Lux Aurumque is a modern day choral work written by American composer, Eric Whitacre
(b. 1970). Long an active participant on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Mr. Whitacre’s inspired work was taken to new heights in 2009 with his creation of an online “virtual choir.” Whitacre recorded a video of himself conducting the piece, along with a vocal parts and a piano reference track. Over 185 videos from twelve countries were submitted and combined to create a composite video performance that has received over 5 million online views.
What is your reaction to this virtual music collaboration? Imagine for moment other ways composers and musicians might utilize the Internet and social media to collaborate with each other as we continue through this decade and beyond. Please use your discussion post to share consider those possibilities with your classmates.
Discuss/list specific musical compositions that you heard during the process of taking this class that you enjoyed and tell the class why they were significant to you. Oh, and by the way, you can’t just say, “I liked them all!” and get credit on this one, you have to pick one or two and describe why you liked them . . . okey dokey? 😉
American composer Aaron Copland is quoted as saying, “I began to feel an increasing dissatisfaction with the relations of the music-loving public and the living composer . . . It made no sense to ignore them and to continue writing as if they did not exist. I felt that it was worth the effort to see if I couldn’t say what I had to say in the simplest possible terms.”
What do you think Copland was talking about? After listening to Appalachian Spring (1943-1944) do you think he was able to achieve his goal? How does he do this?
African-American composer William Grant Still is a major figure who embodied the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance of 1917-35. What was the Harlem Renaissance? Name some major black artists, writers/poets, thinkers and political activists who are considered part of this movement. Why were they significant? In addition what kinds of obstacles do you imagine might an African-American composer of Western Art Music face in the early 1900s? For information on the Harlem Renaissance you may have to refer to outside sources (encyclopedias, websites and etc.). Please cite any and all sources that you use in your posts.
Jazz composer Duke Ellington ranks as the most prolific and creative composer/arrangers in jazz history. He wrote over 2000 compositions and his band/orchestra ran from the 1920’s to around 1970 with some members staying with his group for 25 to 30 years or more. Also, a politically charged individual, Ellington is quoted as saying the following:
“My men and my race are the inspiration of my work. I try to catch the character and mood and feeling of my people. The music of my race is something more than the American idiom. It is the result of our transplantation to American soil and was our reaction, in plantation days, to the life we lived. What we could not say openly we expressed in music. The characteristic, melancholic music of my race has been forged from the white heat of our sorrows and from our gropings. I think the music of my race is something that is going to live, something which posterity will honor in a higher sense than merely that of the music of the ballroom.”
How do you interpret this quotation? In your opinion, has history honored the efforts of jazz pioneers and innovators like Duke Ellington?
At the beginning of this course, you were asked to discuss the question, “what is music?” As a result of taking this class, how has your answer to this question changed, if at all? Before composing your responses, you may wish to review your original post made during the first week of the semester if you responded to this question, however, please feel free to discuss even if you did not.
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