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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.
The Medieval period was commonly referred to as the “dark ages” or the “Middle Ages”. The medieval period took place between (450 to 1450). During the Medieval period Christianity was widely spread, and therefore most of the music was heavily influenced by churches, and the monasteries. Along with musical developments, the medieval period was known for having some technological upgrades such as the creation of the printing press. Different types of art were also a main aspect in the medieval period such as sculptures, stained glass, and mosaics. In the text, an aspect I found interesting was the way of life during the Middle Ages. To add on, life during the medieval times was very harsh, and people were broken up into categories such as peasants and the noblemen. I listened to a music piece by Francesco Landini, and the music was how I expected it to sound. The music sounded very church like and seems like it’s something that would be sung in church. I expected this outcome because monasteries and churches had a major influence during the medieval period.
The classical period of music takes place between 1750 and 1820. From what I know this era is known as a time of “enlightenment” and life gravitating towards reason, science, and individual rights. New instrumental genres of symphonies and string quartets started in this era. The middle class began to grow more, which meant an increase in demand for more public concerts outside of the usual churches and courts. Some of the well-known composers of that time are Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. In the textbook, they state that “In music, composers of the early classical period discarded complex textures, learned compositional techniques such as fugal imitation, and grandeur in favor of transparent textures, a single melody supported by a subordinate accompaniment, and somewhat superficial sentiments.”
What interests me the most about this historical period is the life and death of Mozart. I always found him interesting as a composer of the time. I l relistened to some of Mozart’s music since he was in the “Major Figures in Music” list. His music is what I expected to hear with the classical era. It’s easy to listen to and recognizable and holds plenty of emotion in each music piece.
The most interesting part of the 20th century for me would be what it was during the “Downtown Scene” of New York. New York was a hot pot of culture at the time and the jazz scene flourished. The 1920s and 1930s saw major changes in the way that music was listened to and it wasn’t just at orchestras and plays. Jazz made it so that an everyday person walking down the street could hear the piercing sounds of saxophones, drums, and trumpets just walking down the street. The textbook states, “Cage paved the way for the so-called “downtown” New York experimental scene that broke down barriers between music, visual art, performance, and so forth.” The textbook describes this time as “breaking down barriers” and I largely agree with the textbook’s definition; one could argue that jazz changed music forever.
Charlie Parker – Jam Session (Jam Blues). The music sounds incredibly different from my knowledge. I came from the expectation that every jazz performance is above 110 BPM, that every player has a set time for them to “jazz-it-out” or simply improvise their act. From listening to Jam Blues, it’s clear that jazz is not just about BPM and playing fast. Charlie Parker brings his own “sound” into the fray, meaning that he lets himself shine by playing non-stop, but also lets his other players shine as well. The textbook describes the jazz scene briefly as not chaotic, soul music or anything else of the like, but by saying it’s “experimental.” By describing it in this way, the reader gets the impression that the NY downtown scene wasn’t an ordinary time for music. I feel that this is a good approximation of the music itself; jazz is chaotic and experimental by nature.
Textbooks describe this period as a departure from tradition. In this period, there were so many different styles of music and genres, so there was no dominant style. For me, That is the most interest thing about this period, because in the evolution of traditional music, repertoire styles tend to evolve in isolation, they confined to their own culture, in 20 century,With modern technology and contact with people from all over the world, composers began to integrate and innovate elements from different countries. “performers study and gain mastery in Repertoires of cultures other than their own, And composers can draw on the entire world of music in creating new crossover styles”(textbook）
In this period, a harmonic system different from the past musical tradition emerged, which is atonality. Traditional music is based on smooth, natural, and regular progress, while atonality composition is contrary to traditional music, atonality has no tonal center. “That rejected Principles of a key center and the distinction between consonance and dissonance that had been Foundation of Western Music for centuries.”That’s how the textbook describes it.
I listened to Arnold Schoenberg’s piece called “Phantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47 (1949)”.Arnold Schoenbe is the creator of atonality. Before I heard it, I imagined it to be chaotic, in fact, it was more chaotic than I thought. It presented on violin and piano. It was very different from the traditional music I heard before. This piece was irregular, which made me feel anxious and upset. In the end, the rapid sound of the violin and piano made this mood reach its peak.
The Romantic period (1820-1900) was a period that focused on emotional intensity, breaking rules and individual experiences. The most common definintion for this period is , ” romantic is applied to literature , visual arts and music that emphasize imagination over objective observation, intense emotion over reason, freedom and spontaneity over order and control”. One thing i find very interesting about this time period is that dramatic stories could be told without words.
One thing i already know about this time period is the romantic period did not mean romance, most music was about war and personal feelings not love and this is why i feel like this is the most misunderstood period. The text book describes the romantic period as a adventure for the musician it was like a rebel era , something not seen before.
During the Baroque time period in Europe, the most interesting information I learned was how much painful, and terrible stuff that happens almost every day of the timeline result to the creation of something soo creative and beautiful. during the baroque era, the daily lives of the people are not as easy as it is today in the present century. at that time, the government was totally monarchs and not democratic which led to the wars and tragic because people are fighting to rise to power either by physical wars, or by playing harsh politics. the text described music from the Baroque period as strongly contrasting effects, dramatic intensity etc. this makes sense because we can draw a conclusion that the people needs a way of voicing their dramatic experience because of the terrible events, therefore, their sense of music, art, and literature improved to open way of telling tales with anger, love, joy, and grief.
I choose George Frederic Handel and listened to some of his songs like water fall, and the arrival of the Queen of Sheba. the art piece sounds similar to what I was expecting —lots of musical instrument being played with out voice. but to the honest, I wasn’t expecting high beat sounds. I was expecting relaxation or long pause in the music to show sadness or to change to mood of the listener. another confession of mine is that I can’t seems to connect to this music. I can’t understand if its full of sadness, happiness, anger, or grief. they all just sound like a celebration music to me.because of the history of the era, I was just expecting music filled with anger, saddness, and grief.
The most interesting thing about the Romantic period is that its music is focused a lot on emotion over reason and more on individuality. It was during this time that a lot of musicians used music as a way of letting out their intense emotions. I already knew that there was more emotional intensity and rule-breaking during the romantic period. The textbook says that the Romantic period was a time when music emphasized intense emotion over reason, “freedom and spontaneity over order and control, individual over universal experience.” Also that many artists demonstrated their unhappy love relationships, etc through their art. During this time they also increased the number of performers and instruments in the orchestra, and meant to be performed to larger audiences.
I listened to Nicolo Paganini and the music sounded like what I would expect it to. There were moments of dramamtic playing and moments that were calm, thereby reflecting the change in emotions one feels. It also sounds like music that would be played back then, and not so much in the present. His music was mainly violin playing and would be seen as more popular back then than now.
The historical period I read on was the Baroque period. What I have found interesting during the Baroque period is how there was a lot of historical events going on at that time. In the text it says that more colonies was being established in the new world (America), there were religious conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants, there was a lot of violence going on in England, and the powers of the absolute monarch in France reached a new height where the citizens had to pay heavy taxes to Louis IV and 20,000 courtiers. What I already know about this period is that there was also a lot of art and architecture to express their emotion. The text describes the music from the Baroque period by saying, how there was a rise instrumental music (like sonata, concerto, and suite) and how composers used their instruments for specific emotional states. I listened to music from the Baroque era, and it sounded like what I expected from the text. In the text it says that there is dramatic intensities based on whether a certain part of the song is loud or soft, and the emotional feeling of the music is either happy ,joyful, anger, love or grief.
I can say that the Twentieth Century music is the type of music that we all know till this day. It’s the time of music that has a rhythm and easy to choreograph. Comparing to all the other time periods, Twentieth Century has more of an advanced technologies and instruments. So what interest me the most during this time period was how they developed a different type of melody and music compared to the last time period. According to the reading packet it stated, ” Today the opportunities to hear music and the types of music that are available have expanded dramatically as a result of modern technology and increased contact among peoples.” This really made me wonder of how difficult it was to listen to music during the old days since technologies wasn’t as developed as today. So I was interested on how they came up with these modern instruments and technology during the Twentieth Century.
During the Twentieth Century, I know that music wasn’t like the type of music since the Medieval Period and so on. Twentieth Century music has more of a repetition and danceable rhythm like Jazz and Rock. It has a different type of style to it and when I listen to the music sound, It wasn’t what I expected but I can tell its more hyper than the other music sounds because I can hear them using technologies rather than just instruments. We can also see that many artists uses technologies to create the beats and melodies in todays world so it’s nice to read more about how music was created and how different music was during in each time periods.