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Now that you’ve learned some musical terms, had a chance to listen to many styles of music, and examined some techniques composers have used to communicate ideas, it’s time for you to describe and critique an entire concert of music. Choose one of the following videos of a full-length concert:
Bobby McFerrin & Chick Corea New Trio – North Sea Jazz Festival 2002
Carly Paoli: Music For Mercy Live at The Roman Forum (Ft. Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Elaine Paige) – YouTube
Above & Beyond Acoustic – Full Concert Film Live from Porchester Hall (Official) – YouTube
Love and Happiness: An Obama Celebration – YouTube
Celebrating America hosted by Tom Hanks Biden-Harris Inauguration 2021 – YouTube
Dvořák: The Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (Stunning Performance – Standing Ovations) – YouTube
After watching the entire concert write a 3-5 page concert critique following the criteria below. Be sure to use accurate musical terms to describe the music as much as possible.
Your concert critique should be 3-5 pages long, double-spaced. It should contain five paragraphs that describe the following aspects of the recorded concert you viewed this semester:
I. Who are the performers? Give the title of the concert and write something about the performers. Is it an orchestra? A choir? An ensemble? Solo artists? Why did you choose to view this particular performance? Tell as much as you know about the musicians that performed – are they professionals? Students? Teachers? How long have they been performing? Etc.
II. Describe the music that was performed on the concert. Use the musical characteristics that we have been learning in class. What genre is the music (opera aria? Jazz song? Standard tune? Solo instrument piece? Symphony?)
What style period was the music written in? What was the tempo, dynamics, texture, etc. Sometimes the music in a concert will be only one genre. Sometimes there will be several genres performed. Attach the program to your critique, and then refer to the titles in the program. For example: “Autumn Leaves” was performed by a small instrumental ensemble (guitar, bass, percussion). It is a standard contemporary tune. The tempo was a moderately slow ballad. It had a very mellow sound…
III. Tell how well you think the performers interpreted the music that was on the concert. Were the singers in tune? Did the piano player play musically and rhythmically? Do you think the performers communicated the music as it was meant to be communicated by the composer?
IV. Tell which pieces or part of the concert was most moving or enjoyable for you. If you didn’t enjoy the concert very much, tell why you didn’t enjoy it. What could have been better? Be as specific as you can when expressing your opinion of the performance – don’t just write generalities like “It was nice” or “it made me feel like dancing”. Tell why the music made you feel like dancing. Write about why you particularly enjoyed that part of the concert.
V. Conclude your critique by summing up the performance and telling us if you would go to hear these performers again – or would invite your friends or family to hear this performance/performers. For more information on Styles of Music check out: https://www.britannica.com/art/music
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