Write a short essay on a musical work or works of your choosing. Imagine you are writing about the music for a reader who is familiar with the basic musical concepts and terminology you have learned in this class, but does not know the music of the artist you are writing about. You may choose to discuss more than one work, but limit your discussion to a few meaningful examples. For instance, you might compare and contrast two songs from a single album, two songs from different albums made at different times in an artist’s career, or an original and a cover by a different artist.
Address at least three of the following prompts in your response:
1. Describe your personal reaction to the music. How does it make you feel? Does it evoke any particular associations or memories for you? Do you feel the artist/composer intended to incite a particular emotional reaction with the music? How much do you experience that emotion yourself?
2. Describe the elements of the music and their interaction. Is it in a major or minor key? Can you identify its meter? Can you describe its texture (is it monophonic, melody-and accompaniment, polyphonic, or some combination of these)?
3. Can you identify the instrumentation? Are there any unusual instrumental choices or sound sources?
4. Does the work exhibit a recognizable musical form that we have talked about?
5. Is the music characteristic of a particular musical style? Does it show evidence of influence from, or reaction to, a particular style?
6. Does the music have a text? If so, how are music and text related? How does the music reinforce the meaning of the words?
7. Do you know other music by this artist? Does your knowledge of the artist’s other work influence how you perceive this particular work?
8. Does the music seem to evoke something outside itself? For example, does it follow a storyline, or evoke a particular image or idea?
You will need include recording of the music you write about, either in the form of a Youtube or other online link or as an mp3.
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