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Harvard University Concert Report of Mahler Symphony No 5 Narrative Essay

Harvard University Concert Report of Mahler Symphony No 5 Narrative Essay

Question Description

The report needs to be 2 pages, single spaced. Do the report on ONE concert from those that I have chosen (but feel free to listen to as many as you like!). I have eight Youtube link options below- simply open the link or copy the link and open it in your browser.

Listen with your full attention and use headphones or quality speakers so you can experience the music at full volume. Don’t fast forward. The clips I have chosen are between about 40 minutes to a bit over an hour- they are all still shorter than the process of attending a live concert. List the ensemble name, the pieces, and composers (if applicable). You don’t need to to list every instrument in the orchestra as that’s already assumed from the name orchestra. But do point out moments in certain instruments that are impactful. I don’t need a play by play of the entire piece- just general observations. And please discuss the most important aspects of music- melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, dynamics, tempo, etc…using the vocabulary from class. Include a closing paragraph.

If you choose to do one of the Beethoven examples you could start right away. You might wait until later for the others as those musical periods have not been covered. You may also submit one additional concert report for class extra credit of between 2-3% of your course grade as stated on the syllabus.

Choose one option from this list below.

1)Beethoven Symphony No. 5 – probably the most famous work of classical music, for good reason

2)Beethoven Symphony No. 9 – Huge in scope employing a choir, vocal soloists and expanded orchestra, the ninth symphony features the famous ‘Ode to Joy’ in the Finale. As the piece is so long, you only need to watch the 1st movement (start-19:45) and 4th movement (52:13-end)


3) Mahler Symphony No. 5 -Late Romantic work for orchestra – Dramatic and epic. Like Beethoven 5, it starts in despair and moves to triumph. This symphony is in 5 movements. Due to the length, please skip the 3rd movement. Watch movements 1-2 (start-28:36) and movements 4-5 (46:19-end)


4) Stravinsky Rite of Spring- from the start of the 20th century- the most important and influential piece of classical music of the 20th century. Dissonant with chromatic and bi-tonal harmonies, brutal orchestration. Music for a ballet that tells the story of a prehistoric rite of human sacrifice. If you like art that is original and challenging you need to know about this work.


5) Christian Scott – contemporary jazz combo:


6) Traditional Cuban music: Buena Vista Social Club:


7) Traditional West African Music:


8) Radiohead- highly acclaimed alternative rock group recording session video.


For your reference if you would like further guidance on your report.

“What to Write: The Content of a Report? You should begin your report with a brief description of the concert attended, including the name and type of the performing group or soloists, the place, the date and time, and the music you heard. Please list the specific pieces and composers as well as the type of ensemble/instruments that are featured. Then, you may want to describe your general reaction to the concert. Did you enjoy it? Did this event make you feel like going to other concerts in the near future. Following this introduction, the paper might focus on the pieces you enjoyed most and your reaction to the performances.

In discussing individual compositions, you will probably want to cover some of the following points: Musical styles- How did the composition correspond to what you have learned about the stylistic period in which it was composed–baroque, classical, etc.? Your appreciation of a work is often enhanced when you recognize its musical style. Emotions, images, and ideas. Did the composition evoke in you specific feelings or thoughts? For an opera, you should describe how the music depicted mood, character, and dramatic action. Memorable features- What features of the piece were most memorable–for example, did you tend to remember slower, lyrical sections; or triumphant parts; or fast, exciting parts? Were there any striking melodies and rhythms? Were there any unusual vocal, instrumental, or electronic effects? Musical themes. Were there several contrasting sections or themes within a movement? Did you recognize variations of particular themes or reappearances of musical ideas in different sections or movements? Comparisons with other works. It is often illuminating to compare a work with other works on the program, or with other works you have studied, noting similarities and differences.” From McGraw-Hill Concertgoing: A handbook for Students.


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