Concert Review

The performance attended was held as joint effort between the vocal repertoire class of Layna Chianakas and the French department, who supplied an excellent piano player in the shape of Professor Sharon Brook. The concert therefore focused on vocal performances, with a range of pieces showcasing the singing talents which were on display. The title of the evening was Cafe Les Six, a name which evoked the French nature of many of the pieces.

As well as Professor Brook on piano, there was an impressive range of performers on show. For the first two pieces, which were Arthur Honneger compositions. Taken from Quatre Poemes and 6 Poemes, the pieces were performed with confidence and style by the singers. For this opening duo of pieces, Fallon Nunes took mezzo soprano duties for the first piece, entitled ‘Peuple de Christ’. His performance was sensitive and controlled. For the second Honneger piece, entitled ‘Clotilde’, Leah Torres was the soprano. Again, the performance showed control and skill, as well as displaying a sensitive understanding of the material.

The next pieces were composed by Darius Milhaud, with his ‘Berceuse’ from ‘Deux Airs’ being performed by soprano Kelly Walker. ‘A la Lune’ from his ‘Trois poemes en prose’ followed, sung with focussed passion by another skilled soprano, Emelynn Collado. Mezzo soprano Viviana Millan then sang, as a the concert continued with another piece from Honneger, this time another piece from his ‘Quatre poemes’, entitled ‘Sur le basalte au portique des antres calmes’. Again, the performance elicited quiet gasps of wonder at the skill and panache of the performer.

Things became a little deeper in tone then, as baritone Christopher Zumaran and countertenor Robert Sanchez stepped up. Zumaran performed ‘Hommage a Eric Satie’ by George Auric. Sanchez sang ‘Portrait d’Henri Rousseau’, Auric’s sensitive and moving tribute to the great philosopher. Tenor Patrick Mattes then brought the vocal element of the concert to an end with his rendition of Milhaud’s ‘Innocence’. These three performers provided a nice balance to the high tones of the sopranos which had gone before.

The concert ended with a piano piece entitled ‘Hommage a Edith Piaf, composed by Francis Poulenc. This tribute to the great French torch singer was performed in a passionate way by pianist Gwendolyn Mok, a skilful instrumentalist who performed well on piano all evening, and rejoiced in her title of ‘La Grand Diva du Piano which the program afforded her. Afer such an entertaining evening of vocal performance, it was delightful to end the evening with this stirring and moving paean to one of France’s greatest ever singers.

Overall, the concert was an enjoyable example of a style of music with which I am not necessarily that familiar. The material was performed with such skill though that it was impossible not to be taken by the serene beauty which was at the heart of so many of the pieces which were performed. There really is an otherworldly quality to religious singing of this kind, especially when performed by sopranos, which makes it quite beautiful and affecting, in a way which is hard to define. I was touched and delighted by the music, which I found surprisingly enjoyable. I shall certainly be returning for more choral work of this kind, as this concert has fired a real enthusiasm in me for this kind of work which I would love to explore much further and more deeply when opportunity affords.


The Sex Pistols Nevermind the Bollocks…Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)

The Sex Pistols’ 1977 studio album, the only studio album the British group recorded, is regarded by critics as one of the first punk rock albums of all time. The record thus presents a view into what constitutes the punk rock genre. The Sex Pistols’ raw style of rock ‘n’ roll, which is defined by simple and repetitive guitar riffs and lead singer Johnny Rotten’s off key vocals, screechy and thoroughly “unprofessional” vocals provides a template for subsequent rock ‘n’ roll bands. Whereas the music to a certain extent, considered from a contemporary perspective, appears to be more like classic rock ‘n’ roll than hardcore punk rock music, the basic elements of the album, such as its aforementioned simplicity and primitivism in music style nevertheless can be seen as a clear precursor and inspiration to other musical ensembles in the genre.


Concert Report

On Tuesday, April 9th, 2013, I attended the Side-By-Side Symphony Orchestra concert. The performance was held at 7:30 PM in the Music Concert Hall. The symphony was conducted by Michael Ducini and featured the soloist Luna Chang on flute. The program for the concert consisted of three works: Flute Concerto No. 1 in G Major, K. 313 by Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart, Marche Slave by  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and  Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert was well-attended and the atmosphere was fun and semiformal. As the concert begin, I noticed that, due to my passing familiarity with the musical selections, I was able to remain alert to specific qualities of the performance, such as the tempos, arrangements, and tones of the  selected works. My favorite selection of the performance was Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92. This is due to the fact that I felt myself become more immersed in this piece than in the others, perhaps due to the length of the piece, or maybe due to its overall epic feel.


Black Angels and Beautiful Music

I typically find music beautiful and entertaining.  However, after listening to Black Angels by George Crumb, I have come to realize that not all music is beautiful.  I can now understand where the title Black Angels comes from.  I find the song Black Angels to be disturbing and suspenseful resembling a horror flick.


Ella Fitzgerald and Jazz Music

Soul and feeling are the true embodiment of jazz music. Invented by African-Americans near the turn of the century, jazz music contained a lot of the angst experienced by many due to racial tension of the time. Featuring frequent improvisation during performances, the artist’s feelings ooze out of their art ant music. Ella Fitzgerald embodies this idea of free-flowing jazz music due to her background, her incredible musical talent, as well as the experiences she has to drawn upon. This is perfectly shown in her live performance of the frequently covered, but old favorite “Mack the Knife”.


Bibliography: Rock and Roll in Society

  1. Altschuler, Glenn C. All Shook Up: How Rock and Roll Changed America.

New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.

In this book published in 2003, author Glenn C. Altschuler discusses the connections between popular music and American culture between 1945 and 1955 when rock and roll as a musical genre was in its infancy and was symbolized by such luminaries as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly; the links between rock and roll and race, such as not allowing African-American musicians to play alongside white musicians in dance halls and nightclubs that usually catered to all-black audiences; the connections between rock and roll and sexuality, such as the image of Elvis Presley as “old swivel hips”; how rock and roll became a part of mainstream American musical tastes in the 1960’s and 1970’s because of the so-called British Invasion and the rise of the Counterculture Movement; the so-called “death of rock and roll” in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a result of the rise of disco and dance music; and the “Persistent Power of Rock and Roll” as a genre that has faded over the years but continues to keep roaring back. Overall, Altschuler provides a comprehensive and interesting look at rock and roll and its huge impact on American society and culture in relation to how it changed the face of American music and the tastes of American listeners.


American Music

Music over the course of American history has changed dramatically in every century from the beginning with Native American music, to the influences of Europe from the pilgrims, and their style of worship to the emergence of America finding its own identity with composers, musicians, and music of their own. In the 19th century music begin to change in America from the forms of church dominated with hymns, psalms, and devotionals to more secular music with concerts, minstrel, opera performances, and other musical changes.

During the progression into the 19th century, the church was becoming more secularized with the music and teachings of “the father of public school teaching”. (Crawford, pg., 139) In this time, Lowell Mason was taking the standard psalmody and hymnody of the old church and transforming them into a better sound, from the traditional professional choral of the church to congregational singing. In songs like the “Olivet” and “Joy to the World” Lowell begin to change the way sacred music within America was being heard and song. A movement in the south changed the way gospel and church music would be song, spirituals, and ring shouts such as “Jubilee” help the southern revivalism.


The Third Stream: Beautiful Music

There are few things that are more fun than attending musical productions when all of the musicians love the music that they are playing. On February 19, 2013, the New England Conservatory (NEC) Department of Contemporary Improvisation presented “From Third Stream to Contemporary Improvisation” under the artistic direction of Gunther Schuller and Tanya Kalmanovitch. When the curtain went up a little after 98:00 pm, the audience’s anticipation could be felt throughout Jordan Hall. As the program stated “The possibilities are endless” and that is exactly how the concert felt. This paper will summarize and review the concert in the first section, then summarize and respond to the idea of a third stream as it was thought of by Schuller and Blake, the founders of the Third Stream and Contemporary Improvisation at the NEC. In so doing the paper will argue that the February 19th concert did exactly what the founders hoped it would, show how the marriage of diverse forms of music can create something new and fantastic.


Choral Concert

The concert was a choral concert. There were outstanding choral recordings, thematic programming, highlights from competitions and detailed characteristics of significant choral composers and their musical pieces. The concert had many performers including Mary Hynes, Anthony O’ Daly, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde and The Coolin’. People were dressed in various fashions indicating that they were ready to have fun and relaxing moments from the concert. Many had longed for the concert because it had received a lot of publicity. The advertisers also mentioned that people would here different tunes from the original, so many people attended the concert with lots of expectations. The venue was filled with light that had different colors which made it to appear more beautiful. Various popular artists attended the concert, so everyone was delighted to see famous musicians in one setting. This concert was intriguing since different musicians played live choral music. Every musician displayed immense skill in performing choral music.


Evaluation of a Fine Evening of Choral Music

I attended a programme of choral work, which was largely religious in tone and theme, and covered a range of cultural traditions, languages and styles. The works were performed by a local choral society (add name), as well as several individual singers, including soprano Summer Latimer. Other notable performers included conductor Julie Smith, whose work on the piece ‘Tiempo para un tiempo’ was especially noticeable. The section devoted to the Chichester Psalms featured some excellent vocalists, with Ghythe Haddad singing soprano along with Janie Dusenberry, Cathy Williams providing a fine alto voice, Albee Marbeza singing tenor and Jonathan contributing his rich bass voice to the pieces. Instrumentalists included cellist Marilyn Winkle and horn player Kelly Hesterberg. Other vocal soloists were Chloe Smart and Matt LaRochelle, whose work on the folk song ‘Wayfarin’ Stranger’ was particularly fine.

This impressive range of performers had some really fine material to get their teeth into as well, with variety and diversity making this programme a much more stimulating type of program than is often seen. In many ways, the program attempted to fit the history of the USA into a narrative, with the evening beginning with a pievce by William Billings, considered as America’s first real composer of the colonial period. The piece ‘I am the Rose of Sharon’ was an emotional opening to the program, setting a tone of spirituality for the rest of the event.

From that opening in America’s very beginnings, there was a jump forward in time to the 21st century, with ‘The Road Home’ by Stephen Paulus coming next. There was no uncomfortable lurch though, casued by the leap in time, with the work fitting seamlessly into the whole. There was no puase in proceedings, as the choir moved into their rendition of ‘At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners’, based on a poem by 17th century English poet John Donne. It was a superb way to end the first part of the program, with the audience stimulated and clearly keen for more.

The program took a more metaphysical turn as it stepped into the Celtic mists of Ireland. ‘Reincarnations’ by Samuel Barber is based on lyrics about three Irish characters from the past. While the lyrics seemed a little opaque, the way in which the performers were able to bring the Celtic twilight to life with an eerie and affecting vocal performance was thrilling. From one Atlantic island, we were taken to others with the Caribbean pieces which came next. ‘Tiempo para un tiempo’ is a piece by the Cuban composer Roberto Valera, and, sung in Spanish, it was a wodnerful juxtaposition with the more ethereal sounds of the Irish pieces which preceeded it.

The Caribbean theme continued with the Balia de Sehu, a piece based on a folk dance from the island of Aruba. Some Folk Dances, delivered with the characteristic vocal mannerisms of the Swingle singers, added to the feeling of joyous folk music. The dynamics here were really superb, with some wonderful interpretations by the performers.

The mood changed again though with the advent of the section devoted to the Chichest Psalms by Leonard Bernstein. This section featured dissonance, as well as having a much more serious and grave tone. It was impressively delivered by the performers, who related well to the complexity of the pieces. The evening ended by the performers stepping back into American folk traditions, with the Pennsylvania Dutch song ‘Johnny Schmoker’ being complemented by spirituals ‘Deep River’ and ‘My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord’, which provided a fitting end to the program. ‘Wayfarin’ Stranger’ really helped to highlight the American nature of the evening.

Overall, the program was excellent, covering a range of musical styles while still retaining a sense of Amerca. The combination of folk melodies with much more serious pieces helped to make things entertaining and involving. This was an engaging evening of music which triggered many thoughts about the work we have done in class. The way in which earlier music and forms of musical worship influenced later ideas is especially relevant. Ideas resonate through the ages, and it was interesting to see ideas explored in class still show themselves in later pieces. Music from earlier ages continues to exert significant influence.


American Music

Song 2: Old Hundred

  • 1560’s French Calvinist Psalms song, sung by Americans and English in the European colonies
  • Ainsworth claimed that the basic melody is what makes Old Hundred a western classic
  • Used in Protestant worship today as Doxology; taken from the Bible Psalms 100.
  • Another piece that can be associated with The Sacred Harp from 16th as well.
  • Psalmody singing as part of their Christian religion
  • The tune is always the same even with different lyrics

Song 3: Chester by Billings

  • The rhythmic melodies, with a tonic chord help to build the patriotic anthem; Protestant Psalms
  • A patriotic theme as a symbol of War of Independence for the American Revolution
  • Hymns, or Spiritual genre
  • Through the use of rhythmic patterns of the chords used in broadside ballets
  • The lack of artistic polish, and strongly stressed syllables

Song 4: Sherburne by Daniel Read

  • Made by a American, as simple folk-like melodies, that were devotional pieces apart of the northern revivalism of hymnody music, Fuging Tone
  • Another hymnal piece that was used to typify a whole generation of Yankee Composers
  • hymnals, gospel
  • Trying to invoke the religious togetherness by singing psalms in one accord, spiritual folk music
  • The song uses “fuging tune” popular among psalmists and singers

Song 5: Ich will dir ein Freudenopfer (peter)

  • Music of the Moravians who were inspired by Beissel’s musical pieces that used various musical instruments unheard in religious music, strong religious hymns, and a simplified rhythm. Psalms
  • Most of his work was not published, the music was powerful and meant for just his community
  • Elaborate anthems and congregational hymns closely related to American Gospel
  • Evoking the spiritual folk music of its time
  • He would coordinate declamations and harmonies by placing accents on syllables, used for singing in a choral, Moravian anthem; triple meter through composed form

Song 9:  Hail Columbia – John Baldon

  • The patriotic and American theme, used in military concerts during wartime,
  • Used as a musical symbol of Union cause
  • Used with fiddles, drums, and other musical instruments. Broadside ballads.
  • It is recognizable by it acrobatic melody that leads to the elaborated cadence and patriotic melody from American folk or broadside ballads.

Song 10: Thanksgiving Anthem-Billings

  • Religious tones song with a Yankee choral work (Psalms)
  • Importance marked by Billings method Edification
  • Paraphrased biblical verses in order to focus on the people worshiping God, instead of directly worshiping God, gospel elements
  • Reform mode of edification with pleasing rhythm and harmony

Song 11: Olivet-Mason

  • Mason is the “father” of public church music; its melodies and hymnal verses struck within the American religious communities. Hymns
  • Embodies Tocqueville’s philosophy, one of the first used in educating the masses
  • He took the task of combining sacred and hymnal verses using European elements
  • Features a rhythmic motive that appears in five tunes of the seven phrases, and embodies the devotional style of spiritual hymns; hymnody of the northern revivalism

Song 12: Wondrous Love-Sacred Harp

  • Popular Southern folk hymn that swept across the south during the early and mid-21st Hymns
  • Deep spiritual devotional hymns sung by mostly southern religious followers
  • It is closely related to the Gospel Genre of today
  • It evokes the melodic rhythm of tying all the great black gospel singers such as Mahilia Jackson and others
  • Its distinct repetition of the first lyrics three times, soulful edification infused in their rhythm that is still heard in gospel genre today

Song 14: Old Dan Tucker-Emmett

  • Minstrel song during the antebellum period, popular American song
  • Performed by the black faced minstrel troupe that travel throughout the south
  • A combination of rhythm and text declamation, simple harmony and melody
  • Planted roots for modern Bluegrass and country
  • Different from past minstrel music, dance song with voice introduction and a breakdown in cadence, unlike others develops harmony and rhythm together.

Song 15: Camptown Races-Foster

  • Popular Minstrel song, turned American tradition song during the Civil War
  • Uses a variety of rhythmic changes accompanied by the sound of a banjo
  • Closely related to the bluegrass genre
  • Comedic song that gave performers the ability to hold longer notes, minstrel-folk songs
  • Lyrical melody and harmonic idiom

Song 16: Papageno Polka- Foster

  • Popular American Parlor Piano Music, sheet music used during the Civil War
  • Taken from potpourri composition, orchestral work
  • Opera and Orchestra music genres
  • Evoke potpourris which sample all the popular themes of that period.
  • Based on melodies from the character of Magic Flute, Papageno

Song 17: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair-Foster

  • Lighter sound that influences the patriotic spirit; parlor song about separation, and yearning
  • Parlor song; love song written about his wife.
  • Poetic, lyrical, romance music genre
  • The light, vapor sound melody that emphasizes on the dream like lyrical vocables

Song 20: Helene Schottische

  • Polka Tune imported from France made popular in America by way of New Orleans, played during the Antebellum Period,
  • old fashioned themed parlor music accompanied by a brass band
  • Related to the American Bass Band music genre
  • Used in military bands with the use of brass instruments, clarinets, and other loud instruments. Patriotic ballads, Civil War brass band dance
  • Loud brass band music that usually would give the wind instruments rest in their upbeat melody and rhythms

Song 21: The Banjo-Gottschalk

  • Made his American debut with the help of flutes, banjo, pianists, and singers. Piano show piece
  • Like Camptown, a sense of Americanism with big bands and American instruments
  • Banjo style, Square dancing, polka genres
  • American style of banjo that was used during the Antebellum Period
  • Changes the melody to signal the end of the song, uses Tres Rhythme to emphasize the different rhythm, pentatonic opening and closing scale measures

Song 22: Symphonic Sketches-Chadwick

  • American Symphonic music
  • Each of the four movements are painted as a scene from a book or work of art
  • Closely related to the classical music
  • It is essentially a poem made up four movements from different music genres
  • Distinctive sounds from bass instruments, holds in periods, melodies, and tempo changes, classical music

Song 25: War dance-Southern Plains Indians

  • Apart of American History of Native Americans,
  • They music is used in traditional pre-war ceremonies
  • Native Tribal music genre
  • Invoke emotions getting ready for war, a sense of patriotism and pride in the tribes
  • The use of drums, Native American instruments and voices, Powwow music

Song 26: Deep River

  • Spiritual Music from African American folk and religious hymns
  • Popular gospel songs, that had a slow but powerful melody and lyric made by African Americans infused with blues and spiritual sounds
  • Gospel genre, spiritual hymns
  • The melody, and the slow rhythm coupled with a harmonious tone meant to be song in a low baritone voice.

Song 11: Talk about Jesus-Dorsey

  • The American Aspect of the piece is rooted in its melded blend of religious themes and rhythmic blues
  • One of the earliest gospels song by an African American writer fused religious verses with jazz and blues
  • Jazz or Blues Genres
  • Took the message from the black congregation and embedded them in his songs with blues infusion
  • Distinctive is the music entirely different then earlier gospels songs, Rhythmic rubato tone against a steady beat; Gospel and spirituals influences

Postal Workers: University of Ghana Post Office “work song”

  • Work Song
  • Closely related to African spirituals or call and response
  • Performed during work; kept everyone on task and coordinated
  • This song is made by the noise the postal workers are making from canceling stamps and whistling to create the melody to an upbeat rhythm and harmony

Rock Island Line: sung by Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly)

  • Singer and guitarist; blues player
  • Work song; sung on the railroads
  • Blues/American Folk
  • Originally made by prison gangs, rearranged with narration into this blues rendition

Rock Island Line explained by Leadbelly to Alan Lomax

  • Leadbelly rearranged the original version of the prison gang work song
  • Blues rendition; laid back folk style narration
  • Explanation of the train stops and adds religious lyrics in the chorus

Bo Diddley: Guitars, shakers

  • Known as the Originator; African American rhythm and blues with the smooth transition from blues to rock
  • Blues genre: Rock genre
  • Style of heavy shakers, distinctive guitar t
  • one and reverberated hollering throughout.
  • Diddley Beat: rhythmic harmony from his guitar; popular today

Amazing Grace: Original

  • Three voice harmonization of the Hymn (Psalms)
  • Hymn Genre; Fuging Tones
  • Second Awakening; Most famous folk hymns

Amazing Grace2:  Lining–out in a Baptist church

  • African embrace of the hymn turned spiritual
  • Gospel genre : Shape Notes
  • Call and response during church lead by the pastor

Run, Old Jeremiah

  • African American spiritual : Ring Shouts
  • Old working song
  • using a West African dance pattern, where the performers shuffled single file, clapping out a complex counter-rhythm

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

  • African American Spiritual: Shape notes and Call and Response
  • Spiritual and Gospel Genre
  • Religious song : drawn out notes and long-meter hymns

Great Camp Meeting in the Promised Land: Fisk jubilee singers:

  • A capella rendition: Call and Response
  • Apart of African American Worship; Gospel and Spirituals
  • Ring shouts and Gospel genre
  • Old slave hymn embedded with code since they could not talk on the fields

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny-James Bland

  • Bluegrass instrumental Standard ; Minstrel folk song during the Civil War
  • Penned by James: African American, was sung in blackface
  • Minstrel styled song adopted by the state of Virginia

Oh Dem’ Golden Slippers: James Bland

  • Minstrel styled parody of Golden Slippers
  • Bluegrass and Brass Band genres
  • Plays in the Mummers Parade

Bert Williams: When the Moon Shines on the Moonshine

  • First black Vaudeville performer on Broadway
  • Made during the prohibition era, a part of the African American Musical Theater
  • Related to the Jazz and Pop(comedic) genres
  • Williams’ characteristic half-spoken, half-sung routine

Francis Johnson

  • African American bandleader and composer ; Dance band leader
  • Brass Band genre; minstrel genre, ballads, and patriotic marches
  • Trumpet, bugle, and other instruments; innovated the style singing while playing
  • Played in small cotillions with Strings and brass instruments and Militia concerts

The Legacy of Colonialism in Africa

The influence of European colonial rule on the African continent is not only a narrative of political hegemony, whereby the dominant Western powers extended their world-wide “land grab” to Africa, in order to secure political influence and resources. This same narrative may also be understood as one of a profound cultural change: what was at stake in the colonialization of Africa, as well as the colonialization of the world, was not a mere struggle for power in terms of land and subjects, i.e., human beings reduced to the status of the colonial subject, but also an attempt to impose a particular world-view or way of looking upon the world on a people to whom this particular world-view was radically foreign. The changes in African music are a clear reflection of this culture type of warfare, demonstrating the extent to which colonial powers strove to wield their power upon others.


History of American Music

History of American Music


 Music has always been around from the start of the human experience. Before the first words were spoken, noises that people made was strung together to make clear music that others could relate to. As the Native Americans followed their religion, they would sing and dance to the sky to stay at one with nature. America was formed through the teachings and principles that the political and religious leaders followed. It has been learned through time that for several generations passed on to another, music has also become a separating element that identified one generation from another (Anderson, 2006, 54). Music within religion has always been of importance in giving praise, worship, and song. Religion and music are among the two most influential foundations that provide identity to any particular race and culture. Music has always been a calming remedy in helping new settlers deal with the uncertainty of adjusting to their new home.


The Fifth Force by Thomas S. Kakovitch

The book The Fifth Force was written by Thomas S. Kakovitch in 2012 to address the physical essence of force in case the existence of mass, electric charges, and the variety of nuclear charges is not taken into account. The author focuses on the nature of force prior to the existence of these forces by stating that the four fundamental forces such as the strong nuclear, weak nuclear, electromagnetic, and gravity forces are not the only ones existing in nature. The firth force he speaks about is that of a scalar force field, the function of temperature, existed after the big bang and before the emergence of four forces taken as the fundamental scope of forces by the modern physics theory.