Questions to Consider: Europe
1. How is the history of European and Arabic cultural contact reveal through musical characteristics in places such as Spain and Bulgaria?
In Spain, the authentic flamenco had just a singer. It had a strained type of timbre and melisma was used a lot. It shows that there was Arabic influence because they also had that type of style. And because they also used a guitar as accompaniment, it showed there was European influence because they liked harmony. Bulgarian music also had harmonies but with voices. This was a European characteristic. Their music is very colorful and lively and I think that was Arabic influence.
2. What defines a music as "classical" as opposed to "folk" in the European context? How has "classical" music influenced "folk" music style and performance and vice versa?
In the European context, classical music is the highest ...view middle of the document...
In Scotland and Ireland they use bagpipes and had a constant drone to accompany the melodies. In Hungary, the hurdy gurdy also has drones. It makes it sound like there is more than one person playing. There is more going on so it sounds more fuller and complete with a constant accompaniment and a melody going along with it. It also has more volume if there is drone included.
4. Some "folk" instruments are designed to be easy to play but others require advanced techniques. Discuss examples of European instruments that typify both ends of the spectrum.
An easy to play folk instrument is the hurdy gurdy. In the text it even says it's "foolproof". To play it, you just have to turn a crank and press some keys.
A folk instrument needing more advanced techniques is the uilleann. It's from Ireland and it is the more complex type of bagpipes in the world. It is complicating because it requires a lot of coordination. A player has to use both of his arms and hands at the same time.
5. How are music and musical instruments used to express national identity in Europe?
I think the music and musical instruments expresses national identity in Europe because there are different styles of music according to where they are from in Europe. And different countries have different types of instruments. For example the bagpipes in Scotland. Many people recognize music with pipes to be from Scotland or Ireland. Spain has flamenco and Russia has their balalaika. They all express their nationality and where they are from. The countries in Europe have different types of musical styles that are distinct to their own country and culture.
6. Is language a reliable demarcation of musical style in Europe? Why or why not?
I don't think language is a reliable separation of musical style in Europe because even if people from different countries speak the same languages, they might have different types of styles. For example, Ireland and Scotland are grouped together but their music is a bit different. They both play bagpipes but they produce different sound qualities and volumes.