Music Appreciation Course: Rhythm and Melody, Intermediate Level CLEARVUE/eav

Article excerpt

This title is one of Clearvue's PowerCD series CDs, which require no hard disk space and no installation. This is a boon for school labs with limited disk space and difficult installation procedures. The course begins with Steven Titra guiding the listener through a tour of rhythm and melody and how it relates to the four periods of Western classical music: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. This tour, called the Feature Presentation, is a combination of slide shows and QuickTime movies. The tour completes itself from beginning to end with only occasional clicks required to start the QuickTime movies. Each period is given due coverage, and composers from each era are highlighted with representative works mentioned. Thought is given to how sound is created, how the voice was used as the first musical instrument, and how technological advances in instrument making influenced the successive musical eras. Historical facts and inventions are brought in to enhance the listener's perspective, and pictures are abundant within the presentation.

Users can interrupt the session and move to other parts of the CD at will. The presentation can work well in a large classroom setting if you have the ability to view it on a large screen, or in small settings with students doing research on their own. I found middle school students enjoyed the presentation, especially if it was viewed in more than one sitting. Students later were able to extract information from the online encyclopedia and produce a fairly respectable report.

The sound from the musical examples was acceptable: not CD quality, but functional. I found working on the CD with both Windows and Macintosh computers to be very similar and smooth except for an occasional lockup from the Macintosh. …