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Treat your writing as though your words are all i will ever learn about the music you chose.

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This is a short essay project intended to help you become familiar with musical terminology/”the language of music” by putting it to use right away. It’s designed to prepare you for your tests and provide you with practice before writing your concert review report or your research paper. FORMAT: 2-3 pages, Times New Roman font, 12 point, double-spaced ASSIGNMENT: Choose any piece of music of any style to write about. I suggest something you are familiar with/by your favorite artist, or one of your favorite pieces to listen to. Begin with factual information. Tell me who the artist is, who wrote the piece (not necessarily the same person as the artist!), what instruments are being used, when and where the music was recorded, and any other relevant biographical information. Next, describe the music. Tell me what style/genre it is. Use terminology discussed in class. Describe the melody and the rhythm. What emphasis is given to each? Describe the texture and the harmony. What is the form? How do the elements of music help this piece to communicate and express what it intends to? What does the music make you feel and in technical terms HOW does the composition create those feelings when you listen to it? Be specific!!! Finally, create your own “listening guide” in prose. Follow the piece of music through time and describe what is happening. For example: “The song begins with a strong, syncopated rhythm on the synthesizer. This underlying figure repeats as sustained sounds in the high register come in on top. In conjunction with this, a very active, crisp drumbeat on the hi-hat enters. This introduction to the verse is quite long, lasting over a minute into the song. The syncopations and various overlaid rhythms create a sense of confusion and disorientation; a feeling that is later echoed by the lyric in the references to being an outcast as a teenager.” Continue describing the evolution of the piece from beginning to end. Feel free to discuss the lyrics, story, or poetry if there is a vocalist/text, as well as your reaction to the overall piece and how it’s performed. There’s a lot of music in the world, and I don’t know all of it. Tell me everything I need to know about this piece of music as though I’ve never heard it and never will. Treat your writing as though your words are all I will ever learn about the music you chose. Share with me the specifics about this piece of music, describe it in musical terms, and tell me what makes it special to you!

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