Any topic (writer’s choice)
watch one online classical concert
1. Introduction/Background information: Who, What, When, Where
Who was the performer(s)?
When did the performance take place?
Where did the performance take place?
What was performed?
Thesis statement/Opinion: What is your main opinion of the performance? Avoid naming all of the titles of compositions in the opening paragraph.
2. Body/Description of the performance & your opinions
Below are some things to observe and write about.
Questions about the performance
What were some of the highlights of the performance?
What about the experience was new or different for you?
What impressed you about this live music experience and why?
Which selection(s) intrigued you the most? Explain what it was about the music that intrigued you.
What work did you find most enjoyable? Why?
If there was a selection that you did not enjoy, why didn’t you enjoy it? Was your like or dislike due to the piece itself, its position in the program or the way it was performed? What style(s) of music was performed? (use genres from class discussions)
How were their dynamics? (all loud, all soft, variety)
Did they blend well? Could you hear individual voices sticking out?
Did they have good intonation? (i.e. Were they in tune?)
Questions about the performers
What did you notice about the conductor? instrumentalists? soloists?
Was there a soloist or soloists who were particularly noteworthy (either good or bad)? Did the performers engage with the audience?
What did they wear?
How did the performers look on stage? Did they look professional/unprofessional?
1. Back up your judgments/opinions with the reasons why you think so. For example, a statement such as the soprano soloist was boring would not be helpful to the reader. It does not tell the reader anything about what the performer did that you (the reviewer) deemed boring. A better statement might be the soprano soloists rigid posture and lack of facial expression does not engage the listener. It lets the reader know that you did not like her performance, but it also tells him or her why. Use examples from listening from class and Listening Guides/Quizzes.
2. DO NOT write a play-by-play description of the entire concert. The reader wants to know the big picture, not a detailed description of every two-minute piece in a 90-minute program. Remember, they are reading your review to hear your opinions of the program and to determine whether this is a program or performance worth seeing themselves.
3. Speak for yourself only. You can write about things you observe the audience doing. (The audience leapt to their feet.)
3) Summary/Concluding Paragraph
1. Summarize your overall impression of the concert. Share your own reactions and opinions: what did you like, what did you not like, and why? Finally, give the performers a pat on the back or suggestions for improvement, and give your readers good reasons for going (or not going) to the next such concert.
Bring along a notepad/paper and pen with you to the concert. Take notes of your observations.
Write your essay as soon as possible after the concert or performance.
Write about 35 pieces and proceed in chronological order. If more than one group is performing, do not choose all 3 pieces from the same group.
Use of first-person narrative.
When writing about events that occurred at the concert, use the past tense. (Example: Although the trombonist was quite good, I thought that she was far too loud to blend well with the others in her section.) However, when writing about a particular musical composition or work of art or literature, use the present tense. (Example: In Beethovens Fifth Symphony, the fourth movement in C Major seems to serve as a triumphal conclusion to the struggle of the preceding three movements in C Minor.)
Use italics for the titles of large musical works, and use single quotation marks for the titles of individual movements in a larger work or individual songs. (Example: The Lacrimosa is a movement from Mozarts Requiem in D.)
If you comment on specific people (e.g., the conductor or soloists), give their names.
If you think your review is very well written, submit it to The Collegian for possible publication!