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HUM 4002 Music and Western Civilization Fall 2012 (Sept – Dec)

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Presentation on theme: "HUM 4002 Music and Western Civilization Fall 2012 (Sept – Dec)"— Presentation transcript:

1 HUM 4002 Music and Western Civilization Fall 2012 (Sept – Dec)

2 About Me Wai Chung LI 李慧中
College Personal Contact: by Office Hour: by appointment About Me

3 Academic Background B.A., M.Phil., CUHK Doctoral Candidate, UT Austin
Research Interest: Asian popular music, music of China and India, religion and identity, and subaltern studies My master’s thesis and publication Doctoral research – music of Sikhism Academic Background


5 Today’s Class About Me Course and Syllabus Upcoming Concerts
College Choir Basic Listening Skills Meaning and Classification of Art in Western Civilization Aesthetics and Ethos of Music: Plato and Aristotle The Oriental Concept Vs Western Concept in Music Today’s Class

6 Course & Syllabus WISE Learning Resources Center (1/F Floor)
HKU Music Library (11/F, Centennial Campus, West Gate of HKU) Textbooks & other references Lectures: covers different historical moments, styles, cultural aspects of music in the western world Tutorials: in-class assignments, class discussion What is unique about this course? Course & Syllabus

7 Attendance, Assessment, & Class Rules
Lecture and tutorial dates – listed in the syllabus Attendance will be taken at the tutorial sessions Temporarily change of tutorial date & time: me one week before with a formal reason Guest Lecture by Professor Chan Wing Wah (12 Nov 2012) – attendance will be taken Comments on drafted assignments – 1 week before the assignment deadline Policy of Electronic Devices No talking when there’s music!! Attendance, Assessment, & Class Rules

8 Concert Report Assignment at an university level
Guideline will be distributed and discussed later Tips: online research, make photocopies from reference books Concert Report

9 College Choir Official Organization of the College A small group
Performing at inauguration ceremony, graduation ceremony, and other official events of the College Regular rehearsal Goal: A cappella group (group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment; originally as a kind of religious music performed at European churches in Renaissance period (c1450 – 1600) Audio-visual example: UUP2XzzKVOVUSOqk-2GdVYg&index=8&feature=plcp College Choir

10 Basic Listening Skills: Simple Music Analysis
Description of a piece of music – any standard, serious, or intellectual way of describing music? 7 basic elements: melody, harmony, rhythm, sound quality / timbre, texture, form, musical style / genre Basic Listening Skills: Simple Music Analysis

11 Melody Every piece of music is comprised of different notes / pitches
In the system of western classical music, we may either name these notes as d-r-m-f-s-l-t-d, or A-B-C-D-E-F-G Melody is a series of notes of different pitches, organized and given shape to make musical sense to the listener E.g. the melody of “twinkle twinkle little star” is: d –d – s – s – l – l – s (Sol-fa names); or C – C – G – G – A – A – G (letter names) How does this melody sound like? In bright or dark sounding? Is it in an upward motion or downward motion? “Twinkle twinkle little star” - the melody has a bright sounding and it is in upward motion” Melody

12 Chord: When 2 or more notes are sounded simultaneously, we call it a chord
Notes in a chord can sound in harmony (concord) or sound clashing each other (discord) For listening to a chord, we may either identify it as a block / solid chord, or a broken chord (breaking 3 notes) Harmony

13 Rhythm Beat: feel the beat (the basic beats are: 2, 3, or 4 beats)
Tempo: speed of the music: fast, slow, or moderate tempo? Any change of the speed? If yes, where is it at the beginning, in the middle section, or at the end of the music? Rhythm

14 Listening Exercise: “Waltz of the Flower” by Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
“Waltz of the Flower” by Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer in the 19th century: At the beginning: block / solid chords played by many instruments; the notes are in harmony with one another- concords Then: broken chords played by an instrument - harp; After the introduction: solid chords in the bass part, whereas the upper part is the main melody in an upward motion (s – d – m – f – m – m) and bright sounding; the section is in 3 beats, which is a dance rhythm - fits in with the title “waltz” From “Cowboy Bebop” (1998 Japanese animation) - Differences between 2 clips? Listening Exercise: “Waltz of the Flower” by Tchaikovsky ( )

15 Sound Quality / Timbre Voice & Instrumentation
What voices or what instruments are playing in the previous excerpt? No voice, but sounds of violins and cellos / strings instruments (harp)   Articulation (Playing Techniques) What are the playing techniques used by the performer or the singer Some musicians bow the strings of the instruments, while the harpist produces by plucking the strings In some musics, special playing techniques are employed to produce unique sound quality and add colors to the music Sound Quality / Timbre

16 Sound Quality / Timbre Dynamics Loudness and softness of the music
Loud section - happy and busy feeling, and it is usually associated with the musical climax Soft section: sad, or relaxed feeling, and sometimes it is associated with mystery Exceptions: composers or performs would like to give a surprise to the audience “Waltz of the Flower” - starts softly Sound Quality / Timbre

17 Relationship between different melodic lines: Monophonic and homophonic texture
Monophonic: a single melody line Homophonic: a melody line with an accompaniment (no matter what instruments or how many instruments are involved in these 2 parts) The texture of “Waltz of the Flower” is homophonic: one melodic line (played by woodwinds) + strings accompaniment (at the back / in the bass – as a support to the main melody) Texture

18 Form is the basic plan or design of a piece of music, or a section of music
It describes how a piece of music is divided into different parts, and how these parts are related to each other 2 sections in a piece of music contrasting in style - binary form / AB form. Form

19 If we summarize and combine the above musical characteristics, i. e
If we summarize and combine the above musical characteristics, i.e. melody, harmony, rhythm, articulation, texture, or form, we can come out with a musical style, or genre associated with a piece of music The musical style or genre can be a symphony, an orchestral piece (just like “Waltz of the Flowers”), jazz, Peking opera, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, or even rap music Musical Style / Genre

20 Others: Historical & Social Background
Historical and social background may be related to people who contributed to the music performance (i.e. composers, performers, or officers of the record companies), or people engaging in the transmission process (i.e. audience members) Nationality, educational background, ethnicity, and life experience Lyrics Others: Historical & Social Background

21 Western Music: Earliest Development
Western music / classical music - European classical music - originated from the West, dominated by European countries, and known as “western classical music” The term “music” and its concept are derived from the western world, with the origin from Greece Ancient Greece: where the western civilization began with the music and culture The western music history begins at the age of antiquity (800 B.C.E. – 476 C.E.) in ancient Greece, where the democratic institutions, modes of critical thought, athletic contests, arts, and music – find their roots Greek music theory was later passed in voluminous amounts, sometimes by Roman interpreters, to the Middle Ages (c ) and the Renaissance (c ) Monasteries provided centers of learning in the West during the Middle Ages (c ) – majority is religious music They also preserved the great body of Western religious music, namely monophonic Gregorian chant, or plainsong, intended for use with the Mass and Canonical hours Western Music: Earliest Development

22 2500 years ago: center of the civilized world in the West, political power concentrated in the area around the city state of Athens Music - a complete combination of poetry, melody, and dance in one unity Music - strongly associated with ritual, educational and recreational practices, pervading every aspect of private and social life E.g. the close relationship between music and sports – basic to Greek life - The First Olympic Game with songs and hymns was organized in 776 B.C.E The Greek belief: music was not only a peasant amusement, improving the quality of life, but it could also affect human behavior 2 philosophers of Athens: Plato (c B.C.E.) and Aristotle ( B.C.E.) - both declared music to be the most powerful among all art forms Ancient Greece & Arts

23 Plato (left) & Aristotle (right)

24 Plato (c429-347 B.C.E.) Plato’s views on music:
Republic and Laws: publications by Plato on social ethics and educational matters; provide important information on the role of music in education and social life Major thoughts: Education in music, meaning the unity of melody, poetry, dance, is important, because rhythm and harmony penetrate deeply into the inmost soul and exercise strong influence upon it (Laws); The disciplines of sports and music must be kept in proper balance, believing that too much music made the body weak and too much sport made the spirit insensitive (Republic); The teaching of appropriate songs is crucial to prevent child’s soul from becoming habituated to feeling delight and pain in a way opposed to the law, and to make the child’s soul follow and feel the same jogs and pains as an old man; One must distinguish between the types of songs suitable for men and those suitable for women; Plato (c B.C.E.)

25 Different instruments are considered to have different effects on emotions and character of the individuals (e.g. plucked stringed instruments of lyre and kithara to inspire the soul of man as favorites of gods; wind instruments criticized for its violation of the unity of speech or song – as they prevent the performer from singing or speaking while playing) Education in music should start from infancy, with mothers singing for and dancing with their children, vocal music education should be the central part in children’s education Does not agree for technical excellence as a goal of music education; students should learn music in order to be capable of enjoying noble tunes and rhythms Plato (c B.C.E.)

26 Since 367, he studied with Plato for 20 years
Politics: major work by Aristotle Major ideas: The proper curriculum of education should include music, gymnastics, letters, and drawing (gymnastics: physical training; letters: writing and reading) Education as a developmental process that should begin with training of body and proceed to the training of appetite, desire, and reason The function of music as a means of relaxation after work, an enjoyment of lecture, an agent of moral instruction, a means for the purification of excessive feelings like strong feelings to pity or fear, and exalted excitement Moral characters (“ethos”) of different modes – different harmonies may affect the human soul in different ways (similar effects from the rhythms as well) Aristotle ( B.C.E.)

27 Oriental Concept of Music: Meaning of “Music” in Chinese
2 separate words: Yin Yue 音樂 Yin 音: sound Yue 樂 / le: song, dance, and instrumental music / happy or happiness In ancient China, music theory is closely related to cosmology, mathematics, history, calendar, climatology, geography, supernatural associations, divination, law, and order. The purpose of music: Glorify the son of heaven (i.e. the Emperor) Educate the people Regulate one’s behavior Reflect the political situation Express one’s feelings Li yue 禮樂: Music and rituals are always mentioned together and in Chinese classics. Close relationship between music and politics: The ultimate goal of promoting or using music is to achieve an ideal state of governance From music, one can see the political situation of a country Oriental Concept of Music: Meaning of “Music” in Chinese

28 References A cappella society:
Full link of Nutcracker: =related HKU Music Library: The Enjoyment of Music – online listening lab: of-music/ References

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