Format: Typed (word-processed) in a 12-point font – Times New Roman or
similar, double spaced, 1 inch margins; cover sheet giving name, course number, essay title, and date. Submit in .rtf or Microsoft Word format ONLY.
CITE all source references using Chicago Manual of style format: www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
Length: At least 3, but no more than 4 pages.
Title: Be creative, i.e. something other than “Essay 1”
Content: A. Choose a recording of a short piece of music (under 10 minutes) that is one of
your favorites or reflects a style that is very familiar to you.. This may include performances of classical or popular music, including rock, jazz, country, rap, or other popular styles.
B. Write a paper detailing your experience of this music. Of the various musical elements discussed in class (melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture, dynamics, and form), discuss three of these elements that you believe contribute the most to the character of your musical selection. If your selection has words, describe how the musical elements you discuss also emphasize or reinforce points or images in the lyrics.
1. TIP: When writing this part of your paper, do more than just mention each element in one sentence, i.e., “the drums created a hard driving rhythm. The melody was light and airy.” Try to devote two a paragraph/two to three sentences to each of the elements you discuss. Rather than give a “play-by-play” description of your selection, discuss how each of the elements you select affects your selection overall. Alternatively, pick a specific point in your selection and discuss how the elements you discuss shape your selection at that moment. Be sure to note in your paper at what point in your selection this point occurs, i.e. “at 4:55 into the track. . . .”
2. TIP 2: Try to use terminology from class where appropriate. Refer to the material in Part 1 of your textbook covering musical elements (pp. 1-68) for help in identifying and describing these elements.
C. Using resources available from the Collin Library or Collin Library website, find one or two sources that try to identify a musical style that applies to your selection, the artist behind your selection, or a similar artist or selection Periodicals like Rolling Stone and Spin, among others, can be a good source for these sorts of questions and are available via the Collin Library website. (Be sure to CITE the sources that you refer to – note that Wikipedia is NOT an appropriate source for this assignment). Why does that source apply that style to this music, i.e., what features suggest that style? Do you agree that your selection reflects that style? Why or why not?
D. How do people listen to your selection, or music similar to your selection, and did they always listen to it this way? Was/is the music intended to accompany another activity and, if so, what was that activity? Alternatively, was the music meant to be listened to for its own sake? Was the music created to be experienced at a certain time and/or in a certain place, or was it created with the idea that it could be experienced anywhere and anytime?
E. How do you listen to this music? Why do you listen to it in this way?