Reviewing the Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Essay Assignment: Reviewing the Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Your task:

Imagine you are a music critic covering the 1824 premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Your task is to write a review of the piece that will judge its overall success. As a critic, you have a specialized knowledge of music (think of the vocabulary you learned in unit one), but your readers will expect things explained in clear, easily comprehended language. Your focus should be on the music, though you may include some details about the quality of the performance itself if you feel they are particularly relevant.

Some things to think about:

Good music critics will identify what they believe to be the composer’s goal and then render a verdict on the composer s success. In doing so, they will naturally discuss the musical work within its context, namely the norms and conventions of contemporary musical life.

As an imaginary music critic of the early nineteenth century, you have an intimate knowledge of these norms and conventions (which you’ve, at least in reality, absorbed both through Kelly’s chapter and the accompanying source documents). Thus your review should judge the work as described above, but your arguments must be supported by good reasoning and evidence (i.e. data). For example:

I didn’t care for the third movement of the sonata. There was just something off.

Audiences, expecting a third movement in typical ternary form, instead heard constantly developing themes that did not correspond to any recognizable structure. Although the composer made an admirable attempt at working outside expectations with a through-composed structure, the density of themes rendered the movement difficult to follow on one listening.

Notice how the first example gives an opinion with no support, and would be useless to a reader. The second example demonstrates an awareness of conventions (here expressed as audience expectation), identifies departures from those conventions, and then gives an overall evaluation that accords with and is supported by the analysis. These examples should also make it clear that the success of your review depends on both your musical evaluations and clear, organized, and well-reasoned prose.

Some more things to think about:

A review can address many things from the quality of performance to the musical work itself. In fact, much nineteenth-century criticism focused specifically on musical works as new contributions that should be evaluated apart from their realization in performance. And the premiere of a work was often then opportunity to evaluate its success or failure as a piece of music. (Think of it as something more like a book review rather than a review of a theater performance.)

When you write your own review, you have a similar range of possibilities. Your review is short, so I’m not expecting you to address everything—performance quality, musical work, etc.—but please don’t feel you need to limit yourself to discussing execution of the work at the premiere: the work itself is fair game, too.

In past semesters, students have asked about the creative side of this assignment, specifically whether you can construct details concerning the performance at the premiere given that we don’t have a detailed record of what exactly happened that evening. The answer is yes, as long as your inventions are historically sound. That is, there’s a difference between saying “the trumpets sounded strange” (an “invented” detail) versus saying the trumpets sounded strange because of the music’s obvious difficulty (and you’d expand a bit there) or the obvious lack of rehearsal. In the latter case, I’m tying the invented observation to actual historical details we know about the premiere of the Ninth.

Finally, I’ll reiterate what I’ve already stated above: remember that much of Beethoven’s music seemed unusual or was challenging for audiences in the 1820s. That is to say that there was something unconventional or unexpected about the musical work itself. As a hypothetical nineteenth-century critic, you have a keen sense of what was conventional (and as a twenty-first-century IAH student, you’ve read a lot about musical conventions—symphonic structure, sonata form, instrumentation, etc.) and it is from that prospective that you can say X is new or Y is striking or Z doesn’t make sense. So again, you’re being creative, but your observations should always be tied back to the historical context you know about from your reading and listening.

The details:

This is a very short review. Your text should be no shorter than 800 words and no more than 1,000 (roughly 3-4 double-spaced pages, but please rely on a word count rather than length). Give your review a short but witty title. This should be in bold-face and occupy the first line of your first page, the review proper starting on line two (no cover pages, please). Use Times New Roman font, 12pt. Double-space Upload your review to the dropbox on D2L as a Word document. You may reference any material we ve covered in class this far; obviously unit four will be most important. Since you are writing as a critic, you need not cite material directly (nor should you need to quote directly from any source), but you must display a clear familiarity with Beethoven’s Symphony and its context. You should not consult any outside sources. Some things to keep in mind as you write:

Your reviews will be graded using a rubric similar to that used for the discussion forums. Thus keep in mind the qualities of an excellent job:

You offer convincing points that are grounded in a clear understanding of the course material. Your supporting evidence is appropriate and necessary (in other words, you are not including irrelevant facts/sources/information). Your writing is clear, to the point, and does not include any superfluous passages. You have devoted clear attention to editing and proofreading (you should plan to draft your review and then edit it at least three times, checking for grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and awkward passages). It is immensely helpful to have someone else read your work before you submit it.

Reviewing the Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Essay Assignment: Reviewing the Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Your task:
Imagine you are a music critic covering the 1824 premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Your task is to write a review of the piece that will judge its overall success. As a critic, you have a specialized knowledge of music (think of the vocabulary you learned in unit one), but your readers will expect things explained in clear, easily comprehended language. Your focus should be on the music, though you may include some details about the quality of the performance itself if you feel they are particularly relevant.
Some things to think about:
Good music critics will identify what they believe to be the composer’s goal and then render a verdict on the composer s success. In doing so, they will naturally discuss the musical work within its context, namely the norms and conventions of contemporary musical life.
As an imaginary music critic of the early nineteenth century, you have an intimate knowledge of these norms and conventions (which you’ve, at least in reality, absorbed both through Kelly’s chapter and the accompanying source documents). Thus your review should judge the work as described above, but your arguments must be supported by good reasoning and evidence (i.e. data). For example:
I didn’t care for the third movement of the sonata. There was just something off.
Audiences, expecting a third movement in typical ternary form, instead heard constantly developing themes that did not correspond to any recognizable structure. Although the composer made an admirable attempt at working outside expectations with a through-composed structure, the density of themes rendered the movement difficult to follow on one listening.
Notice how the first example gives an opinion with no support, and would be useless to a reader. The second example demonstrates an awareness of conventions (here expressed as audience expectation), identifies departures from those conventions, and then gives an overall evaluation that accords with and is supported by the analysis. These examples should also make it clear that the success of your review depends on both your musical evaluations and clear, organized, and well-reasoned prose.
Some more things to think about:
A review can address many things from the quality of performance to the musical work itself. In fact, much nineteenth-century criticism focused specifically on musical works as new contributions that should be evaluated apart from their realization in performance. And the premiere of a work was often then opportunity to evaluate its success or failure as a piece of music. (Think of it as something more like a book review rather than a review of a theater performance.)
When you write your own review, you have a similar range of possibilities. Your review is short, so I’m not expecting you to address everything—performance quality, musical work, etc.—but please don’t feel you need to limit yourself to discussing execution of the work at the premiere: the work itself is fair game, too.
In past semesters, students have asked about the creative side of this assignment, specifically whether you can construct details concerning the performance at the premiere given that we don’t have a detailed record of what exactly happened that evening. The answer is yes, as long as your inventions are historically sound. That is, there’s a difference between saying “the trumpets sounded strange” (an “invented” detail) versus saying the trumpets sounded strange because of the music’s obvious difficulty (and you’d expand a bit there) or the obvious lack of rehearsal. In the latter case, I’m tying the invented observation to actual historical details we know about the premiere of the Ninth.
Finally, I’ll reiterate what I’ve already stated above: remember that much of Beethoven’s music seemed unusual or was challenging for audiences in the 1820s. That is to say that there was something unconventional or unexpected about the musical work itself. As a hypothetical nineteenth-century critic, you have a keen sense of what was conventional (and as a twenty-first-century IAH student, you’ve read a lot about musical conventions—symphonic structure, sonata form, instrumentation, etc.) and it is from that prospective that you can say X is new or Y is striking or Z doesn’t make sense. So again, you’re being creative, but your observations should always be tied back to the historical context you know about from your reading and listening.
The details:
This is a very short review. Your text should be no shorter than 800 words and no more than 1,000 (roughly 3-4 double-spaced pages, but please rely on a word count rather than length). Give your review a short but witty title. This should be in bold-face and occupy the first line of your first page, the review proper starting on line two (no cover pages, please). Use Times New Roman font, 12pt. Double-space Upload your review to the dropbox on D2L as a Word document. You may reference any material we ve covered in class this far; obviously unit four will be most important. Since you are writing as a critic, you need not cite material directly (nor should you need to quote directly from any source), but you must display a clear familiarity with Beethoven’s Symphony and its context. You should not consult any outside sources. Some things to keep in mind as you write:
Your reviews will be graded using a rubric similar to that used for the discussion forums. Thus keep in mind the qualities of an excellent job:
You offer convincing points that are grounded in a clear understanding of the course material. Your supporting evidence is appropriate and necessary (in other words, you are not including irrelevant facts/sources/information). Your writing is clear, to the point, and does not include any superfluous passages. You have devoted clear attention to editing and proofreading (you should plan to draft your review and then edit it at least three times, checking for grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and awkward passages). It is immensely helpful to have someone else read your work before you submit it.

paper on music therapy

five pages on music therapy and its importance in aiding people with alzheimers and other disabilites.
I need a bibliography page, 12 point, times new roman font one ince
h margins on each sides. Cite 3-4 scholary articles using MLA style formatting as your resource for the background paper.
in this paper you should indentifles and write about each of the folliowing points:
Clealy identiflies main issues, problem, or intentions clear thesis statement
investigates points of view and assumptions
support purpose thesis with relevant, suffcient evidence and defines concepts
analyez the consequences and implications of reasoning
mention core vaules of excellence, respect, community
states the various options of decision making chooses a solution conclusion is clear
describe the music using musical terms
the work cited page is formatted according mla guidelines
last but not least write a college level paper includung good grammar and sentence structure

Assignment 2: Project Paper Due Week 4 and worth 200 points

  • Assignment 2: Project Paper

Due Week 4 and worth 200 points
The Project Paper focuses on a suggested topic related to art, architecture, history, music, or literature. The project will reflect your views and interpretation of the topic. This project is designed to help you stretch your mind and your abilities to be the creative, innovative, and critical thinker you already are!
Choose one (1) of the topics from the list of topic choices below. Read the topic carefully. Write a three  (3) page paper that responds to each of the items described in the topic.
For the topic you choose:

  1. Support your ideas with specific, illustrative examples. If there are questions or points associated with your chosen topic, be sure to answer all of the listed questions and address all of the items in that topic. If your topic asks you to do several things related to the topic, be sure to do each of the things listed.
  1. While some of the topics tend to lend themselves toward particular writing genres, you are not restricted to the specific format suggested for the individual topic. For example, you may do an “interview,” a “proposal,” a “letter,” a “short story,” a “blog,” an “essay,” an “article,” or any other written genre for almost any of the topics. The project is intended to be fun as well as informative, so feel free to be creative with the delivery of your information.
  1. Use at least three (3) good quality academic sources, with one (1) source being the class text. Note:Wikipediaand other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources. You are highly encouraged to use the Resource Center tab at the top of your Blackboard page.

Note: Your instructor may require you to submit your topic choice for approval before the end of Week 2
Topic choices (pick 1):

  • Office Art Memo. Memorandum.Your boss, who knows you have been taking a humanities class since he pays for your tuition reimbursement, has tasked you with managing the art budget for your company, expecting you to choose various pieces of art for the new corporate offices.  (Note: Replicas of the works are acceptable since they are more cost-efficient and you are working on a budget.) Include the following:
  1. Identify three (3) examples of 19th century Impressionist painting or sculpture and three (3) Post-Impressionist works. Explain how the six (6) pieces of art fall into these two (2) styles.
  1. In a memo, describe the appearance of your six (6) choices to your CEO so he or she will know what the art looks like and where it would be placed in the corporate offices.
  1. Explain why each piece is considered to be historically significant.
  1. Explain how each piece “fits” your company’s overall (or desired) corporate image. Keep in mind that a piece of art is supposed to “say” something about the owner, so describe what would these pieces of art say about your company.
  • New Composition.Speech. Your uncle’s birthday is in two (2) months, and everyone knows that he loves almost all kinds of music. As a birthday gift for him, you want to have a special piece of music composed in his honor which will be played at a family birthday celebration. Write a speech that you will make to the composer’s agent. Include the following:

10.Narrow your choices down to three (3) composers you’ve studied in this course. Choose one (1) of the composers and explain why you want him to write the “birthday present” music.
11.Explain why the other two (2) composers were ultimately not selected.
12.Specifically identify the musical elements in the composer’s style that you would like to be included in the new music written for your uncle.

Scotland Music Assignment

Please pay attention to the details of what is required in order to accumulate as many points as possible.  This is an exercise in using the information that has been provided to you in class and for me to see how much you have learned and understand about the material.  As usual, this will stretch you just a little bit and ways that hopefully will surprise you.  So now to the details:
The topics that you would have been tested on are as follows:
1.   Dancing – This would included the various dances that were presented in class – Highland Fling, The Sword Dance, The Seann Triubhas, The Sailor’s Hornpipe, Lessor known dances, National Dances, etc.  Included would be the stories and histories of the dance, the costumes, the details and “nuggets” – such as the first American to win the adult championship, the first woman to be allowed to compete – anything that you know would be included.  I trust you took notes.
2.  The Fiddle/Violin – again, information that is relevant to the topic – who were the makers?  Where did they live?  How is it made?  What material is used? What type of horse hair is used in the making of a bow (for example?), the Scottish composers, types of fiddling – West Coast, Shetland, the players, the most famous instruments, where they are today, who presented them? Whatever and anything that is in your notes is all fair game.
3.  The Harp – Its history, its construction, the types of harps, the keys they are in, their limitations, why they lost their popularity with the masses, types of scales, famous harpers, the fellow who devoted his life to saving the music (Edward Bunting), the heroes, the villians (who executed the harpers and burned the harps) – there is a lot of information that I gave you that would be covered in the exam – bring it forth.
4.  Scottish contemporary musicians.  Draw on your knowledge of the musicians – especially the ones that were presented in class.  Name some artists and talk about their contributions.
 
These are the 4 topics that are covered.  There is an abundance of information that will propel you to a terrific grade.  Don’t by any means, limit yourselves to only the details listed above – these are just some of the facts – it is up to you to bring forth the rest of them as you would have done on the exam.
Now, there is the how…
Rather than you doing something dreary, dull and uninteresting, I have devised a plan to allow you some latitude and show some creativity.  What I want you to do is to assume the role of a character in one of the topics and weave the information into your project.  For example, you could be a highland dancer who lives in a clan – make up a name – describe your costume, write about the history of the dances that you have learned, include the details – perhaps tell about a dancer in your clan who accidentally stepped on the sword prior to a battle and what happened…, somehow weave into your story about a harper that you know and what you learned about the harp from her/him along the way, ( elaborate and make up a story that suits you), perhaps you are a distant relative of Turlough Carolan or Niel Gow (famous Scottish fiddlers and composers) and put that into the details of your writing.  Zoom ahead in some way to summarizing about the modern day Scottish Musicians – it doesn’t matter how you do it – just create something – a time capsule, time travel, a time machine, it matters not – whatever you come up with suits me.  There are no “wrong” ways to do it.  There is a great Apache saying “There are many paths to the same place”.  Find the path and the way that suits you.
Points will be awarded for each fact that you include.  How you choose to present it is of course, completely up to you.
The project will be out of 100.  25 points per topic would be a reasonable goal for you.  I have given you clues in the details to get you started.  It is up to you to take it from here.
It is due on May 27th in class.  New Times Roman single spaced 10 is the requirement.  It should have a cover page along with your name and SID number along with the title: “Midterm Take Home Assignment”.  It must be stapled together.  It must be grammatically correct with no spelling errors.  ANY Wikipedia references will be cause for zero points.  ANY cutting and pasting is forbidden.  This was fairly evident after reading your Scottish Musican assignments.  The directions that I have laid out for you must be followed to the letter.  No exceptions.
I recognize the unorthodox nature of this assignment but I believe it will provide me the ability to gauge your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.  It will also allow you to cement your own knowledge and understanding because it is coming from a different part of your brain.