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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Piece of the week (w/c 22nd December)

This week one of the best carols from the green/orange book era: Adam lay ybounden:

YouTube link

It has to be that or Poston’s apple tree.

Merry Xmas

Piece of the week (December 15th 2014)

This week’s piece (an old favourite rather than something new) is the final movement Symphony No. 1 by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

Youtube Link

Mahler’s symphonies are dramatic and epic – he famously said to Sibelius in 1907 that “The symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything”. His music not only encompasses extremes of emotion but also those of style – with even popular songs of his time sometimes finding their way into the musical fabric. The turbulent last movement of his first symphony was originally entitled “Dall’inferno al Paradiso, as the sudden expression of a deeply wounded heart”. After much frenetic soul-searching it eventually triumphs in D major – a moment well worth waiting for. If you like this you should move onto his other symphonies – his second and fifth are both pretty accessible.

Xmas Homework Year 13

Applied

Update your anthologies using revision notes and notes on Moodle. I will be looking at a random sample of anthologies to check you have done this.

Instrumental

There will be a timed essay during your first lesson back after Christmas. In preparation for this essay revise the Beethoven, Schumann and Louis Armstrong works,

Xmas Homework Year 12

Instrumental/Vocal

  • Update your anthologies with notes from Moodle and from comparisons work. I will take in anthologies for inspection on MONDAY 12th for G group and TUESDAY 13th for F Group (NOTE: this is a week later than originally set). You must cover the Mozart, Poulenc, Kinks, Van Morrison, Faure and Tavener.
  • Complete a grid using the Coggles done in class on Structure and Texture in the Mozart and Poulenc (link)
  • Learn the Standard Comparison Questions on pp. 17-18 of your Course Handbook for Harmony, Melody, Structure and Texture. You should also review the answers to these on Coggles/Comparison grids. You will be tested on your ability to remember the questions AND their answers for the Poulenc and Mozart in the first week back.

Composition

Find two more pieces that you can take influences and describe in detail specific features of TEXTURE, INSTRUMENTATION or HARMONY that you can steal for your own compositions. You can present this in any way you want but it must be detailed and refer to specific bar numbers.

Piece of the week (December 8th 2014)

This week’s piece is Symphony No. 7 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.

Youtube Link

Sibelius’s seventh (1924) is his last completed symphony although he lived until 1957 and destroyed or left fragments of other works. Composition students may recognise the bit at around 5’30ish …

This is a fascinating symphony – it develops quite slowly and organically and in its single movement it rarely moves out of C major for long. Sibelius was the master of the long span – his music always sounds like it is moving purposefully forward, sometimes with excitement, sometimes sternly and sometimes with trepidation. He makes you wait for climactic moments but you feel you deserve them when they do arrive.

There is a really good Discovering Music programme about this symphony from Radio 3.

If this piece with its sombre opening textures does not immediately grab you then try the last movement of his fifth symphony first or his Tchaikovskian first symphony.

AS (G) Homework w/c 8th December

Instrumental (for Tuesday)

Comparison Essay: Compare the Poulenc and the Mozart in terms of Harmony and Melody.

Make at least 18 points, ordering them systematically according to the comparison standard questions on p.17-18 0f the Course Booklet.

Remember the workshop for this class is on THURSDAY at 1.15

Vocal (for Monday)

Write a short biography of John Tavener. Use the Telegraph obituary on Moodle and any other web research to help you.

Harmony (for Friday)

Not yet set – see last week

Remember the workshop for this class is on TUESDAY at 1.15

Composition (end of Wednesday)

COMPOSITION AND INFLUENCES TO BE SUBMITTED ON MOODLE FOR CHRISTMAS ASSESSMENT BY TUESDAY 16 DEC 4pm
You must have 2 substantial sketches representing different parts of the river’s journey, plus the start of a 3rd sketch.

* Please submit the three sketches as a SINGLE Sibelius file
* Make sure it is clear what part of the river journey each section of your piece represents
* You must also submit an updated ‘Influences used’ sheet

AS (F) Homework w/c 1st December

Instrumental (for Tuesday)

Comparison Essay: Compare the Poulenc and the Mozart in terms of Harmony and Melody.

Make at least 18 points, ordering them systematically according to the comparison standard questions on p.17-18 0f the Course Booklet.

Remember the workshop for this class is on THURSDAY at 1.15

Vocal (for Wednesday)

Write a short biography of John Tavener. Use the Telegraph obituary on Moodle and any other web research to help you.

Harmony (for Wednesday)

Finish pp. 26-27 of your harmony workbook

Remember the workshop for this class is on TUESDAY at 1.15

Composition (end of Wednesday)

Submit by the end of Wednesday your Composition, Influences Used Tracker and Structure Planner (see details of what what you need to submit)

Remember the workshop for this class is on WEDNESDAY after college.