What Do You Hear When You REALLY Listen?
Essay of approximately 750 words (700 words minimum):
You may write more than 750 words – this is not a limit but the suggested guidance for approximate essay length
However, your essay must be a minimum of 700 words
Please note that there is no grace period for submitting essay assignments. All essay assignments must be submitted by the due date, and by 11:59PM on that due date. Late essays, and late Final Projects will receive no credit and no grade points.
Please identify your video VERY VERY clearly … simply naming the music is not sufficient, since there can be many videos of the exact same music … this can affect your listed timings, which might not match at all … there also might be very significantly different performances by the very same musicians …
Also note that I do not want you to send links… instead, please describe ‘IN WORDS’ which video you are reviewing, so that I can easily find it
*Also note, Please DO NOT include in your word total your explanation/description of which video you are reviewing
***Please note the following REDUCTION IN ESSAY GRADE POINTS (out of 100 possible points total):
1. MINUS 20 points for selecting a YouTube video that is NOT on the “List of Possible Topics and Artists” earlier in this unit/module. PLEASE NOTE THE ‘ARTISTS’ allowable on this list. SELECTING A CATEGORY (e.g. LATIN), BUT SELECTING AN ARTIST NOT ON THIS LIST WILL RESULT IN THIS LOSS OF GRADE POINTS.
2. MINUS 15 points for not specifying EXACTLY which video you are reviewing.
3. MINUS 10 points for sending a link of ANY TYPE, with your essay, or as part of your essay, or in any form, active or inactive (non-functioning). PLEASE DO NOT SEND LINKS, either active or inactive.
*All Essays MUST be uploaded into Canvas as .doc or .docx files. *I DO NOT ACCEPT EMAILED ASSIGNMENTS.
*Emailed essays, or essays sent through any system or method other than uploading into Canvas will receive no credit and no grade points.
Select ONE piece of music from one of the styles and cultures that we have studied (***please see “List of Possible Topics and Artists” earlier in this unit/module). This includes Latin Music, Irish Music, Music from India, Balinese Gamelan Music, Music from West Africa, Music for the Chinese Zheng, and Music from Egypt (Music for the Chinese Zheng, and Music from Egypt are the optional extra credit chapters). You may also choose to do your project on ‘Klezmer Music’, which has not been covered in the course.
YOU MUST SELECT FROM THE ARTISTS LISTED. SELECTING A CATEGORY (e.g. LATIN), BUT SELECTING AN ARTIST NOT ON THIS LIST WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF GRADE POINTS AS EXPLAINED ABOVE.
***For SPECIFIC POSSIBLE TOPICS and ARTISTS, please see “List of Possible Topics and Artists” earlier in this unit/module.
***Your Final Project MUST be selected from this “List of Possible Topics and Artists”.
This piece should be LESS THAN 10 minuteslong, and parts of larger works are completely fine, e.g. a movement, or individual section from a larger piece of music, or timed section from a larger piece of music such as the first ten minutes, or a song from a collection of songs, or a song from a musical, etc..
*Please do NOT use a piece of music that has already been discussed in the textbook (such as Oye Como Va, etc.).
Please do NOT use a piece of music that is on the Spotify lists referenced in the textbook.
*Please find a piece of music not yet covered in this course.
*The music must be available on Youtube, so that I can listen to it.
Important Note: ***Please DO NOT send me Youtube links!
Instead, please clearly name the piece and the performer(s) in your paper, with enough precise detail so that the video can easily be located on Youtube (such as where/when the performance took place, the main artists and/or guest artists in the performance, is it the official video, the duration of the video, etc.)
– please submit your essay in essay form, rather than listing numbers of answers to specific questions
– my list of questions in the instructions is a guide and starting point for analysis … please do not approach the essay as if the only things to discuss are a few suggestions from my list of possible suggestions …. you have all studied a wide range of concepts, so please refer to many of these concepts
– please list MANY exact timing examples of specific musical events/concepts in your video
– please DO NOT repeat my words/questions as part of your essay
– please do not submit an essay that is only a list of timed musical events … that would not be an essay, even though it might contain some interesting information
– Please do not write out complete song lyrics (you may use fragments of lyrics, if they help explain song elements)
– PLEASE FOCUS ON THE MUSIC … some background information is fine, but the majority of your essay projects should be a detailed description of THE MUSIC … with timings for when specific musical details occur
– Please reference issues and concepts studied in this course as they relate to THE MUSIC of the piece that you have selected
also please note:
1. It is often best to select a video that is of a performance, or shows the instruments being played. This can be very helpful for you when analyzing the music and instruments/combinations of instruments.
2. If selecting a part or section from a larger musical work, please clearly identify the section that you are analyzing, using time references from the video (e.g. 3:21, for 3 minutes and 21 seconds into the video).
Please do not limit your essay to only responding to the questions below – these questions and concepts are important, but should be viewed as a starting point for a complete musical and cultural analysis of your selection
1. Name the piece and the musician(s), if possible. Describe the piece of music in as much detail as possible – does it have a repeated theme? Are there distinct sections in the piece? Where do these distinct sections start and end? (please list exact timings in the video where these sections start and end). When sections are repeated, are they exactly the same? Are soloists featured? Was the music composed by the person (people) performing? What time period is it from?
*What else can you say about the music by listening to it? (with precise timings for musical details).
2. Name the instruments. If you’re not sure of all the instruments, try your best to describe the sounds. Describe how they contribute to the whole composition.
3. Describe the tempo (speed), dynamics (loudness/softness), and complexity of the music. These can change a great deal throughout a piece of music, so indicating where these changes occur in the music/video is very helpful (if there are changes).
*Describe the music in the context of the musical terms we have studied.
4. Discuss if you’ve heard music like this before, and your general thoughts on the style and sound of your specific selection.
5. State how all of the above contribute to the overall sound and specific style of the music. How do the musical elements create either a traditional sound, or a contemporary sound, or a blend of both? *How do the musical elements relate to the tradition and culture that you have selected.
***Please note that this assignment should be in ESSAY form. While the questions listed above are very important to consider, please do not just submit a list of numbered answers to these questions. Instead, please write in ESSAY form, with as much precise timing information as possible, with specific references to the music, musical details and musical events and elements.
I am looking for content, originality, and a response that is clear and shows depth of thought.
MY SUGGESTIONS FOR HOW YOU SHOULD PROCEED:
Review the ‘Terms to Know’ lists in Units 2 through 7 (textbook chapters one through six).
Review the terms specifically related to the musical tradition and culture that you have selected (from the ‘Terms to Know’ sections of the modules/units).
Watch/listen to your song selection numerous times; get to know it. You’ll hear something new each time you listen.
Write down what you hear. The following should be discussed in your essay, when possible and relevant:
>instrument Hornbostel-Sachs categories
>instrument groupings throughout the piece
>which instrument(s)/voice(s) have the main melody
>which instrument(s)/voice(s) play or sing harmony to support the
>Form (what is the organization of the different sections of music)
>entrances of new instrument(s) or voice(s)
>important starts of sections of the song (e.g. verse, chorus, intro)
>return/repeat of a melody
>entrance of a contrasting melody
>ornamentation of the main melody
>tempo and tempo changes
>rhythms and polyrhythms
>meter (four beats/quadruple time, or …
three beats/triple time, etc.)
>unisons in textures
>melodic and rhythmic ostinatos
>harmony and harmonized textures
>issues related to the society in which the music was created
>blending of musical styles and traditions
***any terms specifically related to the musical tradition and culture that you have selected (from the ‘Terms to Know’ sections of the units/modules).
Begin to write down the exact times(minutes and seconds into the song) that you hear each new section, and name/identify these sections (such as verse, chorus, instrumental solo, etc.).
Soon, a shape will emerge and you will be able to identify the Form of the song. Label each contrasting section (introduction, verse, chorus, instrumental solo, etc.), so that the musical form is very clear.
Each time you go back to listen again, add more details within each section from the list above. *Discuss the terms specifically related to the musical tradition and culture that you have selected (from the “Terms to Know” sections of the units/modules).
Add closing observations and commentary.