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North Lake College Four Seasons Symphony Orchestra Analytical Review


You are required to attend one “virtual” concert this semester and write a critique. The length should be at least one hour – you might need to watch two performances. The concert you choose must feature Western Art music (classical music). I have attached a list, but you are welcome to find performances of classical music that interest you! Send me a quick email to make sure your concert qualifies! The concert may feature large ensembles such as a symphony orchestra or an opera company or choral group, or it may be a chamber or solo recital. (Musical genres such as pop, rock, country, reggae, rap, heavy metal, jazz, musical etc. are not acceptable.)

Please note: You will need to watch and listen to the entire concert and address the entire concert in your review.


You are expected to listen and respond critically to music in a live performance environment and to articulate an informed, personal reaction in a coherent and engaging manner. You must demonstrate an awareness of the subject matter by communicating your interpretation of the concert as it reflects Western Art music.


Title: Virtual Concert Critique: ___________ Symphony Orchestra, (date) _____

Link: Include a link for the performance you “attended.”

Opening paragraph: The first sentence or two of your paper should give the details of the concert you watched: location, venue, conductor, performers, title/composer of pieces performed, etc. Include basic background information about the pieces, such as when/why they were composed. (Just one or two sentences about each piece is fine.)

Content: This critique should express your informed opinions expressed utilizing the vocabulary and terminology that you have learned from this class. I want to see descriptions/analysis of the music. Use the analytical tools that are used in our textbook. For instance: What instruments performed? What is the texture? (monophonic/ polyphonic/ homophonic)? Is it a dance tune? Are there word/music relationships? Is it program music? What is the form (variation, sonata, rondo)? Are dynamics used? Is there anything unique about the melody, rhythm or harmony?

Here’s a tip: Take notes as the music plays. This will be very important when you start writing your essay.

You can also assess the effectiveness of the programming. How did the selections relate to one another? Describe the stylistic characteristics of each selection. Your discussion of the music is the most important part of this paper – do not “pad” your paper with unnecessary descriptions or composer-biography. If you use any information from the program notes or any other source, make sure you cite it. If you plagiarize, copy or cheat in any way, you will receive an F as your assignment grade and possibly an F in this course.

References: List any websites that you used.

Length and formatting:

800-1200 words, typed in 12-point Times New Roman regular font, double-spaced, 1” margins, 1 double space between paragraphs.

Assessment: (see rubric!)


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