1.) Listen to the following two works in their entirety and answer the questions below. Click or copy/paste the links to access each selection. These are also found in the LM 7 folder in D2L.
Anton Webern: Wie bin ich froh! Laurie Anderson: O Superman
2.) Write a short paragraph (5 sentences minimum) that responds to the following, based on your own tastes and responses to the music:
Even though these are two very different songs, they are both recognized as some of the most important examples of 20th century composition. The first one, by Webern, is from the early decades of the century (1935), whereas O Superman is relatively much more recent (1981). What were your overall opinions? Did any of these remind you of any of the other Listening Guides, or other music you’ve heard? Consider the following as you answer these questions:
The Webern song uses a sample of poetry by Hildegarde Jone. It is sung in German in the recording; here is the English translation:
How glad I am!
Once more all’s turning green about me and shining so!
And overflowing with flowers in my world!
Once more I’m at the center of Becoming and yet on earth.
How (if at all) do the text and music relate?
Regarding the Laurie Anderson selection, the music video is an important part of this song, and it has a lot in common with other music videos of the early 1980’s/early MTV years. What did you think of the music to visual connections present in the video?
One other note, in case you find it interesting: O Superman was featured in the “Bandersnatch” episode of Black Mirror on Netflix a few years ago. If you’re a fan of that series, it may sound familiar.
Questions 1-3 are about the Webern example.
1.) Which term best applies to the melody in the vocal part in this song?
2.) How would you describe the harmony?
3.) While this piece does not use traditional tonal harmony, it does include phrases and cadences throughout. How many complete phrases do you hear? (Hint: focus on the vocal part.)
Questions 4-5 are about the Anderson example.
4.) What type of texture do you hear most throughout this piece?
5.) Which sub-genre within 20th century music does this most clearly resemble?
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