Music often evokes strong emotions in listeners, but these may not be the same for everyone.Music that you experience as “powerful” or “triumphant” may be experienced by another listener as “angry” or “violent.” Giving specific examples from the music will help explain your emotional reactions and give your reader a context for understanding them.You should aim to make an argument about the song in question, using both text and music to support your claims. Does the composer set it in an unusual way for the genre?
Music often evokes strong emotions in listeners, but these may not be the same for everyone.Music that you experience as “powerful” or “triumphant” may be experienced by another listener as “angry” or “violent.” Giving specific examples from the music will help explain your emotional reactions and give your reader a context for understanding them.You should aim to make an argument about the song in question, using both text and music to support your claims. Does the composer set it in an unusual way for the genre?Tags: Wikipedia Critical ThinkingEssay On Causes And Effects Of Load SheddingCritical Thinking Teaching StrategiesTo Kill A Mockingbird Essay AssignmentTopics For Synthesis EssayEssays About Sri Lanka TourismEssay For StudentsJohn Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book 2 1
Typically the terms that will be most helpful to you and most essential in your writing will be ones that have been covered in class and explained in the textbook.
In addition to all the terms that you DO want to use, musical discourse also comes with some terms that professors and TAs might find particularly unhelpful.
This is different from a music review in which you pass judgment on how “well” the players performed.
Your professor might be okay with you adding your opinion, but most professors want you to listen closely to the music and try to describe it as accurately as possible using some of the vocabulary you’ve learned in class.
You may have the opportunity to attend a live concert and report on it.
Pay careful attention to the types of questions in the prompt.For example, instead of saying “The chorus of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit” sounds angrier than the verses,’ you might argue that, “The added distortion in the guitar, increase in volume, and additional strain on Kurt Cobain’s voice give the chorus of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ an angrier or more critical tone than the verses.” On occasion, or in some assignments, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of technical vocabulary used to describe even the simplest musical gestures.Over the past thousand years, the study of music (particularly Western classical music) has acquired a host of specialized terms from Latin, Italian, German, and French, many of which remain untranslated in common usage. If you have questions about these terms, ask your instructor or consult a reliable music dictionary.How do the music and text (a song’s lyrics, an opera’s libretto) work together? Does it have some type of pattern or other play with words? For more on word play and rhyme schemes, see our handout on poetry explications.You may complete this assignment for a music history or appreciation class. Now look at the text and listen to the music with it.A possible thesis might be “Because Mozart wanted a job in Paris, he wrote a symphony designed to appeal to Parisian tastes.” If that is your argument, then you would focus on the musical elements that support this statement, rather than other elements that do not contribute to it.For example, “Though his Viennese symphonies featured a repeated exposition, Mozart did not include a repeat in the symphonies he composed in Paris, which conformed more closely to Parisian ideas about musical form at the time.” This observation might be more helpful to your argument than speculation about what he ate in Paris and how that influenced his compositional process.This usually requires research, whether on the composer, the original performance, or the historical meaning.Sometimes you will be asked to relate the music itself to its historical setting.Sometimes you can just pick out your favorite performances to discuss.Elements to listen for might include (but are not limited to) instrumentation, variety of pieces performed, interaction of the performers, the setting (size, type, and location of the venue, acoustics of the space, etc.), audience reaction, and your own subjective interpretation.