Music Appreciation Essay

Tempo – Beethoven has a sort of obsession with the metronome and used Maalzel metronome markings for all his compositions. The first movement, “Allegro con Brio” , is very fast paced. The second, third, and fourth movements (“Andante con Moto”, “allegro”, and “Allegro”) are also very fast paced. But the fourth movement is a little bit slower than the others. The tempo in the traditional symphonic performance is much slower than the tempo in the contemporary performance. Dynamics – Beethoven used very dramatic changes in dynamics in his music to give his symphonic writing a unique sense of style.

No composer before Beethoven had the orchestration skills he had. He often used aggressive orchestral “tuttis”, adding a percussive quality much greater than Mozart’s works. The dynamic range in the contemporary performance could be considered much wider than the traditional. Harmony – The overall harmony in this piece by Beethoven is very dark. It is loud at times, but also very quiet in others. It uses both dissonance and consonance because at some points of the music, it is very pleasent, soft and easy to listen to (consonance). But at other times it is very loud and harsh!

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And some may find it unpleasant (dissonance). Questions 1. Do you like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? Why/why not? Yes, I thought it was very enjoyable to listen to. It almost makes me feel as if i need to get up and move around or do something. The faster tempo makes me feel excited. 2. Have you heard Symphony No. 5 before? Yes, I have heard it numerous times throughout my life. 3. Which performance did you enjoy the most and why? I enjoyed the traditional symphonic performance a little bit more than the contemporary because the tempo was slower and the overall harmony was much more enjoyable.