Writing papers forces us to gather more information than we might stumble upon, to refine ideas beyond generalities and abstractions, to confront fuzzy thinking, and to become more fully acquainted with the resonances of a topic and our perspective on it. We actually learn by writing. One of the requirements in this class is writing a brief, original, paper that includes a significant proportion of musical analysis. The above page limit does not include bibliography, supporting appendices, discographies, etc. Please click here for a one-page description of the grading criteria, i.e. what papers will receive an “A,” “B,” and so on.
In MUSIC 115 we explore a variety of cultural soundscapes found throughout the world. In your final written assignment, you are to examine a song from one of the soundscapes we discuss in class (Africa, Middle East, India, or Europe) and describe its relationship to the broader cultural context. What does the song reveal about culture? How does it reflect the artist’s world view? How do its musical elements characterize a distinctive musical style? I have provided a list of musical examples (click here for link), from which you are to choose one. Please select one from the list and email me your choice no later than Tuesday 4/5. In the final paper you will be required to provide background on the artist and song style, provide an analysis of the song’s musical elements, and explore the song/style’s relationship to culture. if you have any questions or simply would like some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.