I have asked each of you to write an annotation for one of the following YouTube videos.
“annotation” for someone who knows little or nothing about the piece of music or style
and has happened upon the video, wanting to know what specific elements they should
listen for. In your annotation:
-Introduce your annotation: tell your reader that you have written this to guide their listening and
inform them, so that they won’t miss some of the important things you point out
-Introduce the piece or movement
-When was it written? In which period of music history would you place it, and/or in what
genre? (concerto, sonata, symphony, opera, motet, etc.)
-Provide what you think are the 3 most important facts about the composer/performer (who
employed them, what they are most known for, in what ways they were influential or significant)
-Describe the ensemble that performs the piece as best you can (instruments, voices). You may
do a little research to nd out what woodwinds, brass, and percussion are there, but it’s very
Spend at least 200 words giving a “listening outline” of the piece using musical terms:
○ Tempo, and also if the tempo is regular or not
○ Meter, if you can discern it
○ major/minor keys if applicable, and if you can discern them
○ Textures (monophonic, etc.)
○ Dynamics ○ Interesting moments in the composition
○ Does the piece have one or more climactic moments? Where in the video are they? What
makes them climactic?
○ If you can find this info, what is the form of the piece or the movements? Is there anything
special about the form?
○ Suggest at least one website that a curious listener might go to learn more about the
○ Suggest at least one other youtube video that a listener should check out if they enjoy this
○ At least 400 words total (about 1 ½ pages or more)
-Focus on what you DO know about the music, what you CAN hear and describe, and try to
inform a new listener
YouTube annotation vids to choose from:
Bach Cantata 18
-Unique orchestration (types of instruments used, and string instruments NOT used)
- Structure of cantata (instrumental sections, recitatives, arias, etc.)
- Spiritual/religious significance of a sacred cantata
Haydn String Quartet op. 33 no. 2, “The Joke” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZo9FoajL4A
-How do the 4 movements differ from one another?
-What is the “joke” of this string quartet? (hint: it is in the last movement)
-Significance of string quartet as social music-making at home (or at court)
Spring River in the Flower Moon Night
● Consider the original poem and an English translation, such as the one above
● Note the moments when there are two different “melodies” or musical activities happening at
Vivaldi “Spring” from The Four Seasons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LiztfE1X7E
● Focus on this piece as musical characterization or a story without words
● Note the poem that is associated with the piece, a few lines for each movement
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll3CMgiUPuU&t=447s
● You may focus on 2 sections of this suite for your description, since it is long
● Consider what genre best describes this music—is it jazz? Is it a spiritual expression? Both?
some of the issues or problems that arise when we try to place this piece in a genre.
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