Artsource - Diana Zaslove

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The Music Center’s Study Guide to the Performing Arts















Artist: Diana Zaslove, lyric soprano

Renaissance. Many recordings are being made of songs which were once only in manuscript form; for instance, Come Again was used in the film, “Sense and Sensibility.” The lyrics to It Was a Lover and His Lass were written by William Shakespeare and the song continues to be performed in his play, “As You Like It.”

Background Information:

Creative Process:

Diana was born into an artistic family. Her mother, trained as a concert pianist, taught piano in their home and her father was a professor of visual art at the Otis Art

During the Renaissance composers began to emphasize the expressiveness of the human voice as a solo instrument. Poetry and music were combined for the purpose of expressing a variety of emotions, especially aspects of love. The lute, similar to the guitar, was the most popular instrument of this period and was often used to accompany singers. The lute and the voice worked

Title of Work: It Was a Lover and His Lass, Thomas Morley, composer words by William Shakespeare from his play, “As You Like It” Come Again by John Dowland Vergene Bella, by Guillaume Dufay and Gioto al Canto Mio, from the opera Euridice


Institute. He eventually became a producer/director for animated films. Diana’s home was filled with patrons and students of the arts. She considers herself fortunate to have studied both piano and dance with very talented teachers who inspired and supported her blossoming artistic gift. These teachers were inspirations, encouraging her to develop her vocal gifts. Choir and madrigal classes became Diana’s school haven. Her first paid position was at the age of 21 as a soprano soloist in an Episcopalian Church. Supporting herself as a piano teacher and part-time secretary, Diana auditioned for the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Company, where she performed for many years. She has been a featured soloist with many early music ensembles specializing in Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music and enjoys oratorio and recital work. As a trained singer, Diana sings for television commercials, animated films, movie sound tracks and dance concerts.

About the Work: Over the last ten years there has been a resurgence of interest in the music of the Baroque, Renaissance and Medieval periods. Thomas Morley and John Dowland were two of the most famous songwriters of the

together as a duet. Composers began to write music for more than one solo voice, sometimes up to four or five voices in harmony. When only a lute and one voice performed, the vocalist sang the melody while the lute player was responsible for playing the parts of all the other voices. The vocal quality of the singer was largely dictated by the sound of the Renaissance instruments. Optimally, singers aspired to sound like a “When you discover your recorder - clear and melodic.

own personal gift, embrace it! It is your responsibility to develop it so that you may shine your special light on the world, illuminating and elevating the human experience for others.” Diana Zaslove


Discussion Questions:

Additional References:

After listening to the audio recording: • Compare the two featured songs, which are both about love. Describe how love is expressed differently in terms of tempo, dynamics and mood. (First piece is youthful love, perhaps energetic and lively and carefree described in the quick tempo and bounciness of the melody; the second is more mature love because the tempo is slower and the vocal line is more sustained - legato.) • In the second piece, the “give and take” between the soloist and lutenist can be heard, followed by a coming together musically. Identify where the “give and take” is most prominent and when the two parts come together again. • Describe what you see in your mind when you hear the musical interplay between the voice and lute. • Listen to Gioto al Canto Mio. It was written at the very end of the Italian Renaissance in 1600. In the opera, Eurdice, the words told the story of the Greek myth, Orpheus. Orpheus returns to the Underworld to bring his lost love, Eurdice, back to earth. When he joyfully sings the aria, Gioto al Canto Mio, he doesn’t realize that he will once again lose her. Although written for a man, a woman sings it.

• McDonald, Margaret Read. Rounds Kids Love to Sing. August House Publishing, 2006.

Sample Experiences: *


Multidisciplinary Options: • Locate the words to the song, It Was a Lover and His Lass in William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Find the scene in which it appears. Listen to the song again after you read the words in the context of the play. • Being rhythmical, one can dance to the song It Was a Lover and His Lass. Research dances of the Renaissance and see if you can learn one and perform it to this song. • The musical Renaissance started in the Netherlands, but the composers and poets were so popular that they were enticed to perform their music in Spain, Bohemia, Austria, Germany and the cities of northern Italy. Note the differences in language, rhythm, vocal quality and instrumentation. • Look up the words sacred, secular and Renaissance.



Audio-Visual Materials: • Artsource® audio recording of It was a Lover and His Lass, Come Again, Vergene Bella and Gioto al Canto Mio. Courtesy of Diana Zaslove. • Additional musicians: Michael Eagan, lute (It was a Lover and his Lass, Come Again); Maurita Phillips, soprano, and William Rutherford, harpisichord (Vergene Bella and Gioto al Canto Mio).


LEVEL I • Perform a simple circle dance to It Was a Lover and His Lass using skipping, walking and turning. LEVEL II • The modern day version of the recorder is the Tonette, which is used by school children. It is made of plastic rather than wood. Learn to play a simple Renaissance melody on a recorder or Tonette. If you don’t have access to a recorder, learn to hum the melody. • Puppet shows were a part of the entertainment for ‘common people’ during the Renaissance. Research some of the characters of these puppets, which were called Commedia del arte. They include Pirot, with a mask and diamonds on his costume. He was in love with love. The woman of his dreams was Colombine. There was also Pollone, the old man and his wife, Franceschina, who was big and overbearing - always hitting Pollone with a rolling pin. They can be made out of anything from paper bags to papier mâché. Middle School • Watch the film, “Much Ado About Nothing,” starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branaugh. Pay specific attention to the song, It Was a Lover and His Lass and describe the theatrical context in which it was sung. • Become acquainted with a Shakespearean sonnet and perform it as a choral reading. • Instrumental music and dance of this period were intimately connected. Research some of these dance forms: galliard, pavane, ronde and bergerette. Make a comparison between these and other popular folk dance forms such as the jig and reels. High School • Write a poem in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet (iambic pentameter). Set it to music and perform it for your class. • Discuss the impact of the Renaissance on personal freedom of expression today. All Levels • Listen to two Italian Renaissance songs, then explore the human voice as an expressive instrument.

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Indicates sample lessons



Level I Sample lesson INTRODUCTION: Much of the music of the Renaissance was danceable because of the strong rhythms. Today both music and dancing are often an important aspect of parties and celebrations. This was also true during the Renaissance. All of the upper class men and women were taught to perform all the popular court dances and to know the rules of etiquette. The common people often danced more lively versions and, in fact, their steps often were the inspiration for the court dances. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Identify and discuss basic information about the Renaissance. (Connecting) • Recognize the basic beat of the song, It Was a Lover and His Lass, and be able to clap the steady, underlying beat. (Responding & Performing) • Move in time with the underlying beat of the song. (Responding & Performing) • Create a simple circle dance. (Creating & Performing) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Photos of Renaissance dancers or musicians. (optional) • Artsource® audio recording of It Was a Lover and His Lass. PROGRESSION: (May be conducted over two or more periods.) • Present some background on the Renaissance to give a historical and cultural context for the dance. Show pictures of Renaissance dancers if you have them. • Play the song, It Was a Lover and His Lass, from the Artsource® audio recording. Clap the steady, basic beat of the song. • Have the students stand and walk in place to the steady beat. 3

• Have the students walk in a circle holding hands. Move first to the right and then to the left. Have them be aware of the space between them and those next to them. Also, remind them to not squeeze people’s hands too tightly. • Ask them for other suggestions of how to move. This might include skipping, galloping, sliding, swaying, hopping, turning in place. Try several of their suggestions. • After these movements have been explored, have them decide which four movements best express the feeling of the song. Do each of the selected movements for either 8 or 16 counts. Here is an example: 1. Walk around the circle to the right for 16 counts. 2. Change direction and walk around the circle to the left for 16 counts. 3. Face center and place hands on the hips, swaying from side to side for 16 counts. 4. Hold hands up high and turn to the right for 8 counts and then turn to the left for 8 counts. 5. Repeat the dance. • Perform the dance several times until the music ends. • Talk about the dance and what could be done to improve it. EXTENSIONS: • Perform the dance for another class. Invite them to learn it. • Make simple garlands and sashes to wear as costumes. VOCABULARY: steady beat, Renaissance ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: (Responding & Connecting) DISCUSS: Discuss the feelings inspired by the music and rhythm. DESCRIBE: Describe the different movements which were chosen for the dance and the sequence in which they are performed. ANALYZE: Think about circle dances and why they might be so popular for groups of people. CONNECT: Make connections between this song and dance style and the songs and dances of popular culture in America today. Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking This and all other woodcut and engraving representations in the unit from Music: A Pictorial Archive of Woodcuts and Engravings. Dover: 1980.




Sample lesson II INTRODUCTION: Along with the lute, one of the most popular instruments of the Renaissance was the recorder, a wooden flute-type instrument in which the player blows into the end rather than the side. Recorders came in many sizes - sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and bass. One of the modern day versions of the recorder is the Tonette. It is made of plastic rather than wood. Some music background is preferable for this lesson. It would be most helpful if students had played a Tonette or recorder and could read a simple melody line. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Play a simple Renaissance melody on a recorder or Tonette. (Performing) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Performing) MATERIALS: • Soprano or alto recorders or Tonettes. • A recording of Renaissance recorder music. (Optional, but see the list at the end of this lesson.) • A piece of recorder music from the Renaissance or Sixteenth Century German Folk Song, included in this lesson. • Make adaptations for: Beginning - use Sixteenth Century German Folk Song and only play the line for Pupil 1 Intermediate - use Dance or Rigadoon and only do the line for Pupil 1 Advanced - use any of the pieces and two people play together as Pupil 1 and Pupil 2 (duet) PROGRESSION: (May be conducted over two or more periods.) • Play a recording of Renaissance recorder music if it is available. A good choice is Wind Music from Renaissance Italy. (Check list at end of this lesson.) • The Sixteenth Century German Folk Song is the best one to start with. Only five notes are used in the melody and the note values are quarter, half and a single dotted-half note, plus rests. It’s in 4/4 time. • Have someone who knows how to read music copy the note values into rhythmic patterns on the board. Demonstrate how to clap and count the patterns as they read them from the board. The Kodaly method can be used. Clap the rhythmic patterns repeatedly until everyone is sucessful. 5

• Groups of five to six people come up and clap the patterns for their peers so that they all take responsibility for reading and demonstrating the patterns. • For beginners, have them clap the patterns as an intermediate or advanced musician plays the melody. • For intermediate students, have them review the fingering patterns. Refer to a chart. In the Sixteenth Century German Dance the notes are all above Middle C, beginning with G, A, B, C, D. This should be the first piece to be learned because it is the easiest. • Practice the above notes in order until they are easily played. Then begin to read the music and learn the song. While they are learning it, have someone stand and clap the rhythmic patterns because they might be so involved with note reading that they will neglect them. • Practice the song many times until it can be performed smoothly. Have small groups play the piece for each other. EXTENSION: • Record their performance. VOCABULARY: rhythmic patterns, recorder, Tonette, Middle C ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: (Responding & Connecting) DISCUSS: Discuss ways in which the recorder as an instrument like the human voice. DESCRIBE: Describe the process of (steps) learning to play a recorder. ANALYZE: Analyze the song the students learned and the musical elements. (melody, rhythmic patterns, dynamics) CONNECT: Make connections between learning to play the recorder and other instruments which students play or would like to play. Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking


RECORDINGS: • Das Alte Werk, Thomas Morley, The First Booke of Ayres. Nigel Rogers, tenor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Viola da gamba, Eugen M. Dombois, Lute. • Harmonia Mundi, Rossi - Saladin - Grossi, Musique Judeo - Baroque, Camerata de Boston, direction Joel Cohen. • Angel Stereo, A Treasury of English Songs, Janet Baker, Mezzo-soprano, Gerald Moore, Piano, Martin Isepp, harpsichord, Ambrose Buntlett, Viola da Gamba, and Douglas Whittaker, flute. • London Records, Lute Songs, Julian Bream, lute, Peter Pears, tenor. • Das Alte Werk - Telefunken, Marin Marais, Pieces de Viole du Second Livre 1701, Jordi Savall, Viola da Gamba, Anne Gallet, Cembalo, and Hopkinson Smith, Theorbe. • Archiv Produkton, Piffaro, Wind Music from Renaissance Italy, Canzoni e Danze, The Renaissance Band. • Delos, Mysteries of the Renaissance, Beyond Chant, Voices of Ascension, Dennis Keene, Conductor.






Middle School Sample Lesson INTRODUCTION: One of the most interesting aspects of this period of Renaissance music was the collaboration between exceptional lyric poets and composers. During this time, words took on new importance and were carefully selected to express different emotions, especially love. These poems are called sonnets. Most of the music was written for the theatre including one of the songs featured on the Artsource® audio recording called, It Was a Lover and His Lass, with words by William Shakespeare for his play, “As You Like It.” OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Describe and discuss the sonnet form. (Responding) • Use choral speaking to bring the sonnet to life. (Performing) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Paper and pencils • Chart paper (optional) PROGRESSION: (May be conducted over two or more periods.)

Diana Zaslove English Renaissance costume Photo: Craig Schwartz

• A sonnet is a classical poetic form expressing an emotional feeling in 14 lines. There are three verses, each with four lines, with varying rhyming patterns; in this case it is A, B, A, B, and one couplet of CC at the end. (The ending word in the A lines rhyme and the ending words in the B lines rhyme.) • Read the following sonnet, written by Shakespeare, and discuss its meaning. Make sure that all the words are understood. Discuss the images and concepts he uses to show the hurt. Select students to read different lines with varying emphasis and emotions. 9

Here is an example of a sonnet from Shakespeare. It is #120. That you were once unkind befriends me now, And for that sorrow which I then did feel Needs must I under my transgression bow, Unless, my nerves were brass or hammered steel. For if you were by my unkindness shaken, As I by yours, y’have passed a hell of time, And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken To weigh how once I suffered in your crime. O, that our night of woe might have rememb’ed My deepest sense how hard true sorrow hits, And soon to you, as you to me then tend’red The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits! But that your trespass now becomes a fee: Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.

• Do a choral reading of the sonnet. Assign numbers and lines to pairs of people. • Encourage people to repeat their lines quietly to become familiar with them. • Direct students to walk around and say their line in a many ways as possible (pleading, regretfully, angrily, softly, fast, slow, etc.). • Have student shout out their lines all together. • Ask students to sing their line, listening to the sounds of the words. • Have students say the line and elongate the vowel sound in an exaggerated way. Speak slowly and move slowly. Speak with staccato (quick and sharp) sounds and move quickly and sharply. • Direct students to stand with eyes closed and whisper the words. • Have each pair decide how they wish to express their line. Give them time to practice. Then have the class come back together and form a circle in the correct order of verses and speak the lines in sequence. • Discuss how it worked and what they would suggest to refine it. Then perform it again.


EXTENSIONS: • Have the class use the sonnet as a work to perform in a choral speaking style. Have them plan several different ways to work with their voices. Some suggestions would be: solos, group, duets, repeating certain parts, changing dynamics (volume), adding movement. • Record their choral speaking performance and analyze it in terms of what they feel worked and what they would like to change. VOCABULARY: sonnet, choral speaking ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: (Responding & Connecting) DISCUSS: Discuss the sonnet and the meaning which is conveyed through the poetry. DESCRIBE: Describe the different images and concepts in the sonnet. ANALYZE: Think about how each group chose to say their lines and what was effective or ineffective about the choral reading as a whole piece. CONNECT: Make connections between how Shakespeare expressed the pain between friends and the way students might express a hurtful situation between themselves and a close friend. Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking




High School Sample lesson INTRODUCTION: When Diana Zaslove was in high school, she was given the assignment of writing an original sonnet and putting it to music. This process has stayed with her throughout her life. She still remembers her sonnet because she has it rhythmically and melodically recorded in her mind. She would like to share with you the process which brought her to this peek experience. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Write an original sonnet. (Creating) • Put their original sonnet to music. (Creating & Performing) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Paper and pencils. • Chart paper (optional). • Audio recorder, Garage Band or similar computer program, instruments and other sounds. • Artsource® audio recording of Diana Zaslove singing It Was a Lover and His Lass and Come Again. PROGRESSION: (May be conducted over two or more periods.) • Using the information in the Middle School lesson or from books, review the sonnet form and give an example of it. Ask the class to discuss the form and the themes which are usually prevalent. • Listen to the Artsource® recordings and use the ‘Discussion Questions’ on page 2 of this unit to help students appreciate what they have heard and to give it an historical and cultural context. • Read Diana’s original sonnet, written when she was in high school.


DIANA’S SONNET When circumstance illuminates desire And your companionship is mine; Like one possessed my soul seems to acquire False hues which darkly swallow my design. A puppeteer replaced my flesh with wood, Swirling mist throughout my mind; Mute strings control this mood, Unwilling words escape my mindless tongue. I fear, beloved, that this unscrupulous knave Whose errant art disfigures my intent Is not an evil God who holds me slave, But mine own love that nurtures discontent. If love prevents myself from being free, Then I reject your love reluctantly.

• Using the form explained in the Middle School Sample Lesson, divide into groups to work on a verse for the sonnet. This means there will be four groups of four or five people. Three of the groups write a four line, ABAB verse, and one group writes a couplet. Select a theme for the groups to focus on, such as love, loss, friendship, adoration, etc. • After the verses are written, have the class use choral speaking techniques to present them to each other. • Practice speaking them by exaggerating the words to find the music and rhythm inherent within them. Each group is to find a way of singing their verse. • Additional percussion instruments may be added, as well as a flute, violin, guitar or recorder. • Perform them for each other and discuss them using some of the following questions: - What was the meaning of the verse? - Did the last word of the A lines rhyme and the B lines rhyme? - What did you like about the presentation? - What could be changed to strengthen or refine the presentation? - Would the verses work better if placed in a different sequence? If so, suggest one. • Direct each group to refine their first version and make revisions, then present and critique again. 13

CRITERIA FOR THE PRESENTATION: • beauty of vocal tone • similarity of vocal tone within the group • focus and concentration of the group • emotional commitment • group cooperation • clarity of diction as the words are sung • dynamics (Use this criteria as a guide in discussing the performance.) EXTENSION: • Record their performance. VOCABULARY: sonnet, choral speaking ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: (Responding & Connecting) DISCUSS: Discuss the experience of writing the sonnet and then creating music. How were challenges handled? DESCRIBE: Describe the process they went through. ANALYZE: Analyze the final product and how closely it met the criteria of a sonnet. CONNECT: Make connections between the poetry and songs of today and those of the Renaissance. Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking




LEVEL IV Sample Lesson INTRODUCTION: The Renaissance Period lasted almost 200 years, from the 13th to the 15th centuries. This lesson will concentrate on the vocal music of this period. The early Renaissance vocal music evolved from the homophonic (no harmonies) or chant style of early Church music (Gregorian chant). In the chant style, the goal of the singers was to create a unified sound without individual vocal colors or expression. The goal was to support the group sound rather than to highlight or promote the particular attributes of an individual singer. Over the course of the Renaissance, attitudes shifted from a focus on Church doctrine and group unity to individual self-expression and experimentation. This lesson will guide you as you take a journey to learn how the human voice has reflected the attitudes of society toward the individual. By taking a look at the past we are also able to appreciate the gifts of important musical traditions.

Diana Zaslove Photo: Craig Schwartz

OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Hear and identify the changing vocal qualities in the singers from the early Renaissance (Vergene Bella, by Guillaume Dufay) to the later Renaissance (Gioto al Canto Mio, from the opera Euridice). (Responding) •Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Artsource® audio tape of Vergene Bella and Gioto al Canto Mio and recording device PROGRESSION: • Before listening to the audio, give students some historical and cultural perspective on the Italian Renaissance. The literal meaning of Renaissance is “rebirth.” The humanistic philosophies of ancient Greek and Roman art, architecture and the written word influenced Renaissance thought. During this time, music conveyed a “rebirth” of the human spirit. Art cannot be divorced from its historical context, so it is important to note that, as people of the Renaissance began to explore more personal aspects of their earthly existence, the singer was encouraged to be more expressive. Songs about love, friendship, loss and revelry were composed and sung with a great range of vocal expression during this period. 15

• In the selection, Vergene Bella, the three “voices” are comprised of a small pipe organ and two singers. Because this piece is one of the earliest examples of vocal Renaissance music, it draws on the Medieval Church music tradition of unified sound. Note the almost hollow sound of the singers voices as they blend with the hollow sound of the pipe organ. The three voices are equal in importance. Also, listen for the way that the words are woven in and around each other by the two singers so that the meaning becomes less important than the sound and rhythm. • Next, listen to Gioto al Canto Mio, from the first opera ever composed, Euridice. This piece was written at the very end of the Italian Renaissance in 1600. In the opera, Eurdice, the words (text) were extremely important in order to further the drama of the story, which was based on the Greek myth, Orpheus. In this myth Orpheus returns to the Underworld to bring his lost love, Eurdice, back to earth. When he joyfully sings the aria, Gioto al Canto Mio, he doesn’t realize that he will once again lose her. • Even though in the opera Orpheus is played by a man, it is sung by a woman in this recording. Notice how the soloist’s voice is very expressive and much richer sounding than the voices in the first piece. One can sense that the singer has more freedom in her interpretation of this song. She is no longer confined to blending with a pipe organ or to create a unified sound with another singer or instrument. This personal expression is a reflection of the changing attitude of the times. • Discuss each song and how they are different in terms of expression of emotion and dynamic range. EXTENSIONS: • Find a synopsis of the Greek myth, “Orpheus and Eurydice.” It is a powerful love story that encompasses passion, courage and tragedy. Listen again to the song, Gioto al Canto Mio, and identify Orpheus’ emotions within the context of the story. • The instrument of the voice has more potential for expression of feelings than any other instrument. Experiment with your own voice in speaking or singing. Find a verse of a song, a poem or some written text. Read it or sing it to find your personal vocal expression. Explore the range of emotion in your own voice. VOCABULARY: Renaissance, musical dynamics, expression, harmony, unison ASSESSMENT: (Responding & Connecting) DESCRIBE: Describe your response to the song that you most enjoyed. DISCUSS: Discuss the music you enjoy. Is there more than one singer? If more than one, do they sing in unison or in harmony? Are the voices well blended or can you hear individual vocal qualities? Can you understand the words? ANALYZE: Discuss the ideas of group unity and individual expression. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking 16