General course goals include:• Exposing students to new and diverse musical experiences, including the musical styles of various human cultures and historical periods.• Understanding the importance of music in various human cultures, and knowing the functions and usages of music throughout history.• Developing focused, concentrated listening skills.• Learning to notice and identify important musical details and elements, when listening to music.• Learning basic musical terminology, which will help you to more accurately to describe musical events to other people.• Learn the conventions of concert etiquette.• Becoming more knowledgeable about a wide range of music, and being able to demonstrate this through WRITING and DISCUSSION.
The ART of LISTENING• Learn to LISTEN in depth to music, with focus and concentration. Listen with a clear mind.• Music is around us all the time. But how often do we really completely and consciously listen to music?• Listen for the details in the music (large and small), and listen for the multiple musical events which are occurring simultaneously in the music.• In order to truly experience music, we have to be able to concentrate on the matter at hand. Turn off all the distractions: phones, TV, computers, Facebook, etc. (Important!)• Approach new music with an open mind. Give new music several hearings before forming an opinion.
• MUSIC is: Sound organized in time.• Music is the human organization of sounds (much like language). Musical sound generally has perceivable and measurable pitch/sound frequency – (vibrations per second). Musical sound is also perceived at a certain volume, and with a quality known as tone color, or timbre. Timbre distinguishes the sound of one instrument from another. - Can random noises/sounds, or the sounds of nature, be classified as music?• Music occurs linearly over time, much like a verbal sentence unfolds within a time dimension.• Music is experienced a little bit at a time, as the piece unfolds over a duration of time. (unlike a painting) Our evaluation of a piece of music can only be made after the piece is completely finished.
Sensing the organization in music:• Listen for REPETITION of musical ideas. – Creates unity and structure in the song/piece by repeating previously heard events, and familiar points of reference.• Listen for VARIATION of musical materials. – Creates a sense of evolution and mutation of the musical ideas. Introduction of new ideas gives a feeling of forward motion.• There exists a careful balance between Repetition and Variation in music. – Too much Repetition loses the sense of forward progress in the music, and can get boring. – Too much Variety lacks unity, and may sound unorganized.
Introductions – Getting to know each other.Introduce Yourself:• your Name• your Major• any musical training? • If so, what instrument or voice? How many years?• any dance, or theater training? Studying film making?• What other music courses have you taken at CI, if any?• Name some of your favorite music to listen to.• Why are you taking this course? What do you hope to learn?
Your current Musical Tastes• Think about how you acquires your musical favorites.• Several factors could have contributed, such as:• Your environment when growing up• A sibling or parent’s music collection• Friend’s music collection• Music experiences in school• Mass media, Other factors
ASSIGNMENT: “My musical tastes.”• Write 1 or 2 pages about the music that you enjoy and like to listen to the most. Discuss some specific artists and/or composers whom you like. What do you specifically like about their music? Describe what do you feel and think when you hear their music. Exactly why do you like this music?• Discuss the factors which led you to discover and enjoy your musical favorites. Possible factors might include: the place/time/culture where you grew up; the musical tastes of siblings, parents, and/or friends; exposure to media or live concerts; personal experiences while growing up; dancing; your own musical training, etc. (many other possibilities exist)• Of your favorites, will the general public still be listening to those artists 10 years from now? Why, or why not? Will they still be remembered 50 years from now? In 200 years?
ASSIGNMENT Part 2:• Next Tuesday, be prepared to share with the class a summation of your “Musical Tastes” report. You may either read your paper, or give us an overview/ highlights.• Read Chapter 1 in our textbook.
CHAPTER 2 – Listening to Music• The place of music in culture. – Historically, music has been a part of most human cultures. This suggests that the human mind, which has an inclination to organize and synthesize, is naturally attracted to ordering sounds. – Each culture or society creates music of a distinct quality that arises from, and expresses the needs and customs of those people. There exists an anthropological relationship between the characteristics of a culture’s music, and the particular ethnic/cultural group that created the music.