“Some people shy away from learning about music because the fear it will take away the enjoyment they already experience. Usually, they worry about becoming too technical and/or too analytical in their approach to what should be enjoyable. Understanding music is not a matter of technical analysis, but of human assessment. No longer are sounds just sounds: now they are sounds created and performed with human intellect and skill. Understanding music will not distance you, but it will lead you to a greater appreciation of human achievements.”

With the above quote in mind, you are to select a musical composition to write a 500-word essay on. This can be classical, jazz, contemporary… any type of composition that you identify with. Begin by listening carefully to the piece. You will find yourself doing this repeatedly to truly truly discover the musical characteristics of the composition. Identify the type of composition (is it a theme and variation or sonata?), vocal characteristics What types of instruments are used, and what is the effect that each instrument adds to the composition? Discuss the musical “language” of the chosen composition, including an analysis of the rhythm, melody and harmony. Describe your listening experience in your essay, using terms learned in the text. If possible, include an audio link of your chosen composition.
Textbook: The Humanities Through The Ages
Authors: F. David Martin/ Lee A. Jacobus, Ninth Edition
Publisher: McGraw Hill
ISBN – 978-0-07-352398-9

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