use any orchestral performance concert from youtube. 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). Writing Skills • Take care that your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage are correct. • This is a formal paper; colloquialisms are inappropriate. Music Conventions 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. • Style periods are often lower case. classical, baroque; but Renaissance is capitalized.
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