The Silk Road Ensemble
You will read about The Silk Road Ensemble, watch a specified video of one of their performances, and write an analysis of what you hear.
First, watch these two videos:
Next, find the website for the ensemble: www.silkroadproject.org. Click on “About us” to read the mission and vision statement. Then click on “Artists and Instruments” and browse that material. Then click on “Listen and Watch” on the video screen and select the performance of Arabian Waltz. Listen and watch several times while you take notes on the instruments you are seeing and hearing, as well as the textures and timbres you hear. You will also want to check back in the “Artists and Instruments” section to identify all the instruments performing.
Your analysis should focus on describing these aspects of the performance: instrumentation (and how the instrumentalists interact with each other), timbres, textures (how much is happening at any one time), changes in dynamics and tempos. Don’t make this a critique. Just assume these players are among the best in the world…we really don’t have the tools to criticize them. Critiques are irrelevant. This is an analysis.
To reiterate the preceding paragraph: I don’t actually care if you liked what you heard or not, or if you felt the sound was annoying. To listen to a few minutes of music new to you and say it’s not something you like is to be very close-minded. That’s not what the assignment is about. It’s about analyzing what you heard using correct musical terminology
Your essay will be double-spaced, untitled. Begin your essay on the second line of the page. Use a size 10 to 12 font, and 1- to 1¼-inch side margins. Do not triple-space between paragraphs, just indent new paragraphs.
Your analysis will be 2 to 3 pages long. That means at least two full pages and not more than a few lines over three pages. Papers with unstapled pages will not be accepted. You’ll have to go find a stapler and turn the paper in later, for half creit. For the love of all that is logical, staple the pages together.
If you place a quote or a significant amount of information that doesn’t come straight from your brain, cite it in prose form in the body of the essay or risk being investigated for plagiarism. When I first gave this assignment to my classes, it didn’t seem to me that I needed to mention that plagiarizing from the Silk Road website is a poor idea. Experience has taught me otherwise. If you are unwise enough to plagiarize from the Silk Road website, you will fail this assignment.