The principles of unity & variety apply to all music, regardless of compositional style or historical period.
Now that you are familiar with the concepts in the first section of the course (Basic Musical Concepts), and you have seen how they work on different pieces of music, try your hand, mouse, and ears at how they operate in a music selection that you may not have heard yet.
Your analysis should include:
- The number of different musical ideas you hear in the piece (can we say that there are two ideas A and B? Or is there only one?)
- The timings (start and stop times) of the different sections of the piece. (Hint: Listen for changes in musical ideas and timbre, or for points when one instrument gives way to another.)
- How the following elements contribute to unity and variety in the sections you identified (give timings):
- Dynamics: Where does the music get louder or softer? Is there any apparent reason for those changes?
- Timbre: Where do different instruments take over the melody?
- Pitch: What is the general pitch level of the piece? Are there wide variations in pitch level?
- Although there are sections that feature one instrument over others, do you think this is a piece for a solo performer or for an ensemble?
- List of the characteristics of the musical style closest to the one this piece exemplifies. (Hint: Revisit the class titled Folk Music, Art Music, and All That Jazz)
- Do you think this piece serves (or could serve) a specific purpose?
- Does this piece have any specific connotation(s) for you?