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Abstract

This essay entails a report of UC-davis Symphony concert at the UC-Davis. It gives the historical perspective of the concert and reasons for its relative popularity. In addition, the essay establishes the performing force and the form exemplified in the UC-davis Symphony concert. Further, it elucidates the texture and character that were prominent at the concert. According to the literature available, these concerts are organized annually in different regions of the world. The main aim of the concerts has always been to actively engage students in research in the arts, cultural studies and the humanities. In particular, this essay will focus on the musical aspect of the concert (C. H. Cope 1978).

Concert Report

The music performance included many singers of different vocal powers. Although the large number presented the challenge of incoherence, the team integrated their voices quite properly such that the musical content was both quite authentic. For instance, the team distributed themselves into soprano, tenor, alto and bass with each group sitting together, a distance from the rest. The tenors were seated next to the sopranos such that their high pitched voices properly integrated. On the other side were the bass and the altos who were also strategically seated so that their voices remained coherent throughout the session. During the performance of the concert, the sopranos would start off and then the altos would later join. Eventually, the basses and the tenors would get into the mix thereby creating a near perfect musical combination (H. Dane 1976).

The musical composition was divided into different sections such that the singers would start with a line that will then be repeated after every stanza. The introductory line started in a low tone before raising the tone in readiness for the first stanza. When the singers finally got to the first stanza, the tone rose sharply thereby drawing the attention of the audience to the main message in the song. It was at the end of the first stanza that all other groups went silent except for the sopranos who sang the repeated line that had earlier started the song. The eventual emergence of the other voices gave a strong performance force to the whole song. This was repeated at the beginning of every new stanza where one voice would start and later joined by the others in unison (Small C. 1977).

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The repeated line in the music gave the entire performance a homophonic characteristic in that the line naturally drew the attention of the audience whenever it was sung. As such, the other parts of the musical composition had a mere purpose of accompanying or filling in the chords to make the composition more coherent and adequately appealing. However, this did not mean that the accompaniment parts of the music were not of melodic interest. In fact, it incorporated lots of the rules of well-written counterpoint that made them almost equally interesting. Nonetheless, it was clear from the singing that the two parts were not entirely independent melodic sections as the rhythm was basically the same. Essentially, the composition was achieved in such a way that it purposely filled in the harmony (C. H. Cope 1978).

The general character of the music was a feeling of happiness and profound relaxation making it appear quite exuberant. First, the singers integrated their voices quite perfectly that the overall sound was clearly of a high quality. Besides, they were only loud enough to keep the audience interested as generating the music towards noise would significantly have reduced its taste. Although the performers were quite a number, their voices were perfectly trained to remain at acceptable levels and not degenerate into “musical noise”. For instance, there was a clear connection between the sopranos and the tenors when they got to sing together as the other voices went silent. The same connection was evident between the basses and the altos. Although the tempos of the individual voices would sometimes vary, the singers knew when to get their voices back together without any single group lagging behind the others. That essentially produced a good rhythmic flexibility that is characteristic of an ideal musical composition with no sudden contrasts (H. Dane 1976).

The musical form of the composition was quite easy to grasp as one built around repetitions and voice variations. This is because it was organized in such a way that the verses were quite distinct from the refrain in virtually every aspect. For instance, while all the singers would be involved in singing the refrain only selected voices would participate in singing individual verses. This gave an ideal mix especially considering that different voices would sing different verses thereby creating a sense of diversity in the song. In addition, the music had the involvement of instrumentals to accompany the vocals. This implied that several sections of the music went without vocals as the instrumentals played. In particular, the instrumentals played at the beginning of the song and also at the very end of the music. However, a variety of instrumentals also played in between the verses creating an ideal sense of musicality. These instrumentals integrated so well with the voices as they basically bore the same melody as the refrain. As such, they played a role in preparing the audience for the next verse by releasing the musical tension arising from continuous singing. Moreover, the instrumentals played in between the verses were quite similar to one another giving a perfect sense of uniformity for the song (Small C. 1977).

The musical composition was organized in such a way that the climax appeared towards the end of the song. This was particularly unique considering that most climaxes usually occur in the middle of the song. However, the composition achieved the climax quite perfectly by integrating it in the vocals as well as the message in the composition. Besides, the singers did not disappoint either as their facial expressions revealed the real happiness the song was emphatic about. Although the tone of the song remained mostly unchanged, the musical section clearly stuck out as the most emphatic part of the composition. In addition, the period of the composition was typically composed of one antecedent phrase and a consequent phrase that generally varied in length depending on the tempo adopted for the various sections. The ending of the antecedent was generally of a weaker cadence than the consequent although both cadences were quite authentic. However, the two formed an ideal parallel and in most cases sharing a great deal of their materials. This was quite evident in all sections of the music except for the final measures that bore a significant difference. This was a typical musical composition of the classical genre due to the fact that it entailed a great deal of forms and styles of diverse historical backgrounds. Besides, the performers seemed perfectly understand the written quality of the musical composition (C. H. Cope 1978).

In conclusion, the annual UC-davis Symphony concert at the UC-Davis had several lesions for the attendants. For instance, it provided an opportunity for them to understand the historical perspective of the concert and why so much emphasis has been put on it over the years. Besides, the audience was treated to a complex musical composition in which the performing force, form, texture and character was quite easy to elucidate. Moreover, the composer’s idea of placing the climax towards the end of the music had a profound effect in revealing the main message as well as the genre of the composition (H. Dane 1976).

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