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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Behold, it is Finished

"It is finished, it is finished: hear him cry, hear him cry."  Today is the blessed day when I have finished yet another round of finals.  It is one of the greatest days and most liberating feelings that one has each semester.  This semester has been long, exciting, interesting, stressful, and tiresome.  Luckily, its done.  Allow me to outline the week for you.

This semester I had several finals, and then a completely new experience: I gave my very first final to my very first class.  As far as finals to take go, I had: theory, sight singing, dictation, and two for music history.  As for the final I gave, it was a two parter.  One part practical exam (conducting several songs) one part theoretical (written...).

Theory:  This was the funnest of my exams.  Dr. Lowe has been an incredibly entertaining professor this semester.  I feel like I'm finally gaining all of the information that I've been needing to help take my arrangements to the next level.  For our final we were given several scenarios that we had to compose for.  These 5 chord scenarios included scalar variants, modal borrowing, diatonic seven chords, secondary dominants, modulations, etc.  They were all fun to play with.  We also had to throw in some non-harmonic tones to spice things up.  All in all, quite enjoyable.

Sight-singing:  This was exceptionally interesting for me this semester.  Sight singing has been my greatest stress/fear this semester.  It started out a bit shaky.  Especially cause I had no experience in the sight singing system of BYU.  However, I am glad to say that I finally learned and was able to do well enough on my last PACE test (and A) to not have to do the final test!  Yay

Dictation:  This is certainly the one that most non-musicians find the most intense/demanding.  Not that the task itself is all that difficult once you've trained your ears.  Its just a matter of logic.  Basically there are 4 parts to the exam.  First is pitch.  A note is given on the page.  It is played followed by two other notes.  You just have to write the notes down based on your knowledge of intervals.  There are 6 of these.  Next we have the misc section.  Several cadences are played, and you must identify them as being deceptive, plagal, perfect authentic, or imperfective authentic.  Next she plays several 7 chords to be identified as MM7, Mm7, mm7, dm7 and dd7.  Then we have scales that are to be identified as major, natural minor, harmonic minor, or melodic minor.  Lastly in the misc section there is the intervals to be identified.  After this, there is the melody section.  The basic idea of this is that a melody is played, and we have to write it down completely (rhythm and pitch).  Finally, there is a harmonic progression.  5 or so chords are played, and we must write the soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts and then fully analyze the harmonic structure.  I got an A.  All in all, rather entertaining.  (sorry to draw this all out for you music people who find it easy...haha)

Music History:  This is the most painful class I have ever taken.  It was basically painful the whole semester.  I was tired of it and ready to be done.  We had several listening exams (where we have to identify music by name and composer by hearing it). Several multiple choice exams, where we have to be able to identify music by identifying scores.  And thirdly we had essays.  These are among the most tedious tests I have ever taken...EVER.  Luckily, Dr. Johnson was almost merciful to us for the final.  He took out the essay (even though this was typically my highest scoring portion).  He also made the other sections slightly easier, and a bit shorter.  This was wonderful surprise.  I got a 92% and an 84%.  All in all, pretty happy.

And as for my little conducting class.  They also did very well, and averaged a very strong A on the written and a strong A- on the practical.  I'm very proud of them

And thus ends another semester.  As much as I would adore a nice little break, I start right back up gain on Tuesday.  I'll be taking Dictation 3, Sight Singing 3, Theory 3.  I'll also be teaching conducing 135 again as well as conducting the Spring Chorale.  A very busy term indeed...but Such is Life


  1. Wow. That's a lot at one time. It sounds like you did great, though. Good luck with your upcoming semester!