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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Music Appreciation - 822 words
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The musicians are divided into four main groups called sections: (1) thestring section, (2) the woodwind section, (3) the brass section, (4) and thepercussion section. The various instruments in the string, woodwind, andbrass section are pitched in different ranges, like voices in a choir. In thefollowing discussion, the instruments in each of these sections are listed in theorder from those of the highest range to those of the lowest. Some percussioninstruments are also tuned to definite pitches, but most of them have anindefinite pitch. The string section is the heart of a symphony orchestra. It has morethan half of the musicians and consists of from 20 to 32 violins, 8 to 10violas, 8 to 10 cellos, and 6 to 10 string basses.
The violinists are dividedinto two groups of equal size. The first violins play the highest-pitched partin the string section, and the second violin play the next highest. The leadingfirst violinist serves as concertmaster of the orchestra. the concertmasterdirects the other musicians in tuning their instruments and may also be theorchestra's assistant conductor. The woodwind section consists chiefly of flutes, oboes, clarinets, andbassoons. An orchestra has from 2 to 4 of each of these instruments
Themusicians in this section also play various other woodwind instruments whena score requires them to do so. The brass section consists of 2 to 5 trumpets, 2 to 8 French horns, 2 to4 trombones, and 1 tuba. The percussion section includes two or more timpani, or kettle drums,;bells and cymbals; wood blocks; and bass drum, gong, snare drum, triangle,tambourine and xylophone. The conductor knows that each of these sections are crucial to thesound necessary for the score, therefore, he or she designs the seatingarrangement to produce a certain blend of sounds. The basic seatingarrangements are as follows: the strings form a semicircle around theconductor; the woodwind instruments are arranged in the center, with thepercussion and brass sections at the rear.
The musicians have many responsibilities. Some of theseresponsibilities are to be prepared to work hard to achieve the perfection thatthe conductor needs to make the score sound right, be prepared and on timeto all rehearsals, to behave appropriately at a concert and rehearsals to insurethat the conductor has their total attention and the musicians are focused, and,ultimately, listen to the conductor's instructions. They must remember thatthe conductor is the person in charge, and, although they may not alwaysagree with the way that he or she feels about the music, they are to play theirhearts out , but to play as the conductor has designated them to. They mustkeep up with the music to make sure that the music flows and that theharmony does not get mixed up with the melody and to insure that the musicwill be played as intended or as instructed by the conductor. The conductor directs the musicians by keeping time with the baton orwith his or her hands, and by means of gestures and facial expression.
However, the conductor do their most important work before aperformance-and even before rehearsing a composition. In most cases, theconductor selects the music to be played at a concert. After selecting a work,the conductor's first job is t interpret the music by deciding exactly how itshould be played. Interpretation of a work includes such elements as tempo,tonal quality, and phrasing. After determining these features of the score, theconductor rehearses the music with the players.
During a rehearsal, the conductor asks individual musicians or sectionsto play various parts of the score again and again until the desired effect hasbeen achieved. He or she strives for the correct balance among the manyinstruments playing at the same time and adjusts the sound to suit to acousticsof the performance hall. The finest conductors are respected not only fortheir musical skill but also for their ability to inspire both musicians andaudiences. The conductor has the right to determine the difficulty of the music. Usually, the difficulty is determined upon the performance of the musiciansand how hard they work at the music.
The music can range form simple andeasy music to hard and fast music, but the musicians must be willing to workvery hard to make sure that they contribute the same amount of effort if notmore to achieve the great sound of music that is written in the score. Believeme that a conductor will use moderation and will not be harsh to his or herstudents by giving a beginning class on the first day a piece of Beethoven oran advanced orchestra simple plucking or breathing exercises, sometimes justfor fun. The conductor would like to see that all of his or her pupils aremastering the music provided, and would like to see them grow musically. But, in order to keep everything on a professional level, there must be a levelof respect between the both of them, and the musician must always rememberthat the conductor has the right to tell you if you are able to play in theorchestra and that playing in such a high esteemed place must be respectedand not abused by either of the parties included.
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