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  • Prof: Okay. Good morning.

  • Over the weekend, you were assigned material from

  • chapter one of the text and it dealt really with three famous

  • beginnings of pieces of classical music.

  • Somebody tell me at the outset: what were those three famous

  • pieces?

  • Young lady down here.

  • Student: The first was Beethoven's.

  • Prof: Okay, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

  • What was the second one?

  • Student: I believe it was Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto

  • Number One.

  • Prof: Yeah, Piano Concerto Number One of

  • Tchaikovsky, and the third one?

  • Student: >

  • Prof: Yeah, this piece by Richard Strauss

  • with this funny sounding German name.

  • We'll just call it Zarathustra, this

  • prophet, Zarathustra.

  • So those are the three pieces and the issues there had to do

  • with musical genre that we're going to talk a little bit more

  • about in a moment, and the instruments.

  • And you went ahead and worked with the Listening Exercises

  • nine through eleven to engage the musical instruments a bit in

  • those particular exercises, and we have performers here

  • today that are going to, as you can see,

  • demonstrate some of these instruments for us.

  • Let's make one point very clear at the outset.

  • Oftentimes I get student papers that refer to "Beethoven's

  • fifth song" or "Tchaikovsky's first

  • piano song."

  • Is that right?

  • No, that's not good at all.

  • Are these songs?

  • What do you have to have to make something a song?

  • Student: Lyrics.

  • Prof: Lyrics.

  • You've got to have a text and so we don't have--in eighty

  • percent of classical music--we don't have lyrics;

  • we don't have a text.

  • Well, yes, with opera of course, but the other eighty

  • percent is purely instrumental music.

  • It works its magic, again, through purely

  • instrumental means, so we can't really call those

  • songs, and this puzzled me.

  • One day I was sitting there at iTunes and I wanted to buy an

  • interior movement of a Mozart serenade so I was all set to

  • purchase this and it said, "Buy song."

  • Boom.

  • That told me the answer.

  • That's where this terminology comes in to play because on

  • iTunes we buy songs.

  • It could be purely instrumental but it's called "buy a

  • song," but we don't want to use that sort of parlance.

  • We want to be more--a bit more sophisticated than that,

  • if you will, and use other terms,

  • so we'll talk generally about Beethoven's composition or

  • Beethoven's piece or Beethoven's work or his master work or

  • chef d'oeuvre or however fancy you want to get with it.

  • We could also go on and be a little more precise and say it

  • belongs to a particular genre.

  • We could use the name of a genre, and I'll be talking a lot

  • about genre in this course.

  • "Genre" is simply a fancy word for

  • "type" or "kind"

  • so what genre of piece is this by Beethoven?

  • Well, it's a symphony.

  • Symphonies generally have four movements.

  • What's a movement?

  • Well, a movement is simply an independent piece that works

  • oftentimes-- if there are multiple movements

  • in a symphony or concerto-- works with other movements.

  • They are independent yet they are complementary.

  • Think of, for example, a sculpture garden.

  • You might have four independent sculptures in there,

  • but they relate one to another; they make some sort of special

  • sense one to another.

  • So symphonies have these four movements and they usually

  • operate in the following way: A fast opening movement;

  • a slower, more lyrical second movement;

  • then a third movement that's derived from dance;

  • and then a fourth movement that's sort of again "up

  • tempo," fast, emphatic conclusion.

  • Let's see how these play out by means of a quick review of

  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony so all we're going to do here is

  • going to go from the beginning of the track for the first

  • movement to the second movement and so on,

  • and well, let's just start here.

  • Let's just, by way of refreshing our memory,

  • the beginning of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

  • >

  • Let's pause it there, and as we said last time,

  • it operates <<music playing>>

  • in that fashion, and that beginning gives us a

  • good opportunity to make a distinction between two types of

  • melody, between this idea of a motive

  • and a theme.

  • Both are sort of subsets of melody, if you will.

  • As I say in the textbook there, the beginning of the Beethoven

  • Fifth is something like a musical punch in the nose.

  • Right?

  • >

  • Sort of grabbing you here, hitting you in the face,

  • whatever, musically.

  • It's not a very long idea.

  • How many notes is in this opening gambit here?

  • How many pitches?

  • Four, >

  • short, short, short, long.

  • Okay.

  • So that's a classic example of a motive.

  • A motive is just a little cell, a germ, out of which the

  • composer will build other musical material.

  • Now let's contrast that with what happens in the second

  • movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony where we have a

  • lyrical, long, flowing theme.

  • Okay?

  • >

  • Okay. We'll stop there.

  • All right?

  • So that went on--If we heard the whole thing,

  • it actually goes on for 32 notes as opposed to just four so

  • motive versus longer theme.

  • Themes tend maybe a little bit more lyrical.

  • Now let's go on to the third movement.

  • We said the third movement was dance derived,

  • but in this case with Beethoven it's a very strange dance if it

  • is dance derived.

  • It's just a little bit different than most of these

  • third movements, but let's listen to it anyway

  • because I'd like you to-- when the brasses come in--think

  • about what you're hearing and think about that

  • vis-à-vis the first movement,

  • so let's hear the third movement now.

  • >

  • Okay.

  • So what happened there when the brasses came in?

  • How did that relate to the first movement?

  • Yes? Student: Four notes?

  • Prof: Four notes, something as simple as that,

  • >

  • , same rhythmic idea, so that's the use of a motive

  • there and that's how these movements are tied together a

  • little bit.

  • Let's go on to the finale now, and as we listen to the finale

  • let's think about what we heard at the very beginning and talked

  • about last time, >

  • about the mood that the beginning of the Fifth Symphony

  • created for it.

  • We have these adjectives up here, "negative,"

  • "anxious," "unsettled."

  • Well, how do we feel now about the finale and why?

  • >

  • So why do we feel differently about that?

  • I think we do.

  • What do we feel there?

  • Well, sort of upbeat, positive.

  • What's turned all of this around, what specifically?

  • Well, with the first movement we said he's generally going

  • >

  • and that kind of idea, but now it's <<music

  • playing>>

  • and we'll explore this when we get to harmony,

  • this idea of major and minor so we're going <<music

  • playing>>

  • and now <<music playing>>

  • and that's a change from the dark minor to the brighter

  • major.

  • We were going down in the first movement.

  • Now we're going-- <<music playing>>

  • It's going up and instead of having just the violins playing

  • we have the trumpets, the heroic trumpets,

  • so it sounds very triumphant.

  • So in this 40-minute interval we've gone sort of through an

  • emotional musical journey here from despair,

  • despondency, uncertainty,

  • to whatever- to personal triumph,

  • and in a way that mirrors some of the things that were going on

  • in Beethoven's life.

  • Okay.

  • Let's go on to talk about the second piece.

  • We finished with this idea of the genre, of the four

  • movements, so then let's go on to talk about the piano

  • concerto.

  • Concertos are generally in three movements.

  • The concerto is another genre.

  • It's a genre in which a soloist will confront the orchestra and

  • there'll be a kind of give and take--a spirited give and

  • take--between the two.

  • So now we are going to listen to the beginning of the first

  • movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto.

  • You've worked with this already so you're a little bit familiar

  • with it, and at the outset here I have two questions for you.

  • Is the beginning here played by the brasses or the strings?

  • In other words, what--or the woodwinds--

  • what family of instruments is playing here and is Tchaikovsky

  • using a motive or is he using a theme at the very beginning of

  • this concerto?

  • >

  • So what about that?

  • Theme or motive at the beginning?

  • Student: Motive.

  • Prof: Motive. All right.

  • So here it was I think.

  • >

  • How many notes in our motive?

  • >

  • Same as in the Beethoven.

  • Why isn't it the same?

  • Well, we've got a skippy Beethoven <<music

  • playing>>

  • but here with Tchaikovsky he's coming down, just straight down,

  • >

  • down consecutive intervals there for the most part.

  • And both of them are, however, minor.

  • >

  • With the Tchaikovsky they--all the intervals are the--the

  • durations are the same, >

  • but with the Beethoven, >

  • short, short, short, long.

  • So Tchaikovsky is a little bit more neutral in terms of the

  • rhythm.

  • Okay.

  • So then we go on and the piano enters.

  • What is the piano doing?

  • So let's hear the piano come in just a bit.

  • >

  • So what's the piano up to?

  • Well, the piano is just playing chords, <<music

  • playing>>

  • playing them in octave successions, and we'll talk

  • about that a little bit more too.

  • So what do we have here in this next section?

  • Do we have a theme or do we have a motive and which do

  • this--are the violins playing?

  • Are they--Do they have the theme or the motive or does the

  • piano have the theme or the motive?

  • Let's listen.

  • >

  • So was--what the--what were the violins playing?

  • Theme or motive?

  • Theme. What was the piano doing?

  • Student: *.

  • Prof: Yeah, just the same chords

  • >

  • >

  • in that fashion.

  • I'm singing the melody.

  • They're playing a chordal accompaniment against it.

  • All right.

  • Let's listen to the next iteration of this theme.

  • We've identified this as a theme.

  • Who's got the theme now?

  • Is it exactly the same?

  • And what are the strings up to in terms of string technique

  • here?

  • >

  • So who had the theme?

  • The piano now, but was it exactly the same?

  • Not really.