Name Date Course Section/# An Analysis and Discussion of Philip Sparke’s “Capriccio” Oftentimes, when one considers 20th and/or 21st century music, an understanding of abstraction and an expectation of multi polar themes combined with melody and harmony that continually contest one another and forms of dissonance is expected…
For purposes of this brief analysis, Phillip Sparke’s work “Capriccio” will be analyzed. It is the understanding of this particular author that Sparke’s “Capriccio” represents many of the tell tale markers that music of the latter half of the 20th century engenders. Moreover, this short analysis will also integrate with an understanding of some of the primary influences that can be determined from a close listening and reflection upon Sparke’s “Capriccio”. Even though it might be convenient to assume that the most talented composers rely only upon their own ideas to create famous compositions, the fact of the matter is that many individuals, musicians, and former composers have a profound impact upon the way in which these composers integrate with the subject matter. Finally, from a technical and mechanical as well as theoretical understanding of music, the analysis will seek to draw inference upon the range of the instrumentation that is employed, the use of Marshall music, and the reintegration of neoclassicism and/or a greater emphasis and or focus upon harmony melody point and counterpoint. Firstly, with regards to the means by which the piece deviates from the traditional understanding of 20th and 21st century music, the listener quickly notes the complete and total absence of dissonance and/or abstraction within the music. Although the pioneers of early 20th-century music were keen on exhibiting the hopeless and often times and meaningless nature of the human condition through abstract means of musical expression, as with most friends and classical music, this approach has since become far less common. In the same means that baroque music is no longer composed, many of the themes and developments that abstraction and made so popular within the 20th century are now no longer realized within the current compositions (Ivry 13). More specifically within Sparke’s “Capriccio”, the listener is continually integrated with an understanding of a complex relationship between the melody played by the soprano cornet and the harmony which is played by the remainder of the brass instruments. Naturally, in order to keep the development and ideas presented fresh, trade-offs are made at various intervals with regards to the way that they soprano cornet assumes the role of playing harmony while the backup instrumentation within the other brass instruments briefly take on the melody (Altena 41). From a personal experience perspective, it must be noted that Phillip Sparke’s “Capriccio” integrated within this listener is strong level of remembrance and recognition with regards to the level of pollution and/or influence that the piece has with Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”. This cannot be said to cheapen or otherwise reduce the originality that is displayed within Sparke’s “Capriccio”; rather, it reinforces the previously mentioned understanding that a range of prior ideas, techniques, styles, and means are oftentimes illustrated within the works of later composers. Instead of taking away from the merits of such an original work, this can be seen as a means of paying tribute to some of the most influential members of the classical composing community. With regards to Copland, it comes as no surprise that Phillip Spark ...
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