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Showing posts from October, 2010

Free Halloween Music Download

Happy Halloween Everyone!
Enjoy your special treat with a free Halloween music download called "Halloween Eve's Birthday Bash". It is available NOW at Easy Ear
I hope you enjoy this fun and utterly SPOOKY Halloween Track! Thanks for visiting the New Music Resource!
In case you haven't noticed, the New Music Resource now includes Music Appreciation course outlines, based on the Bonds, Stolba, and Kamien music history textbooks. These short outlines include large print text for visibility in classrooms, as well as excellent You Tube examples. Many of the You Tube links not only have excellent performances of classical works but also include more modern performances of works. And, of course, I always include links that involve technology. This series of Music Appreciation blogs will continue en force for the next two months. Then the New Music Resource will return to grea…

Baroque Composers

Image via Wikipedia(Text in Large Print for Classroom Projection)

DOB 1685-1750, German
Major Works: Brandenberg concertos, Toccato and Fugue, Well-Tempered Clavier, cantatas
Background: Part of a musical family. Even Bach's children continued with composition. Started as a church organist, later became a concertmaster in Weimer. His church position at St. Thomas was where he wrote many of his most famous works. He was a teacher and prominent organist. In fact, he was better known for his organ playing than his composition. It wasn't until the 1800s when Felix Mendelssohn rediscovered Bach that Baroque music again became popular. During his lifetime, Bach was only known in his own region. Wrote in every genre except opera.

George Frederic Handel
DOB 1685-1759, Germany
Major Works: Messiah
Background: Child prodigy, violinist and harpsichord. First opera by…

The Fugue and Canon

Image via Wikipedia(Text Large for classroom projection)
Textbook recommendation: Roger Kamien Music: an Appreciation


The Fugue was a major development in polyphony during the Baroque era. Other types of polyphonic forms were used, like the canon (ex. Pachelbel Canon in D). A Prelude often preceded a fugue (ex.)

In the fugue, the main theme typically comes in a single voice. This first appearance is called the subject of the fugue. (Sound example). After the subject is presented in the first voice, it is manipulated a number of ways by the composer. It does not necessarily have to return the same way.
After the subject is introduced, a second voice will echo the subject (called an answer), but in the dominant. Sometimes a countersubject (a melody unrelated to the first subject) will play at the same time a…

Late Baroque Music Part 2

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BAROQUE ERA (1600-1750)
Text: Kamien: A Music Appreciation Review Major Characteristics of Baroque Music (pg 97)
MoodRhythmTerraced DynamicsPolyphonic TextureMonophonic in OperaChords and Basso ContinuoText and Music
Musical Form: How music is organized
Movements Many compositions of the Baroque era had several movements. For example, a Bach suite had several movements, each representing a dance style popular in the Baroque Era. Usually there is a pause between movements. In a suite, the different movements usually contrasted. There might be a quick and happy movement, a slower movement, a rousing fast movement.
Musical expressions: VivaceAllegroModeratoAndanteLargo

Concerto Gross0 and Ritonello (pg 103) The concerto grosso usually had a small group of soloists musically pitted against the orchestra. (Remember at this time, the orchestra was made of roughly thirty players). The entire orchestra playing is called "Tutti". There were o…

Late Baroque Music Part 1

Image via Wikipedia(Text in Large print for classroom projection)
Classroom Text: Roger Kamien, Music: An Appreciation
Late Baroque Period
Rhythm repeated throughoutPolyphonicUse of Harpsichord and the organ primarilyWorks do not oscillate between happy and sad. Not much emotion is conveyed.Opening melody often repeated with variation in different voicesTerraced Dynamics (piano to forte, vice versa, not gradual)Correlation between music and text

The Late Baroque Period (at around 1620) saw the use of chords and harmony using the major and minor scales. This included the use of the figured bass (or basso continuo). Essentially a composer would write a bass part and other instruments would play notes that complimented the chord progression. Numbers like I, IV, or V were used to denote the chords.

The concept of the basso continuo actually is comparable to a lead sheet used by a band today. Chords are l…

Intro to Baroque Music

Cover of Barbara Strozzi(Text in Large print for classroom projection)
Intro to Baroque Music

Composers: Handel, Purcell, Corelli, Vivaldi, Monteverdi

Three periods of Baroque

Early period

Italian composers created the form of opera. Essentially opera involves a dramatic play entirely sung. It can be sung in a variety of languages. Often operas had lavish sets and costumes.

Review this version of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas:

And review this version of Monteverdi's Orfeo:

Early Baroque Composers wrote more in homophonic style than polyphonic style of the Renaissance. However, the later Baroque found a return to strong polyphony. Early Baroque composers used homophony to help the audience better understand the text spoken.

Early Baroque Characteristics
HomophonicMore dissonanceContrast Importance of textMonteverdi
Monteverdi enjoyed financial support for his grandiose op…

Intro to Baroque Era

(Text in LARGE print for classroom projection)

BAROQUE ERA 1600-1750

Following the Protestant Reformation and the Renaissance, Europe experienced a time of absolute monarchy and luxury abandon referred to as the Baroque Period. "Baroque" has been associated with overly ornamental and elaborate art. Artists and musicians found that they had new patrons in the middle class, as well as royalty. The new middle class was made up of merchants, professionals, and successful businessmen.

Monarchs like Louis the XIV attempted to impress through lavish parties and ridiculously large castles like Versailles. Absolute monarchs enjoyed throwing lavish celebrations, commissioning works like ballets, operas, and plays. They employed musicians like Bach to create these works. Architecture of the time was extravagant to a fault.

Baroque Art
The Art of the Baroque period experimented with contrast of colors and light, as well as imbuing art with seduction and sexuality, even in regards to religiou…

Electronic Album Release: Unravelling Music

I am excited to announce the release of my latest music project:
Unravelling Music: Introducing Intervals
This exciting new album is first in a series of fun and easy music training albums. Learn all about music just by listening to awesome tracks like Club Mango (a Latin Jazz tune based on my experiences at South Beach), Asylum (a heavy alternative rock tune), and Body Crash (electronica awesomeness).
Check out a sample here:
The first 100 Customers will get a special introductory price of only $9.99!
I am so excited about this album! You will absolutely love the music!
Let me know what you think!

Renaissance Music

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The Renaissance
The Renaissance was an age of human discovery in the sciences, literature, arts, and music.

Renaissance composers wrote both sacred and secular texts. The Protestant Reformation (1517) brought about a conflict for many composers, who often had to write music for a patron that did not share the same religious faith. For example, Renaissance composer William Byrd, who was Catholic, had to write music that would please his Protestant patron, Queen Elizabeth I.

Catholic sacred texts continued to be written in Latin. The Protestant Churches, however, had music in various languages. Composers found that they could make a living creating music for the new Protestant church. During the Counter-Reformation, Catholic composers returned to writing music in Latin.

The Renaissance was an age of prosperity. Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World also helped the entire European continent. Goods and gold flow…

Intro to the Renaissance

(Text in LARGE Print for Class Projection)
Introduction to the Renaissance

(c. 1450-1600)

"Renaissance" is the French word for "Rebirth"

And rebirth it was. A new age of discovery and the exploration of what it meant to be human (humanism). A period of innovation and invention with greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Shakespeare. The spirit of humanism led to intellectual pursuits and study of the classics of Greek and Roman times. There was an explosion of talent in literature, the sciences, music, and fine arts.

The idea of the "Renaissance Man" or the "Universal Man" led to an education that was well-rounded in the sciences, philosophy, literature, art, and music. Music was an integral part of the Renaissance. William Shakespeare referred to music in his works well over three hundred times.

Quote from the Merchant of Venice:

"The Man that hath no music in himself
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds
Is fit for Treasons, Stra…