Home » Dan Mitchell » Music 1A: Homework #4 Notes

Music 1A: Homework #4 Notes

As I mentioned in class a few weeks ago — and as described in the syllabus — I may give full credit simply for assignment completion on up to two of the listening assignments each quarter. I have decided to do this for listening assignment #4 this quarter. If you turned in a completed assignment you received a grade of “A” on the work regardless of the quality of your answers. (If you only completed part of the assignment your grade will be lower.)

Note that I will not assign full credit just for completion on any other assignment due later this quarter — all remaining assignments will receive a letter grade reflecting the quality of the work.

Since I did not comment directly on your individual papers,some brief commentary on the questions on this assignment follows…

#1: Read this question carefully and note that this piece does not use either of the two forms that the question asks about. The questions asks you to look for possible parallels between those forms and what you observe in this piece. When considering aria versus recitative you might consider the role of the orchestra accompaniment, what does and does not repeat, the relative importance of the meaning of each word in the text versus the melodic beauty of the music, and so on.

#2: This item concerns the chorale from the Bach example. Note that in this music instruments double the very same parts that the vocalists sing, the melody was a familiar one for those who would have heard it (they could have sung the tune), the melody is the same one used in earlier movements in the cantata, short phrases are separated by brief gaps, harmony underlies the familiar melody.

#3: The book helps here, since it describes some of the word painting examples. Take a look at the text coverage of the music if you are not sure.

#4: Features indicating this is an aria include: the prominent role of the orchestra part, the repletion of sections of the melody, the fact that words are frequently repeated or sustained over many notes, etc.

#5: Handel uses all three of the primary textures in this example, switching among them frequently, often in ways the reflect the text of the song.


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