MUSIC AND THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
Dr. Neil M. Boumpani | Dr. Justin X. Carteret
This book is dedicated to all of the students who are striving to create better lives for themselves through education.
The authors understand that education has gotten extremely expensive due, in part, to the high cost of textbooks. We understand that many students struggle to put themselves through college and, in too many cases, sometimes can’t afford the high costs of textbooks.
Affordable Learning Georgia is dedicated to helping make education affordable to all Georgia students, especially those who can least afford it.
The authors have been proud to have been a part of this effort, and hope that this text helps students to love music and understand that music is one of the most powerful and meaningful aspects of the human experience.
“The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music. They should be taught to love it instead.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why take this course?
The power of music
About the music used in this book
The goals of this music appreciation text
Accessing Materials for this Course
Chapter 1: Beethoven
Beethoven as an introduction to the music of the past
About his works and life
A theory for Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
Beethoven’s piano works
Chapter 2: The Orchestra
The Symphony Orchestra
The basic principles of musical instruments
The four families of instruments in the orchestra
Revisiting Star Wars
Chapter 3: Melody
Parts of a melody: phrases and cadences
Melodies through the ages
Chapter 4: Harmony
What is harmony?
Scales in western music
Keys in western music
Harmony: consonance and dissonance
Chapter 5: Rhythm
The Renaissance; birth of standardized rhythmic notation
Notes and rests
Chapter 6: Dynamics, Timbre, and Form
Chapter 7: Antiquity Through the Middle Ages
Antiquity; how far back can we go?
Instruments of antiquity
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
Roots of western music
Gregorian chant and the Liturgy
The beginnings of polyphony
The medieval motet
Chapter 8: The Music of the Renaissance
Characteristics of Renaissance music
Vocal music: The Madrigal and the song
Venice, center for the arts and the antiphonal
Chapter 9: The Baroque
About the Baroque
Characteristics of Baroque music
Classifications for the human voice
Vocal music in the Baroque
Into the 18th century
Chapter 10: The Classical Era
About the era
Music of the classical era
The sonata allegro form and Mozart
Theme and variations and Haydn
The minuet and trio form
The rondo form as presented in the solo concerto
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in c minor, Op. 67
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the “Black Mozart”
Chapter 11: The Romantic Era
Introduction to the Romantic Era
Music in the Romantic Era
Characteristics of the Romantic Era
The Art Song of the Romantic Era
Opera in the Romantic Era
Instrumental music of the Romantic Era
Chapter 12: Into the 20th Century Art Music of the 20th Century
Into the 20th Century
Key differences between Romantic Era and Modern music
Characteristics of 20th Century music
Specific modern genres
Chapter 13: Other Music of the 20th Century
Film music in the 20th Century
Jazz, home grown American music
Appendix 1: Appendix to Introduction
Appendix 2: Non-Orchestral Instruments
Electronic instruments, sampling and the digital audio workstation (DAW)
Appendix 3: Individual Instruments of the Orchestra
The instruments of the orchestra
Social settings and performance rules
Appendix 5: Beethoven Meets the Bride of Frankenstein
Appendix 6: Humor in Music
Dr. Neil Boumpani
“The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music. They should be taught to love it instead.”
WHY TAKE THIS COURSE?
This course is NOT about forcing anyone to love any specific musical style, it is about helping students to love music. Through the course you should learn about music, learn something about the composers, and about the history that affected music, and possibly the music that affected music.
When you think of classical music in the western tradition, do you envision old, stuffy, uptight white guys, (many with white wigs?) who look down on the rest of humanity because they are more creative than the rest of us? People often demonize what they do not understand. Around 80 years ago, a society in Germany burned the books of authors who did not fit the mold of the “master” race. At the time this book is being written, it seems as if people are once again demonizing other people who do not hold the same ideology. Why are we, as humans, so fearful of things we do not understand? Why do we expect everyone to think in the same way? Perhaps some beliefs will always need to be questioned, and maybe some need to change, but demanding change without understanding can be dangerous, as history has shown time and time again. In order to share knowledge, grow as individuals and coexist in a diverse society, we need to understand different points of view. Maybe by understanding the music other people like, we might like some of it also, and maybe even come to understand others in a new way. You might also realize how the music of today is related to the music of 100s of years ago. Through this course you may experience music you will come to like. You may also hear music that you may never like; however, even the authors of music appreciation texts do not like all of the music associated with those texts. Finally, you may come to realize that the people who composed this music are actually more like you and I or people we know. As stated above, this course is not about changing anyone’s taste in music.
Unfortunately, this course cannot cover all of the music of the world, and we can’t get into contemporary popular music, although we will try to link the past with the present. To truly understand the music of the present, an understanding of the past is extremely helpful, if not necessary. As with any subject, the understanding of the past not only helps us not repeat the mistakes of the past, but gives us a better understanding of the present. Lack of understanding of the past, as well as in the present, leads to many kinds of problems.
THE POWER OF MUSIC
What if a calamity struck the world and destroyed most of our infrastructure as well as billions of people? To survive, people would have to find food water, and shelter. Humans, however, need to do more than survive: we need to live. Every ancient civilization has left evidence of music. IS just surviving enough for human beings? Perhaps music is more than entertainment: perhaps it is an essential part of life? We can survive with food, water, and shelter; but to truly live we need music and the other
arts. Before this book introduces students to the music of the western tradition, it is important to discuss the simple idea of how powerful music is. If calamity did strike the world in the manner outlined above, once a group of people found some shelter, some water and food, how long do you think it would it be before someone started singing in an effort to lift the spirits of the group.
Music is a powerful form or human communication, and, as this short section will discuss, possibly the most powerful form of communication known to human kind. Understanding the research on music and the brain may help open your eyes, and ears, to the benefits of this course. The human brain is an exceedingly complex organ. Research into how the brain processes information has shown that the human brain has 6 major lobes. (A lobe is a section of the brain that is dedicated to its own functions within the human body.) Each lobe has specific functions that are accessed by an individual as needed. For example, problem solving is something that takes place in the Frontal Lobe, reading takes place in the Parietal Lobe, memory is housed in the Temporal Lobe, vision and color perception in the Occipital Lobe, fine muscle control in the Cerebellum, and the Brain Stem handles most of the bodily activities we don’t really need to think about, like breathing, digestion, etc. Most human activities take place in one part of the brain at a time. At times, other sections are brought into play to support whatever an activity that is taking place in another lobe. There is only one activity known to human beings that utilizes the entire brain all at the same time. That activity is making music. For example, when a person is playing an instrument, he or she is utilizing every part of the brain. Even when a person is listening to music, many sections of the brain work together.
Before moving on, please watch this 2 minute YouTube video on music and the human brain.
While playing an instrument, a person mainly uses the visual, motor and auditory cortices of the brain; however, playing an instrument also uses that fine motor skills. At the same time, the mathematical and linguistic functions of the brain are being used to link the right and left sides of the brain simultaneously. One of the benefits of playing music is an increase in the volume and activity in the brain’s Corpus Callosum, which is the bridge between the two hemispheres. Research has suggested that musicians become better problem solvers both in academic and social settings. Musicians often have higher levels of what is called executive function, a process that requires advance planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, and also requires simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects. Another benefit of learning music is enhanced memory function. Music is like calisthenics for your brain.
Studies have linked music education to a host of desirable outcomes including higher IQ/SAT scores, lower dropout rates, better emotional health, higher GPAs, increased skills in areas like math and science, and greater social achievement. Music is an indispensable tool for any child, teen or adult. It boosts concentration, self-discipline, listening and social skills. It also has a tremendous organizing quality to the brain and aids in developing memory, emotion and mood. It helps people to develop skills such as time management, communication, patience, and perseverance among others. (Lapatas, 2015)
All of these benefits are exclusive to music; no other human activity has demonstrated such a wide range of benefits. As a student in a music appreciation course, you may have never learned to play an instrument, but it does not mean you can't use music to improve your brain functions. First of all, it is never too late to learn a musical instrument, if you still want to do so. We encourage students to ask instructors, professors or advisors about what your school has to offer. Even if do not want to learn an instrument at this point, learning to become a focused listener through a course in music appreciation may still benefit you as a student both now and in your work and social life beyond school. With this in mind, one of the important goals of this course is learning to become a focused listener. Too many students in a class like this fail to reap the benefits of the course because they simply do not focus on listening both in class and out of class. The most important activity you can do through this course, is listen to the music in a focused way. When there are listening guides, please use them.
ABOUT THE MUSIC USED IN THIS BOOK
The authors of this text have selected music carefully in order to make your experience as positive as possible. First, most of the works selected are rather short in length, especially when we had to find music that most people would find “strange” to their ears. We also tried to find music that students might have already heard somewhere, maybe in a movie, or television show, or even a commercial. We tried to use music that best represents the style of music being studied. Please understand: the most important aspect of this course is listening to the music. Because of this, many of the assignments will be based on the music.
THE GOALS OF THIS MUSIC APPRECIATION TEXT
One of the goals already discusses is that of helping students become focused listeners. By understanding how music works, and how it has changed throughout the centuries, you will begin to identify music with the time and place where it was created. You will learn the names of some of the instruments that you hear every day, whether on a listening device, in a film or television show, or at a concert or recital. You will begin to understand how it is that the music you enjoy every day has its roots in music that goes back centuries. You will begin to understand how composers use music to create or demonstrate feelings and even, in some cases, tell a story or paint a picture in your mind. Hopefully, you will even hear the music you hear daily in a new way.
BECOMING A TRULY EDUCATED PERSON
Another goal of this course is to prepare you for life as an educated person. Every educated person should be able to understand the basic building blocks of music and have a mastery of basic musical terms. This course does not ask students to memorize a long list of terms. Test will not be based on memorizing definitions that one can repeat back, but not really understand. Through listening to music, sometimes with listening guides, discussing the music, reading about the composers who created the music, and doing the associated assignments, the student should develop the vocabulary naturally. Being a college-educated person means you will be expected to be a literate individual in written and oral communication. This includes being able to discuss music in a way that other educated people can understand. This course will strive to help the individual build that vocabulary.
This does not mean that anyone need lose any cultural influences in their vocabulary. I like to tell students that, when I go to visit family and friends back home in New Jersey, I don’t sound like a college professor; I sound like a typical New Jersey Italian American, complete with the “yo!” and “youz guys!” But when I discuss things as an academic, I strive to use the accepted vocabulary in order to convey my thoughts clearly. We hope that students can become the educated individuals who can communicate in ways that those who are listening will understand.
At the top of the Introduction to this course is a quote from the famous 20th century composer Igor Stravinsky. As you go through this course, please remember that the goal is not necessarily to have you love the music in this course, it is to help you love what music is, and that is a powerful force that is as important to human beings as food and water. Music can bridge communication gaps between people and has been known as the “universal language.”
WE ASK YOU TO HAVE AN OPEN MIND
In today’s society there seems to be a movement, even among academics, to discredit much of the western tradition. Unfortunately, some of those teaching music appreciation in our high schools and colleges believe that in order to be “socially just” we must focus our study on the music that our youths enjoy. That may keep students interested and out of trouble, but it does not do anything to further their education. This course will never put down music that is not in the “classical western tradition.” Any open-minded instructor or professor will understand that the music of different generations is important in many ways to the identities of those generations, as well as people of different cultures, people groups, ethnic groups and races. Since this text will not discredit any other music, we ask that you remain open minded to the music presented herein.
THE MASTER COMPOSERS WERE REGULAR PEOPLE
The masters that we will study created works of art that transcended the folk music of the day. These individuals gave the world music that continues to be performed all around the world to this day. Because these individuals created works of lasting beauty, education has long held the belief that it is important for our schools to at least expose our students to these works. You will also find that these individuals often had less than ideal lives. Some did not live very long, and some lived through terrible tragedies. The one thing they all shared was their love for music and the desire to create music.
ONE MAIN INGREDIENT OF MUSIC IS PASSION
Some of you may know someone who has a passion for music. Those with this passion sometimes spend all their waking hours practicing or creating music. The composers we will study are just like those people you may know. The composers come from many backgrounds, some from wealth, some from poverty, some having had the advantage of learning from great teachers, or raised in a musical family, and some who were almost self-taught. As you get to know some of these composers, you should realize that they all had a passion for music.
WE WILL BEGIN WITH THE MOST PASSIONATE
Most music appreciation courses start back around 1500 years ago with the Middle Ages. If this course is to fulfil the goal of helping you to love music, we will begin with a composer who, perhaps more than any other composer before him, found a way to pour his passion into music. This composer was Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven lived at a time when composers were not supposed to write music with any emotion, but instead write music that was logical, and followed specific forms. We will explore how Beethoven not only broke these rules, but by doing do, changed the course of music history. After that we will introduce the students to the orchestra and the elements of music by using music of both the past and present. Once we understand the orchestra and the elements, the history of music will be examined, from antiquity until the present.
This is Your Brain on Music, D. Levin, (2008) Atlantic Books, London.
The Importance of Music Appreicaion, Lapatas (2015) Kosmos Lapatas Music Education (web site)
How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain, Anita Collins, TED Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng
ACCESSING MUSIC FOR THIS COURSE
Note to Students: The authors have gone to great lengths to select works of music for that fairly short in length and written by some of the greatest composers in history. Some of the files that are linked to the NAXOS database may be longer, but most of the time you are instructed to listen to only a segment of these works. We tried to find works that many students may have heard in movies, television, or at other societal events. Please take the time to listen to these files because listening is the most important part of this course.
TYPES OF FILES
YouTube links: All of the links to YouTube examples given in the book are already built in to D2L. When you see aa YouTube reference in the text, go back to the Chapter folder in the Content Area and you will see a folder entitled “YouTube Links Chapter X”
Included Files: When you see the following: EXAMPLE: Melody 3, T. Clef Audio 22-A1 (in Ch22 file folder) this means that you need to look in the FILES folder for that chapter in D2L. The example above instructs you to find an audio file in the chapter 22 folder and that it is associated with the first file example (1) in section 22A. Hence: Audio 22-A1. In D2L, within the Chapter 22 folder will be a folder named CHAPTER 22 FILES. Inside this folder you will find the associated audio files.
NAXOS database files. Gordon State College subscribes to the NAXOS music database that offers access to thousands of albums of classical music. When you see this EXAMPLE: Song for Tomorrow, Justin Tyme NAXOS, it means that you will log in to NAXOS (instructions below) to find the selection.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO ACCESS THESE FILES. Many of the files in NAXOS will be used in the text and, if you do not listen to them, you may not understand important concepts. If, at any time, you have problems, PLEASE contact your instructor.
LOGGING INTO THE NAXOS DATABASE
Access GALILEO through the TOOLS AND RESOURCES menu item in D2L.
Once in GALILEO, click the DATABASES A-Z option.
Once you see the A-Z options, click the N option. Once on the “N” page, scroll down and select NAXOS MUSIC DATABASE.
Once it opens, around the middle of the top of the page you will see the menu option for ‘PLAYLISTS.”
Click the Playlist tabs
Select the GORDONSTATE COLLEGE PLAYLISTS and it will open to the main page
On the Left side of the page you will see the folders for each chapter of music appreciation. Not all Chapters use NAXOS, so do not be alarmed if you see a chapter missing.
When you select a folder, you will see a screen with only a Chapter X Playlist.
Click the Chapter X Playlist and it will open to the list of required selections.
Next, check the box next to the piece you want to hear, the click the play icon at the top of the list. A new window will open and start playing the work.
NOTE: In the text you will find some musical examples that are optional (although your instructor may assign them). Some are located on YouTube, and some are in NAXOS. The NAXOS files that are optional will always be in a playlist folder for that chapter labeled OPTIONAL COMPOSER FILES.
At the top of the ASSIGNMENTS list on each FOCUS AND ASSIGNMENTS CHAPTER X document, you are asked to open the playlist before you start doing the reading. This way, once you get to that work in the book, you can simply click the assigned music selection.