Week 1: September 1, 2010

| September 1, 2010

Summary: In this week’s class, we discussed how we will be exploring different approaches to exploring theoretical constructs of music through implementing creativity, improvisation, composition. Some ideas about what else the class would consist of included: “the many ways in which we are musical/express ourselves through music,” “keeping in mind creativity at all times throughout the development of all musical skills,” “understanding music through different vehicles (e.g., experiential),” “diving deeper into theory and aural skills,” and “experiencing music in all ways.”

Dr. Pogonowski posed the question “What was music like before we acquired notation? What was it used for?” Here are some of the responses: “community building”, “prayer/religious services (music primarily came from the church),” to “pass time at work,” “rituals,” “patriotic reasons,” and “passing along of stories/information.”

Listening: We listened to “Ava Maria Stella” by the Paul Winter Consort. The very beginning was described as “instrumental chant,” “a single melodic line,” an “introductory statement,” and “rising and falling.” We then listened to the whole piece and came up with the following descriptions: “variations on the initial chant,” a “building up of intensity, almost like racing towards finding a resolution (or not),” “almost Stravinsky-like, with many different timbres & many conversations conveying different arguments or emotions,” “dramatic contrasts, “very rhythmically appealing,” “very referential of different styles and time periods,” “stable versus unstable/coming apart and coming together.”

To listen to this file, navigate to MyTC, then go to the class portal. Click on “Files” under “Comprehensive Musicianship” and the file is available for download under “Collaborative Files.” Please let me know if you have trouble accessing it.

Assignment:
1) Bring portable instruments to class.
2) Mind Teaser: Consider the 6th, 7th, and 9th partials of the harmonic series based on the fundamental “C.” Arrange them vertically to form a chord in root position. Identify Ecclesiastical mode that could be built on the fifth of this chord without transposing. (most important)
3) Listen to a minimum of twelve Gregorian Chants. Identify generalizations you can make about range, tessitura, voice-leading and cadences based upon your listening. Be aware of how text is set– syllabically, neumatically and melismatically.
4) Look up the Latin derivation of your name.

Discussion Question: What else did you hear in “Ave Maria Stella” besides what was already discussed in class? Any additional reflections?