Pick two musical compositions (i.e. two pieces of music) and address the following points: What are these compositions significance (historically, culturally, etc.)? What was new or innovative? How did they relate to the past? How did these compositions fit into the careers of these particular composers? For example, was a composition you are writing about like or unlike other compositions in this composer’s output? Was it the beginning of a new style? Make some simple observations about the music. This can be addressed by a simple analysis of the form by discussing various sections in the music, or by discussing a technical device such as fugue, imitative counterpoint, sonata form, etc. If you are writing about a multi-movement composition, don’t write about the entire work with the same detail, but focus one movement or a few sections. Note that this will involve listening to the pieces of music that you are writing about. If text is involved, what is the origin of this text? Who is the author? What is the historical or cultural background of this text? It is not necessary and may not even be desirable to address these points in the order listed above. The two compositions chosen should be either from two different historical periods, or if from the same historical period, from two different cultures or styles. Whereas one of the compositions should be from the literature that has been discussed in the class (music of the middle ages, baroque music, atonal music of the 20th century, etc.), you are free to choose any piece of music you would like for the second. Note that in this assignment, you are primarily writing about musical compositions. Your are writing about the history of two pieces of music rather than the history of people. Extensive biographical information about particular composers may be irrelevant to the assignment. I want to write about two musical compositions. Both are classical compositions. The pieces I want to compare and contrast is Frank Josef Haydn’s Symphony number 95 in C minor and Luciano Pavarotti’s Neesu Dorma. I need to have the overall background of the composers and how the compositions came about. The goal of these assignments is to write concise prose that clearly articulates a few informative points. You are graded on your ability to clearly make your points. Grammatical errors will detract from the clarity of your prose. Sources must be properly cited with footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography. – Points will be taken off for exact quotation without citation. – Points will be taken off for excessive quotation. Do not copy paragraphs or even entire sentences from Wikipedia or other web pages. Most music articles on Wikipedia are highly technical (written by musicians for other musicians) and by copying such prose verbatim, you will probably be using terms you do not understand. Instead, use these internet resources to determine the answer to the point that you are trying to address, and address that point and that point only. Please mention clarity and simplicity in classical music. Talk about contrast and variation by rhythm and dynamics. All papers are to be word processed with your name and page number at the top of each page
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