Classical Concert Critique Assignment

Classical Concert Critique Assignment
Online Introduction to Music

The following information concerns your classical concert critique assignment:

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Course Requirement and Deadlines

  • Students enrolled in Introduction to Music are required to attend/view a classical concert during the semester and turn in a typed concert critique and a Works cited page with concert link for the concert program. The classical concert must be pre-approved by your instructor.
    • The classical concert critique assignment involves critical thinking and provides a field work experience to apply musical concepts learned in this Music Appreciation course.
    • Specific instructions regarding details of this assignment are provided below.
    • Following attending an approved classical concert, students are required to turn in a typed concert critique and the entire original concert program within ten days of attending the classical concert. Partial concert programs, photocopies and scanned copies are not allowed.
    • The last possible date for your instructor to receive your typed classical concert critique and the entire original concert programis Friday, May 1, 2020, in class or the Assignment Folder (online only).
    • Failure to turn in both the typed concert critique and a Works Cited page for the proper viewing links for this classical concert critique assignment or failure to adhere to the time and date restrictions results in a zero for this assignment.

Classical Concert Approval

Due to COVID 19, the concert must be a link approved by your instructor prior to the scheduled performance.  The Metropolitan Opera Live Stream. Be aware this is only free for as long as quarantine is required for COVID19. is the Berlin Concert House. You will need to google translate some of the German, but this is a continuous live stream of classical concerts. Each night at 7 p.m., there will be a major name in classical music performing. The 7 p.m. concerts are recommended. is also free. Simply register for the voucher code with your email, and you will have access to hundreds of classical concerts.

YouTube options: Coffee Cantata, J.S. Bach Beethoven, String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131 in C# minor Mozart, Violin Concerto in D Major, K. 218 Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Rachmaninoff Alma Deutscher, Piano Concerto

Required documents and where to send them

  • The Typed concert critiquewill be turned into the Assignment Folder in Online Campus, under “Concert Critique”. Make sure your first and last name are on the concert critique in order to receive any credit.
    • The Entire Original Concert is now a WORKS CITED page that will be placed at the end of your critique. This page will list both the link used for concert viewing and ALL other resources. DO NOT turn in a list of links. Look up proper formatting for this type of document.
    • Deadlines:
    • Remember, your typed concert critique and works cited page are due May 1, 2020.
    • No late submissions will be accepted.

Concert Critique: Document Guidelines

The following three pages provide more specific information regarding this required assignment. This includes a Concert Critique Outline Template, a Listening Guide with common descriptions of the seven musical elements and Additional Tips and Grading. Contact your instructor if you have questions about any of these three forms.
A brief description of each of the three pages of the Classical Concert Critique Instructions is included below:

• Page 1: The Concert Critique Outline Template. The Concert Critique Form provides the outline the student needs to follow to complete the classical concert critique.

 Page 2: The Music Appreciation Listening Guide gives you a few of the terms that you might use in describing the musical pieces you hear while attending your classical concert. Do not fill out this form. Of course, these are just some of the terms you might use. Refer to your textbook, specifically the chapters on basic concepts, for additional terminology and descriptive words you can include in your concert critique.

  • Page 3: Additional Tips and Grading. Additional tips will be helpful to review before writing your concert critique. Grading for your concert critique and specific number of points is also included here.

Page 1: Concert Critique Outline Template

This is an outline of the required information for your concert critique. This document provides a guideline for constructing your typed concert critique. You will need additional space to complete this form. Any questions about your concert critique assignment need to be addressed with your instructor. You are required to attend the entire concert in order to receive any credit for this assignment. You need to be in your seat at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled performance time for anything that occurs prior to the first musical selection.

1. Student’s first and last name:
2. Submission date:
3. Paragraph Number One: Opening Introductory Paragraph

  • Include four statements about the following: information about the concert attended, including a description of the performance venue or place of the concert, what you observe about the performers, what you observe about the conductor, if applicable, and what you observe about the audience.
    • Include at least one statement regarding a pre-concert lecture, announcements, introductions or anything else that happens before the concert begins. If none of these things occur regarding this particular concert, then say so.
    • Include at least one statement regarding what happens at the beginning of the concert. For instance, the performers may announce each piece of music before performing. The performers may simply walk onto the stage and start performing the first piece on the program.

    4. Paragraph Number Two: A Description of the Music

  • Choose a particular musical piece on the program to describe. Include the following:
    Title of the musical selection.
    Composer’s name
    List the movements (if applicable). If the piece has several movements, focus your description on ONE movement.
    • Include at least four statements about the following:
    Describe at least two musical elements as they relate to this musical selection. For instance, you might describe the rhythm and the dynamics. You can choose from the seven musical elements: rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, texture, timbre and form. Do not write about a musical element with which you are unfamiliar. Refer to the Listening Guide below for some descriptions of the musical elements.
    • Include at least one statement about the following: Name something significant or memorable about this piece of music. For example, if the musical piece was an orchestral piece, perhaps it featured a solo instrument: elaborate on this solo instrument and what you hear. This musical selection might have included a significant number of percussion instruments. If it was a choral concert, you may mention that a particular piece was sung in a foreign language, for instance, and then elaborate on what you hear.

    5. Paragraph Number Three: Concert Closing

  • Include at least two statements, describing what happened at the end of the concert. How did the musical performance end? For example, the last piece on the program might have been spectacularly loud and exciting. The last piece on the program might have been very short and uneventful.
    • Include anything that happened after the last scheduled piece was performed. For instance, the group might have had a question and answer session with the audience members. There might have been an encore piece. The performing group may have simply left the stage after the performance was over.

    6. Paragraph Number Four: The Student Learning Experience

  • Include at least two statements, describing what you learned from the experience of attending a classical concert
  1. Works Cited Page: Documentation of all resources

Page 2: Listening Guide: The Musical Elements

Below are common descriptions of the seven musical elements. You may apply these descriptions, as well as others from the course textbook, when describing the musical elements as they apply to the classical concert you attend and to the specific musical piece you are describing.


• duple meter, triple meter, quadruple meter or mixed meter
• predominantly fast tempo or predominantly slow tempo
• frequent tempo changes


• predominantly forte or predominantly piano
• crescendos and/or decrescendos
• varied dynamics throughout
• little dynamic diversity
• terraced dynamics


• tonal, atonal or modal
• conjunct or disjunct


• tonal, atonal or modal
• predominantly consonant or predominantly dissonant


• monophonic
• homophonic
• polyphonic
• mixed: specify

Musical form or design

• strophic or verse-like
• recurring melody or theme
• varied melody throughout
• repetitive sections

Predominant timbre or timbres

List predominant instruments and/or voices and describe:
• Woodwinds: specify and describe predominant instrument or instruments
• Brass: specify and describe predominant instrument or instruments
• Strings: specify and describe predominant instrument or instruments
• Percussion: specify and describe predominant instrument or instruments
• Keyboard: specify and describe predominant instrument or instruments
• Human voice: specify predominant voice type

Page 3: Additional Tips and Grading

  • Review your Concert Critique Instructions before attending your classical concert. This will help guide your listening.
    • There are two sample concert critiques located in Online Campus
    • If the student has questions for the Music Appreciation instructor, it is recommended that the student contact the instructor well ahead of the deadline for completing the concert critique.
    • The student is encouraged to make an appointment with a Columbia State writing tutor prior to turning in the classical concert critique. The writing tutor can review your typed concert critique and give you suggestions regarding possible improvements in grammar and spelling. To make an appointment with a writing tutor, go to the Teaching and Learning Center link on the Columbia State website: Teaching and Learning Center.
    • In your typed concert critique, the musical selection you choose to describe must have the complete title and composer name. For instance, Sonata in D Major, Opus 94 by Prokofiev.
    • Do not copy information from the program. For example, do not include the performers’ background information from the printed program. Rather, describe the performers’ style of play, their emotional expression, and anything else that you can observeduring the performance.
    • Do not copy information about the musical piece from the internet or other source. This is plagiarism. This assignment is not a research paper. Rather, this is about what you hear and experience at a live musical concert. It is also about how you apply your knowledge about musical concepts and the musical elements.
    • Refer to an instrumental piece as a “piece” or “work”, not a “song”. Songs are sung.
    • The term “conductor” and “composer” are not synonymous. A conductor is a person who leads and directs the performing musical group. A composer is a person who writes the music. A conductor is alive and present during the performance. A composer is not necessarily alive.
    • Remember, no credit will be given unless your concert critique and your entire original concert program are turned in within 10 calendar days of the concert. For instance, if you attend a concert on a Tuesday evening, your critique and entire original concert program are due by the following Friday.
    • Send your concert critique via the Dropbox on Online Campus. Make sure you mail your entire original concert program to your instructor within 10 calendar days of attending the concert. Also, adhere to the deadline below.
    • Remember: The last possible day for your instructor to receiveyour concert critique and entire original concert program, still within 10 days of your attended concert, is Friday, April 19, 2019 by 4:00 p.m. in order to receive any credit for this assignment. Partial concert programs, scanned copies or photocopies are not acceptable.


Required Information for the Classical Concert Critique Assignment and Possible Number of Points:

  • The typed concert critique with correct grammar and spelling. The typed critique is required for any credit. A point is deducted for every grammatical and spelling error. If there are no errors, the student earns 20 points.
  • Paragraph Number One: The Introductory Paragraph counts up to 25 points.
  • Paragraph Number Two: Description of the Music counts up to 25 points.
  • Paragraph Number Three: The Closing paragraph counts up to 10 points
  • Paragraph Number Four: The Student Learning Experience counts up to 20 points
  • The total possible number of points for this assignment is 100 points.


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