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Music Listening - Personal Statement Example

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Music Listening

Specifically, these include two pieces which I really like and rates high on my "exciting discovery" meter: Tswana Dance and Shizhane'e. As I am required to do so, I have also chosen the Navajo Sacred Prayer, which from the very start is unappealing and even boring to me. These three compositions are analyzed by looking at two musical elements forms, rhythm, and music culture which are especially salient in highlighting my musical preference.
In terms of form, Shizhane'e can be described as having a reverting form because the piece goes back to the original phrase after a digression. Analyzing closely, it becomes apparent that the piece follows an "a-a-b-b-a-a-b-b-c-c-a-a-b-b" form. The first portion (a-a-b-b) is repeated twice before the introduction of a new melody (c-c). However, the piece reverts to the original a-a-b-b theme. I believe that having a distinct pattern enhances my listening experience than having deal with a composition with ambiguous or no form at all. On the other hand, Tswana Dance in terms of form can be musically described as iterative. It should be noted that this piece follows one melodic formula which is repeated throughout. Even though it is quite different from the form used in Shizhane'e, this form appeals to me because of the phrase used is interesting. The continuous repetition of the phrase augments its musical value because it highlights the theme of musical piece. On the other hand, the Navajo Sacred Prayer follows no distinct form. Whenever I hear it playing, it appears to be solely comprised of mutters which are sung at random without any consideration to the listener. Compared to the forms of the two selections, this highly turns me off and degrades the aesthetic value of the piece.
The second musical element which highlights my musical preference is rhythm. In my selection of musical pieces, rhythm appears to be a high determinant of my musical appreciation. Shizhane'e's rhythm is characterized as isometric as emphasized by its regular rhythm. It should be noted that throughout the piece, the application of equal rhythm in the interval which makes it more orderly and organized. The presence of regular rhythm is appealing to me because it sounds more relaxing. I am apparently distracted by irregular rhythm because it tends to build up tension. Furthermore, the overall mood of the piece is upbeat as emphasized by the relatively lively tempo. Tswana Dance is also isometric having a 4/4 meter throughout the piece. Compared to Shizhane'e, Tswana Dance's is more festive because of the faster tempo. The regularity of the rhythm coupled with the lively tempo makes the pieces very interesting and appealing. In contrast, the Navajo Sacred Prayer is heterometric, giving it irregular rhythm which I find very distracting. Even though the tempo can be comparable to Tswana Dance, it does not communicate a festive nor lively atmosphere but creates a heavy and dismal feeling to the listener.
My musical preference is also highly influenced by music culture. It should be noted that the two selections that I really appreciate, Shizhane'e and Tswana Dance, are both used as accompaniments for dances during festivities. On the other hand, Navajo Sacred Prayer as implied by its name is an appeal or supplication to a divine being. When discussed in the view of current ...Show more

Summary

It is irrefutable that an individual's preference for music is largely affected by his or her appreciation of the different elements embedded in the piece. It should also be added that the personal appreciation of music is directly linked to an individual's background including cultural and social background…
Author : boehmford
Music Listening essay example
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