MUSI 3300 – Listening to Music Masterworks (Fall 2017)
Concert Report Guidelines
Write a Concert Report on those pieces, write as if you heard them at a concert, use a lot of musical terms to describe the music
You must submit both concert reports to get credit for this class. Therefore, failure to submit either of these concert reports will result in a drop or an F. The two concert reports are designed to demonstrate your ability to apply what we have learned in class to a new musical context. For each, you will write an essay after attending a new concert.
For concert or recital options go to the Moores School website www.uh.edu/music. Under Events & Performances clink on Calendar; it will also announce any cancelled performances. For additional concerts, refer to the Houston Chronicle Fine Arts Calendar. Make certain any concert you wish to attend is approved by Dr. Hausmann. Your $55.00 Concert Fee covers attending this concert, as well as all concerts for the semester at the Moores School of Music.
Late submission only with prior permission from the instructor. For each day the paper is late, the grade will go down one level, e.g. A becomes B+ after 2 days)
Length: each concert report must be 1,250 to 1,500 words. Put the word count at the bottom of the last page. You must make comments on all works listed on the program. Do not plan to come late or leave early. Doing so will result in a 0 for the assignment. It is recommended that you go to the Writing Center for assistance on this assignment. If you receive help at the Writing Center, be sure to get a signed statement that you were there. Submitting this statement by the due date of the assignment will raise your grade on the Concert Report by 3%-age points. This applies to both Concert Report 1 and Concert Report 2.
Keep your program so that the names of composers and pieces are spelled correctly.
Do not use bullets or outlines; double-space, with indented (not blocked) paragraphs. Use 1” margins. In general, an essay of this nature should tell the reader what you are going to tell him (or her); tell him; then tell him what you told him—introduction, body, and conclusion.
Introduction: one or two paragraphs in which you identify the concert, location, date, performers or performing groups, pieces, and other details of the performance. There must be a thesis sentence.
Body: The body of your report must include the following among your observations:
· Application of terms we have used in class. The concert reports are extensions of work done in the classroom. Review our list of general terms and listen and apply as many as you can correctly and clearly. You may need to review some definitions by looking them up in the glossary of our book.
· We are very good at recognizing loud vs. soft, and fast vs. slow. Generalizations like “There was forte and piano” will not be enough. Most works will cover a wide range of dynamics and tempos. More details about how these dynamic levels or tempi were used will be important. Refine your observations to be more insightful. What was the effect of the pianissimo passage? Did tempo reflect the action on stage? Expand your comments to additional parameters like texture, text setting, harmony, rhythm, etc. Again, “Texture was polyphonic” will not be enough; instead write something like, “One section was clearly polyphonic. I could hear a melody that moved at a fast tempo in the strings and another slower countermelody in the brass.”
· Style features. Be sure to discuss style features of each piece. A compare/contrast among pieces on the program and with works studied in class should be most effective. If you attend an opera, this will include costumes and scenery.
· Your reaction. Discuss what you liked and what you didn’t and why. Was there anything memorable or striking in terms of tempo, rhythm, instrumentation? Any instruments that stood out?
Conclusion: Sum up your experience.
If you are quoting program notes, a musical dictionary, or Wikipedia, be sure to cite your references. Do your own work. Copied or largely similar papers will both be awarded a 0 (zero).
You are required to write 3,000 words for this course. The purpose is to improve your writing skills. Keep the following in mind:
· Take care that your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage are correct.
· This is a formal paper; colloquialisms are inappropriate.
Music has its own conventions with regard to terminology, capitalization, italics, etc. Writing style systems differ, but the following are good general guidelines. Be sure you follow them.
· Don’t use “song” unless someone was singing. Instead use “composition,” “piece,” “work,” of by genre (“piano concerto,” “string quartet,” “aria,” etc.) A symphony is not a song.
· Don’t use “upbeat” to mean a work that is lively. “Upbeat” in musical terminology means something different. It is a metrical term. Think of a dance—lifting the foot is an upbeat; putting it down is a downbeat.
· It is best to use “major” or “minor” in conjunction with “mode” (not “tone,” for example). “The B section of the aria was in minor mode.”
· Titles that involve a genre, like Symphony No. 41, are capitalized without italics. (Prelude in E Minor, Piano Sonata in B-flat Major)
· Descriptive titles are italicized (or underlined—same thing). Julius Caesar, Symphonie fantastique, Rite of Spring.
· Put tempos and dynamics in plain text—lower case, not capitalized. allegro, lento, marcia viva.
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