This is for college music appreciation class. does not need to sound like a profession in music. just cover the topic.
do not need a introduction – no history of the piece – just answer the discussion. do not give definitions of terms. just use the terms to answer the discussion.
when describing the dynamics use the italian terms to describe example piano – soft
when explaining form – should be repetition, variation or constrast
can explain the piece by using all the elements of music not just the ones mentioned.
listen to the first movement from Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ from his Four Season
The Four Seasons was one of the first compositions to explore ‘program music’. Program music is when a composer tells a story through the music. Discuss how this selection sounds like ‘winter’ using the terminology you’ve learned in the course (dynamics, texture, form, tempo, instruments, etc.)
When Vivaldi wrote this piece of music it was written for an all girl ensemble. The girls had been abandoned as babies/children for either being poor or illigitimate and lived in an orphanage where Vivaldi taught the children music. Keep in mind this is at a time in history where women were not considered ‘persons’ but ‘possessions. At this time, the only ‘goal’ for a girl was to be married. One of the many considerations in marriage would be if the girl was musically able (as it would transfer to her children, making them more ‘enlightened’). As an orphan, many of the girls would have a very difficult time finding a husband as they were considered the bottom of the barrel. During the time Vivaldi wrote this piece, the girls would play the music behind a screen (because it was considered inappropriate for girls to be on stage). A man in the audience would listen to the music and, if he found the performance to be engaging, would propose marriage to whichever sound caught his favor (as he wouldn’t be able to see what girl played what). After the girl accepted his proposal she had to sign a contract saying she would never perform in public again.
Discuss your reaction knowing this piece of music would haven been played by girls for this intention. In particular, discuss the virtuosity and consider – these girls would be teenagers – what is your reaction to the level of talent that would have been retired once the girl was married?
Answer preview for Baroque Discussion