(125 pts total: 25 pts for attending or viewing a concert or musical during this 3-week semester and up to 100 pts for the report)
Choose a live concert or musical theater event to attend or a video of a complete concert or musical to view. It must contain some American music, as detailed in the Course Syllabus. The concert or viewing MUST take place during our course, so that you can observe it using knowledge you have gained from the course. After attending the event or viewing the concert or musical, submit a researched report using complete sentences and paragraphs (4 to 6 pages–or a minimum of 1200 words, 10- to 12-pt type, double-spaced) plus the bibliography, of your impressions of this concert, and attach a program, if available, to your report.
Note that the research and bibliography components are critical to receiving a passing grade for this report. Make sure to proofread your report before submission, and use a standard format such as MLA for your citations and Bibliography (see Parkland Library’s website, "Research Help" if you need information about this–a link is found on your Cobra Home Page).
The report may be written in essay style or in paragraphs directly correlating to the sets of questions given below. Complete sentences as well as correct spellings and grammar are expected. Please address the following points in your report:
1. VENUE (10 pts): Give date of the concert, location of the concert, and type of venue.
Q: Was the venue appropriate and suitable for this style of music and method of performance?
Note: If reporting on a film of a musical, identify the year, location, and director of the original stage production, and the year of the film along with its director and screenwriter.
2. PERFORMER(S) (30 pts total):
a. Name(s) of soloist(s) and/or group(s). Identify the musical director, if any.
b. Types of instruments or ensemble and/or vocal range used.
c. General style of music for which performer is known.
Research (20 pts): Provide a brief background on the musicians, the group, and/or the director. You can use as sources the program notes, CD liner notes, and online websites, as well as traditional sources. Make sure to use at least three different sources. If little information is found about the particular musician(s), you can research the background of the general style of music they are known for.
3. MUSIC PERFORMED (30 pts total):
a. Names of composer(s) represented (if available) and the compositions performed. (If more than four composers or compositions were performed, please don’t list all, but identify a selection to show the musical range of the concert.)
b. Genre of these works (e.g., musical theater, symphony, opera, string quartet, jazz, gospel, classical piano, type of rock/pop).
Research (20 pts): Give a brief definition and background or history of the composers or musical styles represented, including the dates or era during which each style of music was most prominent, the place of origin (as generally accepted), and whether the music reflects its culture and time (such as the way, for example, American Rock music is a reflection of American culture for a given time period). Again, use a minimum of three different sources to confirm what is considered "common knowledge" and what may be considered opinion or conjecture.
Q: Did you feel the choice or ordering of musical selections provided unity or created contrast in the concert? Was it an effective program?
4. MUSICAL DESCRIPTION (10 pts):
a. If you are attending a concert, try to describe one piece that was performed in a way that the reader can have a sense of what you were hearing. Try to address the various musical elements as best as possible:
· overall form or dramatic shape of the piece
· texture and timbre (what are the roles of the various instruments/voices, how are they combined or used for musical effect, and what is the dynamic range?)
· tempo and rhythmic characteristics
· the primary melodic and harmonic ideas (or more generally, you could comment on whether the use of pitch seemed
mostly dissonant or consonant, and whether the piece finally achieved a sense of closure or seemed left "open" harmonically).
b. If you are attending a musical theater event, please address the following issues. Identify specific examples from the story and music in regard to answering the following three sets of questions.
· WHAT IS THE GENERAL ROLE OF THE MUSICAL SCORE? Does the music play a role in telling the story, does it interrupt the story line, and/or does it play more of a background role? If the latter, is it setting the mood for different scenes, is it paralleling more of a play-by-play action, or is it providing some kind of secondary commentary, such as creating a sense of irony? How are these aspects of the music achieved?
· WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE LYRICS, IF ANY? Does dialogue lead smoothly into songs, suspending disbelief about the unusual situation of characters breaking into song (and dance)? Or is the show more a vaudeville or revue, not meant to tell a story, so that the musical numbers don’t need to interrelate? Or are songs used as background music, and if so, how?
· WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CHOREOGRAPHY, IF ANY? Does choreography play a role in telling the story, or is it used for entertainment value only? Is it used to identify and/or define characters, to express their emotions, and/or to move the action along? Is the choreography well integrated with the music you hear? Does it enhance or conflict with the music? How?
5. AUDIENCE AND PERSONAL RESPONSE (10 pts): Describe the audience as a whole, and the typical audience member. Use the following questions as appropriate to help you form a response. If you are viewing a video and no audience is apparent, then please extend your research to include two different reviews of the performance, with which you can argue pro and/or con.
a. Was the audience what you expected for that venue?
b. What was the audience’s reaction to the overall concert? Did it seem they were more interested in the performer(s) or the music being performed? In general, did you agree with their reaction, or did you feel at odds with the majority of the audience?
c. Was there any part of the concert during which the audience’s reaction seemed particularly strong positively or negatively? If so, please describe.
d. Was the performance convincing? Did the performer(s) "connect" with the audience in some way that seemed appropriate for the style of music? Please explain your impression.
e. Your final impressions.
6. BIBLIOGRAPHY (10 pts): A bibliography of the sources you used for research must be supplied. MLA or APA or any other standard bibliographic style is acceptable. Expect to consult a minimum of four sources, including program notes or CD liner notes. Please include at least two proven reputable sources, such as articles from the Grove Dictionary of Music Online (available through the Parkland Library website), Rolling Stone Magazine, or published books or reviewed periodicals. See "Research Help" on Parkland College Library’s website if you need instructions on how to cite sources or format a bibliography.
Please note that proper citation for use of quotes or paraphrasing of material is expected, and any form of plagiarism will cause the loss of points for the concert report portion of the report (100 pts) as well as a report to the College. A lack of a bibliography will reflect a loss of greater than 10 points if research and citation requirements have not been demonstrated.
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