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In the first written assignment for this course, we will culminate our exploration of classical music in the 20th century through analyzing a highly influential composition that aimed to tell a story and create a variety of moods through the use of different elements of music. As we continue in the midst of the winter season, many of us (including myself) start to look forward to the impending warmer temperatures and increased daylight that accompanies spring. After all, we ARE in the spring semester?! Throughout time and with many different cultures, many people have also welcomed this change in climate and perception. However, different composers chose to interpret the season of spring in their own unique ways musically. This assignment gives you a choice of 2 compositions that were written in the first half of the 20th century:
The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky OR
Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland
You may want to make your choice based on listening to brief sections of each composition to determine which fits your musical preference and personality, or some exploratory research to find out which historical facts connected to the music pique your interest. Whatever you decide, your assignment should focus on two main goals:
1. Please provide a historical background for the performance. This should certainly include details of a specific storyline that the composer is communicating through his music. Both works of music were written as an accompaniment for ballet, so the connections between music and dance can be discussed in this section as well. Also, facts about the creative process of the composer as well as public reception and reaction to the performance will help to design an effective examination of the cultural elements that are intertwined with the creation of your chosen piece.
2. Please identify specific and unique music elements that are present in your composition. This includes a discussion of Melody, Rhythm, Harmony, Color, Form, Dynamics (volume), and Tempo (speed). These elements help to tell the storyline, but also reveal the true musical talent of the composer. It is necessary to use terminology learned in the “Elements of Music Primer” required reading from Week 2 of our course. You may also use any other terminology that you have come across in your research and are able to define as well as identify. You do not need to address all of the music elements. As a beginning active listener it is acceptable to focus on 2-3 of these component parts of music. Use the performance links provided below to locate using time tags where these signature events occur. A minimum of 4 identifying time tags are required as a part of your discussion. Discuss how you feel these musical effects help to support the story and elicit specific desired mood from the listening audience.
A minimum of 3 secondary sources are required to help inform and design your discussion. Electronic Sources are welcome, as long as they are listed and cited with correct format.
Correct APA style must be used to cite your sources. This includes in-text citation using parenthesis when you draw information from your secondary source in your discussion, as well as correct format for listing your sources at the end of your paper.
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