Topic RequestYou may write about any musical topic that int

Topic Request:You may write about any musical topic that interests you. This is your chance to share your thoughts about music that means something to you. Most of you will likely choose a popular song or style. This is fine with me since much of American popular music ranks with European classical music. If music of another culture interests you, then go for it! There are two restrictions: 1.) do not write about pieces of  music covered in the course and 2.) do not write about Rap. I do recognize its value, but I have read far too many presentations on it. Do not write a presentation that focuses on lyrics. The project is not an English paper. The lyrics may be mentioned only in relationship to how they impact the music. Unless the music is through-composed, the lyrics will not usually play a large role other than determining the general character of a song. Songs have repeated musical stanzas, and this narrows its use in expressing specific emotions associated with particular lines of texts.For those of you who are not afraid of risk, you may present a song which you wrote but analyze it using the musical criteria that we have developed in the course. You should make a video of your performance and post the video on YouTube. This can be done so that the video is unlisted and hence not viewable by the general public. Videos should be embedded in your presentations, so you will understand why you must post to YouTube or similar host site once you read the design tutorial. If you choose to put your wn music up on YouTube but do not want it to come up in a public search, choose the ‘education’ and ‘private’ options. Or, alternatively, you put the music up publically and then take it down after the course has ended. If you are struggling with a topic, here are some suggestions:1.) Choose a song (perhaps your favorite) or style of music and talk about it. Using the vocabulary and concepts developed in the course describe its musical features and identify the elements that put it in one style or another or upon which it draws to create its own category. Certainly you should explain why the music is effective or unique. In most cases, you will have to give a brief history of the style. You should also furnish a short history of the song and the performer or both if appropriate, but these should not be short long. Keep each to a paragraph.2.) Choose two songs in different styles and contrast them. Comparisons are always rich in opportunity and information and almost always yield really good presentations. Using the vocabulary and concepts developed in the course describe the musical features of each, identify the elements that put each in a style and upon which each song draws. Certainly you should explain why the music is effective or unique. You should, in all essays, talk identify and explain the musical features. In most cases, you will also have to give a brief history of the styles involved or a short history of the song, the performer or both if appropriate. Again, these should be limited to a paragraph each. Focus on the music!All presentations are intended to prompt you to synthesize the information that you have learned to date in the course and are not strict research papers. Consequently, the papers will contain some element of your experience, creativity, and even opinion. The inclusion of these elements is desirable, so long as you support what you believe with your observations or explanations. The assignment is designed to get you to apply your new knowledge and skills, to think about the materials in different ways, maybe to delve further into the background of music with which you are already familiar, and to measure the critical skills you have developed.By delve, I do not mean include long biographical histories. More than the earlier two presentation assignments, I want you to actually identify and talk about the musical features you hear. You will draw your observations from the concepts you learned in the course to describe how the music is constructed. List everything critical which you can observe, from scaffold (i.e. ostinato) to form to texture and rhythm and anything else you can discern, and then talk about how they fit together. If you know something about style, include those observations also but identify the components in the music that you actually hear. If you hear features combined in a piece of music from earlier styles, identify these and talk about them. This is probably easiest to hear in popular music. Nonetheless, no music just happens as if by magic spark. It always moves forward by evolution and reinterpretation of existing methods and styles.You should focus on what is important and avoid the frivolous. While it is good to list the instruments, for example, especially if they are unusual, do not include a list or history of common ones. If there is an unusual instrument used, fine, but we all already know that a guitar is a lyre.

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Cathy, CS.