More Listening Homework…

This week’s homework involves doing a bit more listening.  What will you listen to?  Please see your assignment below:

  • Listen to the last movement of Mahler’s 9th Symphony.  The entire symphony can last anywhere from 70 to 90 minutes.  The whole symphony is in four movements, but you may listen to the finale which is in D-flat major.  Listen for twisting harmonies.  Listen for the moment when the music moves quietly into minor. Mahler died in 1911, without ever hearing his 9th Symphony performed.  The last movement is seen as his farewell to the world.  His daughter had died about two years prior and the whole movement was at least partly inspired by her. The music itself is a lesson in “borrowed chords”.  See what you can hear…
  • Listen to Mendelsohhn’s Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The overture opens with four quiet chords the evoke a sense of mystery.  Can you play these four chords on the piano?  The key is Emajor, but the third chord is the minor subdominant chord.  Music in a major key may “borrow” from the minor key using the same key-note.  For instance, a piece in Emajor may borrow chords from Eminor.

For further homework reading, look up the meaning of chromatic chords.  Have fun!  See you next week!


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