Listening to Music

Still haven’t gotten paid from Holland High School. I guess that’s just a write-off.

I’m sitting in my office at GVSU . Today’s lecture went pretty well I thought. I did two complete symphony movements in class with diagrams about their form. It’s a long about now I start to wonder about the content of this course.

I like Haydn and Mozart (not to mention Bach, Handel and Vivaldi). But what do they really have to say to my students?

My word for today was “anachronism.” heh.

I am teaching about the Sonata Allegro form as used by Mozart and Haydn. I remember resisting listening to this kind of music with this kind of roadmap in mind. A teacher at WSU once asked a class of music majors if they were listening for form when they listened to music. We all said no. He was shocked. He told us we should be.

But I still wonder why it’s necessary for enjoyment. If I listen for form, I am not in enjoyment mode but in analytic mode. Maybe that’s what he meant. As students we should listen analytically. I guess that makes sense.

I certainly enjoy analysis. I just differentiate between that and the way I enjoy the music itself.

I think Copland was on to something by asking the question about what level we are listening to music on.

I tend to listen to music for meaning not form pe se. The meaning often comes from a charming turn to the melody or chords or the sheer sound (Or admittedly the lyrics)
When looking at the ocean or a storm or a mountain and i become filled with awe and pleasure, it is not necessary for me to think analytically. In fact it can obstruct my perception and completely change the experience.

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