Writing Assignment 3 applies to Chapter 6 in textbook and 6B lecture notes. Completion of this assignment will aid you in effectively learning Chapter 6 learning objectives: musical changes in the Baroque and fixed musical forms.
Henry Purcell and his opera, Dido and Aeneas, remain as particular sources of pride for the British people. This essay on a website managed by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) gives some idea of the enthusiasm that the British continue to feel for this, their earliest opera. Then, I want you to listen to three different recordings of the famous aria “When I am laid in earth.”
Read the H2G2 web page on Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Then go to this YouTube posting of Emma Kirkby singing the aria with baroque instruments.
Next check out the famous soprano Jessye Norman in concert.
Finally, listen to a non-traditional recording by Alison Moyet.
Respond to the following prompts:
What significance did Purcell attach to major and minor keys? Do you think his handling of keys makes sense and would be effective? Why?
What are the two famous arias in Dido and Aeneas that use the ground bass technique? Briefly describe this technique. Name at least two other popular songs that employ a ground bass.
What did you think of the Emma Kirkby version of the aria? Did using baroque period instruments enhance the performance?
What was your opinon of Jessye Norman’s version? Do you think this version captured Dido’s intense pain and suffering?
Did you enjoy the Alison Moyet recording? How did the more modern interpretation effect the overall mood of the piece?
Which version was your favorite? Why do you feel this way?
All answers should be written in proper formal style and thoroughly explore and explain your feelings. With every assignment, please try to take your level of analysis and articulation to a deeper level. Challenge yourself to truly listen, think, and reflect deeply on the music.

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