Music Report Essay, Research Paper
There are many different musical genres ranging from the soft sounds of classical music, to the loud bangs of punk and rock, to the upbeat energetic notes of dance music. There is a type of music for everybody. No one could every say there is not any type of music that they would enjoy listening to. The musical event that this paper will be written on involves one of the oldest forms of music, classical music.
Classical music is music written basically for opera, ballet, religious services and of course, concerts. There are two basic types of classical music, instrumental music and vocal music. When the pieces are composed, both vocal and instrumental, they are designed either for a single instrument or person, a small musical or vocal ensemble or a large orchestra or chorus. It is not uncommon to find works that contain parts for both the instruments and the people.
There are many different variations of classical music. Some pieces are short while others could be extremely long. The tempos and styles are different in every piece. Each individual composition consists of several different tempos. The tempo and the unique styles are what makes classical music so appealing to wide audiences.
It is believed that classical music began in the early 1300’s, however there is no direct evidence, because people in the past did not write down their music. Some of the more interesting period of classical music through out the years were as follows. First, there was the Renaissance period (1450 to 1600). Next came the Baroque period (1600-1750) and the Classical period ( The 1700’s). The Classical period featured such people as Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from Austria and Ludwig van Beethoven of Germany. The Classical period was then followed by the Romantic era. This time period was home to Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, and Frederic Chopin. After the Romantic era came the 1900’s and today’s classical music.
The concert being discussed in this paper occurred February 28th, 1959 in New York City at the legendary Carnegie Hall. The New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein performed Humor in Music , one part of a series of musical performances called New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts. This concert consisted of various composers including Walter Piston, Paul White, Gershwin, Haydn, Prokofieff, Mahler, Strauss,, Mozart, Shostakovich, Copeland and Brahm.
A packed Carnegie Hall became silent when conductor Leonard Bernstein walked on stage and began his introduction on humor and music. He explained all the different types of humor in music ranging from wit to satire. After a some what long introduction the musical part of the program finally got underway.
The first piece played was The Great Parade by Walter Piston. It was very loud and out of control. The composition sounded like it was made for a brass marching band rather than a symphony orchestra. The piece was very funny because the musicians were going crazy acting like they were at a parade or a circus rather than at Carnegie Hall.
The next song is known as the Mosquito Dance composed by Paul White. This piece was designed to create an effect of a mosquito flying around. The woodwind instruments created the high pitched sound of an insect. This work came to a close with a loud bang, the death of the mosquito.
Bernstein then introduced a very well known piece, An American in Paris by Gershwin. The work is very loud and upbeat. It wants to make you believe that you are in a very busy fast paced city, sounds of taxi cab horns can even be heard throughout the song.
Then came Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 in G Major. The strings were very prominent in this piece. The same fast moving melody is heard continuously throughout the song. At times it gets very slow and quiet, but of course it returns to its normal high noise level.
Haydn’s symphony was followed by Prokofieff’s Classical Symphony. This was a very elegant piece. Once again, the strings ever very evident, sometimes they were played regularly and at other times they were plucked. This was a slow and class dance piece.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 came net. Mahler took the very well known children’s song Freyr Jacques and played it in a minor key. He took a very happy light song and made it very dark gloomy and depressing.
Mozart’s Musical Joke was one of the most interesting parts of the performances. The piece begins very nicely. At the start its very pleasant and enjoyable. As the piece comes to a close, all the instruments end up playing to wrong notes at the wrong time.
The New York Philharmonic followed Mozart’s Musical Joke with Shostakovich’s Polka from “The Golden Age”. This piece contains a very nice melody with a constant change of beat. To spice up the music, loud outrageous notes are randomly played.
One of the last pieces of the performance was Music for the Theater by Copeland. This work sounds like someone is creeping around doing something they shouldn’t be. This piece is very dramatic and the same melody is often repeated.
The concert concluded with Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E minor. The whole orchestra is constantly involved in Brahm’s creation. The piece starts out very loud and exciting at times it slows down. No matter what the tempo, it’s always pleasing and interesting.
There were several other small pieces throughout the performances. The various composers made the show very diverse and entertaining. The concert consisted of humorous types of classical music. It exposed many different ideas of classical music.
Haydn, Franz Joseph Compton’s Encyclopedia Online, 1999. 30 March 1999