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The worksheets focus on the core historical, philosophical, and musical concepts of this course. In doing these worksheets, you will have an opportunity to synthesize material, listen and comment on musical examples, and offer you own observations on various aspects of the material.
Feel free to answer the questions in any format that suits you—for example, you many want to alternate between regular prose with answering in “bullet-style.” Please remember that the class operates on a point accrual system, so there is no penalty for answering some but not all of the questions.
I do insist that you answer the questions in your own words. I do this for two reasons: first, the concepts will be more thoroughly “yours” when you express them in your own way; second, using somebody else’s words as your own is a violation of the Foothill College Academic Honesty Policy. According to the Foothill College Honor Code–which you agreed to abide by when you signed up for the course–plagiarism consists of:
“undocumented web source usage” as well as:
“incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs or
parts of another person’s writings without giving
appropriate credit, and representing the product as your
As stated in the Honor Code, the consequences of academic dishonesty are severe:
“Academic and/or administrative sanctions may be applied in
cases of academic dishonesty. Depending on the seriousness of
the infraction, you may:
1. Receive a failing grade on the test, paper or exam.
2. Have your course grade lowered.
3. Receive an F in the course.
4. Be placed on disciplinary probation.
5. Be placed on disciplinary suspension.
6. Be expelled”
You are permitted to quote the text once in a while, and an informal citation (for example: Kerman, p. 117) is ok, but you must take care not to overdo it. Please review the guidelines for avoiding plagiarism and for correct paraphrasing in Start Here. Lastly, just a reminder that while collaborative work is fine and even encouraged, each student must submit their own answers. Good luck!
Worksheet 7 (based on Chapters 21-22 from the textbook)
1. What are the characteristics of Impressionism in music? What elements of Impressionism do you detect in Debussy’s “Clouds?”
2. What do you find most interesting about Igor Stravinsky’s career?
3. Who or what commissioned Stravinsky to compose “The Rite of Spring?” What is it about? What relationship does “The Rite” have with the artistic movement known as Fauvism?
4. When did “The Rite of Spring” premiere, and how was it received? What factors contributed to such a reception?
5. Listen to Part 1 of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”. Discuss a few features of the style of this music that made it such a radical departure from Romanticism.
6. As you read the brief biography of Arnold Schoenberg, what strikes you as most interesting? Though little of his music is regularly performed, Schoenberg is widely regarded as the most influential composer of the 20th century. How does one account for this?
7. Listen to Schoenberg’s “The Moonfleck” from his expressionistic masterpiece, Pierrot Lunaire (it’s very short, not quite two minutes). Who wrote the poetry? Among the innovations found in this piece, Schoenberg invented a new singing style called, “Sprechstimme”. This new singing technique would later be adopted some seventy years later by a few alternative rock and roll bands, notably, Nine Inch Nails. What specifically is Sprechstimme? Why would Schoenberg want the singer to use this singing style in regard to Pierrot Lunaire (in other words, why couldn’t the singer just sing the words in a normal fashion)?
8. In comparing Pierrot and The Rite, which one represents a greater break from Romanticism? Why? (Hint: consider which piece is still tied to expressing emotion and which is not).
9. What are the characteristics of Hungarian folk music? When Bela Bartok integrated Hungarian folk music into his own, what effect did this have compared to the modernist music of Stravinsky and Schoenberg?
10. Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1945. Please listen to this music and compare it to “The Moonfleck” by Schoenberg that you listened to earlier. Copland’s piece was written as part of a ballet; “The Moonfleck” is part of a song cycle. Name two other important differences between these two pieces. Which piece do you like best? (Make sure you name important differences. If you say, for example, that one piece was written by an American and the other by an Austrian, that wouldn’t be an important difference. Concentrate on the music, the style of each piece, instrumentation, harmonic and melodic differences, etc.).
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