I chose to write about the presentation on Music and Romance. Romance is shown in the first music entry “All of Me” by John Legend from the lyrics. The lyrics show John Legend’s love towards his wife and how it feels to be in love with another person. The topic of romance is also shown from the emotional expressions that John Legend makes as well as the feelings of love that come out from the song. Romance is also shown in the second music entry “Bed” by Jacques from the expressive lyrics that show how he felt towards the girl that he liked during that moment. From both these songs, listeners including myself can feel that romance is felt through so many other things than just through love.
If I wrote about this topic instead of my own, the two songs that I would choose to write about are “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters and “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt. The topic I chose to do my presentation on was Christmas. Although Christmas songs are for the holiday season, there are many romantic songs that relate to Christmas. The first piece of music “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters relates to Christmas from its lyrics that show the festive season from the tone as well as a sense of romance about wanting to be with the person they love. This song also includes a soft melody that is pleasant to the ears that is a feature in Christmas songs. The second piece of music I chose, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt includes lyrics based on Santa, a fictional person who is known to fulfil the wishes and desires of people while also talking about what she wants to do with the person she loves. This song also has instruments and voices in the background that give the song Christmas vibes.
“This Land Is Your Land” written and sung by Woody Guthri was created as a response to the song “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin to show that that song was unrealistic. It was written to protest against the unrealistic things mentioned that normal people living could not achieve during the Great Depression and the reality of the poor people. Some listeners thought that the song was a Marxist response to “God Bless America”, while others thought it was just another national anthem. “This Land Is Your Land” is a piece under folk music. Folk music itself is not political, however, it played an influential and significant part in political issues.
Some parts of the lyrics that are relevant to the political message of the music are “There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me. The sign was painted, said: ‘Private Property.’ But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing. This land was made for you and me.” and “One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple, by the relief office I saw my people; as they stood there hungry, I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me?” The first part of the lyrics is like an exposure of the rich and how America is made up more of wealthy people with private property and land rather than normally living people. The second part of the lyrics is showing how poor people are to the point where they do not have enough food to eat and depend on the government for help. Woody Guthri’s lyrics are showing the realistic sides of how America actually is that he believed were not seen in “God Bless America”.
One musical characteristic of the piece that makes it a useful tool for political protest is the melody. Listening to the melody, one would not think of this song to be of political protest. The melody is surprisingly calm and nice to the ears to listen to. That unexpected melody is useful for political protest because it is something people would not expect, so that could lead them to listen to it more.
Within the Sema ceremony, music plays a significant role in expressing the ritual and performance. Like stated in the powerpoint, the music as well as the dance helps to experience spiritual union with God. The music’s slow and calm rhythm helps the listeners’ bodies move gracefully and smoothly according to it. Pitch is one of the many musical characteristics that help the musicians dance accordingly as stated by “…might be identified not only by the pitches being used, but also by the characteristic ways in which a musician moves between them.” The musicians make their dance steps which include the use of their arms and legs to how the music plays.
In Gospel music (Amazing Grace), music also plays a very significant role. Like the music playing within the Sema ceremony, Amazing Grace is also a song dedicated to the worshipping of God. Both music pieces are of a slower tempo and rhythm as well. Amazing Grace and the music playing in the Sema ceremony also have differences. In Amazing Grace, the song has no instruments and is an acapella meaning that it is composed of only people singing. The Sema ceremony on the other hand, is an instrumental piece with only instruments and no voice.
The genre that I chose for my ethnicity is K-Pop, or Korean Pop. K-Pop originated in the early 90’s and gained popularity since the 2000’s. Starting then, it has been steadily growing into a “global phenomenon”. K-pop uses a wide variety of instruments, musical components, and dances, making each and every song unique. In the Korean industry, there are countless people who perform usually as groups, solos, duos, bands, and etc. I think this genre has become a part of popular culture that many different kinds of people enjoy. K-Pop has been widespread and is now considered to be one of the most popular kinds of music. However, I also think that it is tied to my ethnicity, because I am Korean and K-Pop is continuing to bloom throughout many other cultures too.
BTS, also known to be the most popular K-Pop boy group right now, has allowed K-Pop to grow even more and let people know about Korean music and the culture. They were the first Korean artists to break cultural barriers and also “broke the social stereotypes and obstacles by spreading powerful messages through their songs by including themes of female-empowerment, social injustice, and mental health, which are unusual themes in culturally-conservative South Korea.”. For Korea, they have made multiple accomplishments that have never been achieved before. The song that I included is BTS’s “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey, an American singer and songwriter. This is an “upbeat electro-pop song” with a catchy beat and rhythm. It consists of vocals, instruments like the guitar, chorus, rap, and etc.
The type of performance that I would be the most comfortable watching as an audience member is a jazz club because the environment is loud and hectic. I am the type of person who finds it difficult to fit in with others unless I get comfortable. I feel like from the four choices given, this is the only place where I won’t stand out or get that much attention from. At a jazz club, I would expect to hear a lot of different instruments and see people interacting a lot through the music. As a listener, I would be expected to be able to listen to the people and those playing the instruments in a casual manner rather than just quietly listening.
The type of performance that I would be the least comfortable watching as an audience member is the chamber music recital because the environment is so closed and widely focused on the people in front playing the instruments. Since it is a calmer environment compared to the others, I do not think that I can fit in because it would be awkward for me and I would stand out too much if I did something wrong. At a chamber music recital, I would expect to hear nothing but the people playing instruments. As a listener, I would be expected to quietly listen to the music that the people upfront are playing.
I have seen bands performing in school for high school and middle school concerts. I can relate this to the chamber music recital because the performance would take place in an auditorium, the space would be closed. Also, the audience sitting would have their focus only on the students upfront playing their instruments. It would not be an environment where you could talk or move around. The audience would also be expected to politely listen to the students.
In the beginning of the clip from “Get Out”, there is a black man walking and talking to someone on the phone. As he is walking down the street, a white car that was driving the opposite way makes a U-turn and follows the black man. The black man notices the suspicious white car and decides to turn back and go the other way and tries to cross the street. As he attempts to cross the street, he looks back at the white car and sees that the driver’s seat door is open. Out of nowhere, someone in a black suit strangles him and drags him to his car.
In this clip, there are a lot of diegetic sounds. Throughout the clips, I can hear the chirping of crickets and the car engine. I can also hear the music coming from the white car as the black man turns to look at it.
The music adds a suspenseful kind of atmosphere to the movie clip. It makes the scene seem scarier and creepier because of the dark and empty streets. I don’t think it tells the audience anything specific about the story or characters. However, it does make the mood of the scene scarier. From the clip, one characteristic that I think is important is the dynamic of the music. In some parts of the scene, the dynamic is low like in the scene where the black man first notices the white car. However, later on, in the scene where the black man is being dragged, the music gets louder.
The piece of musical technology that I chose is the piano. The piano is an instrument with a lot of functions that can make a variety of sounds. There are also many different versions of it, but they are all made of white and black keys where the white keys are notes and the black keys represent flats, sharps, and etc. The piano also comes with three pedals where the foot area is. Those pedals each help make the notes sound different. The piano initially originated from the harpsichord which originally made sounds through plucking. Modern day pianos work by a hammer inside the piano. When you press a certain key, the hammer inside the piano hits the strings of the note. Each note on the piano has a different hammer and number of strings which is why each key makes a different sound.
I personally do not know another way that the piano is used except for the actual purpose but I’ve had experience with the piano in that my parents made me learn it when I was younger. I had no interest in learning how to play this instrument, but I do think it was a good experience because I have some knowledge of music and its elements and keys. I also somewhat remember how to play because of my continuous experience with music.
A piano piece that I personally really like is “River Flows in You” by Yiruma. I didn’t enjoy playing the piano, but I remember always trying to learn this piece. I think this piece is well influenced by the piano because the way the piano notes are played softly but with impact makes it a really good piece to listen to. It also makes the person listening to the piece calm and more relaxed. Through this piece, I can feel a lot of emotions at once.
The two musical pieces that I chose to talk about are Kyrie (monophonic) and Kyrie from the Pope Marcellus Mass. The first musical element that I would like to discuss regarding Kyrie (monophonic) is the melody of it. Melody is defined as the unit of pitches (or tones) sounded in succession. The melody in this particular piece sounded like a group of people singing in one voice. There are multiple people singing but because they are singing at the same time with the same pitch it sounds like there is one person singing with a single voice.
The second musical element that I would like to discuss regarding Kyrie from the Pope Marcellus Mass is harmony. Harmony is the sounding of two or more pitches at the same time. In this piece, you can clearly hear the different voices singing. You can hear the male and female voices distinctively and how males were singing the lower pitch while the female were singing the higher pitches. The third musical element that I would like to discuss tempo. Tempo is defined as the speed at which a piece of music or part is played. The tempo for both of these musical pieces were slow. It helped make the environment seem calm and relaxed.
The Twentieth-Century Period was a time period where most things transitioned to technology. It was where there was a significant change in how people lived. What excites me the most about this particular time period is how electrical instruments were created to make different sounds. It mentions in the textbook reading how tape recorders, for instance, were used to manipulate sounds to make them sound different. I found the fact that you could change up the sounds to make the same sounds sound different as fascinating. During this time period, one event I know is the infamous Holocaust which was where millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War. The textbook describes the music from this time period as the music that would “explore the dark reaches of the unconscious mind”. An example of this would be where John Cage performed absolutely nothing at all and called the noises from the concert hall “music”.
One composer that I picked listed under that time period at the end of Chapter 1 is Igor Stravinsky. I picked “The Rite of the Spring” because I liked how in the beginning of the song it started off really calm but as the song kept playing it got faster and more dramatic. The beginning of the song did not seem like what I expected after reading the textbook. However, towards the 2nd quarter of the song, it did seem like what I read about in the textbook. I felt that “dark” image from it.