Friday, May 29, 2009

Monday's Quiz

A couple of people have asked me about the quiz on Monday. To prepare you should review the material on Sonata Form and also the first three quizzes. The questions that do not have to do with Sonata come from there.

Have a good weekend.

Style Guide for Concert Review

There are two concert reviews due -- one next week and the other the day of the final

Each concert review should be 1-2 typed pages and should include:

The name of the performer or performers
The date and venue
What kind of music was it?
What was the instrumentation?
What was the repertoire (what selections did they perform?)
How was the set organized – fast followed by ballads? New Material verses old favorites? Did this organization contribute to the success or failure?
Critical analysis – this is the part where you say what you thought, but saying “it was great” will not be enough. If it is someone you have seen before how did it compare to previous experiences? If it was a new kind of music to you, what did you think? How could the performance have been better? You should try to touch on some of the things we talked about in class.

Style Guide for Analysis Paper

For the style analysis paper I would like 2 typed pages, double spaced. I do not want bullet points.

You should evaluate one of the songs on your list. (A few of you never turned one in). Identify the name of the song, the composer or band, the name of the album and the year the song was released.

Tell me something about the following:

Rhythm (including meter and tempo)
Melody/Tonality – not all popular music has an easy to identify melody, but there will still be issues of phrasing, repetition
Form/Genre – this would include the ethnomusicological flavor. But it is not enough to say it’s Latin – why does it feel Latin?
Timbre/Instrumentation – what kinds of sound colors do you hear? If there are vocals are they pretty, harsh, syllabic and melismatic.
The hooks – what musical devices are used to grab uyou and pull into the some.
Also talk about the structure – is it strophic (a song with repeating melody and different verses).
Summary – how does it all add up to making a song you like.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Assignment for Next Wednesday

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day break.

Just to remind you -- your homework for Wednesday is to write a short answer to these three questions:

What role does music play in your life?
What did you learn about music in the 160 class this quarter that you found useful or interesting?
What would you like to have learned more about?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Schedule of Concerts at Cal State LA

A number of you have been asking about concerts to write your reviews on (remember you have to review two). If you check the bulletin boards near the music office (one flight down from our classroom) you will find several calendars of events posted. There appears to be something going on every day and all of it is free so you have lots to chose from. Any student performance, including individual student recitals. I highly recommend Paul Wilcox who is performing tomorrow afternoon at 2.

Many of those events are listed on the department web site. Click calendar.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years

Just for fun -- here's Howlin' Wolf explaining the blues and then playing "How Many More Years." How many elements of 12 bar blues form can you find?

Extra credit assignment

Those of you who would like to improve your midterm grade may take advantage of the following extra credit assignment:

Write a short essay (one paragraph) on each of the following topics:

1. In class we have been discussing several conventions composers use in creating melody. Name three of these conventions and discuss what they contribute to to successful melody.

2. What are accidentals? Name the three we have been using in class and explain how they work and why they are used.

In order to receive extra credit your assignment must:

-- be typed

-- use correct grammar and complete sentences (no bullet points)

-- demonstrate a real understanding of the concepts (hint -- if you didn't take notes, look it up).

-- be turned in on Wednesday. No late submissions will be accepted.

New homework policy

As discussed in class today, after Monday I will no longer accept late homework unless there are extenuating circumstances (my car broke down, doesn't count). If you are not going to be in class you must e mail the homework to me as a scan (please include your name and the date). Those of you who were not in class today please take note.

Speaking of homework don't forget about the assignment for Wednesday. You are to write a blues lyric using the AAB formula we learned in class today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Help telling minor from major

For those of you who are still having a little trouble distinguishing between major and minor, go back to the audio samples I posted last month for worksheet #2. This time listen for major and minor modality.

Sample 1 -- Major
Sample 2 -- Major
Sample 3 -- Minor
Sample 4 -- Minor
Sample 5 -- Minor
Sample 6 -- Major

Monday, May 4, 2009

Midterm Review

Once again here are the areas to focus on in your review

Durational values of notes and rests
Bass and Treble clef pitch names
The conventions of composition
Rhythm vs. beat
Duple and Triple Meter
Accents and where they fall
Major vs. Minor
Chromatic, diatonic and pentatonic scales -- how many notes in each
Transposition of triads

You should also be able to define the following:

Half Step
Whole Step

Consult your notes and check the internet if necessary. See you Wednesday!