Reflection on a musical piece (music class)

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is well known. It found its place in music many times. For example, French romantic composer Berlioz wrote a programmatic Symphony “Romeo and Juliet”, Russian composer of the 20th Century, Sergei Prokofiev, wrote a ballet with the same title. Over twenty operas were written using this subject, which further found its place in popular music, jazz, in an adaptation “West Side Story” as a Broadway play (music by American composer Leonard Bernstein), as well as in many films etc.

Russian romantic composer Peter  Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote a Fantasy – Overture Romeo and Juliet in 1869. It became one of his most celebrated compositions. It is in sonata-allegro form, starting with an introduction and ending with a Coda, which serves as an epilogue.

What to do:

1. Familiarize yourself with the written notes first, as printed on the attachment, so that you will know what to expect. 

2. Print out the attached listening guide. Note, there is a timer to the left of the guide,which corresponds with the video that you will be watching.

3. Click on the   link  (

4. As you listen, follow again all the guide’s outlines, according to the timer

5.   Write your feedback/report.  Please upload into assignments here on blackboard. I expect about 1/2 to 1 page length, but if you like, you can write as much you wish. Use the knowledge you acquired in this class. Focus on both, the whole and the details including dynamics, rhythm, tone color (i.e. how the composer used the orchestra in particular sections), draw some comparisons. Concentrate on the fact that this is a programmatic piece (follows certain story in this case).  But most importantly, enjoy this masterpiece, and write about your musical experience.

I strongly encourage you to also describe in at least two (not too technical) sentences what was for you personally the most captivating part of the overture. In this portion keep in mind that perception of a piece of art, and especially music, is highly subjective. Please be authentic, the best papers will get also  extra credit. 

6 . If you are not very familiar with the synopsis of Romeo and Juliet, please research on Google to catch up, it will help you to do this assignment.