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William Grant Still’s Mother and Child

University/College: University of Arkansas System
Date: October 25, 2017
Words: 560
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William Grant Still’s Mother and Child

William Grant Stills Mother and Child Composed in 1943 by William Grant Still Is Mother and Child, a beautiful classical piece that consists primarily of string Instruments with brass undertones. While listening to this piece, one can almost Imagine themselves on a picnic with their mother, as the song unfolds a story that most depicts the loving bond between a mother and her child as each measure of the piece progresses. This makes the piece Instrumental with hints of program music, where a story Is being told.

Being that It Is of the Classical Style period, Mother and Child utilizes a standardized orchestra, containing Instruments from the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion families. Unlike Baroque style music, the texture of this composition Is mainly homophobic, whereas Baroque style demonstrated mainly polyphonic textures. Within each movement of this arrangement, Mother and Child exemplifies the balanced and symmetrical qualities that is often found in classical works. The first movement of the composition begins with a solo from only the strings Emily.

A soft, consistent melody is played and the violin dominates the other instruments in this piece. The tone color at the beginning of this piece is relatively light which symbolizes the characteristics of a maturing mother. As expected from a classical piece, the dynamics of the piece suddenly change, and there is a slight crescendo in the piece during the following measures of the composition. The tempo of the composition grows quicker in pace which portrays another chapter in the story, signaling another movement of the piece.

A violinist them performs a solo that plays a lot that is also quick, yet play a lot on the concept of pitch. It can be heard that the violin goes from very low ranges to fairly high range in pitch to emphasize the great amount of emotion in the piece. Mother and Child is a harmonic piece, where the violin dominates and plays the melody throughout the composition while the brass instruments play the harmony in a low consistent tone. All of the elements that are incorporated Into this piece evoked memories about my own childhood as well as my mother.

The mood Is very light, yet heavy on describing that special mother and child relationship. While listening to this piece, I was absorbed by the content of each movement, as they seemed to defined some chapters In my lifetime where my mother was my only guidance. The overall theme of this piece brings warm fragments of memories to Its listener while creating a very elegant yet motherly atmosphere. The arrangement Itself Is conventional In terms of abiding to the standard form of classical music.

Stills piece Is written several movements, which Is a mall component of classical music. The composition Is also In an A-B-A format, where there Is an alternation between crescendo and decrescendo dynamics In the piece throughout each movement. There is also an alternation between the violin and the rest of the orchestra playing as a while in the next. Overall, Mother and Child was a pleasant and calming arrangement. It is a beautiful classical piece in which it allowed me to recall many of those missed memories of my age of adolescence with my mother.

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