To complete this assignment, you must choose a listening selection from Section 1: Basic Musical Concepts (any of the classes from “Unity and Variety” up to and including “Folk Music, Art Music, and All That Jazz”) and write a two-paragraph summary.
Your summary must include the following to receive full credit:
• The name and composer of the selection.
• The location of the selection.
(e.g. Introductory Concepts: The Structure of Music)
• A short analysis of the piece from the point of view of a Referential Listener.
(Read the description of the Referential Listener, and use the attributes listed to analyze the selection.)
• Finally, indicate what musical “concept” is illustrated by the selection (e.g. musical idea, ensemble, solo performer, variation, etc.), and state intelligently whether you think the selection was effective in communicating this concept.
Types of Listeners
People appreciate music for a wide variety of reasons. A given listener may enjoy a piece of music because of its depth of artistry, because it sounds nice, or because it triggers a particular memory. Over time, certain types of listeners have been identified and labeled to illustrate key differences in listening styles. Four of the most common classifications include the following:
• Casual Listener
• Referential Listener
• Critical Listener
• Perceptive Listener
This list is not mutually exclusive; a person may be more than one type of listener at any given time. These categories are only useful to help illustrate how people approach music.
It is important to keep in mind that listening to music as an isolated activity is a relatively recent phenomenon. The ability to record music has made it possible for people to listen to and enjoy music at their own convenience. The gramophone was invented in 1897, the electric phonograph in 1925, the personal stereo tape player in 1979, and digital players in 1998! One hundred years ago, people could not have imagined the amount of recorded material available today.
In his book The Musical Experience of Performer, Composer, Listener (1972), Roger Sessions states that, until fairly recently, composers probably did not intend for their works to be heard in a concert or performance setting, but rather to be played or sung as part of a social or religious occasion in which the center of attention was something other than the music itself.
Historically, with some notable exceptions such as the Concert spirituel in Paris and the Salomon concerts in London (1790), concerts were not open to the general public; rather, they were intended for the private enjoyment of wealthy and royal patrons. In the 19th century, when the feudal system of government in Europe collapsed, a growing number of people started purchasing access to orchestral concerts by subscription.
While music continued to be performed mainly in the royal courts or aristocratic homes, the growing merchant and middle classes began to take pleasure in musical entertainment, and they viewed concert attendance as a form of social advancement. Nowadays, evolving broadcasting, recording, and digital music technologies have made all types of music widely available to everyone.
A la nana
Air from Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Bach, Johann Sebastian
Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, BWV 147
Bach, Johann Sebastian
Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14: IV. Marche Au Supplice (March To The Scaffold)
The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in F minor, Op. 8, No. 4, Rv 297, L’inverno (Winter): I. Allegro Non Molto
Lohengrin: Act III: Prelude