Classical Music Listening Log Reflections

The importance of music, in any human society, cannot be gainsaid as
far as enhancing the quality of life in that society is concerned.
Indeed, music has, since time immemorial played an immense role in the
entertainment and education of human society, as well as in causing a
social change in the way of life for different societies. Needless to
say, the music industry has been extremely dynamic with different genres
of music being fit for different times. This has led to the
categorization of music as belonging to the Medieval, Renaissance,
Baroque or the Classical Era. It is worth noting that music in different
eras came with distinctive features pertaining to the instruments used,
tempo, type of singers, their arrangement, as well as the message that
they aimed at passing across. Of particular note is music from the
Classical Period, which lasted from around 1775 to 1825. The application
of the term classical to this period revolved around the fact that the
literature and art of this period had a keen interest, emulation of and
admiration for the literary classical artist heritage of Rome and
Greece. The music scene of the classical period was a reflection of the
modifications that were taking place in the society in which the music
was composed. It is worth noting that the Classical period was the first
era in the history of music when public concerts occupied a crucial part
in the music scene. Of course, the composition of music would be done
for the court and the church. However, the entry of public concerts was
a reflection of the new view that music should also be written for
entertainment and enjoyment of the common person. This period was
different from the Baroque and Renaissance eras in that these had
numerous crucial trends and composers. Classical Era music, however, had
three dominant composers including Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. This, nevertheless, does not undermine
the fact that there were other recognized musicians. Indeed, I came
across a number of musical compositions in a one week period including
Duke Ellington’s, “Prelude to a kiss”, John Williams “Barrel off
Starboard”, as well as Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Heavens are
Telling”.
I chanced upon Franz Joseph Haydn’s classical music “The Heavens
are Telling” around four times in the one week period. This was the
recorded version of the song, which I first came across in a music store
in town. I, however, looked it up in the internet and have listened to
it for a couple of times more. Composed by Haydn himself, the song runs
for about four minutes and fifty seconds,
I also chanced upon Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” in the
internet, as I searched for examples of classical music. I have since
listened to the song for more than three times in the one week period,
by choice rather than chance. With its lyrics written by Irvin Gordon,
the classical song has varied versions running for between three minutes
fifty seconds and four minutes forty-six seconds.
I came across the song “Barrel off Starboard” by John Williams when
watching a horror movie named “”. However, I had to look it up in
the internet, although I have not watched it as much. This may be
because it runs for a considerably little time, actually, less than two
minutes (one minute thirty-one seconds).
While I may have listened to Franz Joseph Haydn’s classical music
“The Heavens are Telling” quite a number of times in the one week
period, it does not fall within the category of the usual genre of music
to which I listen. My choice of the song was primarily inspired by the
fact that Franz Haydn was a dominant figure in the classical era,
alongside other composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. As a classical
era music composition, the song made extreme use of instruments
especially the piano, where it had at least 120 beats per minute.
However, the song incorporated a number a variations with regard to the
use of instruments, with piano having some pauses, as well as the repeat
of certain sections of the song. Indeed, the part “The Heavens are
telling the glory of God, the wonder of his work displays the
firmament”. This is undoubtedly bound to make the listener feel
uplifted, which was the case for me and my friend, especially
considering that emphasis on the repeated sections was laid by the
pausing of piano when the parts are being repeated and the increased
tempo of the same after the parts are repeated. However, if given a
chance, I would, in fact, do the song in a different way. This would
essentially entail increasing the instruments that are used in the song,
and the toning down of the tempo of the guitar.
Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” also does not fall within
the genre of music to which I subscribe or listen. It is a jazz song
whose tempo is around 80 beats per minute, which means it is a bit on
the slow side. While this is not my typical genre, I started listening
to the song simply because of the popularity of Duke Ellington and his
varied compositions. Typical of classic music, the song primarily used
the piano as the sole instrument, with a number of variations in the
speed of the beats. This was punctuated by repetitions in varied
sections of the song including the words “If you hear a song in the
blue” and a “prelude to a kiss”. While the depth of the words and
the synchronization of the same with the piano make an interesting song,
this genre of song still does not fall within my category of favorite
genres, in which case I would be hard pressed to increase the regularity
of listening to the same. This is especially considering its overuse of
the piano, and the laid back nature of the song. I would prefer the
upbeat and sentimental type such as rock and hip-hop. Indeed, I could
change a number of things pertaining to the song especially with regard
to the overuse of the piano.
Bibliography
Van Boer, Bertil H. 2012. Historical dictionary of music of the
classical period. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.
Johnson, Stephen. 2007. Music of the classical era. [Redhill, Surrey]:
Naxos Books.
Tyler, James, and Paul Sparks. 2002. The guitar and its music: from the
Renaissance to the Classical era. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press.
Tyler, James, and Paul Sparks. 2002. The guitar and its music: from the
Renaissance to the Classical era. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press.
Van Boer, Bertil H. 2012. Historical dictionary of music of the
classical period. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.
Tyler, James, and Paul Sparks. 2002. The guitar and its music: from the
Renaissance to the Classical era. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press.
Johnson, Stephen. 2007. Music of the classical era. [Redhill, Surrey]:
Naxos Books.
Van Boer, Bertil H. 2012. Historical dictionary of music of the
classical period. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

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