describe an aspect of the song or reading only in service of saying something about it or how it works, not just that it happens
Please select ONE of the following prompts to respond to in 300–500 words. These responses will be graded as excellent (5)/good (4)/proficient (3)/incomplete (0). They will be considered incomplete if they are not completed in time or show no engagement with the material for the week.
Note that for each of these topics, you are not being asking to summarize the material in question, but to analyze it. This means you describe an aspect of the song or reading only in service of saying something about it or how it works, not just that it happens. Imagine if, for each observation you might make, I asked you, “So what?” Answering that question can help you move beyond summarization and toward analysis.
1. Listen again to Schubert’s “Erlkönig.” In light of our discussions this week about text setting, how would you characterize the way Schubert sets Goethe’s poem? You might consider, for example, whether you think Schubert engages in word painting (why or why not?), how he uses the speech–song continuum, and how the piano relates to the text.
2. Reread the Engel and consider what he says about painting vs. expression and imagine what Engel would have thought about Janequin’s “La Guerre.” How would he have described Janequin’s methods of representation? Would he have considered it to be painting or expression? Would he likely have found it successful? What in the music would he have pointed to to make these points? Practice using some of our descriiptive vocabulary (i.e. our parameters), being as specific as possible. You may either answer as yourself in a third-person way, or you could write in first person as if you were Engel, responding to Janequin’s composition.
3. Listen to the following two sections from an opera by Handel: a recitative and an aria that follows it. Discuss how Handel sets the text in each selection, how the voice’s melody reflects the character of the text, and what Handel’s choice of text setting tells us about these piece’s relationship to their dramatic function in the larger opera.