26Jan 2022 by
For this assignment, you will choose a song or piece that is meaningful to you, describe the sounds that you hear, and how these impact your emotional response to it. Your musical work can come from any genre or style, past or present, with text or without. The only catch is, if the piece does have text, you are not allowed to talk about it. The purpose in this assignment is to explore how sound conveys meaning; it becomes too easy to fall into a lyrical analysis of “what the words say,” so you may only write about sounds. (Now, you may write about how words are delivered, as that is focusing on the sound and not the words themselves.)
Your opening paragraph of 50-75 words will introduce the piece and the composer/artist (stick to facts about the artist that are relevant to your piece).
The body of the paper should address at least four points about the music; ideally one 50-75 word paragraph for each of your points. Consider (but do not limit yourself to) questions such as: What happens musically? What meaning does this convey? Might there be other ways to interpret what is heard?
You may include a timestamp that identifies at what point these musical ideas take place. (You will include a link to your piece YouTube or another source.)
As you explain what is taking place musically, you needn’t necessarily use formal musical terminology (though you may, to the extent with which you are comfortable doing so). Instead, just describe what you hear as though you are trying to give a sense of your piece to someone who cannot hear it. Use complete sentences – no bulleted lists.
Your conclusion of 50-75 words will summarize the piece as a whole (here, you may allude to the lyrics/text and how these are supported by the music).
On the paper, please list your name, the date, and the course number. Please also include a link to the piece about which you are writing. While outside research is not required for this assignment, if you do use any outside sources, please list the citation style you’re using (MLA, APA, Chicago) at the top of your paper.
All assignments will be run through Turnitin to check for plagiarism. As a reminder of the syllabus policy, any instances of plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action, and will result in a failing grade on the assignment with no opportunity for revision. Click here to read more about plagiarism and how to avoid it.