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Music appreciation class | English homework help

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Assignment 3: Research an Orchestral Instrument on the Web

A. Task

The purpose of this assignment is to develop critical thinking in your approach to researching your instrument of choice on the web. You may choose from any of the following instruments: flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, violin, viola, cello, or double bass.

For this assignment you are asked to SUMMARIZE or CRITIQUE the various features of each of the ten web sites NOT to simply copy and paste information directly from each site into your submission. Please don’t list a lot of historical or biographical information. You should describe each of the ten sites and discuss the various interactive and web features of each one. You can think of this assignment as if you were writing a review or critique of the 10 different sites. Important: you should provide ten individual (short) paragraphs, one for each website. Here are some things for you to consider as you summarize each of the ten sites: 

Why did you choose the site and what features distinguish it from others? Are there audio links or interesting links to other sites? How is the site organized? What were the topics covered in the site? Are there interactive media links that demonstrate various features of the instrument? What did you learn from your research? What is a (brief!) summary of the information you gleaned from the site?

Your assignment submission needs to include:

  • Two sites for each one of the categories listed below, and
  • A short paragraph presenting a summary of the various feature of each of the ten sites.

The categories are: 

  1. History and/or Manufacturers

    Information about well-known makers and the instrument’s history. If you choose the voice, you can obviously skip the manufacturers, and concentrate on the history.

  2. Famous Performers

    This one is quite self-evident. You are not restricted to any particular period or style. For example, if you favorite instrument is guitar, you can choose Eric Clapton and John Williams.

  3. Famous composers:

    Another self-evident one. Again, you are not restricted to any particular period or style. One example from the class is the Leonard Bernstein site at the Library of Congress. Did Bernstein, for example, write any pieces for your favorite instrument?

  4. Repertoire

    What are the most famous pieces written for your chosen instrument? Submit a list of five famous pieces written for the instrument, and two (2) sites that were sources for the information. Here’s a site that might help: http://www.naxos.com. NOTE: It’s important that you choose pieces that were composed specifically for the instrument that you’re researching. For instance, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is not a work that was composed for solo piano! I also suggest that you try to find audio examples of the pieces that you’ve chosen so that you can hear their connection to the instrument.

  5. Famous Orchestras:

    You should submit and comment on two (2) orchestra websites. For this topic, the Akron Symphony or another local/community orchestra doesn’t count as a “famous orchestra.” The “Big Seven” orchestras in the U.S. are: The Chicago Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The Boston Symphony, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, and The San Francisco Symphony. There are also numerous famous orchestras outside of the U.S.

B. Process

  • Decide which instrument you are going to research. The choice of an instrument should be made AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in order to allow the most time for research.
  • Do research on the selected instrument: Research two (2) sites in each of the five categories in (A) above.
  • Submit the 10 sites you have come up with in your research, along with a paragraph for each category summarizing their features and why you chose them.

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