Tchaikovsky Essay Assignment
1) Research the different parts of a ballet, a concerto, and a symphony—write the names of the movements here.
Bend, Dart, Glide, Jump, Rise, Stretch and Turn.
Same movements as a symphony
Sonata Form, Ternary Form, Variations Form and Ronda Form.
2) Describe how the complement of instruments would be the same or different for the three different types of music:
A symphony orchestra includes strings, percussion, woodwinds, brass, and keyboards.
The term concerto refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra.
A ballet would use the same instruments as a symphony.
3) Using a standard 5 paragraph essay (introduction, 3 body with topic sentence and supporting details, conclusion) write an essay about one of the following topics:
a. Tchaikovsky’s life
b. Events in Russia during Tchaikovsky’s lifetime
c. One type of music he wrote (ballet, opera, concerto, symphony)
d. The sections of an orchestra that would be used to play Tchaikovsky’s music
e. Another related topic of your choice—check it with Dena or Peter ahead of time.
Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture
What was Tchaikovsky trying to express in the Romeo and Juliet Overture? After listening to it many times, I have come up with a rough idea of what he was trying to say. Often famous composers are not able to explain their music either because when they were alive they were hardly known or that they are not sure, so what I am setting off to do is explain to you one of the most famous pieces in history.
In the beginning he starts with a soft deep bellow of violins. And the picture it paints in my mind is floating on a cloud at dawn. As the piece progresses it repeats with these violins and other dark instruments. Then around five minutes in or so there is a slight uplift in the tone of the piece and then it slowly falls back down, and this repeats around three times. And then within seconds there is a large crescendo and then once again it slows down and dies down.
Around seven minutes into the piece there are sudden jumps and clashes, and I think that at this point he was trying to express hatred and conflict. And once again it dies down. And suddenly the beautiful violas come in and just completely change the song. To me this part express' the realization of love. And something can completely change direction from hatred to love in the blind of an eye.
Then around ten minutes into the piece the violas die down and there is just a hint of violins playing in the background. And in my head this scene is very secluded and dark. Like a village at night when nobody is on the streets and when you begin to notice the softer things like to wind brushing against the trees.
And once again at around twelve minutes into the piece all of the instruments crescendo and again I think that this represents hatred and conflict between the two families in Romeo and Juliet. Then this dies down around two minutes after it began and then a perfect harmony of the violas, violins and the percussion group come in and explain the rush and feeling of love. These crescendos continue for a minute or two but once again the drums come in and the violins speed up and then suddenly everything stops.
To me the finally of the piece is the strongest, after the silence which lasts around a minute, the violins and flutes slowly get louder and louder until they are dwarfed by the strong beat of the drums and then at the last few seconds all of the instruments end in complete harmony. I hope that I have roughly explained to you how Tchaikovsky expressed in his music some of the strongest emotions people can have.
This should be a quick, easy essay. Use the editing techniques you learned last week—be sure you have a thesis sentence (your main point), a topic sentence for each paragraph (the point of the paragraph), at least 3 supporting sentences per paragraph (details that prove your point), your thesis is restated at the beginning of your conclusion.
Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, etc, but DO focus on the structure of the essay. This assignment should take you no more than 45 minutes.
Your topic may NOT be why you were giggling during the listening session or how you were not paying attention to the music or what you and your neighbor decided was more important than at least trying this new activity once before deciding to hate it.