Music composition only write four paragraphs


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Provide a full critical listening review of one of the major works discussed in this unit (see list below).

Remember that a critical listening review includes 7-points (there is a page on Canvas, if you need to review this process): Mood, imagery, culture, biography, meaning, musical elements, and genre.  Include, explain, and describe a minimum of three points/facts per response type.  Remember to draw connections between response types – don’t just list information and facts.


Paragraph 1: Describe the mood and imagery of the piece, as a way to introduce your discussion
Paragraph 2: Discuss the culture of the Romantic period, and then relate this to the composer’s life (biography)
Paragraph 3: Discuss the meaning of the piece, and the related musical elements
Paragraph 4: Conclude with a discussion of the genre, and how this example is like, or unlike other works of its time/genre

Musical works you can choose (just choose ONE):

Debussy, Nuages
Bernstein, West Side Story
Berg, Wozzeck
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring
Messaien, Quartet for the End of Time
Zappa, G-spot Tornado


1. All content needed to answer these questions can be found in the text, and/or in class notes.  Outside research is not necessary, and is not preferred.  I am looking for you to recall and meaningfully discuss content from class.

2. You must be specific, and you must discuss musical elements.  Be sure to define/explain any terms you use.  

3. Your response must address all aspects of critical listening.  Be sure to read the topic carefully, and to include all required concepts/perspectives in your discussion.

4. Your response must be sufficiently detailed to address the given topic.

5. You must relate listening response types to each other.  For example, consider how culture and audience expectation impacts music, how personal experiences influence expression, what musical elements/forms were the norm for the time, etc. (See “Critical Listening Review” on Canvas for help).

6. Your response must represent a college level writing sample (well-organized, proper syntax, no slang, etc).

7. I do not have a requirement for length, but at minimum, you must write four paragraphs (see outline above).


1. Strive to be relevant, and make a point.  Don’t just list everything you know about a given topic.  I am looking for comprehension of larger concepts.  Be sure you know what you mean to say, and then bring everything into focus under that point. 

2. Provide evidence and support.  Where possible, consider using short quotes, for example, from the writings of the composer, content in the textbook, articles we read in class, or in the case of operas, even from the libretto itself.  

3. Be specific regarding form, musical elements, and other terms/concepts discussed in class.  Demonstrate your knowledge on these subjects!

4. Opinions are great, but be sure to present them as informed opinions – provide support. 

5. Remember that these topics are largely focused on class discussions.  If needed, go back to the Class Outline, to find content/presentations from class.  



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