concert critique 3


A symphony orchestra, solo instrumental or vocal recital, an opera, or instrumental/choral ensemble concert are examples of acceptable concerts to critique. If you have any question about the appropriateness of a concert that you have selected for this assignment, consult you instructor for guidance ASAP (before submitting). Rock, popular, bar/restaurant concerts, or religious services ARE NOT acceptable.

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You are required to attend One LIVE concert this semester (and one optional) by unit (the other by unit 8) and submit at least 800 word written review for each. If you do not have access to a live concert, contact your instructor immediately via e mail for an alternative virtual attendance option.

Written assignment will constitute 20% of your final grade. See Class calendar/assignment instructions for dues dates.

Submit here: the concert program and the review for a full assignment’s grade (100%). Any missed submission = 0%.

Concert program: (50% of the assignment’s grade) After attending a concert, please turn in a program (scanned/digital photo – minimum 200dpi, jpg file format).


Give the context (background and general information) for the performance. The most important part of your review should consist of your thoughts and impressions of the entire experience. Explain why you did or did not enjoy the performance. Do not simply write “I liked the performance because the music was pretty.” Instead, explain why you enjoyed performances or did not. Be specific–use composer’s names and specific information. For example:

  • The review should include a brief paragraph on each piece or movement performed. Include the composer, historical notes and your impression. Think: 3-4 sentences on each piece or movement. Do not emphasize the bio facts.
  • Did the melodies of the pieces linger in your memory for days afterwards?
  • Could you “tap your toe” to the rhythms?
  • Were you awed by the technical skill of the performers?
  • What is architecture of the performance space?
  • How did the audience react to the performance?
  • Was the printed programs helpful (and why)?
  • Site the printed program as a source.

Also, your review will include, but not be limited to the following points:

A brief historical description of the pieces/composer performed. Mention each piece performed in the concert. Give your response or impression of the piece. Use musical terms learned in this course in your review.

OPTIONAL items that you may include in your concert critique may include:

  • When did it premiere? Where? (Historically)
  • Was the premiere a success or a failure?
  • Are the pieces performed considered standard repertory today, or are they obscure?
  • An assessment of the audience’s reaction. (Did people around you fall asleep? Was the audience mesmerized? Was everyone coughing and shuffling, or could you have heard a pin drop because the audience was so taken by the experience?)
  • Did you feel that the performers met the challenges of the piece? (If possible, you might listen to a CD recording or watch a video performance of the piece before the concert. You will then be able to make an accurate and appropriate comparison.)
  • Would you buy a CD of this particular piece? Why or why not?
  • Would you give a copy of this piece as a gift to a friend? Why or why not?

Review the Concert Etiquette … attachment before attending the live performance.

Review the Concert Critique Example … attachment before writing your critique.

Write your critique in a word document (.docx) form, save and upload it into this dropbox.

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