Listening Assignment

I will answer the first question for all of these. I do not have an expectation or a standard for what music “should” be. I like all kinds of music, from EDM to Classical to Neo-Dadaist compositions and A-tonal orchestral pieces (I’ve actually heard all of these pieces before). On a side note, I’m not entirely sure as to what is meant by the third question, so I will attempt to answer it as best as I can with limited understanding.

I think the purpose of the William’s Project was to experiment with new technologies. It communicates with the listener by creating an ambient soundscape which permits the listener to fill in gaps and orchestrate his or her own narrative. It does not personally communicate with me, but it makes for good background noise.

I feel that Stockhausen was attempting to express an abstract concept via abstract and experimental use of sound to create patterned textures. This piece invokes many nature scenes with occasional visits by the paranormal.

I feel that Thema was attempting to capture the theme and moods expressed in the poem it is based off of. It seems discombobulated and sounds as if it is trying to cast the listener in any direction but the right one.

Babbit’s purpose is clearly the same as it is in many of his other works. To prove that music does not have to be melodic or consonant to be music. He wanted to experiment with the bounds of what music “can be” with the newest technology. This piece seems like frantic dabbling that was then arranged into patterns. Parts of it are almost danceable.

Morton, like many other electronic composers of his time, seems to want to experiment with what music “can be” and with the most recent technology. I feel the purpose of this piece was to create an a-tonal soundscape focussed heavily on rhythm. It makes me think of whale song fed through a bitcrusher.

Alvin seems to have set out to experiment with the idea of re-sampling and to show how anything can become musical. It also seems like he desired to see how far the human voice could be manipulated before it stopped sounding at all like a voice. It does not speak to me in any way.

Steve seems to desire to create a fitting tribute to this group of boys (I’m not sure how this was it at all or why he chose to use only one sample from the various ones he was given, but he did). I also think he was trying to show that, if altered through the right processes, even spoken words were very musical and could build not only rhythms but also musical lines. I personally find this work redundant and annoying, but musical all the same, just as a lot of pop music is.

Brian Eno is a well known composer of film scores and soundscapes. The collections on this album are no different and have the intended purpose of adding an atmosphere to a film or creating an emotional response in the listener. It makes me feel tense for the most part.

The purpose of the Beatles with this song was to sell massive quantities of it as all boy-bands do. It sounds sort of musically cool, I suppose. But to me it’s just like a lot of work done by Urban-Pop groups of the 90s but with more guitar.

The purpose of Afrika Bambaataa was to create a danceable, commercial beat. They succeeded. It does not speak to me in any way.


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