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Paper 1 Musical Topics and Expression Total length: Approximately 3 pages 12 pt. font, double-spaced (850-1000 words). Due: 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2017 In Week 6, you encountered Leonard Ratner’s work on “Musical Topics,” where he argues that music in the Common-Practice Period is often deeply driven by expression. Ratner argues that composers in this period used specific models and tropes to help convey certain affects and moods (he uses the term “topics”). In this assignment, you are asked to do an aural analysis of one movement from a large symphonic work, and to discuss elements of musical expression and topics that you hear. Ratner’s own work involves detailed theoretical analysis: he looks at every measure of a score and considers how the pitches and rhythms refer to certain ‘topics.’ You are not asked to do such a rigorous analysis with the musical notation; instead, focus on the big picture of expressive moods you hear in the music. How can we apply Ratner’s ideas about expression on a macro-scale? Do we hear references to “Hunt” music? Or “March” style? Do we hear passages in “Singing” or “Pastoral” style? Are there specific dances we are hearing such as “Minuet” or “Gigue?” To help with your analysis, use a timeline (example below) to identify the major structural points in your movement. Talk about the different expressive characteristics you hear (e.g. the music sounds noble; the music sounds mournful; the music sounds turbulent) and how they change. Label the instruments you can hear in certain spots, and also make note of any specific topics you encounter (e.g. Marches; Pastoral music; etc.) As you view your timeline, consider how changes in mood and topic enhance the expressivity and rhetoric of the piece. Include your diagram and summarize your observations in a short paper. Communicate your opinions about what you find interesting, exciting, or confusing about the musical narrative you are listening to. Hopefully this project will help you hear more details of the pieces lying under the surfaces and help you form a strong connection with a piece you choose. Suggested pieces (pick 1): Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4, III. Scherzo (pizzicato ostinato) – ca. 5’50’’ Beethoven – Symphony No. 6, I. Allegro ma non troppo – ca. 10’45’’ Mahler – Symphony No. 1, I. Slow, dragging, always held back – ca. 16’20’’ (Other choices must be approved by Professor in advance.) Example of timeline: Beethoven – Symphony No. 5, I. Allegro con brio – ca. 8’ 0:00 1’:10’’ 1’26’’ 1’33’’ 1’51’’ [OPENING REPEATS]  3:’18’’ Opening “Fate” motive ‘Fate’ in Brass tension Final cadence Strings Lyrical WW theme Whole orchestra Whole orch. “Sturm and Drang” “Pastoral” “Triumphant” “Triumphant” 3:20’’ 3:53’’ ‘Fate’ in Brass Tension develops Climax of tension More noble and calm – then transitioning to tense More tense Strings / WW Orchestra trading ideas “Despair” (All “Sturm and Drang” ) 4:41’’ 5:34’’ 5’56’’ 6’00’’ 6’20’’ 6’28’’ 7’00’’ Fate returns [Opening] Fate in Bassoons Building Climax Bigger climax! Tension Insistent! Strings Lyrical theme “Triumphant” “Triumphant / Dark” “Sturm/Drang” “Despair” “Sturm and Drang” “Pastoral” 7:25’’ 7:38’’ Fate returns Ending “Despair/Sad” “Sturm and Drang”

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