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Jiang Blog 7

In Christianity music has always been very important. They use music to help show their faith, or help to declare their loyalty and worship to god. Similar to the calthoic church, a branch of Christianity, Christians also have a mass as well as a choir that would sing during the mass. They sing chorales and hold choirs for sacred music to help them express themselves during prayers and remembering scriptures. Similar to the caltholic churches again, they probably used music as a tool to help them with group prayers. By singing the scriptures of just singing during worship in general, would help keep everyone together. 

One Christian/Catholic church hymn I found was composed by Pyotr  Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Hymn of Cherubim. This recording was performed by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir in 1998. The piece itself has a very slow tempo. The vocals resemble the monophonic choir music from the mid-evil times. The music is also syllabic, meaning the words are very stretched out. There are multiple pitches for one word or phrase.  

Although I can’t understand what they are saying, I assume it’s a recitation of their holy scriptures. The vocals combined with the slight echo of the church hall also gives the impression of angels speaking, it sounds to be what people describe as angelic. The music is also soft and slow, so many people can probably follow along, and it’ll be comfortable to their ears. 

The link to the video:

Cited works:

Robert Green. October 11, 2022. Britanica.com. https://www.britannica.com/topic/mass-Christian-religious-service 

Wesleyan university . Christianity in music. https://www.wesleyan.edu/christianitystudies/pathways/music.html 

Jiang blog 5

In ”100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater” by Amar Toor, he seems to agree and believe that a riot did indeed occur 100 years ago when the Rite of Spring premiered. He talks about how many of the Parisians in the crowd that watched the play started to throw vegetables on the stage and the crowd got so loud that even the dancers couldn’t hear the music. He does say that perhaps the story was exaggerated over time, but a riot did indeed occur after the release of the ballet. Toor talks about how the riot was between two factions in the crowd, one that liked “The pretty and tamed” and the other that liked “new exciting things”. He goes to explain that this was a riot between traditionalists vs modernity, and people that supported this novel form or ballets and the ones that didn’t.

In “Did Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring incite a riot at its premiere?” the author explains that the riot is must another classical music myth that far too many believe in. He sources Tamara Levitz, “Racism at The Rite” in The Rite of Spring at 100 (Indiana University Press, 2013), 146-78 and Ian Hewett, “The riot at the Rite: the premiere of The Rite of Spring” for the British Library. The author explains that much of the ”riot” are sourced from people that had a limited understanding of the ballet and from people that wanted to lash out because they didn’t support the new type of ballet. Furthermore that day there was another play at the theater that happened right after the release of ” The Rite Of Spring”, which wouldn’t be possible if the crowd had became violet and throw vegetables on to the stage. The author explains that the riot was a narrative that was exaggerated and carried on from article to article about the ballet. it was simply a over the top story about a play that many were confused about. In addition the story became popular because it was essentially a huge game of telephone. People that heard the story wanted to believe it because it was exciting, a ballet that caused a riot in one of the largest booming metropolises during this time period.

Personally I think i would have enjoyed it quite a lot. I loge horror modern horror and thriller movies, snd “The Rite of Spring” was essentially the horror film of ballets during this time. The acting and dancing of the dancers would have probably mesmerized me. The music also fit perfect with the dancing, and fit the scenario perfectly. So yes i probably would have loved the ballet.

Jiang Blog 3

The capo, invented around the mid 1700s, is a small clamp-like device that essentially shortens the length of strings on fretted string instruments. Most commonly used by guitarists, a capos purpose is to clamp down on all the strings of your fretted instrument allowing the player to play in a higher pitch. Guitarists use a capo to change how high or how low a piece is played. Before the creation of a capo guitarist couldn’t really play certain songs in different pitches using the same fingerings. 

A capo achieves its purpose by basically acting like a mobile nut to fretted stringed instruments. The nut is located at the beginning of the headstocks, and it holds the guitar strings in place, while canceling any vibrations passes the nut. For example, on a guitar, the standard tuning is E A D G B E from top to bottom on each open string, by using a capo we can clamp it somewhere on the fretboard and Essentially shorten it. This means we change the tuning of the open strings without actually tuning the instrument. Most people use it for its intended purpose, but the capo comes in many designs, materials, and shapes(especially over the last couple decades), it can also be used on any other fretted string instrument like the ukuleles, mandolins, mandolas, banjos, and bouzoukis.

As a guitarist and ukulele player, I have used a capo before. I personally don’t like using it as I don’t enjoy the feeling of having a shorter fretboard. The capo is also used a lot more in the pop genre, as capos can be used to eliminate the need to bar some chords. So as someone who plays a lot of classical music, no I don’t use it often nor do I like using it, but the device definitely works and is useful in many situations especially when trying to play the same piece/song in a different key. 


Here’s a version of Pachbel’s Canon in D. In this video the player uses this technology to play the piece originally meant for piano and composed in D major. Using the capo on the second fret, the player is able to play the piece in D major. Without the capo he would have to either transcribe the piece for Dmj, or play it in C using the normal tuning. Essentially the capo is a powerful tool, because it allows a player to play the same notes/songs/piece in different keys and pitches 

Jiang Blog 2

One piece of music that I’m familiar with and enjoy is Prelude by Twoset Violin from their Fantasia album earlier this year. It’s actually the same piece of music that I linked in my welcome post. The artist is comedic YouTube violin duo Eddy Chen, and Brett Yang. Together they make up the YouTube channel Twoset Violin. I started watching their channel during quarantine, and prior to that I was mostly interested in popular music ( pop, R&B, rap, EDM, etc.). However in their videos, as two professional classical Violinists, their channel was all about classical music. This really opened up my curiosity to music, how it functions, who it works, and how people express themselves through an instrument. It’s been almost two years now, and they inspired me to play guitar for the last 10 months. And it’s because of the context they create and music they produce that really inspired me to make music of my own, and to really learn more about music in general. 

Two musical elements that are interesting to me in this piece is how the piece harmonized with its polyphony texture. One of the many reasons I really live and enjoy this piece is how peaceful and calming it sounds. The consonant harmony playing in the piece is reminiscent of Debussy, and Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi. The polyphony texture of the piece also reminds me of walking in a meadow or just being lost in thought staring into the clouds. I also really love how the melody is trading in between the two violins, sometimes they play together, and other times one takes the wheel, and yet both melodic lines stay independent. 

Here is the link to the Music: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjI6sviwpr6AhVjEFkFHYCaBvMQwqsBegQIGBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBxMxgeygEbQ&usg=AOvVaw0DDUHYfPP6kBqucBjeWe0H 

Jiang Blog 1

The Renaissance

I always thought the Renaissance to be a particularly interesting era. It always stood out as that one era of incredible whimsical arts along with new technological advancements, yet was still under the ruling of religion and divine belief. It’s sort of a weird child between the Middle Ages and the enlightenment. That’s why I think the most interesting thing about this era is how different people were and what they created. I’d imagine the people of this era to be artists, scientists, and musicians, but still under the confides of religion and the clergy. I always imagined this era to be one where everyone started to have different ideas, and just made/discover things that showed how different they are. From the paintings painted, to the new music composed, to new sciences discovered. 

From what I already know, this period is one of expression, but through work/passion rather than words. Since religion still played a really powerful role in governing people, many weren’t able to truly express themselves without consequences from the clergy. With scientists like Galileo discovering that they weren’t at the center of the universe or homosexuals being ostracized, society as a whole was going through a weird transformation, or being reborn. It’s supposed to be an era when people focused more on people, and started to turn away from the divine. 

The textbook describes the music during this era to “embody ideals of balance, clarity, and emotional restraint that characterize the classicism of the Greeks”. The textbook also describes the music of this era as secular and sacred. This era consisted mostly of vocals as the primary form of music and instrumental as secondary. The music sounds very similar to the church hymns during the Middle Ages, and the harmonizing of the singers are meant to have an angelic effect. In addition, much of the music created was still funded by royalty or the elite. 

I listened to two pieces from William Byrd (1543-1623), “O Lord turn thy Wrath” and “Teach me,O Lord”. The music definitely sounds like what I expected from this era. Like I expected there weren’t many instrumentals and most of the music was sung by a group of singers. From an untrained ear one would also definitely think this would be something played in a church, and for the most part many of this era’s music were still produced in churches. So the examples I heard from Byrd definitely fit the mold of what I thought renaissance music would sound like. 

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July 2024

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