Yesterday was the introduction to music. To start off the class, we learned the first four components of music which are rhythm, melody, harmony and timbre which is the texture of the piece. I learned how to keep an open ear to the piece because there are subtleties in the piece that are significant. In the piece “Praeludium I”, there was a constant note that was overshadowed by the melody and harmony but that’s only because I didn’t pay attention to the base notes. So when listening to the piece over again, I was able to hear it loud and clear this time. It’s almost surprising that something that seemed so clear to me the second was nonexistent the first time. I guess it means that as an inexperienced musician, I haven’t had the proper training yet to pat attention to small details which actually tie the entire piece together.
Praeludium I was very pleasant to the ears and it repetitive which adds to the overall pleasant theme. It was not written in the composition, but when portions of the piece were played louder than the rest, it almost sounded like there was a climax to the piece even if there might not have been because I associated the volume to the intensity of the emotion. It seemed even more like a climax when the loudness suddenly faded away and it returned back to its melodious rhythm. It felt as if the peak of someone’s life just finished, and the familiar feeling of leading a normal life returned. It’s as if I can create a story of someone’s successes and failures by just listening to the configuration and intensity of the notes.
Praeludium II seemed to be of the same notes but with a different configuration which changed the mood all together. I felt a since of franticness and the speed of the notes made me heart race like I had to keep up with the piece. It was certainly alarming but yet consisted of the same notes that made Praeludium I so relaxing which is quite interesting. The repetitive nature of this piece didn’t make it seem like there was a smoothness and softness of someone’s lifestyle. The repetitive nature made it seem as if someone’s life was endlessly disturbing and unsettling which is the opposite of Praeludium I. As Dr. Kahan put it,t was like a “malevolent machine”.
“Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky was tough for me because of the involvement of so many different instruments. I was confused on what to focus on or even clearly see what kind of instruments were playing when. According to Dr.Kahan, the piece starts with basses and cellos then incorporates wood wind instruments. I did hear another moment of climax though and similar to Praeludium I, after the intensity of the instruments, there was a brief moment of calamity which tells me that the peak of the tension that has been slowly building up is over but unexpectedly, the story intensified. This was certainly unique because the arrangement didn’t seem to have a flow even if it might have. Once again, I attribute this to my unfamiliarity with music.
Finally, we focused on “Camille” with Greta Garbo which was made into an opera called “La Traviata” and the one song that portrayed the scene from Camille was called “Un di felice”. This particular scene had the same content but was presented in completely different ways. What might have taken a few seconds to display in a movie, is elongated and filled with emotion in an opera. That was quite evident with this particular scene in which it took merely a few moments to let the woman know that the man loved her because it was straight forward. This might make the audience feel a certain way but it certainly doesn’t sway them like the opera does in which the depth of the love is written on the man’s face. His body language also enhanced his love and passion for her. The same confession this time tugs at the audience’s heart strings and heavily engages them which is perhaps the reason why i’ve heard of many people crying at operas. It’s because of the incorporation of the melodious voices and the heaviness of the acting that harmonizes with the voices.