Music class

Concert Report
Each student will submit a concert report. A concert report of what? What kind of concert?

Good question! — Please standby as this assignment is in flux due to Covid-19 —

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• Use 12-point font and 1″ margins. Please use proper grammar and complete sentence construction.

• Write in narrative, essay format.

• Length of reports may vary, but usually they clock in at 3-5 pages

Listening to live performances is an essential part of learning to become a critical and sophisticated listener. Here are some general guidelines to help you listen, think, and write about a concert. Please do not treat these bullets as questions or an outline. While it is best if your report includes many/most of these facets, please use your own writing style and organization and make this project your own.

Basic information to include (and ruminate upon, and elaborate, and explain):

* When/Where did the concert take place? How long did it last?
* How many pieces were performed? What were they called and how many movements were in each? Who composed each piece?
* Who were the performers (name of ensemble and/or soloists)? If there was a conductor, what was his/her name? What were the names of the principal performers?
* What types of instruments were played and/or what types of voice parts were featured?
* Was there any special purpose to the concert? If so, explain.

General Questions to Keep in Mind:

* What was your general reaction to the concert? How did the performance sound to you? Was the music performed well? (e.g., Were the musicians rhythmically “together”; were they playing/singing in tune; did any instruments/voices stick out? How would you rate the musicians’ technical ability and the “energy” of their performance? Did the musicians seem well prepared for the concert?)
* Which composition did you like best? Why? (e.g., what specifically did you like about the piece itself or the way it was performed?)
* Which composition did you like least? Why?
* Did any of the compositions trigger an emotional response from you? What were your specific feelings or thoughts in response to the music?
* Is this type of concert experience new to you? How do you think that might influence your perceptions of what you heard and observed?
* What makes a performance an artistic event?

Specific Questions to Consider: You may want to focus your discussion and analysis of the concert on one or more of the following questions:

* Describe what you heard and observed using the following musical terms, elements, and concepts discussed in class:
• Genre (e.g., symphony, concerto, string quartet, etc.)
• Stylistic period (e.g., classical, baroque, etc.)
• Mood (e.g., emotion conveyed by the music/performers)
• Pitch
To what extent does pitch vary throughout the piece?
How do changes in pitch reflect changes in mood?
• Rhythm (e.g., beat, accent, tempo, meter, syncopation)
How were these elements of rhythm used to create “special” or interesting musical effects?
• Dynamics (e.g., level of sound)
Identify changes in dynamics and discuss the effect these changes create.
• Tone Color – (e.g., bright, brassy, warm, ringing, hollow, etc.)
• Mode (e.g. major, minor)
• Harmony/Melody
Discuss the balance (or lack of it) between the melody and its “accompaniment.” Did you hear consonance, dissonance, or a combination of both?
• Motives/Themes
Identify and note where individual motives and themes are first introduced and subsequently reappear in each piece.
• Texture (e.g., monophony, homophony, polyphony, etc.)
• Form (e.g., sonata form, A B A, theme and variations, etc.)
Using the musical terminology and concepts covered in class, discuss the most interesting musical elements/features of the pieces that were performed.

Comparison and observation

* Compare the pieces from this performance with other compositions you have studied in class, noting similarities and differences. (Note: In selecting a composition from class, you may want to look for a piece by the same composer, from the same style period, or of the same genre as the piece(s) from the performance.)
* How does this concert compare to the performance(s) you attended previously?
* Describe the behavior of the performers and the audience. What, if any, interaction occurred between the two? What kind of behavioral expectations do performers and audiences bring to the concert? How are these expectations satisfied or frustrated?

Outside Research: You may choose to add depth and detail to your report by briefly researching the pieces you heard at the performance. The following questions will help to guide your research:

* When was each of the pieces from the performance composed?
* Why were they written?
* What is each composer’s background? Include the following information:
– Major works
– Birth and (if applicable) death dates
– Historical/stylistic period to which he/she belongs
– His/her influence on contemporaries and/or later musicians

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