Written Presentations

Students will be required to write a 400-500 word essay either describing the life and works of a 19th/20th century composer NOT studied in the class literature, or describing the origins and history of one of the “Classical” instruments. Students should plan to have turned in this project sometime in WEEK EIGHT in order to read each others’ papers and have time to write comments.

Students will be graded on the answers to these questions:

Composer Questions:
1). What is the early life and training of this composer, and how did that influence his/her compositions?
2). What type of CLASSICAL compositions did this composer create, naming examples, years of composition and describing the works?
3). How does what this composer created add to the evolution of Classical Music?
4). Are there other interesting MUSICAL facts about this composer that would aid our understanding of him/her?
5). Whare other composers of Classical or any other type of music have been influenced by this person?

Students must name their sources, and use at least two web-sites, monograph books, or music encyclopedias. Each campus has access to the two main Music Encyclopedias, Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary.

Instrument Questions:
1). What is the ancestry of the chosen instrument? (Related instruments that came before)
2). How did this instrument come about? (Details on the development)
3). Who are some of the leading classical composers for this instrument, naming their years of life and works for this instrument?
4). What are brand names of manufacturers of this instrument, and who makes the best? Why?
5). Who would be the leading performers of this instrument today? Are they classical?

Composer Suggestions:
Alexander Borodin
Leonard Bernstein
Richard Rodgers
Anton Webern
Paul McCartney (Classical pieces)
Stephen Sondheim
Virgil Thompson
Pablo Casals
Gabriel Faure
Charles Ives
Heitor Villa-Lobos
Kurt Weill
Henry Mancini
John Williams
John Cage
James Horner
Gabriel Ravel
William Walton
Nadia Boulanger
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Samuel Barber
Gian Carlo Menotti
Benjamin Britten
Alban Berg
Billy Joel (Classical pieces)
William Grant Still
H.T. Burleigh
Gladys Rich
Amy Beach
Ned Rorem
Sergei Prokofiev
Dmitri Shostakovitch
Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Instrument Suggestions:
Violin Viola Violoncello (Cello) Bassoon Trumpet
Theramin Saxophone Trombone Euphonium Timpani
Conductor Clarinet French Horn Chimes Piccolo
Tuba Oboe Guitar Piano Flute
Double Bass Harp

Please use good sources to get your information! If you should HAPPEN to go to Wikepedia as one of your sites, check out the academic sites quoted from the bottom of the entry page!!! Don’t rely on a Encyclopedia site for all your info. ANYONE can write these – not necessarily accurate!


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