Seminar Class 10/10/12

On Wednesday, class began with a discussion on our feelings and thoughts on the opera Turandot. Overall we all as a class liked the opera. It was something different that most of us have never experienced before. Many of us especially liked the costumes and scenery of the opera for they were both very extravagant. In class we also discussed the types of music throughout the opera. The two types of music that were played in the opera were Italian-like and Chinese-like. Some music sounded Italian because it was an Italian opera written by an Italian man. Some music sounded Chinese because the setting of the play was in China and was about a Chinese empress named Turandot. The muiscians achieved this Chinese-like music by including a lot of fourth notes.

During the second half of the class, Michael Sirotta came to talk about his experience with music. Professor Sirotta is a world known musician who just created his first orchestral symphony, that of which we will as a class attend on Sunday afternoon. Professor Sirotta first discussed his first experience with music. He remembered what was his first piece of music that he ever encountered. This song was Oyfn Pripetshok, a traditional Jewish folk song. It is so popular in the Jewish community that it is also known as the second Jewish national anthem. He remembered his grandfather singing this song when he was a little boy. As a result of this great memory, he made this song the basis for his first orchestral symphony. Professor Sirotta also talked about his experience and his past with music. He discussed why variation was so important in music and how the composer knows what instruments to use to get a certain emotion or variation.

Having Professor Sirotta come to our seminar class to talk about his orchestral symphony made me more interested in attended the Philharmonic on Sunday. I now understand how difficult his job is as a conductor and will appreciate his performance more than I would have in the past. I know that seeing this performance will be a great experience.