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“Program notes should briefly recount the circumstances of composition and first performance of the work, its scoring, and, if useful, its publication...Try to suggest to audience members two or three particular things to listen for, in an attempt to engage their ears” (Kern, 2008, 81-82). Holoman, D. Kern, Writing about Music: A Style Sheet. CA: University of California Press, 2008.
Part 1: Piece identification
Complete title with appropriate keys, numbers, opus numbers, and catalog numbers
Date of composition (if known)
Composer's full name, birth- death dates
Movements or song titles to be performed
Your name and instrument
Your accompanist's name and instrument, if needed
Program Notes, Parts 2-4
Part 2: Biographical and historical information
When/where did the composer live?
What events in his/her life may have influenced the composition?
What was happening in surrounding environment (significant historical events) that may have impacted him/her?
Is this a well-known or little-known piece by the composer? Why?/Why not?
Part 3: Musical analysis and interpretation
What are key musical elements of the piece? This may include elements such as form, rhythm, melody, harmony and accompaniment.
What do you hope to express to the audience through your interpretation? What should the audience listen for?
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