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University of Southern California Type of Instruments Played in a Jazz Concert Paper


There are many full-length concerts now available on YouTube and other streaming video services. Be sure that the concert you view is a concert of popular music – including at least two musicians performing together in the same band, and is at least 60 minutes in length. Then follow the guidelines for the concert report.

Please address the following points:

  • Date and venue of the performance.
  • Names of performers (the name of the band and/or the names of individual performers for small ensembles)
  • Ensemble type and/or instruments being played (list each instrument for small ensembles of 6 musicians or less)
  • Briefly describe the ambiance and/or decor of the venue.
  • Briefly describe the audience.
  • Identify the style of popular music performed.
  • Identify the titles of the pieces/songs that you discuss (including composer’s names only if possible/relevant).
  • Describe in detail, four of the songs/pieces performed, with a paragraph of around 150 words for each song. This is the most important part of your concert report, and it should comprise at least 600 words. Be specific as possible, utilizing vocabulary and musical terms from the course if possible. Make observations on:
  • the general character of each song – melody, rhythm, texture, and timbre (melody, rhythm, tempo, texture, emotional content, etc., in your own words as it seems appropriate).
  • how the song/piece unfolds from beginning to end – this can include notable moments or shifts in mood and character, and interesting musical exchanges and dialogues between musicians.
  • In conclusion, sum up your experience. Did the music communicate to you on a deeper emotional or psychological level? Why, or why not? Was there a particular performer (or performers) who you really connected with – why? Did the information you learned in class impact your experience?
  • Your essay will be graded based on depth of analysis, the degree to which you address all of the bullet points above, the use of detailed descriptions, and on spelling and grammar. One of the course learning outcomes is to become an “ active” listener, so your observations should reflect a developing awareness of this skill. If you quote or paraphrase an author, website, or other sources, you must cite your references using parenthetical citations (author last name, page number) or footnotes.


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