Basic Musical Concepts

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4: Analysis Assignment 4 Analysis Assignment: Putting Things Together The principles of Unity and Variety apply to all music, regardless of composition style or historical period. Now that you are familiar with the concepts in the first section of the course (Basic Musical Concepts), and you have seen how they work on different pieces of music, try your hand, mouse, and ears, at finding how they operate in a piece you haven’t heard yet in this course (although you may have elsewhere). To do this, I will ask you to look at Manha De Carnival by Sigman and Bonfa, arguably one of the most popular Brazilian pieces in the repertoire. Your analysis should include: The number of different musical ideas in the piece (can we say, for example, that there are two ideas A, and B? Or is there only one?) The timings (start and stop times) of the different sections of the piece. (Hint: listen for changes in musical ideas and timbre, e.g. points where different instruments come in or give way to others) How unity and variety are exemplified in those sections through the use of: Dynamics Timbre Pitch Whether, although there are sections that feature one instrument over others, you think this is this is a piece for solo performer or for an ensemble. A list of the characteristics of the musical style closest to the one this piece exemplifies. (Hint: look at the last lecture in the first section of the course) Whether you think this piece serves, or could serve a specific purpose. Whether or not it has any specific connotation/s for you. On the Submit Web Query Assignment page, type your answer into the empty box. When you are ready, click Submit to send your answer to your instructor. Have fun! Unity and Variety 1 The Concepts of Unity and Variety Let’s begin by listening to two fundamental concepts that make a piece of music work the concepts of unity and variety. Most people like hearing sounds that they find pleasing, memorable, and familiar. Within a given composition, the feeling of familiarity fostered, among other things, by reiterations of a music idea lends a sense of unity to the music. Whereas unity satisfies the human need for sameness and familiarity, variety sustains our interest and appeals to our need for, and enjoyment of the new, different, and unexpected. To illustrate the relevance of these concepts, listen to how they are used in a piece of music by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) a very famous musician that lived between the 17th and 18th centuries, and whose music remains popular to this day. See Here the Conquering Hero Comes?from Judas Maccabaeus George Frideric Handel?Born: 1685?Died: 1759?Period: Baroque (1600-1750) ?Country: Germany/England George Frideric Handel Meet George Frideric Handel See Here the Conquring Hero Comes is one of Handel’s most popular pieces. Three minutes and 3 seconds (3:03) long, it is a movement within a longer composition entitled Judas Maccabaeus written for an ensemble (group) of musicians. If you think of Judas Maccabaeus as a book, then See Here the Conquering Hero Comes acts as a chapter in that book. A movement can be enjoyed by itself; however, like a chapter in a book, it also fits into the structure of a larger composition. While you listen to this piece, ask yourself questions like: What do you hear in this selection? In what way does this piece demonstrate unity and variety? Does listening to this music have any emotional or physical effect on you? Musical Ideas Now that you have listened to the entire piece, look at the structure of the work broken down into smaller sections. In this movement, there are two main musical ideas. Similar to an idea expressed through written or spoken language, a musical idea is a phrase or segment of a musical phrase that has complete meaning by coming to a natural resting point. In music, this resting point is called a cadential point, or cadence. In Handel’s piece, we can label these two melodies or tunes as Idea A and Idea B. Idea A Idea B Handel was a great composer, so he knew that these two melodies by themselves wouldn’t make up for a very appealing piece of music. He had to introduce variety. That is, he had to manipulate these basic ideas by presenting them in different and interesting ways. Handel accomplishes this by presenting the two ideas at various levels of volume and assigning them to different instruments. By combining them in creative and skillful ways, the composer creates a wonderful example of unity and variety in music. In technical terms, Handel uses dynamics (different levels of volume) and timbre (different sound sources) to achieve variety. In the following examples, please listen carefully for: 0. Two main ideas, A and B 0. Two levels of volume (soft and loud) 0. Different instruments (timbre) Idea A played softly by a solo horn Idea A played loudly by the whole ensemble Idea B played softly by the whole ensemble Idea B played loudly by the whole ensemble Unity and Variety 1 The Concepts of Unity and Variety Let’s begin by listening to two fundamental concepts that make a piece of music work the concepts of unity and variety. Most people like hearing sounds that they find pleasing, memorable, and familiar. Within a given composition, the feeling of familiarity fostered, among other things, by reiterations of a music idea lends a sense of unity to the music. Whereas unity satisfies the human need for sameness and familiarity, variety sustains our interest and appeals to our need for, and enjoyment of the new, different, and unexpected. To illustrate the relevance of these concepts, listen to how they are used in a piece of music by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) a very famous musician that lived between the 17th and 18th centuries, and whose music remains popular to this day. See Here the Conquering Hero Comes?from Judas Maccabaeus George Frideric Handel?Born: 1685?Died: 1759?Period: Baroque (1600-1750) ?Country: Germany/England George Frideric Handel Meet George Frideric Handel See Here the Conquering Hero Comes is one of Handel’s most popular pieces. Three minutes and 3 seconds (3:03) long, it is a movement within a longer composition entitled Judas Maccabaeus written for an ensemble (group) of musicians. If you think of Judas Maccabaeus as a book, then See Here the Conquering Hero Comes acts as a chapter in that book. A movement can be enjoyed by itself; however, like a chapter in a book, it also fits into the structure of a larger composition. While you listen to this piece, ask yourself questions like: What do you hear in this selection? In what way does this piece demonstrate unity and variety? Does listening to this music have any emotional or physical effect on you? Musical Ideas Now that you have listened to the entire piece, look at the structure of the work broken down into smaller sections. In this movement, there are two main musical ideas. Similar to an idea expressed through written or spoken language, a musical idea is a phrase or segment of a musical phrase that has complete meaning by coming to a natural resting point. In music, this resting point is called a cadential point, or cadence. In Handel’s piece, we can label these two melodies or tunes as Idea A and Idea B. Idea A Idea B Handel was a great composer, so he knew that these two melodies by themselves wouldn’t make up for a very appealing piece of music. He had to introduce variety. That is, he had to manipulate these basic ideas by presenting them in different and interesting ways. Handel accomplishes this by presenting the two ideas at various levels of volume and assigning them to different instruments. By combining them in creative and skillful ways, the composer creates a wonderful example of unity and variety in music. In technical terms, Handel uses dynamics (different levels of volume) and timbre (different sound sources) to achieve variety. In the following examples, please listen carefully for: 0. Two main ideas, A and B 0. Two levels of volume (soft and loud) 0. Different instruments (timbre) Idea A played softly by a solo horn Idea A played loudly by the whole ensemble Idea B played softly by the whole ensemble Idea B played loudly by the whole ensemble

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