Reflective Account 5

Reflections on my tutor’s formative feedback:

The following point made by my tutor really shines a light on one of my blind spots:

There is evidence of a lot of research throughout the essay. Occasionally, there are lapses in processing this research. For example, it is claimed the performance of the fifth and sixth symphony was ‘unrehearsed’, but in fact it was ‘under-rehearsed’. There is a big difference between the two! 

My failure to process the information I had read, and my lack of experience really showed in this instance. I had completely failed to see the distinction between ‘unrehearsed’ and ‘under- rehearsed’. It is not a mistake I would have made had I ever experienced this situation in real life. Sometimes I struggle to translate what I am reading into a real-life application and the theory or information remains just an abstract concept to me.

I could not find any evidence of the following claim: “The titles of each of the five movements, themselves borrowed from a 1784 five-movement composition ‘Le Portrait musical de la Nature ou Grande Symphonie’ by Justin Heinrich Knecht”. For example, as far as I can tell, the second movement of the Knecht is “Allegretto. Tempo medemo”, and the second movement of Beethoven is “Szene am Bach. Andante molto moto” or “Scene by the brook” in English. I might be wrong, however, and this is why it is crucial to include in-text citations to factual information. Where can you find proof of the above claim? 

I did find the evidence of the above claim, in fact me and my tutor managed to locate it together during a Skype talk. I have gone back and included it in my analysis essay.

‘Technically speaking, you have chosen the wrong word here; ‘wordpainting’ applies to music that reflects lyrics (in a song). It is important to look up the meaning of technical terminology, to ensure it is being used correctly’ 

During the above-mentioned Skype session, it was established that word I was looking for and the correct technical description was ‘Mickeymousing’. I have since edited my essay to reflect it and I have made additional corrections to other language and terminology mistakes. This is an area which will require continuous work and self-monitoring.

I think the presentation is almost excellent, but there are a few issues with the images. Sometimes they are too small and low quality, and ideally they should all have clefs (so the reader can know the exact pitches). 

I have done a major overhaul of the charts, graphics and notation examples of the analysis. This was unfortunately the most time-consuming aspects of this Assignment for me due to my lack of experience in this department. As I learn how to use these programs, I hope that it will become a much faster process so that I can spend my time on the music analysis rather than the graphical presentation of the essays. I must say, I am not fond of this aspect of the analysis and if I was ever to be in a position to publish a paper, I would outsource this part of the work since I do find it very tedious.

‘I do not know why you have multiple suggestions as to what you think the subsidiary theme is. Either it is clearly one of the two themes you have mentioned, or it is neither and there is no subsidiary theme. When writing an essay, you can afford to be more direct here.’ 

The above comment was really one of the most pertinent ones when it came to ‘unlocking’ my analytical process. After this feedback point, I decided to trust my own judgement and observations when labelling the themes and sections. I revised the entire Assignment to reflect my own personal conclusions instead of trying to accommodate a variety of different opinions on what constitutes a ‘main’ and a ‘subsidiary’ theme.

This has been the most educational Assignment thus far. It has taught me so much that I wish this had been the first Assignment of the course. It would have helped me understand the other sections much better. My understanding of musical structure has really deepened, and it has even changed how I listen to music. It has also highlighted the need to trust my own analytical abilities more and given me new confidence. Overall it has been an extremely fruitful experience.