyrics, how much did you improve by having the form of AABA provided for you with timestamps? Answer this: If you listened to this video at least twice, did your skills as a listener improve? Why or why not? If not, then listen to the music more carefully as you follow the timestamps. It is not a difficult task if you allow the brain to focus on the music. Please remember, this is not a poetry class, therefore, words aren’t important during a music analysis. 

Part 2:

     Learn these:  Specific instruments: timestamp 1:27 flute; 0:41 violins; 0:48 concert harp; 0:53 Cello’s;

  0:58 Oboe;  At 1:23 looks like an American crowd at a Super Bowl game. Just kidding. At 4:53 a B flat clarinet;

  5:35 Concert Harp;  At 7:32 B flat, side valve, trumpet playing the three-note motif first heard at the beginning of the piece. Next to the trumpet next are the tenor trombones.

1. (5 pt.) This work, the Adagio from Spartacus, composed by Aram Khachaturian, is one of the most famous 20th-century classical pieces. It has a larger ABA form and even a new C part form. The music is used for ballet

The first A section, begins with a 3-note motif played by the strings, before the actual theme (melody) A begins at 1:02.  The 3-note motif repeats time and again using the musical sequence technique. The technique of sequence was presented by Simoncic in the video, “Several composing devices”. It was demonstrated using Beethoven’s Symphony #5, the 4-note motif. Review if necessary. 

 Next, at 1:02 the oboe enters with the melody of section A.

At timestamp 2:17 the low string (cello) plays a bridge-like passage to timestamp 2:28 where the A section is now taken over by the entire string family of violins, violas, cellos, and string basses. The harp is playing arpeggios (broken chords, providing a “beat” as the other non-string instruments begin playing counter melodies, creating a polyphonic setting.

At timestamp 4:35 a bridge to the B section takes place. If you are listening, then you will have noticed that at 4:35 the 3-not motif from the very beginning of this work is heard in the lower strings. At 6:15 another new part enters part C; with driving dynamics to timestamp 7:10 and to the A section and its wide and expressive dynamics. Answer this:   At timestamp 7:10, what is the trumpet playing as a counter-melody to the strings? If your listening skills said “the three-note motif” from the start of this piece, then you WIN the Listening Prize! With music like this, who needs words to be told how to feel when music is worth thousands of words?  

     2. (25 pt.) Write a thorough summation discussing your “listening skills” and if they improved even a little while following the provided timestamps in the Adagio, from Spartacus. You might also include whether listing key  instruments under part 2 was useful in the listening process.   

       3. (5 pt.) Bonus: If you are even a little curious to see the ballet excerpt of this work, then follow along with: and write a short and “honest” self-evaluation on whether our listening skills were as sharp when visuals such as ballet are present or were the eyes taking away from the ear?