Musical Critique

Writing Assignment #2 (Critical Listening)
Instructions for Writing Assignment #2

Your assignment is to write a paper about three pieces of music that you will listen to. Please consider this assignment as practice for writing your final concert review.

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Steps in This Assignment

To remind you about the materials of music that composers manipulate to create their art, you are advised to take the practice quizzes for chapters 1-11.
Before beginning this assignment, review Chapter 13 of your textbook, especially pages 58-59.
Read College-Level Writing Tips (When Writing About Music) to make sure you avoid problems that many students have when writing about music.
Read the document How to Write an Exceptional Concert Review in this module.
Create a separate Microsoft Word document that addresses all three musical selections. Each selection should be described in a single page of approximately 250 words (12-point font, double-spaced). Therefore, your completed assignment should be approximately 3-4 pages long.
Your concert review will be graded using the rubric attached to this assignment.
Each description is worth 33 points (you’ll get an extra point to equal 100). You will be assessed using the following point values:
Did you address and analyze the melody of each example?: 5 points
Did you address and analyze the harmony of each example?: 5 points
Did you address and analyze the texture of each example?: 5 points
Did you address and analyze the rhythm of each example?: 5 points
Is your grammar and spelling correct?: 6 points
Are your subjective statements backed up by correct objective analyses and observations?: 7 points
Below are links to three musical selections. For each of the selections, do the following:

Listen all the way through without taking any notes (what Aaron Copland describes as the “sensuous” level of music listening).
Listen a second time and consider the emotional power the piece has. Jot down some notes about what you think the composer is communicating. This is your subjective reaction (what Aaron Copland describes as the “expressive” level of music listening).
Listen to the selection a third time and refine your notes to include a description of musical elements that you believe the composer in manipulating to achieve emotional impact. This is your objective reaction (what Aaron Copland describes as the “musical” level of music listening).
Write a one-page, well-crafted, polished critique of the musical selection. Be sure you address everything listed for you in How to Write an Exceptional Concert Report. This is the same exercise you’ll be doing when you attend your live concert toward the end of the semester.
Example #1″Agnus Dei,” from Mass for 5 Voices by William Byrd (1538-1623)

Example #2Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, first movement, by J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
(listen to the first movement only, up to 5’39”)

Example #3Symphony No. 45, “Farewell,” IV, by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

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