Music for grading exams

Because if I don’t do them now, I’ll just have to do them later. (Exams have nothing to do with the aria, except perhaps the bit about great fear and the looming possibility of shipwreck.)


The student who had to answer 2 out of 5 ID questions – and did all five. And then one out of three essays – but she did all three! I’m not sure whether it’s wild ambition or just failure to read directions.

One person is convinced – CONVINCED; it came up like three times in the exam – that Andrew Jackson was a Federalist.

Word is that in the early republic you had to own exactly 1.6 acres of land to be eligible for citizenship.

The cotton gin was important because “it caused a dramatic cleavage.” No further explanation offered.

“Later, a second national bank evolved to come in and help resolve the increasing death problem in the U.S.”

“Alexander Hamilton was an example of a loose constitution.” [This is perhaps a textbook example of being right for the wrong reasons.]

[turnpikes were expensive] ” . . .so they came up with sphunikes, which were small back roads for the people to travel on to keep from paying the toll.” (I stared at this for like three minutes before I figured it out – the student meant “shunpikes” and is entirely correct about what they were.)

6 thoughts on “Music for grading exams

  1. Wow – talk about virtuosic music and performances! (although I confess to not really understanding her mouth behaviour in those runs. I can’t tell if she’s really relaxed or really tense but whatever – it doesn’t seem to affect her vocal production and she looks like she’s enjoying herself). I found a wonderful video of Cecilia Bartoli singing this aria on the Toob of U (to quote @Rob) if you feel inclined to a side-by-side comparison. Before your post I only knew about Scarlatti’s Griselda but it looks as though I’m going to have to drop some cash on yet another Baroque opera…


    1. I keep meaning to get Genaux’s Vivaldi CD – her other recordings that I’ve heard have been good. And her voice has a distinctive sound that I really like.

      I noticed the thing with her mouth too during the fast bits too; it’s like she’s articulating the notes with her lower lip, although that can’t actually be what she’s doing. But as you say, it doesn’t seem to affect the results!


  2. haha, i read it as sputnik, the thingy they launched into space…
    she’s tackling Sesto in clemenza di tito this year! debut somehwere in france, after saying for a long time mozart’s mezzo roles were too high for her range… and since i got into opera from listening to her, ended up discovering all baroque goodies before catching on to sesto goodness..


    1. I had that thought too re: sphunikes when I first read that student’s exam. I think she just didn’t know the word “shun” (since there’s no other evidence in her handwriting of switching letters around) and worked out an approximation.

      I remember you had a post ages ago about going to one of Genaux’s recitals in LA, and you got her autograph and a photo? I’d love to hear her as Sesto, though I don’t think I’ll make it to France – will have to wait for a recording 🙂


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