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Concert Critique
Guidelines and Rubric

After either attending a live concert or watching a full length concert online, write a critique of the
performance following the format below.

Here are a few examples of full length concerts you can find online (by conducting a web search using
the criteria below) that could be used for this assignment:

 Coldplay Live In Boston 2012 (Full Concert DVD)

 Sting: If on a winters night-Live from Durham Cathedral 2009 (watch all 14 songs on concert)

 Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, Jan Hammer, Charlie

 Duke Ellington The Great Paris Concert

 Richard Galliano/Winton Marsalis – Billie Holiday meets Edith PIAF

 Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Jazz Center Orchestra @ The BBC Proms 2004

 Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson, Amazing stuff!

 Loretta Lynn — You’re Looking At Country – Legends In Concert

You may choose a different concert video to watch, but be sure you include the URL of the concert you
chose in your critique, or scan the program of the live concert you attended and attach it. The musical
style of the concert should include at least one of the genres studied in this course.

The Concert Critique should be 2.5 pages long, double spaced. It should contain five paragraphs that
describe the following aspects of the concert you attended:

1. Who are the performers? Give the title of the concert and write something about the performers.
Is it an orchestra? A choir? An ensemble? Solo artists? Why did you choose to attend this
particular performance? Tell as much as you know about the musicians that performed – are they
professionals? Students? Teachers? How long have they been performing? Etc.

2. Describe the music that was performed on the concert. Use the musical characteristics that we
have been learning in class. What genre is the music (opera aria? Jazz song? Standard tune?
Solo instrument piece? Symphony?)

3. What style period was the music written in? What was the tempo, dynamics, texture, etc.?
Sometimes the music in a concert will be only one genre. Sometimes there will be several genres
performed. Attach the program to your critique, and then refer to the titles in the program. For
example: “Autumn Leaves” was performed by a small instrumental ensemble (guitar, bass, and
percussion). It is a standard contemporary tune. The tempo was a moderately slow ballad. It had
a very mellow sound…

4. Tell how well you think the performers interpreted the music that was on the concert. Were the
singers in tune? Did the piano player play musically and rhythmically? Do you think the
performers communicated the music as it was meant to be communicated by the composer?

5. Tell which pieces or part of the concert was most moving or enjoyable for you. If you didn’t enjoy
the concert very much, tell why you didn’t enjoy it. What could have been better? Be as specific
as you can when expressing your opinion of the performance – don’t just write generalities like “It
was nice” or “it made me feel like dancing”. Tell why the music made you feel like dancing. Write
about why you particularly enjoyed that part of the concert.

6. Conclude your critique by summing up the performance and telling us if you would go to hear
these performers again – or would invite your friends or family to hear this

Submit the Concert Critique to the Dropbox no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EDT of Module 5.
(This Dropbox basket is linked to Turnitin.)

Grading Rubric:

Describes the
Performers and their
(10 points possible)

Does not
describe the
performers or
background at

Gives only vague
description of
performers with
little or no


Lists performers’
names and gives
some experience
and background.


Gives a complete
description of the
performers and their


Describes the music
that was performed
using music terms.
(10 points possible)

Does not
describe the
music that was
performed at all.


Includes a partial
list of the music,
or only gives titles
with no

Lists the music
and gives some
description of it
that uses musical

Gives a complete
description of the music
including genre, style,
tempo, instruments.


Critiques the
performance and
gives reasonable
(10 points possible)

Gives no


Gives little
objective critique
and doesn’t back
up opinions.

Gives reasonable
critique and states
musical reasons
for opinions.

Critiques the music in
depth using musical
terms and reasoning.


Gives personal
(10 points possible)

Includes no
opinions or


Includes only
vague comments
about whether or
not the writer likes
the music.

Describes their
favorite and least
favorite moments
in the concert and
states why.

Gives in depth personal
descriptions of why the
music either does or
does not appeal to the

Concludes with
(5 points possible)

Ends the
critique with no


Ends the critique
with only a brief


Ends the critique
with an adequate
summary and


Ends the critique with a
summary and
recommendation for
future listening or

Uses good grammar
and appropriate
sentence structure.
(5 points possible)

Grammar has
obvious glaring
errors and/or an
casual tone.


Student used
proper grammar,
overall, but did not
proofread and
included many

Student used
good sentence
structure and
overall grammar,
but still had some

Grammar and spelling
has no errors, and the
paper is logical and


Total points (out of 100) __

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