Music Appreciation

Topics: Don Giovanni, Music, Musical instrument Pages: 7 (1603 words) Published: April 17, 2014

MUH Essay 2

Sarah Ostrowski

Wayne State University

Question 4:
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was a very interesting song; there were many changes through out the piece. It started out sounding like a battle symphony where Tchaikovsky used the instruments to make a choppy sound, which reminded me of a march, as well as gun sounds. He has a great use of crescendo at the beginning. Along with increasing the sound level he also increases the tempo and brings the piece into a dramatic point as all of the instruments join. This includes many different types of instruments: orchestra, woodwind, and percussion. This composer also has a great use of repetition, in the first minute of the song he repeats small sections with the same instrument, but as the song develops he makes this more complicated and repeats longer sections and changes instruments each time. I really like this style because it allows the listener to hear each instrument individually, which is rarely done in a song. Drums are used to keep the beat in this section of the piece, which makes the battle feeling stronger and alludes to a heartbeat sound. But it is really the trumpets that stand out in the song and give the beginning of the battle presentation. After the repetition involving different instruments the song begins a decrescendo, this is a great transition into the next big change in the music. A dramatic shift happens and the music turns into a soft, smooth melodic tune that you would dance to at a ball. There is the use of a tiny bell sound that lightens the mood. The notes in this section are much longer and smoother than previously. Also, the woodwinds were taken out during this section and we only hear orchestra. I did not particularly enjoy this song until it transitioned in such a dramatic way; I have never heard such a transition in a piece where it goes from a battle theme to a ball dance theme. This section is very relaxing when compared to the pervious part. We then transition into the third section and the tempo speeds up, the instruments still include the orchestra and a tambourine was added. The music quickly becomes quiet with a long pause and returns to the sound of the trumpet just like in the beginning of the piece along with the orchestra. There is a great crescendo and all of the instruments join in together, to me this section really clashes due to all the different sounds. This is where the gun shot sound comes in. All of the instruments join in a long scale that continues to decrescendo as the tempo slows. This is a simple part to write but I believe it is a very good part because it makes all of the instruments really need to work to stay together because it would be very obvious if one were a note off on the scale. As the scale ends the instruments instantly come to a loud crash. There are so many bells and trumpets and other instruments playing that it is hard to distinguish what is going on. This part is very repetitive with all of the instruments playing. The song then changes into a faster tempo and I recognize this tune from somewhere else, it is the trumpets and drums mainly playing until the cannon sound returns once again, and we come back to the battle scene. The is a very big, dramatic scale leading into the large bell sounds as the song is ending. All of the instruments then play the same half notes with short pauses between them and end with a long note to finish of the song. Overall, I really enjoyed this piece it was very interesting to listen to and hear all the different ways that the composer switched up the mood in the song.

Question 8:
Mozart Don Giovanni Act 2 Finale Part 2 Commendatore Scene is a great piece of opera, and I usually do not like opera. This part of the opera takes place in Don Giovanni’s dining room, he is having a feast made for a king when Donna Elvira arrives to tell him that she is no longer mad at...
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