Alleluia: Nativitas (The Birth; 1200?), by Perotin - 1:29
Perotin (late twelfth to early thirteenth century) was the first known composer to write music with more than two voices. Alleluia: Nativitas, an organum in three voices, is based on a Gregorian alleluia melody—for the nativity of the Virgin Mary—that Perotin placed in the lowest voice part. In this recording, the three voice parts are sung by a group of male voices reinforced by instruments.
Estampie (Thirteenth Century) - 1:16
The estampie, a medieval dance, is one of the earliest surviving forms of instrumental music. In the manuscript for this estampie, a single melodic line is notated and no instrument is specified. In our recording, the melody is played on a rebec and a pipe. Since medieval minstrels probably improvised modest accompaniments to dance tunes, the performers have added a drone at the interval of a fifth, played on a psaltery. The estampie is in triple meter.
Unsquare Dance (1961), by Dave Brubeck - 2:02
Unsquare Dance is in septuple meter, with 7 quick beats to the measure. The composer, Dave Brubeck (1920–2012), wrote that this unusual meter makes Unsquare Dance “a challenge to the foot-tappers, finger-snappers, and hand-clappers.” The piece is performed by a small jazz group consisting of piano, double bass, and percussion. The meter is established by pizzicato bass tones on beats 1, 3, and 5, and by hand claps on beats 2, 4, 6, and 7.
I Got Rhythm (1930), by George Gershwin - 0:39
Pervasive syncopations give a jazzy feeling to the song I Got Rhythm, which was written by George Gershwin (1898–1937) for the musical comedy Girl Crazy. The song is in duple meter, with two quick beats to the measure. In our recording, it is performed by a soprano, with orchestral accompaniment. In the opening rhythmic pattern to the words I got rhy-thm, a syncopation occurs when the accented tone I comes on the “offbeat,” between beats 1 and 2.
WAGNER, Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III (1848) - 2:57
3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, tambourine, 1st violins, 2d violins, violas, cellos, double basses
Listen for contrast of dynamics and tone color between the full orchestra (in 1.a.) and the oboe melody (in 2).
ARLEN, Over the Rainbow (1938) - 2:13
The classic ballad Over the Rainbow, with music by Harold Arlen and words by E. Y. Harburg, was voted the best movie song of all time by the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. This song was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring the seventeen-year-old Judy Garland as the Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale.
BRITTEN, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra - 17:23
Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, tambourine, triangle, Chinese block, xylophone, castanets, gong, whip, harp, 1st violins, 2d violins, violas, cellos, double basses
Listen for the characteristic tone colors of the woodwind, brass, string, and percussion sections and the individual instruments from these sections (Variations 1–13).
TCHAIKOVSKY, Dance of the Reed Pipes from Nutcracker Suite - 2:06
Three-part (ternary) form: A B A′
Moderato assai (very moderate), duple meter, D major 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 French horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, 1st violins, 2d violins, violas, cellos, double basses
Listen for the three-part form (A B A′) and the differences between sections A and B in tone color, melody, and the use of major and minor keys.
BIZET, Farandole from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 - 3:09
Allegro deciso (forceful allegro), march tempo, quadruple meter, D minor
Listen for the contrast between the homophonic texture of the opening for full orchestra and the polyphonic texture when the main melody played by violins is imitated by violas (in 1.a-b). Also notice the polyphonic texture when two different melodies are set against each other (in 4).
ELLINGTON, C-Jam Blues - 2:38
Piano, violin, 2 trumpets, cornet, 2 trombones, valve trombone, clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, baritone saxophone, guitar, bass, percussion
Listen for different tone colors of the piano, saxophone, violin, muted cornet, muted trombone, and clarinet (during 1-7), and the contrast between instruments playing with and without accompaniment.
STRAVINSKY, The Firebird, Scene 2
Piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 French horns, 6 trumpets, tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, bass drum, 3 harps, 1st violins, 2d violins, violas, cellos, double basses
Listen for gradual crescendo (dynamics) and the repetition of the main melody in increasingly higher octaves (pitch) during 1.a-e.
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