Monday, May 23, 2011

An egregiously inept attempt to cover 30 year of rock in 25 minutes in (Four Acts)- Zeppelin, Hair, Flannel, Now

Act One - Zeppelin




Led Zeppelin II is the second studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in October 1969 on Atlantic Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at several locations in the United Kingdom and North America from January to August 1969. Production was entirely credited to lead guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, while it also served as Led Zeppelin's first album to utilise the recording techniques of engineer Eddie Kramer.

Led Zeppelin II furthered the lyrical themes established on their debut album, creating a work that became more widely acclaimed and influential than its predecessor. With elements of blues and folk music, it also exhibits the band's evolving musical style of blues-derived material and their guitar and riff-based sound. It is one of the band's heaviest albums.

Upon release, Led Zeppelin II earned a considerable amount of sales and was Led Zeppelin's first album to reach number one in the United Kingdom and United States. In 1970, art director David Juniper was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for Led Zeppelin II. On 15 November 1999, it was certified 12x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales in excess of 12 million copies. Following its initial reception, it has been recognised by writers and music critics as one of the greatest and most influential rock albums ever recorded.


Act Two  - Hair


Glam metal (also known as Hair metal and often used synonymously with Pop metal) is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord-based heavy metal musical style.

The genre rapidly lost mainstream interest from 1991 to 1993 with the rise of grunge and the release of albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind. It experienced a partial resurgence around the turn of the century, due in part to increased interest on the internet, with the successful 'Glam Slam Metal Jam' music festival taking place in summer 2000.

Musically, glam metal uses traditional hard rock and heavy metal songs, incorporating elements of punk rock, while adding pop-influenced catchy hooks and guitar riffs. Like other heavy metal songs of the 1980s, they often feature shred guitar solos. Aesthetically glam metal draws heavily on the glam rock or glitter rock of the 1970s, often with very long backcombed hair, use of make-up, gaudy clothing and accessories (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, and headbands). The visual aspects of glam metal appealed to music television producers, particularly MTV, whose establishment coincided with the rise of the genre. Glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles of late-night parties, which were widely covered in the tabloid press.



"Sweet Child O' Mine" - Ninth track on the album and third single of the band. Released on August 18, 1988, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band's first and only number-one single in the U.S. It reached number six on the UK Singles Chart.

The lyrics of the song are written about Axl Rose's girlfriend (at the time) Erin Everly. The guitar lick at the beginning was a coincidence, as Slash warmed up by playing a circus sounding tune as a joke.


Act Three - Flannel


Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song dynamics, and apathetic or angst-filled lyrics. The grunge aesthetic is stripped-down compared to other forms of rock music, and many grunge musicians were noted for their unkempt appearances and rejection of theatrics.

The early grunge movement coalesced around Seattle independent record label Sub Pop in the late 1980s. Grunge became commercially successful in the first half of the 1990s, due mainly to the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten. The success of these bands boosted the popularity of alternative rock and made grunge the most popular form of hard rock music at the time. However, many grunge bands were uncomfortable with this popularity. Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 1990s, their influence continues to affect modern rock music.



Mother Love Bone was an American hard rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The band was active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood's personality and compositions helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene. Wood died only days before the scheduled release of the band's debut album, Apple, thus ending the group's hopes of success. The album was finally released a few months later. Although Mother Love Bone is remembered by many as a very talented band in its own right, its legacy, for some, is overshadowed by Wood's death and the bands that its former members would later form.



MTV restrictions on violent imagery prevented Pellington from showing Jeremy putting the gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger at the climax of the video. Ironically, the ambiguous close-up of Jeremy at the end of the edited video, combined with the defensive posture of Jeremy's classmates and the large amount of blood, led many viewers to believe that the video ended with Jeremy shooting his classmates, not himself.

Pellington himself dismisses this interpretation of the video. He said, "Probably the greatest frustration I've ever had is that the ending [of the "Jeremy" video] is sometimes misinterpreted as that he shot his classmates. The idea is, that's his blood on them, and they're frozen at the moment of looking." He had filmed a scene where Jeremy is shown putting the gun in his mouth, but this footage was edited with a zoom effect for the MTV version of the video so the gun was not visible. Pellington also filmed a slightly different take of the classroom Pledge of Allegiance sequence. In the MTV version of the video there is a brief shot of Jeremy's classmates making a gesture that could be either the American Bellamy salute or the Nazi Hitler salute; in the original cut of the video this scene is longer.

After "Jeremy", Pearl Jam backed away from making music videos. "Ten years from now," Ament said, "I don't want people to remember our songs as videos." The band did not release another video until 1998's "Do the Evolution", which was entirely animated.

In 1996, a shooting occurred at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake, Washington that left three dead and a fourth injured. The legal defense team for the shooter, Barry Loukaitis, stated that he was influenced by the music video.

After the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, MTV and VH1 rarely aired the video, and mention of it was omitted in retro-documentaries such as I Love the '90s. It is still available on the internet, on websites such as YouTube. It can also occasionally be seen playing at Hard Rock Cafe locations. The video has been getting airtime on VH1 Classic and MTV Hits programming as of 2006, and is currently in circulation via late night playlists featured on Scuzz. The video was included in MuchMusic's list of the 12 most controversial videos. The reason was because of the topic of suicide, and recent school shootings. The scene of Jeremy with the gun in his mouth was not shown. It was also included on VH1's countdown of the "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s" at number 11, with several clips of the video shown, including part of the ending. The uncensored version of the video was shown as part of the retrospective "Pearl Jam Ten Revisited" on VH1 Classic in 2009 prior to the album's re-release, including the shot in which Jeremy puts the gun in his mouth.


Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts[specify] that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis. The two most notable charts are the Billboard Hot 100, which ranks the top 100 songs regardless of genre and is based on physical sales, digital sales and radio airplay. Meanwhile, the Billboard 200 survey is the corresponding chart for album sales.


Right Now - - -



Music App Class:

It has been real. This is it for a semester of the Blogodome. Be sure to have a great Summer.

Peace-
Mr. C

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jazz Part IV - The Saxophone -


Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax (November 6, 1814 – c. February 4, 1894[1]) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is best known for having invented the saxophone.

The saxophone consists of an approximately conical tube of thin metal, most commonly brass and sometimes plated with silver, gold, and nickel, flared at the tip to form a bell. At intervals along the tube are between 20 and 23 tone holes of varying size, including two very small 'speaker' holes to assist the playing of the upper register. These holes are covered by keys (also known as pad cups), containing soft leather pads, which are closed to produce an airtight seal; at rest some of the holes stand open and others are closed. The keys are controlled by buttons pressed by the fingers, while the right thumb sits under a thumb rest to help keep the saxophone balanced. The fingering for the saxophone is a combination of that of the oboe with the Boehm system, and is very similar to the flute or the upper register of the clarinet. Instruments that play to low A have a left thumb key for that note.

The simplest design of saxophone is a straight conical tube, and the sopranino and soprano saxophones are usually of this straight design. However, as the lower-pitched instruments would be unacceptably long if straight, for ergonomic reasons, the larger instruments usually incorporate a U-bend at, or slightly above, the third-lowest tone hole. As this would cause the bell of the instrument to point almost directly upward, the end of the instrument is either beveled or tilted slightly forward. This U-shape has become an iconic feature of the saxophone family, to the extent that soprano and even sopranino saxes are sometimes made in the curved style, even though not strictly necessary. By contrast, tenors and even baritones have occasionally been made in the straight style. Most commonly, however, the alto and tenor saxophones incorporate a curved 'crook' above the highest tone hole but below the top speaker hole, tilting the mouthpiece through 90 degrees; the baritone, bass and contrabass extend the length of the bore by triple-folding this section.

Verse 1.) A Little Known Large Thing-




Verse 2.) Saxophone in Jazz Music-



Coleman Randolph Hawkins (November 21, 1904 – May 19, 1969) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.[1] Hawkins was the first important jazz musician to use the instrument. As Joachim E. Berendt explained, "there were some tenor players before him, but the instrument was not an acknowledged jazz horn".[2] While Hawkins is most strongly associated with the swing music and big band era, he had a role in the development of bebop in the 1940s,[1]

Lester Young, who was called "Pres", in a 1959 interview with The Jazz Review, said "As far as I'm concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I'm the second one." Miles Davis once said: "When I heard Hawk I learned to play ballads." Hawkins was nicknamed "Hawk" and sometimes "Bean".

Verse 3.) Coltrane-



The influence Coltrane has had on music spans many different genres and musicians. Coltrane's massive influence on jazz, both mainstream and avant-garde, began during his lifetime and continued to grow after his death. He is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians. In 1965, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1972, A Love Supreme was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over half a million copies in Japan. This album, as well as My Favorite Things, was certified gold in the United States in 2001. In 1982 Coltrane was awarded a posthumous Grammy for "Best Jazz Solo Performance" on the album Bye Bye Blackbird, and in 1997, was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
His widow, Alice Coltrane, after several decades of seclusion, briefly regained a public profile before her death in 2007. Coltrane's son, Ravi Coltrane, named after the great Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, who was greatly admired by Coltrane, has followed in his father's footsteps and is a prominent contemporary saxophonist.
His revolutionary use of multi-tonic systems in jazz has become a widespread composition and reharmonization technique known as "Coltrane changes".

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed John Coltrane on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Coltrane's tenor (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 125571, dated 1965) and soprano (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 99626, dated 1962) saxophones were auctioned on February 20, 2005 to raise money for the John Coltrane Foundation. The soprano raised $70,800 but the tenor remained unsold.

Verse 4.) Joshua Redman-




Boogielastic - (In class only-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jazz Part III - Emergence of Swing and the Big Band

Verse 1.) Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra



Fletcher Henderson (1897-1952) was a bandleader, arranger, composer and pianist, one of the most important names in Jazz history. He was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, his father was a former slave who was freed by General Sherman during the Civil War and who went on to become an educator during Reconstruction, and his mother taught piano. He attended Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated in 1920, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans. After graduation, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for a master's degree in chemistry. However, he found his job prospects in chemistry to be very restricted due to his race, and turned to music for a living.

In 1922 he formed his own band, which was resident first at the Club Alabam then at the Roseland, and quickly became known as the best "Colored" band in New York. For a time his ideas of arrangement were heavily influenced by those of Paul Whiteman, but when Louis Armstrong joined his orchestra in 1924 Henderson realized there could be a much richer potential for jazz band orchestration. Henderson's band also boasted the formidable arranging talents of Don Redman (from 1922 to 1927).

At one time or another, in addition to Louis Armstrong, lead trumpeters included Henry "Red" Allen, Joe Smith, Rex Stewart, Tommy Ladnier, Doc Cheatham and Roy Eldridge on trumpet. Lead saxophonists included Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Benny Carter and Chu Berry. Sun Ra also worked as an arranger during the 1940s during Henderson's engagement at the Club De Lisa in Chicago. Sun Ra himself said that on first hearing Henderson's orchestra as a teenager he assumed that they must be angels because no human could produce such beautiful music.

Beginning in the early 1930s, Fletcher's piano-playing younger brother, Horace Henderson contributed to the arrangements of the band. He later led a band of his own that also received critical acclaim. Although Fletchers band was very popular, he had little success managing the it. He was better regarded as an arranger - he started arranging around 1931, or so - and his arrangements became influential. In addition to his own band he arranged for Teddy Hill, Isham Jones, and most famously, Benny Goodman.
While Henderson's music was loved by the masses, his band began to fold with the 1929 stock market crash. The loss of financial stability resulted in the selling of many arrangements from his songbooks to the later-to-be-acclaimed "King of Swing" Benny Goodman.

Verse 2.) Chick Webb and the Club Savoy



Verse 3.) Ohh Yeah -- Duke Elington



Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was a composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the words of Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe "In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington."

A prominent figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death, the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowing a special posthumous honor in 1999.

Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category". These included many of the musicians who were members of his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known jazz orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams, which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics, and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the 'Spanish Tinge' to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained there for several decades. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his "writing and arranging companion." Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films.

Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington, who had already been handling all administrative aspects of his father's business for several decades, led the band until his own death in 1996. At that point, the original band dissolved. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son and executor of the Duke Ellington estate, kept the Duke Ellington Orchestra going from Mercer's death onwards.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jazz Part II - Stride Piano, Scat Signing, and the Begining of Sound Recording

Verse 1.) What Stride Piano Looks Like & Fats Waller



Stride piano is highly rhythmic and somewhat percussive in nature because of the "oom-pah" sound of the left hand. This is where the term, "stride" came from. Pianist James P. Johnson, known as the "Father of Stride", created this unique style of jazz along with fellow pianists, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Fats Waller, and Luckey Roberts. The pianist usually plays one to three single notes (or walking bass) followed by a chord with the left hand, while the right hand plays the melody. Players may sometimes choose to play octaves instead of single notes to modify the sound of the left hand accompaniment. "James P. Johnson's greatest contribution was to recast the rhythm of ragtime into a more swinging, steadier beat."[2] He discovered and employed the tenth or "broken tenth" interval to introduce more swing in his left hand. This can be heard in his famous composition "Carolina Shout". The pianist can not only substitute tenths for single bass notes and triad chords, but can also play the interval up and down the keyboard.[citation needed]

The stride style originated in Harlem during World War I, fathered by James P. Johnson, and developed with fellow "Ticklers" Willie "The Lion" Smith, Luckey Roberts, and Fats Waller, reaping piano devices from other contemporary pianists. It was influenced by ragtime, and as a jazz piano idiom, features improvisation, blue notes, and swing rhythms. The practitioners of "stride" practiced a full jazz piano style that made use of Classical music devices such as arpeggios, musical scales, and flourishes. They often engaged in cutting contests to show off their skills.



Verse 2.) Scat singing

In vocal jazz, scat singing is vocal improvisation with wordless vocables, nonsense syllables or without words at all. Scat singing gives singers the ability to sing improvised melodies and rhythms, to create the equivalent of an instrumental solo using their voice.





Verse 3.) The Ever Exciting History of Recording Video!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chapter 9 Jazz and Beyond!

Verse 1.) Scott Joplin and Ragtime Music



Ragtime is an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged," rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. It was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music. The ragtime composer Scott Joplin became famous through the publication in 1899 of the "Maple Leaf Rag" and a string of ragtime hits that followed, although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. For at least 12 years after its publication, the "Maple Leaf Rag" heavily influenced subsequent ragtime composers with its melody lines, harmonic progressions or metric patterns.

Ragtime fell out of favor as jazz claimed the public's imagination after 1917, but there have been numerous revivals since as the music has been re-discovered. First in the early 1940s many jazz bands began to include ragtime in their repertoire and put out ragtime recordings on 78 RPM records. A more significant revival occurred in the 1950s as a wider variety of ragtime styles of the past were made available on records, and new rags were composed, published, and recorded. In 1971 Joshua Rifkin brought out a compilation of Scott Joplin's work which was nominated for a Grammy Award,[9] and in 1973, the motion picture The Sting brought ragtime to a wide audience with its soundtrack of Joplin tunes. Subsequently the film's rendering of Joplin's 1902 rag "The Entertainer" was a top 40 hit in 1974.

Ragtime (with Joplin's work in the forefront) has been cited as an American equivalent of minuets by Mozart, mazurkas by Chopin, or Waltzes by Brahms. Ragtime influenced Classical composers including Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky.

Verse 2.) Jelly Roll Morton and Dixieland Music



Dixieland music, sometimes referred to as Hot jazz, Early Jazz or New Orleans jazz, is a style of jazz music which developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and was spread to Chicago and New York City by New Orleans bands in the 1910s. Well-known jazz standard songs from the Dixieland era, such as "Basin Street Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In", are known even to non-jazz fans.

Dixieland, an early style of Jazz that was developed in New Orleans, is the earliest style of Jazz music. The style combined earlier brass band marches, French Quadrilles, ragtime and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. While instrumentation and size of bands can be very flexible, the "standard" band consists of a "front line" of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a "rhythm section" of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums.

The term Dixieland became widely used after the advent of the first million-selling hit records of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917. The music has been played continuously since the early part of the 20th century. Louis Armstrong's All-Stars was the band most popularly identified with Dixieland, although Armstrong's own influence runs through all of jazz.

The definitive Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a recognizable paraphrase or variation on it, and the other instruments of the "front line" improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the extremely regimented big band sound or the unison melody of bebop.

The swing era of the 1930s led to the end of many Dixieland Jazz musicians' careers. Only a few musicians were able to maintain popularity. Most retired.

With the advent of bebop in the 1940s, the earlier group-improvisation style fell out of favor with the majority of younger black players, while some older players of both races continued on in the older style. Though younger musicians developed new forms, many beboppers revered Armstrong, and quoted fragments of his recorded music in their own improvisations.

There was a revival of Dixieland in the late 1940s and 1950s, which brought many semiretired musicians a measure of fame late in their lives as well as bringing retired musicians back onto the jazz circuit after years of not playing (e.g. Kid Ory). Many Dixieland groups of the revival era consciously imitated the recordings and bands of decades earlier. Other musicians continued to create innovative performances and new tunes. For example, in the 1950s a style called "Progressive Dixieland" sought to blend traditional Dixieland melody with bebop-style rhythm. Steve Lacy played with several such bands early in his career. This style is sometimes called "Dixie-bop".

Verse 2 Interlude 1.) King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A quick bit about the 20/21st centuries current Orchestra sound - The Film Score

A film score is the background music of a film (which is generally categorically separated from songs used within a film). The term soundtrack may be confused with film score. A soundtrack, however, contains everything audible in the film including sound effects and dialogue. Soundtrack albums may also include songs featured in the film as well as previously released music by other artists. A score is written specifically to accompany a film, by the original film's composer(s).

Each individual piece of music, within a film's score, is called a cue and is typically a composition for instruments (e.g. orchestra) and/or non-individually featured voices. Since the 1950s, a growing number of scores are electronic or a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments. Since the invention of digital technology and audio sampling, many low budget films have been able to rely on digital samples to imitate the sound of real live instruments.

A few examples -

James Newton Howard-



John Williams-



Ohhh and maybe a bit of thievery too?



This is of course, not from a movie. It was written by Gustav Holst in 1914 - Well before "Talking Movies."

Maybe you were thinking of this - The Imperial March which was premiered on April 29, 1980. One of the best known symphonic movie themes, it is a classic example of a leitmotif, a recurrent theme associated with characters or events in a drama.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Minimalsim - More Music, Less Variety Homework Due 5/11/2011

Minimalist Music is an originally American genre of experimental or Downtown music named in the 1960s based mostly in consonant harmony, steady pulse (if not immobile drones), stasis or gradual transformation, and often reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells. It may include features such as additive process and phase shifting. Starting in the early 1960s as a scruffy underground scene in San Francisco alternative spaces and New York lofts, minimalism spread to become the most popular experimental music style of the late 20th century. The movement originally involved dozens of composers, although only five: Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams and, La Monte Young emerged to become publicly associated with it in America.


Terry Riley



In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase he or she plays: players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase. The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other. The phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped. As detailed in some editions of the score, it is customary for one musician ("traditionally... a beautiful girl," Riley notes in the score[2]) to play the note C in repeated eighth notes. This functions as a metronome and is referred to as "The Pulse".

In C has no set duration; performances can last as little as fifteen minutes or as long as several hours, although Riley indicates "performances normally average between 45 minutes and an hour and a half." The number of performers may also vary between any two performances. The original recording of the piece was created by 11 musicians (through overdubbing, several dozen instruments were utilized), while a performance in 2006 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall featured 124 musicians.

The piece begins on a C major chord (patterns one through seven) with a strong emphasis on the mediant E and the entrance of the note F which begins a series of slow progressions to other chords suggesting a few subtle and ambiguous changes of key, the last pattern being an alteration between B♭ and G. Though the polyphonic interplay of the various patterns against each other and themselves at different rhythmic displacements is of primary interest, the piece may be considered heterophonic.


Steve Reich



Music for 18 Musicians was written for a cello, violin, two clarinets(both players double on bass clarinet), four pianos, three marimbas, two xylophones, a metallophone, and four women's voices. In the introduction to the score, Reich mentions that although the piece is named Music for 18 Musicians, it is not necessarily advisable to perform the piece with that few players due to the extensive doubling it requires. With only 18 musicians.


Philip Glass



******
Homework: Due 5/11/2011

Pick two of these Minimalistic Works (the one you like most and the one you like least.)  Write four well-developed paragraphs explaining why you like/dislike.  What does this music make you think about?  In addition (5 points) post a Minimalistic Composition by a different composer with a small ddescription.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Igor Stravinsky - 20th Century ballet Etc... In Three Acts-


Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor.

He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He became a naturalised French citizen in 1934 and a naturalized US citizen in 1945. In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works.

Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets): The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure, and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design.


Act I - L'histoire du soldat Or The Soldier's Tale



Histoire du soldat (sometimes written L'histoire du soldat; translated as The Soldier's Tale) is a 1918 theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced" ("lue, jouée et dansée") set to music by Igor Stravinsky. The libretto, which is based on a Russian folk tale, was written in French by the Swiss universalist writer C.F. Ramuz. It is a parable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. The music is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet (often played on trumpet), trombone, and percussion, and the story is told by three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters. A dancer plays the non-speaking role of the princess, and there may also be additional ensemble dancers. The piece was written for small ensemble to compensate for the lack of players due to World War I (since so many were enlisted in the armed services).


Act II - Petrouchka



The libretto was written by Alexandre Benois and Igor Stravinsky. According to Leonard Bernstein on his Young People's Concerts, one of the hallmarks of this ballet and Stravinsky's The Firebird is that there are no divertissements in them; every single dance is firmly integrated into the plotline.

The ballet opens on St. Petersburg's Admiralty Square. In progress is the Shrovetide fair known as Maslenitsa, a Russian carnival before Lent, analogous to Mardi Gras. The people rejoice before the privations of the long fast.

Stravinsky's orchestration and rapidly changing rhythms depict the hustle and bustle of the fair. An organ grinder and two dancing girls entertain the crowd to the popular French song Une Jambe de Bois. Drummers announce the appearance of the Charlatan, who charms the captivated audience. Suddenly, the curtain rises on a tiny theater, as the Charlatan introduces the inert, lifeless puppet figures of Petrushka, a Ballerina and a Moor.

The Charlatan casts a magic spell with his flute. The puppets come to life, leap from their little stage and perform a vigorous Russian Dance among the astounded carnival-goers.

The second scene, after the performance, is set in Petrushka's Cell 'inside' the little theatre. The walls are painted in dark colors and decorated with stars, a half-moon and jagged icebergs or snow-capped mountains. With a resounding crash, the Charlatan kicks Petrushka into this barren cell. We see that Petrushka leads a dismal "life" behind the show curtains. Although Petrushka is a puppet he feels human emotions which include bitterness toward the Charlatan for his imprisonment as well as love for the beautiful Ballerina. All of this is sensitively described by Stravinsky's Expressionist piano breaks. A frowning portrait of his jailer hangs above him as if to remind Petrushka that he is a mere puppet. The infuriated clown-puppet shakes his fists at the Charlatan's stern glare and tries to escape from his cell but fails.

The Ballerina then enters the room. Petrushka ineptly attempts to express his love for her but she rejects his pathetic, self-conscious advances and hastily departs. Petrushka collapses in a melancholic reverie.

In the third scene the audience learns that the Moor leads a much more comfortable "life" than Petrushka. The Moor's room is spacious and lavishly decorated and is painted in bright reds, greens and blues. Rabbits, palm trees and exotic flowers decorate the walls and floor. The Moor reclines on a divan and plays with a coconut, attempting to cut it with his scimitar. When he fails he believes that the coconut must be a god and proceeds to pray to it.

The Charlatan places the Ballerina in the Moor's room. The Ballerina is attracted to the Moor's handsome appearance. She plays a saucy tune on a toy trumpet (represented by a cornet in the original 1911 orchestration) and dances with the Moor.

Petrushka finally breaks free from his cell, and he interrupts the seduction of the Ballerina. Petrushka attacks the Moor but soon realizes he is too small and weak. The Moor beats Petrushka. The clown-puppet flees for his life, with the Moor chasing him, and escapes from the room.

The fourth and final scene returns to the carnival. Some time has passed; it is now early evening. The orchestra introduces a chain of colourful dances as a series of apparently unrelated characters come and go about the stage as snow begins to fall. The first and most prominent is the Wet-Nurses’ Dance, performed to the tune of the folk song "Down the Petersky Road". Then comes a peasant with his dancing bear, followed in turn by a group of a gypsies, coachmen and grooms and masqueraders.

As the merrymaking reaches its peak, a cry is heard from the puppet-theater. Petrushka suddenly runs across the scene, followed by the Moor in hot pursuit brandishing his sword. The crowd is horrified when the Moor catches up with Petrushka and slays him with a single stroke of his blade.

The police question the Charlatan. The Charlatan seeks to restore calm by holding the "corpse" above his head and shaking it to remind everyone that Petrushka is but a puppet.

As night falls and the crowd disperses, the Charlatan leaves, carrying Petrushka's limp body. All of a sudden, Petrushka's ghost appears on the roof of the little theatre, his cry now in the form of angry defiance. Petrushka's spirit thumbs its nose at his tormentor from beyond the wood and straw of his carcass.

Now completely alone, the Charlatan is terrified to see the leering ghost of Petrushka. He runs away whilst allowing himself a single frightened glance over his shoulder. The scene is hushed, leaving the audience to wonder who is "real" and who is not.


Act III - The Rite of Spring





The painter Nicholas Roerich shared his idea with Stravinsky in 1910, his fleeting vision of a pagan ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death. Stravinsky's earliest conception of The Rite of Spring was in the spring of 1910. Stravinsky writes, "... there arose a picture of a sacred pagan ritual: the wise elders are seated in a circle and are observing the dance before death of the girl whom they are offering as a sacrifice to the god of Spring in order to gain his benevolence. This became the subject of The Rite of Spring."

Act III B - The Rite of Spring Disney?



The Rite of Spring from Disney's Fantasia. Stravinsky's ominous score was supposed to be about primitive human rituals, but Disney's animators took a completely different inspiration from it and decided to tell the history of Earth up to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The combination of music and animation is perfect. This first part shows the evolution of Earth before the appearance of life.

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For an excellent audio commentary about the impact of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring click Here (Click the Listen Now Tab) 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Impressionism and Expressionism - Wozzek - Berg's Expressionist's Opera


The Impressionist Movement in Music was a movement in European classical music, mainly in France, that began in the late nineteenth century and continued into the middle of the twentieth century. Like its precursor in the visual arts, musical Impressionism focused on suggestion and atmosphere rather than strong emotion or the depiction of a story as in program music. Musical Impressionism occurred as a reaction to the excesses of the Romantic era. While this era was characterized by a dramatic use of the major and minor scale system, Impressionist music tends to make more use of dissonance and more uncommon scales such as the whole tone scale. Romantic composers also used long forms of music such as the symphony and concerto, while Impressionist composers favored short forms such as the nocturne, arabesque, and prelude.

Musical Impressionism was based in France, and the French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are generally considered to be the two "great" Impressionists. However, composers are generally not as accurately described by the term "Impressionism" as painters in the genre are. Debussy renounced it, saying, "I am trying to do 'something different' – in a way realities – what the imbeciles call 'impressionism' is a term which is as poorly used as possible, particularly by art critics."[1] Maurice Ravel composed many other pieces that aren't identified as Impressionist. Nonetheless, the term is widely used today to describe the music seen as a reaction to 19th century Romanticism.

Many musical instructions in impressionist pieces are written in French, as opposed to Italian.

Impressionism also gained a foothold in England, where its traits were assimilated by composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax, and Frederick Delius. Vaughan Williams in particular exhibited music infused with Impressionistic gestures--this was not coincidence, as he was a student of Maurice Ravel. Vaughan Williams' music utilizes melodies and harmonies found in English folk music, such as the pentatonic scale and modes, making it perfectly suited to the polarity-breaking ideals of the Impressionist movement, which began moving away from the Major-minor based tonality of the Romantic composers.






The Expressionist Movement in Music is difficult to exactly define. It is, however, one of the most important movements of 20th Century music. The three central figures of musical expressionism are Arnold Schoenberg and his pupils, Anton Webern and Alban Berg, the so-called Second Viennese School.

Musical expressionism is defined in a narrow sense as embracing most of Schoenberg’s post-tonal but pre-twelve-tone music, which is to say that of his "free atonal" period, roughly from 1908 to 1921.

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Act III

....Wozzeck takes Marie into the woods where he kisses her and then kills her with his knife.

Scene 3. A Low Tavern -
He gets drunk in the tavern and flirts with Margret, who sees the blood on his hand.

Scene 4. Forest Path by a Pool-
Wozzeck returns to the murder scene to collect the knife and plans to throw it in the lake. Afraid that he has not hidden it well enough, he wades to the lake and drowns. Hearing him drowning, the doctor and captain come to the scene, and hurry away without lifting a finger.

Scene 5. Street before Marie's Door-
A group of children go off to see Marie's corpse. Her son, who has been riding his hobby horse, rides off after them, too young to understand the implication of his mother's death.

Friday, April 29, 2011

***Chapter 18 Vocabulary Test - Tuesday 5/3/2011***

You will have a vocabulary test on Tuesday 5/3/2011. This will be a 20 point test that will include matching and some fill in the blank. Be sure that you are able to use these terms in a sentence. That, of course, would only make sense.

Richard Wagner and Romantic Opera (In Three Acts)

Act One: The Ride of the Valkyries -



In the opera-house, the Ride, which takes around eight minutes, begins in the prelude to the Act, building up successive layers of accompaniment until the curtain rises to reveal a mountain peak where four of the eight Valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde have gathered in preparation for the transportation of fallen heroes to Valhalla. As they are joined by the other four, the familiar tune is carried by the orchestra, while, above it, the Valkyries greet each other and sing their battle-cry. Apart from the song of the Rhinemaidens in Das Rheingold, it is the only ensemble piece in the first three operas of Wagner's Ring cycle. Outside the opera-house, it is usually heard in a purely instrumental version, which may be as short as three minutes.



Act Two: The Leitmotif-



A modern take on the German leitmotif

A leitmotif (sometimes written leit-motif) (from the German Leitmotiv, lit. "leading motif", or perhaps more accurately "guiding motif") is a musical term (though occasionally used in theatre or literature), referring to a recurring theme, associated with a particular person, place, or idea.[1] It is closely related to the musical idea of idée fixe. [2]

In particular such a theme should be 'clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances' whether such modification be in terms of rhythm, harmony, orchestration or accompaniment. It may also be 'combined with other leitmotifs to suggest a new dramatic condition' or development.[3] The term is notably associated with the operas of Richard Wagner, although he was not the originator of the concept.[4]

Although usually a short melody, it can also be a chord progression or even a simple rhythm. Leitmotifs can help to bind a work together into a coherent whole, and also enable the composer to relate a story without the use of words, or to add an extra level to an already present story.

By extension, the word has also been used to mean any sort of recurring theme, (whether or not subject to developmental transformation) in music, literature, or (metaphorically) the life of a fictional character or a real person. It is sometimes also used in discussion of other musical genres, such as instrumental pieces, cinema, and video game music, sometimes interchangeably with the more general category of 'theme'. Such usages typically obscure the crucial aspect of a leitmotif, as opposed to the plain musical motif or theme - that it is transformable and recurs in different guises throughout the piece in which it occurs.



Act Three: Bugs Bunny -

Please Click Here:

What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros. Cartoons. The Michael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a 6:11 operatic parody of 19th century classical composer Richard Wagner's operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and Tannhäuser. It is sometimes characterized as a condensed version of Wagner's Ring (also known as the "Ring Cycle"), and its music borrows heavily from the second opera Die Walküre, woven around the standard Bugs-Elmer conflict.

Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What's Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc as Bugs and Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer (except for one word dubbed by Blanc). The short is also sometimes informally referred to as ''Kill the Wabbit'' after the line sung by Fudd to the tune of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre (which is also the leitmotif of the Valkyries). This short is also notable for one of the final performances of Elmer Fudd by Arthur Q. Bryan, who died in 1959.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Romantic Music and Nationalism: Bedrich Smetena - Ma Vlast (The Moldau)

Excerpted from the Modern History Source Book  at http://www.fordham.edu/-

Nationalism was the most successful political force of the 19th century.  It emerged from two main sources: the Romantic exaltation of "feeling" and "identity" and the Liberal requirement that a legitimate state be based on a "people" rather than, for example, a dynasty, God, or imperial domination. Both Romantic "identity nationalism" and Liberal "civic nationalism" were essentially middle class movements. There were two main ways of exemplification: the French method of "inclusion" - essentially that anyone who accepted loyalty to the civil French state was a "citizen". In practice this meant the enforcement of a considerable degree of uniformity, for instance the destruction of regional languages.  The German method, required by political circumstances, was to define the "nation" in ethnic terms. Ethnicity in practice came down to speaking German and sometimes just having a German name. For the largely German-speaking Slavic middle classes of Prague, Agram (Zagreb) etc. who took up the nationalist ideal, the ethnic aspect became even more important than it had been for the Germans.
It was only later in the 19th century that nationalism spread to Slavic countries, some of which which had been effectively dead as political entities for centuries, and where languages survived only as peasant tongues. Among these groups nationalism tended to develop and change in similar ways among each people.
The music here illustrates one common line developments:- generally from a "cultural nationalism" to a more overtly political "liberal nationalism", and then, all to often, to an exclusivist "triumphal nationalism".  It is presented in order of stages rather than in order of date of composition. At any given moment, nationalist movements were often at different stages in different countries.





Vltava, also known by its German name Die Moldau (or The Moldau), was composed between 20 November and 8 December 1874 and was premiered on 4 April 1875. It is about 12 minutes long, and is in the key of E minor.

In this piece, Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia's great rivers. In his own words:

The composition describes the course of the Vltava, starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St John's Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the Vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Labe (or Elbe, in German.

The piece contains Smetana's most famous tune. It is an adaptation of the melody La Mantovana, attributed to the Italian renaissance tenor Giuseppe Cenci (also known as Giuseppino),[3] which, in a borrowed Moldovan form, was also the basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. The tune also appears in major in an old folk Czech song Kočka leze dírou ("The Cat Crawls Through the Hole") and Hans Eisler used it for his "Song of the Moldau".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

F. Schubert - The begining of the Romantic period - Der Erlkong-

Franz Peter Schubert: (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer.
Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited, but interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death at the age of 31. Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, among others, discovered and championed his works in the 19th Century. Today, Schubert is admired as one of the leading exponents of the early Romantic era in music and he remains one of the most frequently performed composers.







Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
For many a game I will play there with thee;
On my beach, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
The words that the Erl King now breathes in mine ear?"
"Be calm, dearest child, thy fancy deceives;
the wind is sighing through withering leaves."

"Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care
My daughters by night on the dance floor you lead,
They'll cradle and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
How the Erl King is showing his daughters to me?"
"My darling, my darling, I see it alright,
'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."

"I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
And if thou aren't willing, then force I'll employ."
"My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
For sorely the Erl King has hurt me at last."

The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
He holds in his arms the shuddering child;
He reaches his farmstead with toil and dread,—
The child in his arms lies motionless, dead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chapter 18 - In 2 Acts: The Classical Period

Act I - Sonata Allegro Form




Musical form is nothing new. Many modern composers, like Eric Whitacre, tend to write pieces that don't follow a set form, but that's because modern composers are pretty weird that way.

You're all already familiar with the concept.  Popular music has verses, bridges, choruses, an introduction, etc. You all instinctively know when the chorus is coming up in a song, just because you're all so familiar with pop music form. Poetry, too, has form:

My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light!

~Edna St. Vincent Milay

If you look at the poem, you'd say its rhyme scheme was ABAB, since "ends" rhymes with "friends" (lines 1 and 3, respectively) and "night" rhymes with "light" (lines 2 and 4, respectively). Likewise, when I use A and B when talking about musical form, it's the same idea.

The first form I'd like to show you is alternatively called Sonata Allegro form, Sonata form, or First Movement form, because it's the form most commonly used for the first movement of symphonies. Here's basically what Sonata Allegro form looks like:

Introduction - A - B - C - A - B - C - !!!OMG!!! - A - B - C


Don't worry, that will makes sense in just a little bit; I've got a recording here to show you what I mean.

Here's the first movement from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It's the freaky butterfly one from Fantasia 2000, although I guarantee you'll all recognize it from the first four notes:

A-B-C, A-B-C, !!!OMG!!!, A-B-C


0:06 - 0:13 -- Told you you knew this piece! This is the introduction.

Exposition0:13 - 0:28 -- This is A, the first theme, and the start of what's called the Exposition. Like you're being "exposed" to the themes.

0:28 - 0:49 -- This is, essentially, the " - " between A and B.

0:49 - 0:59 -- Here's B. B is usually very peaceful, quiet, delicate, and happy sounding.

0:59 - 1:12 -- And here's the " - " between B and C! Isn't it cool how B just blended right into " - "?

1:12 - 1:20 -- Here's C! Usually, C is the end of the Exposition (the Exposition is "A - B - C"), but Beethoven decides, for good measure, to do just a little bit more before he finishes the exposition:

1:20 - 1:28 -- Beethoven decides to wrap up the Exposition by tossing in some stuff that sounds similar to A. Now we're officially done with the Exposition! Know what that means?

It means we're going to do it all over again!

Exposition1:29 - 1:36 -- Sounds exactly like the Introduction at 0:06, doesn't it?

1:37 - 1:53 -- Here's A!

1:53 - 2:14 -- Here's the bridge to B! Sounds familiar now, hmm?

2:14 - 2:24 -- And here's B! Right up until the flute finishes his nice little solo.

2:24 - 2:37 -- Bridge to C.

2:37 - 2:46 -- Here's C!

2:46 - 2:53 -- And here's that cute little ending Beethoven added in, which means we've finished the Exposition for a second time!

Now comes the !!!OMG!!! part. This is what's called the Development. In the Development, the composer takes fragments and pieces out of the Exposition and just plays around with them. It also has a tendency to be very dark, and to feel like you're lost in the woods or something. It can also be kinda intense, edgy, or dissonant. The Development is (to give the textbook answer) "characterized by tonal instability and fragmentation".

It'll be like you're lost in the woods, hearing little bits and pieces of the Exposition being thrown at you.

Development2:55 - 2:59 -- See? It sounds like the Introduction... but kinda... different...

3:00 - 3:08 -- ... sounds just like A. I thought you said the Development would be different?

3:08 - 3:31 -- Right at 3:08 you should be like,  What's going on? Where are we going? Am I gonna hear B? WHERE AM I?! WHAT'S HAPPENING?!

3:31 -- Is it... B...? It sort of is...

4:04 -- That's... kinda like the beginning of B and the Introduction... What's happening?

Recapitulation4:17 - 4:25 -- OMG! It's the Introduction again! It's so huge and triumphant, like we've just left the forest and found civilization again!

This is what's called the Recapitulation. Basically, it's the Exposition one last time... but with a few differences.

4:25 - 4:36 -- Here's A again, just like before!

4:36 - 4:50 -- Wait... oboe solo? That wasn't in the Exposition, was it? The biggest difference between the Exposition and the Recapitulation is that the " - "s are going to be very different.

4:50 - 5:11 -- Well, here's the old " - " between A and B.

5:11 - 5:23 -- Whee! It's B, and it's virtually unchanged, except now the violins are playing it instead of the clarinet and flute.

5:23 - 5:37 -- And here's the " - " between B and C, just like we remember it!

5:37 - 5:46 -- It's C!

5:46 - 5:54-- And here's the little ending that Beethoven put at the end of the Exposition. Piece is over, time to clap and go home!

5:54 -- ... wait... he's still going? Wasn't it supposed to end right there...?

"Screw you," Beethoven is saying, musically, "I'm not done yet!"

Now, if you're interested in knowing what my absolute favorite part of this entire piece is, it's right here, from 6:09 - 6:33, specifically.

So there you go. Exposition - Exposition - Development - Recapitulation. Or, more simply, ABC - ABC - OMG - ABC.

Act II - The Concerto



Mitsuko Uchida plays piano and Jeffrey Tate conducts the Mozarteum Orchestra in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 "Jeunehomme", in E flat major, K. 271.
A Saltzburg Festival performance, recorded in the Mozarteum, Saltzburg, 1989.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed this concerto in Salzburg, 1777. Though only 21 years old, he displayed great maturity and originality in what is regarded by many as his first great masterpiece.

It was composed for a Mlle. Jeunehomme, of whom very little is known (such as--her first name!). But she must have been a very fine pianist to be able to perform this! The mix of dramatic and intense emotions, some seemingly mad and anguished with parts of joy and happiness suggest (one romantically feels) that Mlle. Jeunehomme must have been quite a handful for the young Mozart.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

*** Test Friday 4/8/2011 ***

You will have a test *** Friday 4/8/2011 *** on the information from the Medieval Period - Baroque Period.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Summer) - Baroque Instruments -



Enjoy the Storm that the music portrays in Vivaldi's "Summer". Click here to learn a bit more about Vivaldi.

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Baroque Instruments -



I find the Theorbo to be the most interesting of the three guitar like instruments-


Harpsichord in all its Glory!




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A cousin to the Harpsichord - The Clavichord! Enjoy...






What is the essence of baroque music? Baroque music expresses order, the fundamental order of the universe. Yet it is always lively and tuneful. Music reflects the mood of the times, then as now as always.

Click here to experience www.baroquemusic.org - a great resource of Baroque composers, compositions, and history!

Use the web-site listed above to research a Baroque era composer NOT J.S. Bach or A. Vivaldi.  Once you find one you like - Embed a video of a performance/recording of one of their works onto your blog. 

Write a brief Bio of your composer.  (Please do NOT copy and Paste - that would be plagiarism~) 
Did you enjoy the piece of music you embedded?  Why?  Is there anything special worth noting about your composer?


Due: Wednesday 4/6/2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fugue - A rich polyphonic composition consisting of a series of successive melody imitations.





These are two great examples of Fugues by J.S. Bach. Notice on the second video the lined interpretation of the musical performance!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is it Baroque - or Broke?



Watch this (exciting) video that details the characteristics of word-painting in the Italian madrigal -



Listen to the first third of Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo. Click here to read more about Orfeo, the ancient Greek tragedy about Orpheus's decent into Hell!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Unit 2 - The Beginnings of Western Music!





- Listen to Hildegard von Bingen: O Pastor Pnimarum (plainchant) and then to Michael Praetorius: Two Dance Clusters from Terpsichore. Write 3-4 paragraphs comparing and contrasting these two early works in Western Music. Who was Hildegard von Bingen and who was Michael Praetorius? When did they live and what was the purpose of the music that they wrote?
Due: Fridat March 25, 2011! (First Grade of 4th Quarter)

How to love Classical Music-




Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it -- and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Different Way to listen?



Ms. Glennie's Web-Site
Embed this video to your blog and write 2-3 paragraphs of your reaction to her talk on listening. Be sure to keep in mind that Ms. Glennie has been fully deaf since she was 12 years old.



Due: March 22, 2011!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Percussion - N'Stuff

Click on the link below to find more detailed information regarding all of the different (Non-pitched) Percussion available -

Drums


Here is a short video that gives a brief description of some of the standard percussion instruments. 




The University of Missouri - St. Louis, Percussion Ensemble