Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Assignment 5: Music

1. Describe Jazz music. Where did it come from, and what makes it particularly unique to Americans?

Jazz music is a popular genre of music that is characterized by improvisation or popular melodies and a swinging rhythm.  It was originated by African American musicians in the early 1990s.  This style is particularly important to Americans because this style was created in South East America. 
2. In Peter and the Wolf, what instruments play Peter, the duck, the wolf, the bird, Grandfather and the Hunters?

In Peter and the Wolf the characters are recognizable by the different instruments that are scored to play the story. Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned to write a new musical symphony for children with the intent to cultivate musical taste in children in their first years of school. Specifically Peter is played by the strings, the duck by the oboe, the wolf by the flute, the wolf by the French horns, the grandfather by the bassoon, the car by the clarinet, and the hunters by the woodwinds along with gunshots by other instruments.   

3. Discuss Classical music. Who are some of the composers that are considered classical musicians?
Classical music is the period of music from about 1750-1810.  This style of music embodies clarity of form and logic of development.  Classical music is rooted in the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music. 

Some composers that are considered to be classical musicians are Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, among many more. 

My favorite classical composers are those that are used in the ballet.  I have grown up listening to different composers of the classical genre without even realizing it.  When you look at ballet music though it is all classical and only when we use more contemporary movement do we see more contemporary music.  However it is not unusual to see contemporary movement with classical music.  In all of the classical ballets, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, we get a wealth of these composers and the sounds of their wonderful music. 

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