Assignment Four – Formative Feedback

Student name: Suncica Lazic

Student number: 516098

Course/Unit: From Present to Past

Assignment number: 4

Type of tutorial: Written

Overall Comments:

For this assignment you were asked to submit:

• An essay describing the stylistic elements and characteristics of two given pieces of early twentieth century music, discussing the differing influences and compositional approaches. (c.1500 words).

• Reflective Account (c.500 words) documenting your listening and learning
progress in Part Four including your personal and critical reflections.

• Your Learning Log so far.
Well done on a successful assignment, you have followed the rubric and produced some really good writing which was very enjoyable to read. Moving forward, I have included some areas to focus on below, which you should consider as you continue towards the completion of the course and apply for formal assessment.

Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Music Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

You have indicated to me that you intend to submit your work assessment. The next assessment event is in July 2018. Be aware that the deadline for applying for the July assessment event is the 30th April 2018, after which your work should be sent in between 15th – 31st May. This may be too short a time scale in which to complete Assignment 5 and revise and prepare any past work, so I suggest perhaps finishing the course and submitting for assessment in the November 2018 event, where work has to be submitted 15th-30th September. I believe that, at your present rate of work, you should be able to submit in time
for this deadline. You will of course be able to continue onto another course in the meantime after finishing this one and waiting for assessment. Be aware however that your current course expires at the end of August, so you will have had to submit Assignment Five to me for feedback well before that in order to receive my feedback in time. You can find information about applying for assessment, and the application form, on the student site at the following address. Let me know if you have any problems applying for assessment.

Feedback on assignment

Subject based knowledge and understanding, context, communication


I enjoyed your writing style, the language used is very appropriate for an academic essay and is also very easy to read and comprehend.
Your choice of direct citations is very good and each quotation serves to illustrate your academic argument well. Particularly in the case of quotes sourced from the composers themselves. Your referencing is clear and easy to follow and the structure of your essay is good and flows well.
It was excellent to see that you have included score examples, with harmonic analysis. You also use appropriate musical terminology to explain your points which is really good to see. You have also kept both your essay and reflective account to the word count which is excellent.

Subject Based Knowledge:

It was very useful to ‘set the scene’ at the start of the essay by briefly introducing the key points of Neoclassicism and then following this with a brief summary of the background to Pulcinella. In the case of Pulcinella, it is very much a product of the sum of its parts, as the original Classical works feature just as predominantly as Stravinsky’s additions, which include richer,
more adventurous harmonies, expanded choice of keys and modulations, changing time signatures and more dense polyphonic textures.
You have used a very good choice of illustrations to back up your key points, well done. Another feature within the score that you may have mentioned would have been the inclusion of much more detailed markings such as bow markings and many varied articulations (e.g. du talon), as these set them very much apart from those of the Classical period.
As per the first quote by Cross, Stravinsky’s work indeed appears to be more of an adaptation than an original composition, and you explain his approach very well. Your second quote from Cross is also very well chosen as it neatly sums up how Stravinsky has managed to make a genuine combination of Classical and Modern styles without losing the essence of either.
Your opening sentence on Prokofiev’s approach to writing is very important and I’m glad that you chose to include his chosen compositional method here. It is fundamental that Prokofiev, even though he normally composed at the piano, was searching for a purer and more authentic Classical sound by writing direct from head to paper. You follow this with explaining Haydn’s influence on Prokofiev and therefore on the Classical Symphony. This again, is a really well chosen point for your argument and is very well supported by both citations and score samples. You critically reflect well on this point that despite the influence, Prokofiev doesn’t actually directly quote Haydn in his work.
In both cases, you state the stylistic elements employed from the Classical era and the twentieth century, along with describing and discussing the differences in approach by the two composers. It was useful to include how the composers themselves viewed their own works and really appropriate to also use this as a basis on which to offer your own critical and personal reflections in the conclusion of the essay. Well done.



Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis , stylistic 

As explained in the assignment brief, this was an exercise in careful listening in addition to research. You have used a good range of sources in your research which has helped to create an intelligent and cohesive essay showing very good evidence of analysis, critical thinking, synthesis and interpretation. Your good choice of sources is also well documented in your bibliography. Never forget to critically assess your sources and choose the most relevant and highest quality examples as you move through your studies.


Suggested reading/listening


Continue listening to a wide range of music. Focus on the suggestions in the course materials, but you can also explore your own avenues, but remember to include as much as you can in your listening log. If it helps, as you’ve indicated in your reflective account, follow the score along with the music. This will potentially help you enormously for the next assignment.

Listening & Learning Logs or Blogs
Stylistic awareness, context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Your reflective account was well written and I’m really glad to hear that, despite some initial difficulties, you are also finding it easier to follow scores. As you mention, it can be time consuming at first but I am really pleased to see that you have invested a good deal of time
in this and it is already clearly proving to be time well spent. You are now looking much deeper in to the content of the music and I would recommend continuing to develop these beneficial skills on an ongoing basis. There is also a score reading and analysis option for Assignment 5 which, under the circumstances, might well be the best option for you. Keep at it!
I’m pleased to see that you have more entries for your listening and learning log in this part of the course. Entries help to document all the hard work and research that you’ve put in during the course. To answer your question regarding logs, they are documents personal to each learner and, although the content of your blog entries are good. I’d like to see a few more as you continue through
Part 5 of the course (look at the number of entries you made for Part 2 for example). As you work towards assessment, make sure that your online blog and listening log entries are easy to find and navigate (for instance, you might include links to each part of the listening log when you submit for assessment as they are all separate).
Remember that for assessment you are aiming for an Exceptional/Excellent/Very Good etc.
“…range of listening and research, demonstrating a well-documented curiosity and understanding with very perceptive responses”. I have included a copy of the assessment criteria for the course with your feedback, this will be helpful in reflecting on your work so far as you head towards assessment submission.


Pointers for the next assignment

Part Five looks at music of the Baroque and earlier eras. The assignment will be a choice of either a score-reading based assignment or an essay based assignment drawing on skills and knowledge from across all parts of the course. Thoroughly research the assignment, taking care to refer back to the assignment brief (on page 187). Do also be aware that you will also need to submit your assignments as files, (not just on your blog), so it will be useful to prepare all your assignments and reflections ready for assessment.

Tutor: Chris Lawry

Date: 31st March 2017

Next assignment due: 15th June 2018