General Questions to Keep in Mind:
What was your general reaction to the concert? How did the performance sound to you? Was the music performed well? (e.g., Were the musicians rhythmically “together”; were they playing/singing in tune; did any instruments/voices stick out? How would you rate the musicians’ technical ability and the “energy” of their performance? Did the musicians seem well prepared for the concert?)
Which composition did you like best? Why? (e.g., what specifically did you like about the piece itself or the way it was performed?)
Which composition did you like least? Why?
Did any of the compositions trigger an emotional response from you? What were your specific feelings or thoughts in response to the music?
Is this type of concert experience new to you? How do you think that might influence your perceptions of what you heard and observed?
What makes a performance an artistic event?
Specific Questions to Consider: You may want to focus your discussion and analysis of the concert on one or more of the following questions:
Describe what you heard and observed using the following musical terms, elements, and concepts discussed in class:
Genre (e.g., symphony, concerto, string quartet, etc.)
Stylistic period (e.g., classical, baroque, etc.)
Mood (e.g., emotion conveyed by the music/performers)
Pitch To what extent does pitch vary throughout the piece? How do changes in pitch reflect changes in mood?
Rhythm (e.g., beat, accent, tempo, meter, syncopation) How were these elements of rhythm used to create “special” or interesting musical effects?
Dynamics (e.g., level of sound) Identify changes in dynamics and discuss the effect these changes create.
Tone Color (e.g., bright, brassy, warm, ringing, hollow, etc.)
Mode (e.g. major, minor)
Harmony/Melody Discuss the balance (or lack of it) between the melody and its “accompaniment.” Did you hear consonance, dissonance, or a combination of both?
Motives/Themes Identify and note where individual motives and themes are first introduced and subsequently reappear in each piece.
Texture (e.g., monophony, homophony, polyphony, etc.)
Form (e.g., sonata form, A B A, theme and variations, etc.)
Using the musical terminology and concepts covered in class, discuss the most interesting musical elements/features of the pieces that were performed.
Compare the pieces from this performance with other compositions you have studied in class, noting similarities and differences. (Note: In selecting a composition from class, you may want to look for a piece by the same composer, from the same style period, or of the same genre as the piece(s) from the performance.)
How does this concert compare to the performance(s) you attended previously?
Describe the behavior of the performers and the audience. What, if any, interaction occurred between the two? What kind of behavioral expectations do performers and audiences bring to the concert? How are these expectations satisfied or frustrated?
Outside Research: You may choose to add depth and detail to your report by briefly researching the pieces you heard at the performance. The following questions will help to guide your research. Much of this information can be found in program notes at the concert.
When was each of the pieces from the performance composed?
Why were they written?
What is each composer’s background? Include the following information:
Birth and (if applicable) death dates
Historical/stylistic period to which he/she belongs
His/her influence on contemporaries and/or later musicians