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Music As Process

            To use the phrase music as process is to imply that music, like any form of art is better loved and understood when it leads to and is ultimately given purpose and meaning through the listeners understanding. To arrive at this purpose, three main steps are taken. These are composition of the music, its performance and interpretive listening. Even before composition of any piece of music there must be some form of inspiration to do so. The processes used to compose this music are very important to keep in mind during performance so as to give a performance that reflects the music's purpose. When understood by the listener, the method of composing will help to make the music more coherent. It will also help the listener to place some sort of meaning with it that gives it a purpose to them. I will be discussing two very well known compositions, one being a selection of movements from the Incidental music written to Peer Gynt By Edvard Grieg, the other being the song "I am the Walrus" by the Beatles.
             Edvard Grieg found it difficult to get inspiration to write incidental music to the verse drama, "Peer Gynt". He was commissioned by his friend, the poet Ibsen to write incidental music to it, but there were a number of restrictions on the inspiration he could access to compose it.
             "I want Peer Gynt's monologue treated either as melodrama or in part as recitative. The wedding scene is to be made more telling than in the text- .
             Ibsen had a well-formed idea of how he wanted the music to be, which was the first restriction placed on Grieg's composition. Grieg believed the poetry to be most unmusical and difficult to write for and worked on and off on the composition for approximately 30 years. The nature of the verse restricted the type of music Grieg could write, as the music had to reflect and compliment the text or the mood. In the Hall of the Mountain King for example Grieg uses pizzicato strings to portray the main character Peer sneaking quietly away from the Mountain King's lair.

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