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Music And Poem In Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto In F Minor (Essay Sample)


Discuss the interrelationship between music and poem in Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in F minor, Op. 8, no. 3 “Autumn” (The Four Seasons) (1725). Does Vivaldi adapt/alter any of the conventions of either the concerto or Baroque style in response to the poem that inspires this particular work? Must the listener be familiar with the poem in order to understand Vivaldi’s music? Explain.  [See below for length requirement, content summary, bibliographic concerns, etc.]
The peasant celebrates with song and dance
The pleasure of the rich harvest,
And full of the liquor of Bacchus
They finish their merrymaking with a sleep.
All are made to leave off singing and dancing
By the air which now mild gives pleasure
And by the season which invites many
To enjoy a sweet sleep.
At dawn the hunters
With horns and guns and dogs leave their homes:
The beast flees; the follow its traces.
Already terrified and tired by the great noise
Of the guns and the dogs, and wounded it tries
Feebly to escape, but exhausted dies.
Dance and song of country folk
The heavy drinker
The sleeping drunkard
The sleeping drunkards
The hunt
The fleeing beast
Guns and hounds
The fleeing beast is slain
1) The following presents a sample outline for the paper
The first page (approximately) of the paper should be devoted to defining/describing the concerto, ritornello form, and Baroque style.
The second page should be devoted to examination of the work (in terms of fundamentals) in light of the definitions/descriptions given on the previous page. In other words, this page needs to consider how well Vivaldi's "Autumn" concerto follows the conventions of the Baroque concerto (in terms of performing forces, sequence of movements, ritornello form, continuity, etc.
The final page should consider the music in light of the poem (without restating the poem verbatim).  Consider what aspects of "Autumn" reflect ideas and imagery from the poem, justifying each by specifically describing the music in terms of fundamentals.  Pay special attention to the places/aspects of the piece that do not conform to the norms of the Baroque concerto, as well as how the poem might have prompted Vivaldi to "break the rules."
2) 3-5 typed pages, double-spaced
3) This is a listening assignment, NOT a research paper.  Between the textbook, notes taken during lecture, and your ears, you have all of the materials you need. 
 Emphasis should be given to musical analysis and interpretation.  The paper should be a discussion of the assigned composition in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, form, etc.  This analysis should (mostly) be your own observations based on attentive listening.  I would rather see incorrect/inaccurate analysis by you than a regurgitation of an analysis you read online.
 If you nevertheless insist on researching the topic, the following sources are unacceptable:,,,,,,, any personal blogs (regardless of the web address),, STUDENT papers appearing on university web sites, AND many other sites (too plentiful to list here). 
 If you use unscholarly/inappropriate sources (like those enumerated above), your grade will be no higher than a C.  As a general rule, sources either a) need to be books checked out from a university library, or b) can be accessed online only after logging into a university library's database system.  Please don’t try to get away with using these sources by neglecting to cite them—Dr. Basinger can google “Vivaldi Four Seasons" just 8) You must submit papers by 5:30 pm on 7/29.  Any paper turned in after this (even five minutes past this time) is late.  Late papers will receive a grade penalty amounting to a full letter grade for each week late.  Students must turn in late papers on (or before) the start of class on the last lecture of the semester (8/5); Canvas (and Dr. Basinger) will not accept any course work after this date
1) A well-organized paper will have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
 2) Your paper should have a point (i.e., an original thesis statement that is a product of your own thought)!  This point should be clearly expressed in your introduction and supported in the remainder of your argument.  On the most basic level, there are three possible thesis statements (which should be restated in your own words)
Because the "Autumn" concerto closely follows the conventions of a Baroque concerto, the music makes sense on its own, without the poem.
Because the "Autumn" concerto violates the conventions of the Baroque concerto, the music does not make sense without the poem.
Because the "Autumn" concerto closely follows the conventions of a Baroque concerto, the music makes sense on its own; however, the poem adds an additional level of meaning.
3) You don't need to discuss all 3 movements if it's going to make your paper longer than 5 pages.  However, you must acknowledge that there is a total of 3 movements (as well as whether they follow the standardized sequence associated with concerti).
1) If you use any reference material (this includes the textbook), you must include a bibliography.  Please refer to The Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA Handbook for the correct bibliographic format.  Bibliographies do not count towards the 3-page minimum length!
2) If you draw upon any outside information, you must include footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations.  The style manuals listed above will show you the correct format for these all of these. 
3) Obviously, all direct quotation must be cited.  Indirect quotation, paraphrase, and reference to the work of others must also be cited.  Because the instructor is well read, she can always tell when ideas are not the student’s (and she can often recognize the original source of the information); you will get snide remarks and snippy comments in the margin of your paper—and likely a lower grade—if you commit this grievous error.


Interrelationship between music and poem in Vivaldi’s music and poem in Vivaldi’s violin concerto in F minor, op. 8, no. 3 “autumn” (the four seasons) (1725).
The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi consists of four concertos, each corresponding to the four seasons of the year: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The concerto is structured in three movements; the first and third fastest in the form of Allegro the slower second movement in Adagio. The music composition is a concerto for a soloist with an instrument or instruments, in this case a violin accompanied by the orchestra (tutti). The concertato style work consists of contrasting the various sound planes, the orchestra and the solo, and the work has work several types of textures musical characteristics of baroque era. The four movements are accompanied by four sonnet-shaped poems. The "autumn" follows the convention of a Baroque concerto and the music is meaningful on its own, but the poem enhances the meaning.
The structure of the Ritornello form is based on the alternation between ritornellos and solos, where the ritornello exhibited by the orchestra (tutti) represents tonal stability. Even though, the ritornello works like the chorus of a rondo, it differs from it in that the central ritornelles in a concert can be exposed in different shades to the main one and in Vivaldi’s autumn concerto the first and the last are presented in the tonic. The central ritornello usually appears in the tone of the dominant, in the relative tone or other related tone, and the initial Ritornello is in the form of AABB or ABA.
The concerto was created in the Italian baroque of the early 18th century and the work is composed for a baroque orchestra and a soloist (violin). In the baroque solistic concertos, playing several instruments at the same time with three movements in different tempo and character was common. There is contraposition of a soloist, which in this case is the violin in this case to the entire orchestra (tutti) and with a tripartite structure following the fast-slow-fast scheme (Kuhtz, 2016).
In the first movement the performing forces for the concert are the orchestra and violin, and this is repeated in the subsequent movements. Autumn and the other seasons are written for

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