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Welcome to Music Appreciation

John Lee Hooker "Boom Boom Boom"

James Brown "The Big Pay Back"

Multi-voice Poetry examples posted recently here.

The Syllabus for this class is available here.

The additional recordings we will use in this class are available here. Once you complete the download (537 MB) right click on it (Windows) and extract all onto your computer or thumbdrive. You should be able to do this on any computer.

Due Dates:

Musician Presentations Making a Band Concert Reports
Feb 10 In class Feb 24 May 3

Music.What is Music? Why do we need music? In what situations do you listen to various types of music?

When does sound become music?


Poem by Carvens Lissaint

Carvens is a Hatian-American poet and performer from New York City. He was on the 2009 Urban Word NYC slam team. His poem, "Haiti" was written a year ago and has a startling prophetic tone in the wake of recent tragic events in Haiti. He is a passionate and ruthless force. Under heavenly grace and favor, Carvens' mother who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake is safe and back home in the arms of her family. Carvens continues to be a recognizable face of the future and a profound example of noble men. Please share his poem. Please support Haiti in the relief efforts.


Every Drop Counts is a grassroots organization developed by a group of young artists and activists in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. They are working to bring clean drinking and bathing water to Haitians working with the World Water Relief. Please donate to their efforts and follow them on twitter: @everydropchi

shot by Steven Duarte

Whendo our actions become music?

Standing In the Shadows of Motown

Questions about the film:

After listening to the music examples in the film, describe the Motown sound.
What music do you enjoy listening to normally?
How is the sound of Motown similar and/or different from what you normally listen to?

Imagine you are a musician similar to one of the Funk Brothers:

How do you think you would feel if your career had taken a similar path?
Click to watch "Standing In the Shadows of Motown" here.

While listening to "What's Going On" ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Can we relate to this album? What parts? Why?
  2. How do we live life for the children?
  3. What do the abrupt transitions say about the message contained with this album?
  4. What do the transitions possibly say about the life of Marvin Gaye?
  5. How do we save the world?
  6. How can "God is Love" and "Flyin' High" convey the same message?
    1. Are they part of the same message?  If so, what message?
  7. What is the statement being made by the saxophone in "Mercy Mercy Me"
  8. What is the statement being made at the end of "Mercy Mercy Me" by the chorus and the band?
  9. As soon as "Inner City Blues" begins what do you think?
  10. Re-think how we can we relate to this album.

Listening to Form

Miles Davis "So What"

  1. Describe, with adjectives, the sound of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Canonball Adderly, and Bill Evans solos.
    • the melodic lines
    • the use of sound and silence
    • the personality of the instrument

The next two examples will play in this player.

Abduls Allums "Left Running"

  1. Draw on this program, any paint program installed on your computer, or on paper, the textural development of this piece. Identify each texture with it's own color or shape.

Howlin Wolf "Evil"

  1. Use A, B, etc. to identify the musical structure of this song.

Beethoven "Fur Elise"

This is an iMusic example on the Resource DVD that came with your book

  1. Use A, B, etc. to identify the musical structure of this song
You will be graded on completeness of ideas and how well you answer each question. So give yourself at least 30-45 minutes to listen and respond to the set of songs.

Listening to Steve Turre - Shells

Just-Intonation- Definition coming soon

Equal temperment-Definition coming soon

Medieval Music

Read, and take notes on the following:

Chapter 14-16

(Pages 85-105)

Listening examples:

Part 4: The Baroque Era Chpt. 19-27

(Pages 116-165)

Help For Haiti Benefit Concert Tracks

Topics we will discuss in class include:

Five Universal Fundamentals of Music:

  1. Timbre - Tone Quality; Each instrument will sound different from the next. Just as every player will sound different from the next.
  2. Tonality - A collection of tones, or sounds; A key signiture
  3. Pulse - Rhythmic texture; Beat
  4. Density - Amount of activity; Concentration of sound; Balance of sound and silence; Balance of space and movement
  5. Implication - Meaning; Purpose

Chapters we will study:

  1. PART 2 Medieval and Renaissance Music
    • UNIT III The Middle Ages
    • UNIT IV The Renaissance
  2. PART 4 The Baroque Era
    • UNIT VI The Baroque and the Arts
    • UNIT VII Vocal Music of the Baroque
    • UNIT VIII Instrumental Music of the Baroque
  3. PART 5 More Materials of Form
    • UNIT IX Expanded Elements of Form
  4. PART 6 Eighteenth-Century Classicism
    • UNIT X The Classical Spirit
    • UNIT XI Clasical Chamber Music
    • UNIT XII The Classical Symphony
    • UNIT XIII The Eighteenth-Century Concerto and Sonata
    • UNIT XIV Choral Music and Opera in the Clasical Era
  5. PART 7 The Nineteenth Century
    • UNIT XV The Romantic Movement

Home work assignments:

Create a timeline of the evolution from (1750/1800) until (today).

  1. Site five major developments from 1750-1800
  2. Site five major developments from 1800-1850
  3. Site five major developments from 1850-1900
  4. Site five major developments from 1900-1950
  5. Site five major developments from 1950-2000
  6. Major music developments include:
    • Music Periods
    • Musicians
    • Musical Styles
  7. Cultural events include:
    • Social developmemnts
  8. Include Works Cite page

Audacity Project

We will spend a day in class to understand the Audacity audio editing software. The following will be completed outside of the class:

  1. Select a minimum of 2 songs (I suggest instrumental) that you have in electronic format, mp3 or wave.
  2. Import the songs into Audacity.
  3. Compose a Rap or Song Lyric at least 1 minute long
  4. Your rap needs to be inspired by a major current event or issue:
    1. Healthcare
    2. Deforestation
    3. Gender Inequality
    4. etc.
  5. Record your rap lyric into Audacity
  6. Use at least 3 effects from the effects window

Tree of Influence

Select a musician/musical artist from the list below. Create a visual diagram displaying the musicians and events that helped shape the music (s)he, or they, created. Include at least 30 influences.

Choose from the following:

Include a Works Cited page.

2 Concert Reports – 5 percent each - 10 percent total:

Attend 2 live, at least 1 hour, Music performances and submit a report answering the following questions:

  1. Where?
  2. When?
  3. Who performed?
  4. Who played what instrument(s)/sang?
  5. What did the music sound like (genre, emotions, implications, etc)?
  6. How did the music make me feel?
  7. How was it similar or different from what I normally listen to?
  8. What did I gain from attending this performance?

Group Projects

Discovering Our Musicians - 10 percent:

  1. There will be two Group Power Point Presentations during the term:
    • An older/retired musician/music ensemble from southwest Ohio
    • A current/newer musician/music ensemble from southwest Ohio
  2. Power Point Slide Show Component
    • Introduce the artist
    • Region(s) where artist performed
    • Time period/current events of the time period
    • Genre
    • Artist’s influences
    • Artist’s impact on the world
  3. Power Point Component:
    • 20 slides
    • Brief
  4. Students must be able to present without reliance on the screen
  5. Points will be deducted for pour communication with audience, ie lack of eye contact
  6. Each member of the group must be equally involved in presenting
  7. Each group must present an outline of their presentation prior to presenting:
    • One page
    • Name of group members
    • Name of the artist(s)
    • Each member's contribution
    • Bullet-point list synopsis of presentation
  8. Time will be periodically allotted in class for working in groups
  9. Include a Works Cited page

Making a Band - 10 percent:

  1. Groups will create musical instruments perform in front of the class
    • Create musical instruments from found/recycled materials 
    • Create a notational system that works for all of the instruments in the group
    • Create, and notate, a piece of music for your group
    • Present your band to the class
    • All Instruments Must Work As Intended To Create Music

Audio/Visual Resources:

We will be studying the John Cage Water Walk video to the right:

  1. Let the entire video load first.
  2. Skip to the approximate middle and start listening at about 4:50. (Do not watch the video the first time. Just listen to it.)
  3. Write down what you think you are hearing:
    • Instruments
    • Meaning
  4. Listen and watch the video from the beginning answering the following questions:
    1. Were you accurate with any of the instruments being used?
    2. What were the actual instruments being used?
    3. Was it enjoyable? Why?
    4. Why do you think this video was necessary?
    5. "Laughter is preferable to tears." What does that mean? Are we intended to take this music seriously? Why?
    6. In what situations have you been where the music you listened to was intended to be taken seriously?
    7. In what situations have you been where the music you listened to was not intended to be taken seriously?
  5. What additional thoughts do you have from this video?

We will interpret music from the artists below. For these pieces draw the shape of the music, and create a diagram of the form.

Nomo http://www.nomomusic.com or http://www.myspace.com/nomomusic

Brain Wave

All The Stars
Music by Eclipse. More music and information about Eclipse is available at www.eclipsemovement.com and www.myspace.com/eclipsejamband.

"Taste of India"
Music performed by Poco Loco. More of Poco Loco is available at www.pocolocomusica.com or myspace.com/pocolocomusica "Afro Blue" composed by Mongo Santamaria
Music by Acarya. More information is available at www.myspace.com/acaryaband "The Known"
Music by Steve Arrington
"Good to See You Again"
On MySpace
Music by G. Scott Jones
"Long Tones"
On MySpace

Ravi Shankar

What is the song about?

What are your emotional reactions?

Describe the song in adjectives.

Submit your work on BlackBoard.



Elderly Driving Video