German song ”Du bist wie eine Blume” Essay Sample
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German song ”Du bist wie eine Blume” Essay Sample
Before you can ever jump on stage and sing any new song there is a process of seven steps to help you perform it correctly and well. You need to study the piece and prepare it properly. This component study involves seven detailed parts, text, rhythm, meter, and tempo, melody, form, voice, harmony, and dynamics, phrasing and musical articulation.
Reading through the text of the song silently first is necessary for studying any song but more time and special attention is needed for songs like Du bist wie eine Blume, which is in a foreign language, German. Most songs in a foreign language have a word for word English and an IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) translation that will help you out. The IPA will help with pronunciation and articulation but the English translation will help you get an idea of feeling of the song and the emotion.
I spent longer than normal on studying the text. I do not read German and I really wanted to pronounce all the words correctly but then I kept looking at the English translation cause I wanted to say it with the correct meaning. After I was confident, I started to say it out loud because then I could hear myself and find were I was stumbling over. There are about seven phrases in Du bist wie eine Blume total and none of them are very long.
A next component that needs to be taken in when studying a song is rhythm, meter, and tempo. Finding these three things are very easy because it is all right on the paper and you just need to know how find them. The time signature of the song is 4,4 meaning that four beats a measure and the quarter note gets the beat. It is in simple quadruple meter. Although Du bist wie eine Blume is in common time the song is a lot more than just quarter notes and half notes. There is a mixture all kinds of notes like triplets, dotted eighth notes and many others that makes the song more complex instead of just a simple melody with quarter notes, like children’s song. I clapped out the rhythm of each individual phrase in the melody line and then I did the whole melody line. Then I clapped out the harmony line separate. The harmony is set apart from the melody rhythmically because it is mostly made up of eighth notes with few rest. With the constant playing of eighth notes in the harmony line, it gives the song a steady beat. The tempo of the whole song is Langsam meaning slowly. Du Bist wie eine Blume moves easily and slow not fast and choppy.
Before you can ever sing the song you must figure out the melody. Identifying the clef and key signature is the first step to learning the melody. Du bist wie eine Blume is in the key of F major, which contains one flat, B. Watch out for markings of different notes being flattened and sharped throughout the piece besides B. In the first measures the B is flat but starting in the seventh measure the F is sharped and the B is natural for through out the rest of the piece. The final melody phrase of Du bist wie eine Blume resolves on the tonic, which makes it a conclusive cadence. This makes the song sound over and complete. The other phrases leading up to the end are less conclusive or inconclusive which keeps the song going on until the last phrase. Most of Du bist wie eine Blume’s melody moves in stepwise motion with a few times were it leaps around but nothing to big. There are leaps in-between the end and start of new phrases. This gives the words of the song more importance because the leaps open up the listener’s ears to hear.
The range is less than and octave, from E4 to D5 which gives a good range but is not impossible to sing. This song could be song by most because it isn’t too high or low, it is the normal range. Singing on a la or humming out the melody at first is helpful. Always check up on some of the pitches with a piano to make sure your pitch is accurate. . Next you need to look at everything you have looked at in the song by now and determine the form of the piece. The structure can be strophic, AB, ABA, or through composed. Determining the form will help later in memorization of the song because it point out repeats and/or breaks it up into different parts. Du Bist wie eine Blume’s form is through composed because it has new music for each stanza throughout the whole song. There is no middle section or repeats of musical material that would have made it ABA. The song has a homophonic texture because there are not different voice parts and it is basically made up of melody and accompaniment. Homophonic makes the song lovely and soft because there aren’t too many things to listen to at once.
It is important to know the harmony of the song as well as the melody because you are going to hear them both and if you don’t know the harmony it can throw you off when performing the piece. In lots of songs the harmony is the only thing that is played so you have to listen for the melody within it. You can find the harmony be either playing the song yourself on the piano or getting someone else too. Listen for changes in harmony and tonality. In Du Bist wie eine Blume you have to watch carefully in the harmony part because it changes from bass clef to treble clef a couple of times (measure seven and eighteen). This changes the pitch of the sound. You have to watch out for notes in the harmony because they are marked sharp or flat throughout the piece and are not constant for example in measure four the E3 is natural but then in measure seven it is changed into an E flat and the F is sharpened also.
It adds spice to the harmony because the notes are always changing but for the most part the harmony is in F major like the melody. The bottom line of the harmony is filled with 9ths (compound intervals) played as whole, half, and quarter notes on the beat but then starting in measure nine, for the next five measures, it changes to eighth notes also. The harmony crescendos into measure fourteen but then stops the pattern of eighth notes and the melody is heard louder and the harmony sounds slower because of the pedal markings, until the melody ends in measure seventeen and the harmony picks up again and continues with its own imitation of the melody for two more measures without text.
Now that you have almost finished with all the components of study, there is just one more. You need to look at the dynamics and musical articulation and fine-tune them. The composer again indicates on how to do it. This is very easy to find because it is right on the page of the song but you have to watch for them everywhere because most of the time they change. Both the harmony and melody of Du Bist wie eine Blume starts out piano meaning soft but the accompaniment ends soft and the melody ends a little louder. But there is much more than just the beginning and the end. Thought out the piece, in the harmony part, there are many crescendos and decrescendos. There are also slurs and ties to make it flow. These are all dynamic markings but they are for the harmony not the melody. The melody has it own dynamic markings. The melody also has ties and slurs to keep certain notes tied together, and to make it flow together. A few breath markings are labeled for the singer but that is not the only times you can breathe. The best times to take a breath besides the breath marks are at rest and commas. At the end of the piece there is a crescendo and then a ritard, which means to slow down. This slowing down at the end of the piece gives it a feeling of closure to the song.
Although Du Bist wie eine Blume is a short nineteen-measured German song, there is still a lot of in-depth parts to it that you need to be aware of before opening your mouth and singing it. There are seven basic components of study that will help you approach any new song; text, rhythm, meter, and tempo, melody, form, voice, harmony, and dynamics, phrasing and musical articulation. Each of these have there own sub parts. With continuous use of these components of study you can become better and better at singing the songs because you will understand them in-depth. With time you will also become quicker at sight-reading any song, even if it is in a foreign language