​In-Depth Focus on a Piece – Music Appreciation

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In-Depth Focus on a Piece – Music Appreciation

Day 1: In-Depth Focus on a Piece

Select a piece of music and research it in depth. You will first find all of the essential background material for the piece. Then, you will write about your own reactions to the piece. Most answers will require a thorough, multiple sentence answer. The more thorough you are, the higher the odds are that you will receive full credit.




What year was the piece written? What period of music history was this?

Name another famous composer from this period?

What instruments are required to play the piece?

For whom was the piece originally written?

When and where did the premier take place?

Was this piece written early, late, or in the middle of the composer’s career?

Day 2: In-Depth Focus on a Piece

Learning about the history and genesis of a piece is only a small part of really getting to know it. Listen to the piece several more times. As you listen, focus on your own reactions. The effect it has on you, the listener, is the most important thing; background information and historical data are only one piece of the puzzle.

Describe your reaction to the piece, answering the questions below.

If there are words, what are they about? Is the text religious or secular? How does the music support or describe what the text is saying? If there are no words, what message/story is the music trying to express?

Describe the character of the music. Is it happy, sad, angry, pensive, tumultuous or playful? Something else?

What is your favorite thing about the piece? Describe why you like it.


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