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1.) El Abejorro (Bees) on guitar, played by me in my mid-20’s.
In music we use letters to designate different sections to help us understand structure. (Section A, B, C, etc.) In this short piece, composer Emilio Pujol is describing a bee. I’ve marked the different sections for you. Listen to the piece a few times and construct a story or describe the events that this bee may be going through. How to do the sections differ or change in mood?
2.) Remember the early assignment on transcriptions? Here’s the “Flight of the bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Piano transcription:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yZPrrboTkY (Links to an external site.)
Orchestral version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QV1RGMLUKE (Links to an external site.)
In both 1.) and 2.), part of the music is about the performing showing off great technique and a bit of humor. At the same time, a composer has to be wildly creative to paint a portrait of a flying insect using music. What does Rimsky-Korsakov do to portray his version of the bumblebee? What’s the story? What’s the atmosphere?
3.) “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens.
First, read the description of the piece in the information below the video. There are 14 movements in this work. Listen to the entire work. Pick three movements are the most effective in portraying the animals? Why? Discuss the various elements of the music that make it effective using concepts like tempo, instrumentation, rhythm, texture, color, register, pitch, dissonance, etc. You’re welcome to compare this music with other kinds of music that you’re familiar with that conjures up similar feelings/images.
4.) “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev
I don’t want a summary of this piece. I want to know that you’ve listened to it and thought about it. You may use the questions in 3.) to jumpstart your thinking or to take it in any other direction you feel appropriate.