8. Wednesday, November 3, 2010

8. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - MUS230 - Wednesday,...

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Unformatted text preview: MUS230 - Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Essay Sources: - rilm, jstore, grove music online, naxaus music library in e-resources Vietman War - look at Chronology George Crumb - born in 1929 - studied music in American academia - appointed to composition post at University of Pennsylvania - wrote a general description of Black Angels Black Angels - more information on course website - extremely sophisticated piece of protest music - a strikingly dramatic surreal allegory of the Vietnam War - 13 images of dark land for electric string quartet - finished Friday 13, 1970, in tempore belli - in time of war - “quasi-programmatic allusions” • programmatic is anything outside of the music, (characters, things, places) - arc-like design - threnody is a song of lamentation - a lament for the dead - tutti: all 4 memebers of the string quartet are playing together - movements 7 and 13 punctuate the rest of the piece, and these numbers are significant for the piece - he is talking about a senority: staring on E and going to A - there are a set of three notes that embody the numbers 7 and 13 - 7: God, 13: Devil causes polarity through the piece - the use of so many languages gives the piece a universaily - string quartet: first violin, second violin, cello, viola; but all electric Departure - Movement One: • threnody l • when there is a nuclear conflagration, the only thing left will be insects - Movement Two: Sounds of Bones and Flutes • the composer is setting up a timeless universal backdrop for this battle between good and evil • reference to long stretches of time • gives a picture of primitive music making • extented techniques - not the way things are usually played (extended string playing techniques) • quasi-tibetan prayer stones - bringing in other languages • tri-tone interval: strange sounding interval - it is one semi tone wider than the perfect 4 (?), very unsettling, it has a long history in European music, in the middle ages it was rejected entirely and was called “the devil in music” (diabolus in musica) - Lost Bells • Duo: second violinist and cello player • involves an effect where a played when a tamtam (gong), using his/her bow - Movement Three: Devil Music • vox diaboli - voice of the devil • condenza a companiada (?): virtuoso passage • the devil is a violin player - these associations come different to each person • in the 19th century, while Paganini was in prison, the devil came to him and taught him how to play the violin • Tartini - the Devil’s Trill Sonata - virtuoso piece • Dies irae - time honoured European tune that is meant to inspire terror, medieval sequence about the Day of Judgement, tells all about the dead bodies rising and walking the earth and the horrible things that will happen if you have not been good • a lot of 7/13 and a lot of tri-tone movement - Movement Four: Dance Macabre • means macabre dance • sort of like peace by Saint Saens • duet with two players, and the Dies irae by the others who are also playing the maraca, and muttering the number 13 in different languages • they put down their instruments because it is the end of part one • part two must begin after an interval of 13 seconds Post Modernism - this musical style that draws on many different references is often called postmodernism • implies a rejection of modernism (serialism, extreme abstraction and system/method requiring a great deal of skill) - there is no series in this piece - he uses the tri-tone not as a mathematical system, but becasue of their assosciative properties (so the audience can associate them with an idea) • usually involved quotations regarding earlier music or music traditions (not the renaissance) • tends to draw upon music of other cultures (exotic), and not the essential European culture • Crumb was deeply immersed in European music, which is seen in 1st movement of second section Absence - Pavana Lachrymae • Pavana is a dance movement • Lachrymae - means tears in Latin, and there was a song called “Flow my Tears” - 17th century English thing • play like a consort of viols (family of string instruments which are bower, but fretted) - hold the bow in this ancient way • in order to intensify the associative effect and grieving and mourning, he quotes a movement from a quartet by Schubert: “Der Tod und das Madchen” (Death and the Maiden) • you will hear the insects, they are still there through all the good and evil • full of intervals of a 7th, tri-tones - Sarabanda de la Muerte Oscura • Crumb has drawn on his gift for pastiche • here, he makes up something that is his parody of a renaissance saraband (slow dance in triple meter) • making the music sound ancient/ archaic • he uses the double leading tone; semi tone below the tonic (14th/ early 15th century thing) - Lost Bells (echo) • reminiscent of Sounds of Bones and Flutes • it is almost as if you are going further and further back in time • end of the second/ middle part, and again, has them pause for 13 seconds before beginning the final section Return - associating it with redemption - gives this dark piece a sense of hope - God Music • accompanied by bowed crystal glasses • solo for the cello • aria accompaniada (?) (opposed to condenza - order, not chaos) - 11th movement: ancient voices • instructed violin 1 & 2 to hold their instruments like a mandolin - 12th movement: ancient voices echo • both violins and viola hold their instruments like a mandolin, with a bit of cello at the end - threnody lll: Night of the Electric Insects • after everything, the insects are still left • reminiscence of the saraband • a lot of speaking in Japanese regarding 7 and 13 • uses thimbles Saint Saens Liszt ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course MUS 230H1 taught by Professor Professorparker during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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