analyzing a musical composition essay

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For this assignment, you may use outside music hosting sites as a resource to support your research or to locate a composition.

1. Select a musical instrument to explore through research. For example, if you select the guitar, conduct some research on the guitar as an instrument so that you can discuss its origin, age, and diversity of use. You are NOT being asked for a research paper on the instrument. However, you ARE being asked to understand the fundamental structure of your instrument so that you can analyze the tones and sounds it produces for this assignment.

2. Identify a musical composition that features the instrument you have selected. This does not mean that the music is performed only by one instrumentalist, i.e. a guitar solo. It means that the instrument you selected, i.e. the guitar, must be one of the primary instruments in the selection. Perhaps the guitar has a solo section within an ensemble piece, for example.

3. You must know the composer of the music you have selected. You are NOT being asked to provide a biography of the composer. You ARE being asked to find a brief profile on the composer, enough information to give you an introduction to that artist, and to enable you to provide a short profile of the artist, and nore imprtantly what their relationship is to the music.

The heart of your essay must focus on applying some of the elements of music you read about in your chapter to your song and how the instrument employs these elements. Prepare a 3-4 page response paper that discusses your selected instrument and the composition you have chosen. Explain why you have chosen the instrument to study and the composition to listen to. What have you learned about your instrument through focused listening to your music selection?

Please explain the composition in terms of the elements of music covered in the chapter and in the supplemental material in the assignment area. Focus on describing your composition through the correct terms such as tone, rhythm, if the tempo is set by the instrument, what types of sounds it produces, etc.

Please feel free to write about any type of music you wish, but make sure you have identified one specific song to analyze as the basis for this assignment. Be sure to include the title of the song, the composer, and the musician if they are different from the composer. MLA format is required.

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