In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem
(You might want to read “Symphonic Music 001” first.)
This is an exercise in attentive listening to symphonic music. Take 25 or 30 minutes out of your busy day and listen to the following performances of the first movement of Beethoven’s fifth symphony. The longest performance is about seven minutes and 36 seconds long. You only need to listen to the first two examples to do this exercise. The third example is essentially identical to the second.
Just listen to the first six minutes and 28 seconds (6:28) — which is the first movement.
There are a number of differences between the performance in the first example and the performance in the second example. One of them is big. What is it?
Here is another performance that is essentially identical to the second example.
If you need a hint — and only if you need a hint — there is a hint at the end of this essay.
The purpose of this essay is to encourage you to listen to this excellent example of symphonic music and to assess your listening skills. Of course, if you do not listen attentively, you will not notice what I am asking you to notice.
The visuals are nice and less misleading than watching an orchestra perform (or looking at fraudulent images of a “white” Beethoven). Normally, orchestral performances are presented in such a way that they reinforce the idea of “Western Civilization” — in other words, white supremacy. Other than that, it is fun to watch an orchestra perform.
This is a short example of symphonic music — six-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half minutes long. Eventually, you will need an attention span long enough (and strong enough) to listen attentively to a symphonic movement 20 or 30 minutes long, or to an entire symphony of four or more movements lasting over an hour — and hear the connections between the sections and the development of various musical ideas.
This is part of an evolutionary process — “Only the strong survive.” “Man means mind.” This develops your mind. “No pain no gain”, as the body-builders say. This is exercise and weight-lifting for your mind.
The difference comes at about 1:43 in the first example, 1:31 in the second example, and 1:35 in the third example. (Remember, examples 2 and 3 are similar, and different from example 1.)