Your paper criteria:
Your paper needs to have a plausible and interesting main argument, a coherent structure, convincing evidence, and an elegant style with your voice in it. The arguments that you will be making in your paper should primarily be based on specific and concrete musical elements that support the path to true appreciation of your selected genre. In the process of creating your paper, you will need to build an understanding of your selected genre’s history, experience important works/songs (instructor selected), stylistic attributes, and socio/economic/cultural connections. This means that you are not expected to LIKE or ENJOY either of stylistic choices, but you will need to ponder and express how to appreciate the music of your selected genre to the reader. To be clear, you can’t simply write that the genre or the song or musical performance is “good or bad” or that “you liked it or didn’t.” This paper is not about opinion but how to objectively approach music that is new to you or outside the realm of your musical tastes. Ultimately you need to reference specific elements of the music to make a strong arguable claim that you can support with evidence. Each genre option will have genre-specific questions, selected music to help you built your paper. An outline of the paper structure will be found below.
Before you start writing your paper and developing your thesis you need to observe and analyze the music.
As you listen to the music for the first time, pay attention to your first impression and your reactions. Focus on the moments that leap out at you, jolt your senses or seem to be important to you. Try to hone in on what makes the genre sound the way it does. What do you hear in the music that specifically leads to a stylistic attribute? Listen to the selected music several times and focus on a different attribute in the music with each hearing. Try to build a list of various musical elements to help you find the key attributes that are essential to building appreciate of your selected genre.
After you have made your careful observations you can start organizing them in order that is important to you. When you are analyzing, ask yourself how do aspects of the piece’s form, lyrics, repetitions, and other musical attributes (instrumentation, timbre, etc.) that you noticed in your observation, contribute to the work’s meaning or function and in how you understand the work.
Use of Terminology
In your writing make sure to make use of the musical terminology that you have learned in this course. However, don’t use them just for sake of using them. Use them if you think it would help to make your points clear. Also, don’t be afraid of using metaphorical or poetic language to describe a passage in the music.
II. Selected Genre Overview (see Genre-Specific Page for details)
III. Musical Observations (see Genre-Specific Page for details)
IV. Appreciating Your Selected Genre
V. Concluding Thoughts
Good grammar and spelling: 10pts
Correct use of music terminology: 10pts
Basic background information about the genre, songs(s) and composer(s)/performer(s): 20pts
Strength of musical observations: 20pts
Balance between descriptive analysis and personal reactions: 10pts
Overall quality of the appreciation argument: 30pts
Your paper must be your own original work. Papers which are found to contain material copied from other sources will receive a grade of zero. All submissions will be checked for plagiarized material using VeriCite.