This lecture discusses melody and aesthetics; Professor Wright raises the question of what makes a melody beautiful, and uses excerpts from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Wagner's Tristan and Isolde and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro to explore this issue. Throughout the discussion, the foundations of classical phrase-structure and harmonic progressions are used to explain some of the choices these three composers made. 00:00 - Chapter 1. What Makes a Melody Beautiful? 05:39 - Chapter 2. Puccini's Gianni Schicchi: Cadences and Sequences 13:27 - Chapter 3. Wagner's Tristan and Isolde: Exploring Melodic Ascents and Descents 32:17 - Chapter 4. Mozart's Marriage of Figaro: Melodic Sequence Analysis
This course fosters the development of aural skills that lead to an understanding of Western music. The musical novice is introduced to the ways in which music is put together and is taught how to listen to a wide variety of musical styles, from Bach and Mozart, to Gregorian chant, to the blues.