TedEd video Music and Creativity

  1. If you haven’t already, watch the TedEd video Music and Creativity in Ancient Greece (opens in a new window), then consider how much the music you listen to aligns with your ethos (i.e., personal guiding beliefs/ethics). Use one specific song/example and in 3-5 sentences, discuss to what extent that song guides your personal beliefs.
  2. Choose whether you enjoyed the texture of the Medieval sacred (e.g., Gregorian chant, organum, or the Medieval Mass) or secular (e.g., troubadour song) examples more. In 3-5 sentences answer the following questions using your preferred genre and composition:
    • Identify the specific genre and composition you most enjoyed.
    • Identify the kind of texture (thick/thin) that predominates the piece. Reference instrumentation.
    • Identify the type of texture (mono-, homo-, or polyphonic) that predominates the piece. Reference instrumentation.
    • Describe if the above elements of texture remain consistent, or if they change over the course of the piece. Identify where and how they change, referencing instrumentation.
  3. Listen to portions of the two Renaissance Masses: Missa l’homme armé by Josquin des Prez and Missa Papae Marcelli by Giovanni Perluigi Parlestrina (links in PowerPoint) and decide which one is more appealing to you because of the vocal timbres. For your preferred piece, discuss the following in 3-5 sentences:
    • Identify the title and composer of your preferred piece.
    • After consulting Timbre PowerPoint, provide 2-3 appropriate adjectives that describe the voices (remember timbre is instrument-specific, not composition-specific).
    • Discuss whether the timbre(s) of the voices change over the course of the work, and identify where and how they do so.
  4. Between the national styles (e.g., Spanish, French, Italian, English), identify the one you most enjoyed because of its rhythms. For that specific work, comment on its syncopation in 3-5 sentences as indicated below:
    • Identify the specific nationality composition that most appealed to you.
    • Identify the amount of syncopation you notice, and in which instruments its presented.
    • Describe whether the syncopation is consistently present, or if it only appears at specific moments (reference instrumentation).
    • What effect does this syncopation have on your enjoyment of the piece?
  5. Rank the four genres (Medieval sacred, Medieval secular, Renaissance sacred, Renaissance secular) in order of your listening preference.
    Then defend your subjective opinion of this music in 5-7 sentences addressing the following points:
    • Identify your most and least preferred genres with specific representative compositions/composers.
    • Connect that opinion to one of the major materials of music we’ve studied (e.g., rhythm, timbre, texture, melody, harmony, tempo, dynamics).
    • Provide a specific moment in each composition that exemplifies the material of music you’ve referenced as well as your opinion about it.
  6. Listen to Palestrina’s “Sicut cervus” and Caccini’s “Amarilli mia bella” (links in PowerPoint) and decide which one you prefer in terms of texture. Then respond to the following prompts in 3-5 sentences:
    • Identify your preferred composition/composer.
    • Identify which type of texture (mono-, homo-, or polyphonic) predominates your preferred work, linked to instrumentation.
    • Identify whether you think the texture is overall thick or thin, referencing instrumentation.
    • Describe where/how the texture changes in the work with one specific example (reference instrumentation).
  7. Watch Broschi’s opera aria “Ombra fedele anch’io” from Isaspe with the countertenor Farinelli and Handel’s oratorio “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah (links in PowerPoint). Respond to the following prompts about melody as dictated below in 3-5 sentences:
    • Identify which work/composer you preferred based on the nature of the main melody.
    • Appropriately describe the contour of the main melody of your preferred composition (you may want to revisit the Melody PowerPoint for instructions on how to best describe melodic contour).
    • Describe if the contour of the melody remains consistent, or if it changes. If it does change, identify where/how it does so, referencing instrumentation (who has the melody?).
  8. Listen to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and hisCello Suite No. 1 and respond to the prompts below concerning timbre in 3-5 sentences:
    • Identify which composition you preferred by title.
    • Provide 2-3 appropriately descriptive adjectives for your preferred instrument’s timbre (remember timbre is instrument-specific, not composition-specific).
    • Describe if these timbres change (provide new adjectives) over the course of the work based on changes in pitch and/or volume.
  9. Listen to the first movement (Allegro) from Vivaldi’s “Spring” Concerto and respond to the following prompts about its harmony in 3-5 sentences:
    • Identify one moment in the piece where there are major chords being played. Connect this to the mood of that part of the piece and the text/imagery that’s being represented.
    • Identify a second moment in the piece where there are minor chords being played. Connect this to the mood of that part of the piece and the text/imagery that’s being represented.
    • Identity a third moment in the piece where you notice dissonance between the instruments. Referencing instrumentation, how can you tell it’s dissonant?
  10. Rank these four periods (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical) in order of your listening preference. Which types of music (e.g., sacred vocal, secular vocal, instrumental) from your most preferred period appealed to you the most? Why so? Reference a specific composition, use at least one major material of music (melody, harmony, texture, etc.) and discuss in 5-7 sentences.
  11. Google the plots to Mozart’s three famous Italian operas (Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte) and decide which opera you’d most like to see live based on its plot. Then respond to the prompts below:
    • Provide a four-sentence summary of your preferred opera. It should highlight the major character(s) and plot points (introduction, rising action, climax, resolution/ending).DO NOT copy/paste from the Internet – this should be your own summary.
    • Listen to the aria linked in the PowerPoint of your preferred opera and in 3 sentences discuss the following:
    o Naming the aria by title, identify an initial tempo.
    o Describe if the tempo remains consistent or changes – if it changes, identify where/how it changes.
    o How does this tempo relate to the mood/lyrics of the piece?