Theory: Composition Assignments for 1.31.2020

Hey y’all,
YET ANOTHER snow day.
Thank you to those who sent in your assignments for the unusual time signature piece.
Looking ahead, I mentioned that we would be working on a pop/CCM style song soon. I would encourage you to be on the lookout for lyrics or start writing some that you would like to use. I’ll have more info on how to write good lyrics when we meet together, but for now, you can be brainstorming topics, thinking about possible rhyming words or main ideas that go along with those topics, looking and listening at your favorite songs to dissect the lyrics, or searching for poetry that you’d like to use. This part can take awhile, so I’d encourage you to get started. Hopefully I’ll see you soon!
My musical thinking moment this week is a video of a Tiny Desk Concert by Joyce DiDonato (a Kansas native) that has got a lot of tongues wagging among my voice teacher colleagues. She is singing traditionally classical Italian songs, many of which are assigned to young/beginning singers, but in this concert these songs are accompanied by a jazz ensemble. In contrast, here she is singing the first song with the traditional piano accompaniment, and here is native Italian Cecilia Bartoli singing it in concert. Joyce is known for being a Handel specialist, and for taking some really bold risks in her performances. Most of them I think she does masterfully, and generally I enjoy watching her. This one, for example, is interesting and how she weaves together the absolutely stunning vocal technique with an intriguing stage presentation. Opinions are mixed among my colleagues about her Tiny Desk Concert, as one would expect when a performer takes such a step away from the expected. I’m curious about your thoughts. Did you think it worked? Did it not? And why?
Enjoy listening and thinking!

Heather R. Nelson, PhD

Singing Voice Specialist

Voice Teacher