Author Archives: LENA ZHANG

Summary of Activity on this Site

Number of Posts: 2
Number of Comments: 5




W.A. Mozart:  String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590

Dmitri Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108

Venue: Baruch Performing Arts Center – Newman Vertical Campus
Baruch College: 25th St. (bet. 3rd and Lexington Aves.), NYC

Performers: The Alexander String Quartet

String quartet No. 23 was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last string quartet.  It was one of three that “was dedicated to the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhem II”(Kenyon,228).  The three string quartets dedicated to the king where No. 21 in D K575, No. 22 in B flat K589,and No. 23 in F K590.  These were otherwise known as the “Three Prussian Quartets” (Kenyon 228). The king was a cellist, therefore Mozart intended to give the king a starring role in the pieces where he can play the cello, capturing the audiences attention.  Mozart purposely introduced the cello later in the piece where it is “high in its register, so it could hardly fail to be noticed”(Kenyon, 228). Mozart added roles for the king in the tenor to show off his skills(Kenyon, 228).

Before creating these three quartets, “Mozart gave a concert on May 26, 1789” ( Kenyon, 228).  This concert was not a complete success.  Therefore, after meeting the some cellist and the King, he came up with the string quartets including the king.  These three quartets succeeded and brought more fame to Mozart.

I found it quite unusual and rather interesting that we would hear the cello clearer instead of it being in the background. The melody seems to be embraced by the sound projected by the cello and of course this is to show the kings talent. But, it is interesting and it does create a rich sound because the cello is woody, the pitches are moderately low, and sounds very strong and royal.  I would definitely find more enjoyment listening to the music because it gives me a chance to imagine a story that goes along with the piece; Although, Watching the performance would give me the pleasure to watch the performers and how they interject emotion into the piece.

Dmitri Shostakovich is a soviet russian composer and pianist, who was born in 1906 and died in 1975.  One of his popular string quartet was No. 7 opus. 108.  Dmitri Shostakovich wrote this specific one for his first wife Nina.  This piece intends on capturing his memories of his wife, although “it is short, it was one of his most poetic works” (Moshevik, 161).  Although, this was a beautiful piece, it “had a spooky characteristic” (Moshevik, 161).

This piece is very interesting, it gives a mysterious and spooky feeling.  There is a lot of suspense, which makes the string quartet No. 7 so exciting. When the piece begins playing the second theme, it is pleasant and soft.  I found it very unusual and special that there was pizzicato in this piece. For this specific string quartet, I would like to watch the performance live rather than listening to it.  This is an intense and exciting performance, and watching the performers playing and their emotions would make the experience and the music more entertaining and memorable.


Kenyon, Nicholas. The Pegasus Pocket Guide to Mozart. New York: Pegasus Books LLC, 2006. Page 228.

Moshevik, Sofia. Dmitri Shostakovich, Pianist. Canada: Mc-Grill Queens University Press, 2004. Page 161.


Michael Buble – “Haven’t Met You Yet”


Rhythm: The piano in the beginning of the music tells just that there are 4 beats per measure, thus the rhythm is a duple meter.  Later other instruments such as the drums and bass help us keep track of the beat and tempo.  At 1:43 we can hear the tempo increase.  The speed of the beats can be described as andante.

Timbre / Instrumentation: The music is bright, lively, positive, and clear. You can hear all the different instruments playing.  The music is upbeat and light.  We can hear  the piano, drums, bass, strings, trumpet, and guitar.

Melody: the music has a major scale, which helps create the feeling of joy and positivity.  The melody has a high frequency, the rate at which the pitches move is closer together. The vocal is the main melody while the other instruments are accompaniments up.

Harmony:  All the instruments work harmoniously with the singer’s voice. We can hear modulation at 0:48, 1:42, 2:16.  There are plenty of modulations and at 2:15 we can hear consonance.

Dynamics: The music is generally laying in mf, but during the climax points the dynamic changes to f.  

Texture: Since there is just one melody with several accompaniments, then the texture of the music is homophonic. You can hear arpeggio at 2:48 – 3:00.

Form: This song has a rondo form where it has 5 parts.  Although, there are a lot of repetition there are also many changes in the music.



"Great song choice. This piece is definitely playing on a major scale due to the clarity and notes that the instruments play. You should be more specific about which instruments is playing the main melody, describe the melody (high/low frequency), and specify the dynamic of the piece."
posted on Feb 24, 2013, on the post Yanni- “Nightingale”

"at 0:47 i don't think it is dissonance. The vocal is the main melody and everything else is just the accompaniment. If anything when the voice gets higher the guitar plays a higher note as well. Maybe not as loud and clear as the vocal but the note does increase. I would describe it as a modulation, or the beginning of a new measure."
posted on Feb 24, 2013, on the post Led Zepplin-“Ramble On”

"The song is definitely fun to listen to. I really enjoy the high frequency of the melody, it makes me want to jump and dance along with the beats."
posted on Feb 21, 2013, on the post -JT and the Heartbreakers (“I Wanna be Loved”)

"I really like this song choice. Its such a soothing piece to listen to. The vocal and the instruments work very harmonious together."
posted on Feb 21, 2013, on the post Offenbach – “Barcarolle”

"Great song choice. I don't think the beginning sounds peaceful at all since the music is playing moderately fast. But it does make people feel like they are running and just exploring."
posted on Feb 21, 2013, on the post Led Zepplin-“Ramble On”