Discussion Forums

Discussion 6

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Consider a genre from any era of Western music that originated with a smaller (perhaps “alternative”) audience and then became popular with a larger (mainstream) audience. What were the commercial implications of this transition? Did urbanization or technology play a role in this process? Did the style of the music change; if so, how specifically? (150 words)

 

Discussion 7

During the Classical Era in Western music (ca. 1750-1800), public audiences began to supersede private patrons and the church as the major market for new music. Discuss some of the possible socio-economic implications of these shifts: how did they reflect the values of The Enlightenment? How might compositions written for a small private audience (or a single patron) differ from those composed for a large audience with diverse interests? Why could larger genres (such as the symphony or opera) be performed more often if intended for a public audience? In our own time, how does the choice and/or size of venue (coffee shop, restaurant, arena, stadium, outdoor music festival, etc.) shape the interactions between the performers and the audience? (150 words)

 

 

Discussion 8

The concept of the music “superstar” first appeared during the Classical Era, as all three major composers were well-known celebrities throughout Europe during their lifetimes. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the modern construct of “music superstar” had emerged. Performers such as Nicolo Paganini, Franz Liszt, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Jenny Lind benefited from innovative marketing strategies and played to packed concert halls. Choose a music “superstar” from any genre or any era of music. How did the personality of this performer attract a new audience? How did the musical abilities of your selected performer change his/her genre? (150 words)

Discussion 9

In comparison with the Classical Era, which is often described as cosmopolitan (with respect to musical languages), the nineteenth century is defined by nationalism, as many European nations sought to establish their own individual musical identities. Similar nationalist musical currents began to emerge in the United States during the latter decades of the same century. With the exception of patriotic songs, choose and discuss a genre of music that could be considered a nationalist representative of the United States. Does your genre also have a regional, urban, or rural association? In doing so, consider the following percentages of the urbanized US population by these selected decades: 1860 – 19.8%, 1890 – 35.1%, 1920 – 51.2%, 1960 – 69.9%, 2010 – 80.7%. How do nationalist musical issues in the United States differ from those of Europe? (150 words)

 

Discussion 10

The music of the 20th and 21st centuries is characterized by a consistent tension between innovation and tradition. Recent compositions are often subject to critical hearings by audiences that are seeking both the “appeal of the new” and/or familiar connections to past musical styles. At times, music written since 1900 has attempted to disrupt or completely abolish the narrative of tonal composition that has guided almost all genres of Western Music since the “common practice period (beginning in the early Baroque).” Choose a genre, style, or specific musical example from between 1900 and 1950 and discuss this work as an innovative composition. (150 Words)

 

Discussion 11

Beginning with a reprise of Discussion Question 10: The music of the 20th and 21st centuries is characterized by a consistent tension between innovation and tradition. Recent compositions are often subject to critical hearings by audiences that are seeking both the “appeal of the new” and/or familiar connections to past musical styles. At times, music written since 1900 has attempted to disrupt or completely abolish the narrative of tonal composition that has guided almost all genres of Western Music since the “common practice period (beginning in the early Baroque).” Choose a genre, style, or specific musical example from between 1900 and 1950 and discuss this work as reflection of musical tradition. (150 words)

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