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he opening notes of the Beethoven 5th Symphony are among the most instantly recognizable notes in the history of music. My guess is that you had already heard these famous notes long before you took this class. And while you might not have known who wrote them (Beethoven) or what it was called (Symphony No. 5), SOMEHOW you already knew this “tune.”
For this essay, I’d like you to search YouTube for “Beethoven Symphony No 5”. Find FOUR different links featuring live musicians playing for an audience. Make sure to cite the name of the orchestra and the conductor. (For Example: Riverside Philharmonia conducted by Donald Foster….(you won’t find that one…trust me…LOL!) You only have to listen to the first three minutes of each piece. (Incidentally, make sure that you are listening to “Movement 1” or the “first movement”…some YouTube clips might have different videos for each of the four movements. I want you just to focus on the first movement.
Knowing that four different orchestras are playing the EXACT same piece of music, the same notes, the same sheet music, etc., what do you notice about the opening of these pieces and how they differ? Are the tempos the same? Which of the four examples are the fastest? Which one is slowest? Is one more energetic than the other? Is one “whimpier” than another? Give as much feedback to the first few minutes of each of the four examples, and then, pick which one is your favorite, and which one is least impressive and tell me why.
If you decide to use outside sources beyond our textbook and YouTube, make sure to cite those sources. Obviously, you should embed each YouTube link within your essay as you write about each one.
Enjoy visiting this iconic, confusing, emotional, and even “violently strange” piece of music!