The song that I decided to write about is “Formation” by Beyoncé. This song was brought out in 2016 and with it, Beyoncé became the face of the Black Lives Matter movement. The song is tied to this movement due to the lyrics and the music video. The lyrics talk about how Beyoncé is proud of her diverse background and she is proud of who is as a human. The music video showed elements like paint on walls saying “Stop Killing Us” and her standing on top of a New Orleans police car, also bringing into light the effect of Hurricane Katrina. The article about Martin Luther King Jr. also correlates with the Black Lives Matter as it goes to further extend his preachings and ideology. The kid dancing in front of the police also goes to show this movement. This song is considered to be pop and bounce music, which is native to New Orleans. Pop and bounce music isn’t typically political. One musical tool that makes this a useful tool for political is the beat. It has a fast-paced beat, making it catchy and very energetic.
Music in Sema ceremonies plays a very important role. Participants in this ceremony believe that dancing this slow dance of graceful and ecstatic turning “experience direct spiritual union with God.” The dance symbolizes the soul’s journey to God. Kyrie Eleison, a chant done in Christain masses. Most chants were done by clerics. According to them, plainchant was a “tool for connecting with the sacred.” This chant is a symbolic representation of the holy trinity, therefore during mass setting this holy and heavy environment. These two traditions are similar as they both include music that is supposed to make them closer to God, however, the Music in Sema ceremonies is accompanied by dance, while the Christain chant is not. The chant is monophonic while Mevlevi has a drone and is more instrumental.
My family has been in Poland for generations until 25 years ago they migrated here to the states. Both of my parents originate from the Podkarpackie region of Poland. They may be from the same region that shares similar language and religion, but they both have different dances and music. My mother’s side is from Rzeszow, or near the outskirts of town and grew up watching and learning the rzeszowiacy dance popular in that region. My dad grew up more south in the Doły Jasielsko-Sanockie region so his family grew up dancing and watching the Pogórzanie dance. These two genres are not as popular as other polish genres.
Growing up with Rzeszowiacy and taking lessons when I was younger, I choose to write about it. The music is very changing. At times the tempo could be slow but as the music and dancers progress, it becomes relatively faster. The dance matches the tempo, but is mostly fast-paced and involves lots of moving around the stage and jumping. Normally nowadays its this dance is performed to show the culture and history of the region and is danced around certain holidays or just days of significance. The instruments you would hear are normally a violin and sometimes there’s even an accordion and signing. This dance is tied in with this culture because it’s still performed to this day and there are still icons from this culture present today in polish culture.
After listening to all the performances, I would say that I feel most comfortable being in the live Jazz audience. The performance was very captivating and intriguing. It was lively, full of passion, and very upbeat. It seemed like everyone was enjoying the music and being there. The musicians didn’t seem super concentrated and it looked like they were just vibing out and enjoying what they were doing. Everybody was having fun from what it seemed. Reminded me of a cafe I went to during high school where they played live music during the summer, and it was an amazing experience. Even though I’m not a great fan of Jazz, this performance was amazing.
The performance I would feel more uncomfortable with would be the symphony orchestra because it’s basic and bland (no offense). I’ve heard Beethoven’s music a lot and this particular symphony was something I dreaded listening to in high school. Unlike Jazz which can be changed while playing, everybody follows Beethoven’s music note to note, making all the performances sound the same, and after a while, it gets repetitive and boring. I feel like inorder to enjoy this type of music, you need to pay attention and just be able to enjoy sitting and listening to this for 30 mins, which I do not have the patience to do. I would personally try to leave, but that would seem very disrespectful if I was an audience member. The performance from the musicians, however, was amazing and the way the music sounded was very commanding and intriguing, however, I do not think this type of music is for me.
I chose the opening scene of “Get Out” The scene starts off with Chris (the African American) on the phone with someone. Later on, a white car pulls up the street and starts trailing him. We then hear music coming from the car, and Chris turns around and notices the car, acknowledging that it is there. From his thoughts, we know that he tries to avoid the car so he walks in the opposite direction. Then someone from the car gets out and attacks him. His body is then dragged into the trunk of the white car. Some sounds that were present during this scene are the sound of the car against the road, the sounds the car made, the music, the conversation, his thoughts, and the sound of the environment around him. I believe the only nondiegetic sound is the old show tunes coming from the car.
The music they added to the scene makes the more creepy and gives the audience chills. It tells the audience that something is about to happen, it’s foreshadowing something scary. It gives this hair-raising mood to the audience and I believe that the music that was chosen for this scene plays the key part. It has this old happy show tune vibe, yet the setting of the scene makes the music a lot creepier. I believe the dynamics play a key role in this as the music is quite at first, making it sound mysterious then as the scene ends, the music gets loud, indicating that whenever music is played, something bad is going to happen.
The piece of musical technology that I chose for this assignment is the voice memo app on iPhones. Nowadays, artists use anything they find cool and inspirational to make music. They could be walking down the street and hear an amazing sound, take out their phones, record that sound and later put it in their music. This leads to music being more creative and expands the variety of sounds that could be used in music.
Most people assume that music is just instruments and/or a voice but it could so much more than that. People use the voice memo app, if they even use it, to record meetings, lectures, or even just to hear how bad their singing is, but a lot of people don’t know that famous artist like Billie Eilish and Finneas used common sounds that they heard in real life and incorporated them into their music.
The piece of music that I chose to use was “Bad guy” by Billie Eilish. When I first heard the song, I didn’t recognize the sound in the chorus, but after watching a Youtube video, I learned that her brother used a sidewalk timer as a background sound in the chorus. It made a great addition to the song because it intrigues you and its different from other music.
Today, I will be listening to “Alapana from ‘Sitar, Sarode, and Tabla'” and Kyrie (monophonic) and talk about them in connection with Timbre, Texture, and Harmony.
Timbre is the particular sound or color that an instrument makes. The texture is the way in which different musical parts fit together. Harmony is the sounding of two or more pitches at the same time.
The texture of “Kyrie” is monophonic because it is a single melodic line with no musical accompanist. It is present due to the fact the choir members are singing the same Melody harmoniously. Timbre is not present at all in this song due to the fact that it’s a vocal choir. They used there voices only, no instruments at all, therefore there is no timbre. There is Harmony in Kyrie and it is Consonant, meaning they sound pleasant. The voices blend together in a very satisfactory way.
The texture of “Alapana” is biophonic I believe. There are a Melody and drone present in the song. There is timbre in the song and I believe there to be woodwinds and strings. Due to my lack of knowledge of musical instruments, I can’t precisely name them. There is Harmony present here however at times, for me, it was consonant and dissonant.
Kyrie is monophonic, does not utilize timbre, and is harmonious, while Alapana is biophonic, has timbre, and is both consonant and dissonabt.
The Renaissance Period
The Renaissance Period of Western Art Music ranged from around 1430-1600. During this period ancient Greek and Roman history became the trend. And me, a mythological and philosophy fan, is very intrigued by this period. The thinking and the way society lived during ancient times and the thinking during the Renaissance are fascinating to me. The Renaissance basically made these things that very “the wave” back then popular again, just like how Shakira did after the Superbowl.
During this time, many revolutionary changes happened, the invention of the printing press, which made life and reading a lot easier and cheaper for many, the Protestant Reformation, which shocked the Catholic Church and its influence in Europe, William Shakespeare arose and wrote those dreaded books we were forced to read in high school, and oh gravity suddenly became a thing.
The textbook describes the music during this period as “textures of complex intertwining melodies.” It goes on to say how it was mostly vocal music and chant. During the early times, it was usually music written for a four-voice part and sung by a small group of clerics. During the 15th century, musicians began placing a borrowed Melody in the tenor line of each section and called it a cantus formus. Later on, in the 16th century, more voices were added to the chanson and a variety of national genres spring up across Europe.
One composer that I have selected was William Byrd (1540-1623). The work of art I choose to listen to was his latest hit single according to Spotify, “The Responses.” The music sounds exactly like how I expected it to, uncanny but yet also angelic. As described by the textbook, it’s a choir with multiple voice parts. It also gave me flashbacks to church and how they sang something similar to it, however, I always believed that it was from the Medieval period, not the Renaissance.