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M100: Music Appreciation Discussion Group Ben Tibbetts, T.A. benjamintibbetts@yahoo.com Welcome! Please sign the attendance at the front of the room. (The quiz will be over pages 366-382 and 455-460.). Tuesday April 23, 2013. Today’s Agenda. Collect What is Music?, Part 2

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tuesday april 23 2013

M100: Music Appreciation Discussion GroupBen Tibbetts, T.A.benjamintibbetts@yahoo.comWelcome! Please sign the attendance at the front of the room.(The quiz will be over pages 366-382 and 455-460.)

Tuesday April 23, 2013

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Collect What is Music?, Part 2
  • Pop Quiz on today’s reading
  • Talk about Final Projects
  • Finish Jazz Lab
  • Pages 366-382 and 455-460

Hopefully we’ll get through everything. 

Pop Quiz on pages 366-382 and 455-460

You can use your notes, but not your book.

Please take out a sheet of paper and put your name at the top, with the words “Pop Quiz” and the date (April 23, 2013).

Each question is true/false or multiple choice.

You’ll get about a minute for each question.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 1 of 10:

Which of the following composers famously wrote using twelve-tone composition techniques?

  • John Cage
  • Arnold Schoenberg
  • Ralph Vaughn Williams
  • Tan Dun
POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 2 of 10:

True or False: The Rite of Spring is an opera, written by Igor Stravinsky.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 3 of 10:

True or False: “Sprechstimme” refers to a style of singing halfway between speech and lyrical song.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 4 of 10:

True or False: “Polytonality” refers to a 20th century trend towards collaboration between tonal composers.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 5 of 10:

A “through-composed” piece is one in which…

  • The composer deliberately did not lift his/her pen during the creative process.
  • Close inspection of the music reveals hidden messages or “codes”.
  • There is no clear formal repetition of musical sections.
  • The composer anticipates or innovates new musical techniques.
POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 6 of 10:

True or False: “Serialism” refers to a style of writing in which notes are drawn not from a scale, but from a predetermined series of notes.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 7 of 10:

True or False: “Expressionism” refers to a movement in mathematics in the late 19th century which had an impact on 20th century composers, characterized by a new flexibility in the interpretation of established axioms.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 8 of 10:

Twelve-tone composition refers to…

A) A type of serial composition in which a series consisting of all twelve notes of the chromatic scale is manipulated, without repeating any one of these notes until all other eleven had been sounded.

B) The composition of music in which every piece contains only twelve notes, all of which are repeated a total of twelve times.

C) A style of writing reserved exclusively for bell ensembles with twelve players, notably advanced by the music of John Cage.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 9 of 10:

True or False: “Atonality” refers to a style of writing in which no melodic center of gravity is established.

POP QUIZ April 23, 2013

Question 10 of 10:

True or False: An “ostinato” refers to a pattern of notes which is repeated over and over.

Collect quizzes

(answers will be revealed over the course of this discussion, as we go over the material)

final project
Final Project


Name(s) of Student(s): _____

Title of Final Project: _____

final project1
Final Project


  • Presented for an appropriate amount of time.
  • Covered an appropriate an appropriate amount of information about their topic.
  • Correctly used and demonstrated understanding of musical vocabulary.
  • Used at least three* musical examples to demonstrate key aspects of the topic.

*or an amount appropriate to the topic

final project2
Final Project


  • Paper is an appropriate length (5-7 pages, not including bibliography or other materials)
  • Paper properly cites sources which are credible and relevant.
  • Paper covers an appropriate amount of material.

4. Paper correctly used and demonstrated understanding of musical vocabulary.

final project3
Final Project


Points will be subtracted if any of the following requirements are not met:

1. If students are working together in a group, both the presentation and paper must include information about who did what, demonstrating that everyone pulled his/her weight.

2. Both the presentation and the paper must use information which is accurate and relevant to the topic.

final project4
Final Project

Final project grade = ½ paper, ½ presentation

final project5
Final Project
  • Don’t forget to cite sources and use quotes.
  • Citation is better than plagiarism. Consequences can be severe.
  • Paper must include bibliography.
  • Presentation should also briefly reference sources.

I recommend


(use whatever citation format you prefer; MLA is fine)

final project6
Final Project

We’ll be doing presentation sign-ups next class

Paper will be due on Presentation Day #2 Monday May 6th from 8-10am (meeting in here, Herter 231)

Hard copy only

Jazz Lab

anybody who missed last discussion can pick up a copy now

Will start the exercise over

Questions during exercise? Raise your hand

Jazz Listening Lab

How to hear more (and have more to write about) when you listen to jazz

Part 1: “Cool” Jazz and the 32-bar song form

Example: The Gerry Mulligan Quartet (with Chet Baker) playing “Bernie’s Tune”

(Play MP3)

The 32-bar song form divides a melody into four small sections. Each of these small sections contains eight measures. Like this:


In this music, specifically, each “bar” (or “measure”) contains two beats.

Jazz musicians often begin their performance of a piece of music by playing through the “head” (the main body of the music; the melody and its accompanying harmonies). As you listen to the head, try to (1) learn the tune, so you can recognize it; (2) describe how the “B” section is different from the “A” section.

Also, try to identify the most prominent instrument(s) and whether this instrument(s) changes from section to section or remains the same throughout the head.

(Play MP3 of the head to “Bernie’s Tune”)

After playing the head, musicians begin to “improvise.” This improvisation is carefully structured: (1) Each “chorus” (large section of improvised music) contains exactly the same number of measures as the head. (2) The “changes” (underlying harmonies/chords) follow roughly the same pattern as the changes in the head.

These improvisations often bear some resemblance to the tune in the head. Players may improvise for more than one chorus.

First chorus:

What is the most prominent instrument? Is it the same prominent instrument as in the head?

What change takes place in the B section here?

Describe how the musicians “changed” the melody in each section.

(Play MP3 of first chorus of “Bernie’s Tune”)

Second chorus:

What has changed between the first chorus and the second chorus?

What change takes place in the B section here?

Sometimes musicians prepare the listener for the B section with a short figure referred to as a “break”. Usually, it’s done by the drummer. Does it happen here?

(Play MP3 of second chorus of “Bernie’s Tune”)

Third chorus

By the third chorus the musicians may make greater changes. But the same rules still apply—each chorus contains the same number of measures, similar chord progression, and the improvisations still tend to reference the original melody. This is the last chorus in this recording. Try to describe what you hear. Note the drastic change which occurs this time in the B section.

(Play MP3 of third chorus of “Bernie’s Tune”)


At this point, the group will usually “return” (re-play) the head. It may be the same as before, or it may be a little different. What’s similar in this return? And what’s different?

(Play MP3 of return of “Bernie’s Tune”)

Part 2: Hard Bop

Example: The Charlie Parker Septet playing “Anthropology”

Parker on alto sax, Lucky Thompson on tenor sax, Al Haig on piano, Milt Jackson on vibes, Tommy Potter on bass, and Max Roach on drums

By the way—Max Roach was a UMass faculty member until his death in 2007

(Play MP3)

Now we are turning from the “form” of the piece to the “style”. The same strategies apply—as you listen to the musician play the first time through the piece, try to learn and remember the melody. It will become the primary basis for the improvisation that follows.

Describe how the “hard bop” style of Anthropology differs from that used in “Bernie’s Tune”.

Consider the following: which instruments are playing, the tempo, dynamic levels, and how far the musicians’ improvisations moved away from the original melody.

(Play MP3 again)

Part 3: New Orleans Jazz (“Dixieland”)

Like other styles of jazz, Dixieland has its roots in the blues (which were originally sung) and ragtime (which were usually played on the piano). Dixieland was generally played by a small group of melody instruments (cornet or trumpet, clarinet and trombone) and rhythm instruments (often a drum or drums, banjo or guitar, something homemade such as a washtub with a rope attached).

The melody instruments were called the “front line”. Behind them (marching or standing) were the rhythm instrument(s). This music was often functional; it was played for parades, gatherings, celebrations, picnics, in a bordello (brothel), etc.

Example: Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives playing “Struttin’ With Some Barbeque”

Louis Armstrong on cornet, Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Lil Hardin Armstrong on piano, Johnny St. Cyr on banjo.

(Play MP3)

In this style the cornet or trumpet often plays the melody, the clarinet improvises above the melody, and the trombone plays something rhythmic below the melody.

When all three are playing something different at the same time, it is called a “collective improvisation”. Although it is a trademark of this style, collective improvisation appears in all styles of jazz.

Listen and try to remember the melody.

Each time they play the tune again (or enter into a new musical section through improvisation), describe what changes: which instrument is playing, how is that player changing the tune, etc.

How often, in this performance, did you hear “collective improvisation?” At what point in the recording did it occur?

(Play MP3 again)

Part 4: Swing

Example: Count Basie Band playing “One O’Clock Jump”

Eventually, Dixieland became more polished and more commercial. It found its way into hotels and similar “upper income” locations in many cities. Often, a piano was added to the band. This music became known as “Chicago jazz”.

As more and more Americans learned to listen and dance to these evolved groups, called “society bands,” more instruments were added—perhaps another cornet or trumpet, another saxophone, another trombone, etc. Eventually bands became bigger, using whole “sections” of each instrument—trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and rhythm instruments (piano, bass, drums and sometimes others). This music became known as “swing”. It was intended primarily for dancing.

(Play MP3)

Much of the music in this era relied upon arrangers. Players were much more limited in how often they could improvise. Listen for the difference between music which sounds as if it was written by the arranger and music which sounds as if it was improvised by the player.

Play excerpts from “One O’Clock Jump”: Pre-arranged vs. improvised

Describe this style of jazz. How does it differ from Dixieland?

The limited amount of time allotted for improvisation eventually became a major issue for the players. This frustration helped develop the emerging styles of bop and cool jazz.

How can you tell which music is probably improvised and which music is written out ahead of time?

Which instruments are improvising? (And when?)

Compared with the music which is pre-arranged (or written out), how often do improvisational sections occur?

(Play MP3 again)

Part 5: Big Band Now (some modern jazz)

Example: excerpt from a recording of Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra playing ????

Big Band + Orchestra

(Play MP3)

Using the skills you’ve gained so far, describe the beginning of this piece.

At what point can you decisively hear the melody?

Can you name that tune?

(Play MP3 again)

(end of Jazz Lab)

Pass in at end of class

arnold schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg


Austrian composer/painter

serialism - "A style of writing in which notes are drawn not from a scale, but from a predetermined series of notes. Serial composition flourished between ca. 1920 and 1980. See also 'twelve-tone composition.'" -page 518
twelve-tone composition - "A type of serial composition in which twentieth-century composers manipulated a series ('row') consisting of all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, not repeating any one of these notes until all other eleven had been sounded, thereby effectively avoiding any sense of tonality." -page 519
atonal - "A style of writing that establishes no harmonic or melodic center of gravity; without a tonic, all notes are of equal weight and significance." -page 515
expressionism - "A broad artistic movement that flourished in music, painting, and literature in the early decades of the twentieth century, in which psychological truth took precedence over beauty, and inner emotion took precedence over any sense of external reality." -page 516
Sprechstimme - "In German, 'speech-voice'. A style of singing halfway between speech and lyrical song, in which the singer hits precise pitches and then allows them to tail off, rather than sustaining them, as in lyrical singing." -page 518
"Colombine" from Pierrot lunaire (English Pierrot in the Moonlight)

Pierrot – a sad clown, pining for love of Colombine, who breaks his heart and leaves him

Text/translation on next slide

igor stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky


Russian composer

Ballet – “a theatrical entertainment in which ballet dancing and music, often with scenery and costumes, combine to tell a story, establish an emotional atmosphere, etc.”

-Dictionary.Com (definition 2)


polytonality - "The juxtaposition of two conventional harmonies in a way that creates a new dissonance." -page 517
  • pentatonic [scale] - "A scale consisting of five tones." -page 517
  • ostinato - "A short pattern of notes repeated over and over." -page 517
  • through-composed - "A form in which each section has its own music, with very little or no repetition between sections." -page 518
john cage
John Cage


American composer/music theorist

About Cage’s 4‘ 33“ or “Four minutes and thirty-three seconds”

Three movements, composed in 1952

Electronic music - "Music using sounds generated (and not merely amplified) either in whole or in part by electronic means." -page 516
Musique concrète - "French for 'concrete music.' Music using sounds generated by everyday, real ('concrete') objects not normally thought of as musical instruments and then manipulated electronically." -page 517
Indeterminacy (excerpt)

Text on following slides

One evening I was walking along Hollywood Boulevard, nothing much to do. I stopped and looked in the window of a stationary shop. A mechanized pen was suspended in space in such a way that, as a mechanized roll of paper passed by it, the pen went through the motions of the same penmanship exercises I had learned as a child in the third grade. Centrally placed in the window was an advertisement explaining the mechanical reasons for the perfection of the operation of the suspended mechanical pen. I was fascinated, for everything was going wrong. The pen was tearing the paper to shreds and splattering ink all over the window and on the advertisement, which, nevertheless, remained legible.
It was after I got to Boston that I went into the anechoic chamber at Harvard University. Anybody who knows me knows this story. I am constantly telling it. Anyway, in that silent room, I heard two sounds, one high and one low. Afterward I asked the engineer in charge why, if the room was so silent, I had heard the two sounds. He said, "Describe them." I did. He said, "The high one was your nervous system in operation. The low one was your blood in circulation."
final reminders homework
Final Reminders / Homework
  • Pass in the Jazz Lab
  • Read pages 446-454 and 461-466
  • Heads up: Concert #3 coming up on Friday April 26th @ 8pm
  • Heads up: Listening Log Collection #2 and Final Presentation Day 1 will be Tuesday April 30th
  • Questions? Email: benjamintibbetts@yahoo.com