music review guidelines

The review should be around 800-1000 words in length, be typed, and interact with the following questions. Your review should be completed keeping in mind course readings, lectures, and discussions, referencing them where appropriate.
[ music choices are here ]

About the Production
Provide the following information about the event
+ Title:
+ Performers (group or individuals):
+ Performance Date:
+ Venue:
+ Pieces you will discuss in the review

Formal / Technical Criticism (400-500 words)
Describe and provide some analysis (with specific examples) of how each element plays a part in the entire performance. Choose one or two pieces from the performance to do a technical criticism about.

• What was the instrumentation used? How did it contribute to the presentation and timbre of the piece?
• Where there recurring motives or themes (either pitch or rhythmic) that either returned or were expanded upon?
• How could you describe the form of the piece?
• Try to describe the different timbres and textures in the piece.
• Try to listen to one instrument in particular. How does this contribute to the texture?
• How were dynamics (volume) used? Were they effective?
• Was there anything else you noticed about the technical elements of the piece?

Contextual Criticism (400-500 words)
• What was the social and cultural context surrounding why these pieces were created?
• Can you find out anything about why the composer chose to create a piece like this?
• Can you find out anything about the reception history of these pieces?
• What is the subject matter of the piece (or is there a subject matter), and how does the subject matter relate to the form?
• How did the information provided about the piece alter the way you perceived it?
• Did this performance challenge or affect you in any way? What was your overall reaction? Did you feel yourself drawn into the music?
• Did the music portray a narrative? A mood? Why or why not?
• How did this performance confirm your already held understandings (prejudices/preconceptions)? How did it challenge them?
• What kind of new meaning/insight/understanding were you able to take away from this performance?

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