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The instructions are:
“You have been transported to an alternate universe, outside both time and space, and you are sitting in a Starbucks (or Murph’s, or some other eating/drinking establishment). At a crowded table nearby, you happen to notice a few familiar looking gentlemen. “Hey, I remember those guys from Osowski’s class!” you think. Well, it turns out that Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern – all giants of Austro-German music – are at this table, engaged in a fascinating conversation. After a few minutes of eavesdropping, you become so fascinated with this conversation that you abandon your decaf soy latté (or Bud Light) to chime in with some of your opinions.
It is your job to transcribe this discussion in approximately three full pages (12-point font, double spaced). The composers’ conversation centers on their various contributions to the history of music, and each man cites specific compositions and experiences from his life along the way. Your transcription should demonstrate some of the most interesting and important characteristics of each man’s personality and music.
Your comments should reflect a thorough knowledge of the subjects and your honest feelings about the music being discussed. Your assignment should read like a script.
The cast of characters:
Richard Wagner (RW) Richard Strauss (RS) Gustav Mahler (GM) Arnold Schoenberg (AS) Alban Berg (AB)
Anton Webern (AW) You (your initials)
The scene: lunch in Johnson Dining Hall. As I walk up to the salad bar, I notice an older gentleman with an odd hairstyle and wardrobe adding croutons to his plate. Intrigued, I initiate a conversation…
KO: Excuse me, sir, but you look very familiar. Don’t I know you from somewhere?
RW: I don’t believe we’ve met. My name is Richard Wagner. Would you care to join me and my colleagues for lunch?”