Rather than make you memorize pieces/composers/dates in a short summer session, I want you to engage a few selected works in more detail. To do so, I want you to create listening guides for each assigned listening piece.
The format of the guide will be as follows:
- composer name
- year composed
- detailed examination of a section of the work
Ideally, you should load the audio file of the piece into a graphic audio editor, such as Audacity. Viewing the graphic waveform while you listen can at least help you visualize gestures and sections by following the amplitude differences of the waveform display. You can also select portions to listen to in isolation. If you don’t have access to a graphic editor at the time, use your media player’s timer.
For the overview, note the timings of important events and sectional divisions. Identify some sonic/musical aspects that help to delineate sections.
When providing more detail for a specific section, write down a brief description of events with timings. There is no right or wrong description, but try to be as musically descriptive as possible without adding external programmatic descriptions.
Adding a musical program to a work changes the way it was intended to be heard, and can interfere with understanding the work. If there is definite rhythm or pitch, you may want to include this information. You could also indicate if the work uses natural or synthesized sounds as its main source material, or some combination (if you can tell).