|Class 24||ETR: Tuesday, December 03 at 2:30|
FTR: Tuesday, December 03 at 4:10
Homework #17: Roots of African-American Music
The questions follow the sequence of the discussion with a little light shuffling. As always I recommend opening the online unit and the exercise in separate tabs so you can flip back and forth and do it open book.
This one is due before Class 25 (Thurs, Dec 5).
Homework #18: Avant-Garde Classical Music
We also have one last online unit on the wacky world of Avant-Garde Classical Music in the 20th Century. I will not lecture about Modern Classical Music at all until Dec 3, but this is all very radical stuff that isn't really connected to the past and you can check it out any time.
Then, exercise 18 asks you questions about the material.
This one is due before quiz four (Tues Dec 10).
Homework #19: Quiz Four Preview
Assignment #19 is our typical quiz preview with real quiz questions. All of the info you need to complete it is now up in the notes and blogs.
This is due before Class 26 (Tues, Dec 10) which is the quiz date.
Quiz Four News + Playlists
The last test will be on the history of jazz as well as a little bit about modern classical music. It will be on Tues, Dec 10. Complete notes and study guide are now up on our documents page.
Our jazz unit is fun an easy for some students, but difficult and confusing to others who have never listened to this kind of music before. If jazz is new to you, start spinning this playlist! After 2-3 times it will start to makes more sense.
Bebop, continued - Thelonious Monk
We are going to look at one more bebop figure for the quiz. Monk is a pianist whose playing style and compositions are valued for their fun "off-kilter" quality.
We'll study this track: Thelonious Monk Quartet, "Rhythm-an-ing" from the album Criss-Cross.
Bonus Post-Bebop Composer: Charles Mingus
Mingus is another top-10 jazz figure that we don't have time for in this unit. Not on the quiz.
Another bonus page: Jazz Vocalists
This is something that students have asked about in class - where are all of the famous jazz singers? So I've compiled another special page that talks about 10 jazz singers you should check out. Not on the quiz.
Cool Jazz (1950s onwards)
This is simply jazz that is much more smooth and laid-back than bebop. I started off by playing something from this TV special, which is very similar to the Miles Davis's album Birth of the Cool:
...and then we focused on Miles Davis, "All Blues" from Kind of Blue  which is both cool and modal. This is a quiz piece.
I'm going to try an experiment and do some of our Modern Classical pieces in this class. Then we'll go back into some more recent jazz in the final class. This will mix things up and give us a little variety.
Modern Classical Music I
This session is devoted to some relatively "mainstream" Modern composers who remained somewhat connected to the past as they worked on their own unique styles. I've spun off some more radical, avant-garde composers in an online unit with accompanying homework exercise.
You can read about the Modern period in general on pp. 352-355 in the eighth edition, 331-335 in the seventh.
First, though, we have to backtrack a bit and talk about "Impressionism." You could read about this on pp. 337-345 in the 8th edition, 319-325 in the 7th.
Our quiz piece will be this Debussy Prélude. Here's a live youtube:
...and a studio recording by the great Maurizio Pollini
Craig Wright discusses Stravinsky on pp. 355-362 in the eighth edition, 337-343 in the seventh.
We started our discussion of Stravinsky by peeking at The Firebird, his first work with the Ballets Russes. This production by the Bolshoi Ballet is kind of silly and fun.
For the quiz, however, we are going to focus on The Rite of Spring, specifically the first 10 minutes or so. (Even more specifically, we will cover the same parts that Craig Wright discusses in the book.)
Here is video of the part I want you to study:
Using Spotify etc is a bit awkward because the part we want spans three different tracks. I would suggest you use the Modern Classical Playlist to get the specific tracks we need, or you can follow these album links to get the whole thing:
Finally, I played a bit of the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto to show the more mellow, "Neoclassical" Stravinsky that emerged later.
Bartók is a Hungarian composer who intregrated the traditional music of his homeland into modernist music. I'm not sure exactly how much of his stuff I'm going to do in class.
We'll probably watch the twisty, high-energy finale to his Fourth String Quartet
Finally, we'll turn to the dean of American composers, Aaron Copland.
He is discussed on pp. 375-379 in the eighth edition, 362-366 in the seventh.
First we'll sample his Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp, to show him blending a Stravinsky-like Modernist style with a jazz influence.
And here is his "American" style, in Appalachian Spring. Quiz piece!
We always run out of time in this session, but you really could stand to know about Charles Ives. You could read pp. 370-1 in the eighth edition, pp. 360-361 in the seventh. He's not on the quiz but he's great.
Here's one of his wild collages of American music, from Three Places in New England.
And here is the hauntingly beautiful Unanswered Question.