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February 17, 2015


Matthew Rosser

Question 2 Response:

My favorite version of "Si dolce" is the trumpet, accordion, string bass trio because the combination of these three instruments give the piece a unique sound and style. Though there are not lyrics in this version, the trumpet is able to provide its' own meaning and story through the jazz like interpretation of the piece. The modern expression provided through this jazz fusion group is elevated through the use of the mute in the trumpet. By using the jazz trumpet as the primary instrument (voice), the original culture of Venice and the 20th century period of jazz in America are equally represented. The use of two instruments that imitate the original guitar part is extremely well designed because both instruments can focus more on musicality rather than only technique.

Devin North

To paraphrase progressive rock guitarist Robert Fripp, a musician does not create music, but rather just provides a medium through which music can happen. What I'm getting at here is that it really doesn't matter whether or not Monteverdi wrote "Si Dolce" in the same way that it doesn't matter that Miles Davis didn't write "Autumn Leaves". Actually, if you look at "Si Dolce" as a jazz chart, it's a lot less foreign. In jazz music, old pop songs formed the basis of the repertoire, but only the bare skeletons of the songs: one page of music with the melody and the chords that the player could interpret. Because of this practice, jazz listeners often care more about the specific performance of the piece than the actual writer. Some who play "Autumn Leaves" don't even know its author, but they use the music written as a jumping-off point for their own musical creation and expression. The same can be said about "Si Dolce": it is a set of suggestions on how a piece of music should go to be interpreted and truly created by the performer(s) who is, in the end, just another medium for the music to manifest itself.

Jae Kim

Question 1:

"Si dolce" seems to maintain its popularity for a variety of reasons. When it comes to the structure of the music, the piece seems to be written in a way that gives much leeway to the musician seeking to perform it. The use of tablature allows for versatility in style/interpretation and makes the piece easy to read, learn, and perform. In terms of the audiences' perspective, whether it be centuries ago or today, "Si dolce" has a theme that strikes a chord with a good majority of the world which is: love and longing. This is a common theme that has existed in music for thousands of years, and when people can relate to something, of course they will listen. Musicians want to be able to express themselves through organized sound, and their audiences want to listen to something that they can relate to, that represents them. This connection is what makes "Si dolce" so popular, even to this day.

Raul Alejandro Facundo Gomez

Question #1 Response.

I think that this piece of music, like many others of it's kind during this time period is very unique. The mystery of the composer in a way makes it a tad more relevant and interesting. Not knowing who compose this brings attention to performers and music historians to really look for some similarities and differences from the "claimed" composer and in their works. That aside, being a voice major myself. I tend to look at the text and how the music portrays what is being sung. Because the text is in a way relate-able to it's audience from now and back 4 centuries ago, it is possible that this piece was in a way used for showing daily expression. Love and love loss are very normal feelings that us as humans experience in our lives. I think the reason why it is still being played has something to do with it being relate-able now as it was back then.

Brady Knippa

Question 2:

Art is something that, in the right context, can flourish over long periods of time. Though “Si Dolce” may be four centuries old, musicians and audiences alike are always thirsting for more. Time doesn’t necessarily confine a piece to certain limitations; there is no expiration date for good music. Because “Si Dolce” is seemingly so simple, it allows for a great deal of artistic freedom and expression on the part of the modern day musician. The piece itself is beautiful in it’s own right, but the idea that one can take this 400 year old piece and stamp their own artistic style on it is widely appealing and challenging. To the trained and untrained ears alike, “Si Dolce” is an expressive work of art, evoking a feeling of serenity and peacefulness throughout.

John Pruitt

Of the three versions presented, in my opinion the solo guitar arrangement is my favorite. Personally, I am almost always partial to solo performances, as the control a musician has over the expression of the piece is unparalleled. What I find most expressive, and beautiful, about this arrangement of "Si Dolce" is that the guitarist embellishes the chords that Monteverdi wrote. Especially in the intro, there is quite a a different, jazzier sound that the chords have, yet the progression and melody are still very recognizable. This ability to take liberty with such a famous classical piece yet still maintain the soul of the original composition is very impressive indeed. Even after looking around online, this is the rendition of "Si Dolce" that I found the most moving.

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