In this assignment you will discuss the synthesis of music and text in a work of your choice by analyzing a composer’s choices. You may use any piece of vocal music we have not covered in class. Vocal music is any genre that utilizes the human voice, it could be a cappella or accompanied, solo or ensemble, traditional or new. The only criteria are: the work includes text, is not longer than 10 minutes, and that it is interesting enough to discuss in some depth. You may choose a work that is part of a larger work, such as an opera aria or a movement from a large vocal work. If this is the case, be sure to focus your attention on a very specific part of the larger work.
Take your time and be careful in your musical choice. Please choose a work that has both substance and depth. You will need to focus on the music and the text in concert. A work may have interesting text but no solid musical support of the text, this is not a good work to choose.
For this assignment you will not be listing the elements you hear, instead you will be discussing how the composer utilizes the elements including sound, rhythm, melody, texture, harmony, tonality, and form to enhance the meaning and dramatic effect of the text. To start, you should look for evidence of text painting, formal design (repetition, variation and contrast), consonance and dissonance as well as various melodic and harmonic features that emphasize or support the text.
The assignment must include the complete text in an appendix, with both the original and English translation if necessary. This appendix must not be included in your word count.
Some hints. Listen to the work several times. Write the paper. Listen several more times.
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