Classical music essay | music appreciation | Indiana State University

 

please watch the video of Copland’s Hoe Down using the provided link and write a musical description of the piece in approximately 400 words using the Materials of Music in your textbook as a guide. Below are several questions that I would like you to answer briefly. Of course, you can expand upon these questions as needed and, while I don’t expect you to know all of the answers, I do expect you to make educated guesses and, most importantly, write in your own words.

Please write in full sentences and write more creatively than just providing simple answers. Begin the essay with an introductory sentence or paragraph and finish with a concluding sentence or paragraph.

Submit your essay using the Assignment link below.

Melody

  • Would you say the opening melody of this song uses conjunct or disjunct motion? Is this opening melody the only melody in the piece? If not, is it repeated anywhere else in the piece?

Rhythm

  • Tap your foot to the basic pulse of the piece – although the pulse stays mostly the same throughout the piece, it is particularly clear at about 45 seconds into the piece in the bass line of the piano. Does this pulse seem to be based on a duple rhythmic pattern (patterns of 2 or 4) or a triple rhythmic pattern (patterns of 3)? You may find this difficult but give it your best shot. There is also a lot of syncopation in this piece. For example, from about 2:00-2:05 when the trumpet has a solo moment, can you hear what instrument(s) clearly plays off the beat? Can you find other examples of syncopation?

Harmony

  • Would you classify the overall harmonies of the piece as consonant or dissonant? Can you explain why?

Texture

  • Do you think the texture of the song is monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, or some combination of the three? Using the descriptions in your textbook, explain your choice.

Dynamics

  • Using the dynamics listed on p. 31 of your textbook, how would you describe the dynamics of the piece? Does the piece maintain one dynamic or does it change?

Form

  • Is the form of the piece clear? There are several small sections to this piece, but is there an overall sense of structure? How are the terms repetition, contrast, and variation apparent in the piece? (see p. 26 in your textbook) For example, how do you hear these three terms used in the first 2:00 of the piece?

Instrumentation

  • What type of ensemble is used for the performance? What instruments stand out to you as most prominent?

History (this will require a tiny amount of research – please acknowledge your sources and please use something other than wikipedia).

  • When did Copland live? What were his birth and death years?
  • During which musical period did he live?

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