October Music study

  1. (20 pt.) Watch this video: what did you know about traditional America Blues? Leonard Bernstein discusses the blues, but for this portion of Music Study, focus only from timestamp (counter number) 18:17 (eighteen minutes and 17 seconds) to 22:33. Answer this: Write at a minimum 200-word review of specific terms and examples delivered by Bernstein.

World Music has a great deal to do with people’s traditional folk music, (not commercialized) folk music.

  1. (20 pt.) Bernstein discusses: Folk Music in the Concert Hall: Start the video from the beginning and end at timestamp 21:29. Write 100+ words discussing what you gleaned from his lecture demonstration about folk music and its influences on classical music composers.
  2. (15 pt.) you have just finished listening to Carlos Chavez, Sinfonia India, from the Bernstein lecture. Now take a look and listen to the Carlos Chavez Sinfonia India full score: See what this piece looks like to the conductor after the composer, Chavez wrote it. Note there are numerous meter changes, beats per measure. What are some possible events that you have never understood or even thought about when it comes to symphonic-type music?
  3. (20 pt.) Composer is Lopéz: América salvaje

Listen and work through sections that are quite typically Latin American. Use at least four timestamps representing parts from the entire video. Identify using timestamps where and why you believe they represent Latin American classical music based on folk music. Think rhythm, instrumentation, especially percussion instruments dances, and a dead giveaway at the beginning of the video. You may wish to do a little research. I’m looking for effort!

  1. (25 pt.)

More folk music in symphonic music: Mother Lode Suite: composed by your teacher Max Simoncic in 1957. Accept my apologies for the bad recording. It was done on a small recording machine in 1957. Keep in mind that I was only 12 and just beginning to write orchestral music. The other recordings on this assignment were done professionally by top-notch orchestras and the composers were mature. If you wish, I can upload one of my more recent and “professional” compositions.

Ask yourself; is classical music for and by the privileged? Read the footnote.

A footnote: Most composers began writing music during their childhood. Mozart began composing at age 4 and Beethoven at age 7. Many composers came from poverty-stricken families or lower class. The myth that composers came from privileged rich people is an absurd fallacy. I spent many years, during my youth in the USA, dumpster diving and working seasonal farm labor work to help my parents.

There is a folder in the Week 3 Unit titled; Story Behind the Mother Lode Suite: It might be of interest to read through it as it is directly related to this Active Listening Guide to “Mother Lode Suite” composed in (1957)

The recording is very old and recorded on very poor equipment.

From age 8 to 11, after writing quite a few pieces of music for accordion and other solo instruments, I turned my attention to composing music for a full orchestra. By age 12, I composed my first set of orchestral works. It directly reflects my journey to the USA.

Self-taught composing: To learn about orchestral instruments, I spent many hours between the ages of 10 and 12 at the public library reading about orchestral instruments and listing to the recordings provided by the library. Someone gave me a full symphony score music paper. I used it to compose my first orchestral work, Mother Lode Suite followed by Big Trees Suit. This was inspired by the gold rush country in the foothills of Calaveras County and Big Trees.

I composed Mother Lode Suite in 1957, at age 12.

The first movement begins at timestamp 00:00 up to timestamp 3:10. This movement was my time to experiment with instrumental color combinations (timbre).

Mother Lode Suite Recording: Listen and follow the chart below: Please skip the first piece, and do not reference it as a song, please! I do write songs and no one calls them a symphony.

Begin listening at timestamp 3:11. I must apologize for the poor quality of this old recording. The performing group was a local youth orchestra. The conductor of the orchestra was the only one that was willing to look at a symphonic score written by a local 12-year-old.

Skip to Timestamp (elapsed time,) at 3:11, Titled, The Go-Between

Think of a movement in an orchestral work as a very long chapter in a novel. The second movement, at time stamp 3:11: I named it The Go-Between, a term given to kids who came through Ellis Island, NY. Kids would learn street English more quickly than their parents. Children of immigrants become the interpreter for the family. This is a common story with immigrants that are not English speaking.

Please begin at timestamp 3:11, the second movement.

The 2nd movement is titled “The Go-Between”: This piece, The Go-Between, is in an ABA form. The B part is a bit longer and in two parts. Below is a breakdown:

The A: 3:11 (begins with the main theme is first played by the clarinet, then at 3:24 the English horn takes over the theme, and at 3:34 is taken over by the lower register of violins. The A section ends at 3:53 with French horns playing the melody.

The B phrase, in two parts, begins at 3:56 with melodies alternating between flute and oboe. It is a rhythmically syncopated theme.

At 4:08 oboe is playing the melody.

At 4:16 part 2 of B begins.

The return of theme A begins at 4:43 not played by the clarinet as it did the first time, but rather with violins. You may wish to go back to 3:11 and compare how different, A, sounds with strings instead of clarinet.

Now the real fun begins in the return of A. at 4:52, listen to how I placed parts of theme B inside theme A. Yes, it’s a slower version of the syncopated B theme, but it’s there. This happens again at 5:02. This movement, The Go-Between, ends at 5:32 reflecting my Slovenian heritage and some sadness of early life.

The Third piece, (movement), A Gold Rush Camp Party, begins at timestamp 5:42. In this movement of A Gold Rush Camp Party”, I used bits of American folk songs that I learned in public school. You might be able to pick out bits and pieces of Old Mac Donald, Buffalo Gals, Skip to my Lou, and other American songs representing my new country. My attempt was to bridge the old and new and become more Americanized.

the form breakdown: A, begins at 5:42-5:53 with Old Mac Donald (just a hint of course).

5:56-6:05 Buffalo Gals, an American folk song

The B section begins at 6:05 and includes an old prairie folk tune and counter melodies creating polyphonic textures.

At 6:48 the music transitions back to, the A section, with “Skip to my Lou” (folk song”

and 6:55 with Old Mac Donald. The piece ends with a loud “Coda” (conclusion):

If you are interested in my story of experiencing socialism/communism/dictatorships/political prison camps and even slavery, then open the attachment in week 3 under Full story of the Mother Lode Suite.

Answer this: In Go-Between, how would you describe the emotional content of the A section played by the clarinet and other woodwinds to the A when it returns with the strings playing the melody and woodwinds being inserted with parts of theme B?

Answer this: describe where you were most successful identifying any folk themes in “A gold Rush Camp Party”.

I invite and welcome you to ask any questions that might come to mind about composing music during my childhood, but please do it by email. To date, my musical composing output is over 600 works. They include orchestral, jazz, vocal songs, studio music ballet, opera, and musical theatre. I’m of the firm belief that higher powers are doing the work through me and I’m the conduit.