Week 9 – October 27, 2010

| October 31, 2010

Summary:
We began by finishing up the assignments from the previous few weeks.

Yoonjean – Violin
Change of tempos gave it a more Romantic feel the second time. The trill was very effective as well as her use of many bows to create a flowing sound.

Joe – Casio PT-20
The change in timbre changed the mood from thoughtful to something with an entirely different character (some preferred the organ). An earlier climax of the melody than most people had; a more independent melody?

Stephanie G – Flute
Nice melodic lines that were almost unexpected. The melody was going somewhere right from the get go with interesting note choices. Could even be a beautiful piece without the accompaniment.

We then listened to two interpretations of the Prelude from the 1st Bach Cello Suite (mostly the same harmonic progression as the Prelude we have been working with so far, in G). We discussed them in class, once after a first listening and then again after a second listening. The discussion focused on the players’ treatments of musical characteristics like dynamics, emphasis on notes, accents, articulation, etc. as well as discussing which one we found to be more stylistically appropriate for baroque.

Many people found the way we prepared for this project (going over the harmonies then reviewing the non-chord tones) to be helpful. Some found the example phrases to be stuck in their heads and it was, at first, hard to compose something else. Presenting the setting to Ave Maria was also beneficial but some singers had difficulties getting away from this.

We then began to discuss ground bass, defined as a repeated pattern in the bass that gives the piece some sort of unity. Here are some examples brought up in class–
Day Tripper – Beatles
If I ever Feel Better – Phoenix
The Bells – William Byrd
Prelude in G minor – Buxtehude
Passacaglia in C minor by Bach
Butterfly – Crazy Town
The Planets (Mars) – Holst
Confutatis, Requiem in D minor – Mozart
Take Five – Dave Brubeck
Footprints – Wayne Shorter
Arab Dance, Nutcracker – Tchaikovsky

Assignment:

Keep listening to examples and think about how you could compose a ground bass and what you would put above that.
Post examples (YouTube links preferred!) as a comment to this post!
Read this PDF handout (download link) — sorry this was so late in getting posted!