This assignment consists of two related parts: 1) a music description and comparison, and 2) a reading summary and response. Both are described below.
Part I: Music Description and Comparison: Write a 1- to 2-page, detailed description and comparison of one of the pair of songs listed below. Your description and comparison should be as detailed as possible, but the details should be organized to reflect their relevance to understanding the historical importance of the examples.
Song Pairs (choose one):
1. Robert Johnson: “Crossroad Blues” vs. Woody Guthrie: “Dustbowl Blues”.
2. Wynonie Harris: “Good Rockin’ Tonight” vs. Chuck Berry: “Maybellene”
3. Howlin’ Wolf: “Smokestack Lightnin’” vs. John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers: “All Your Love’”.
4. Muddy Waters: “Hoochie Coochie Man” vs. Rolling Stones: “Little Red Rooster”
The details you observe should be guided by the following questions:
1. What instruments are used in the examples and how are they played?
2. What are the qualities of the singer’s voices and how are they used in conjunction
with the lyrics?
3. What is notable about the lyrics to the songs, and are there connections between
the lyrics and the music?
4. Do the songs’ dynamics and textures change throughout the songs?
5. How would you describe the songs’ tempos and rhythmic grooves? Are they
important elements to the songs?
6. Are there instrumental solos in the songs? What qualities are demonstrated during
those instrumental solos and how do they fit into the songs as a whole? If there are
no solos, does that seem to be an important part of the songs’ styles?
7. How are the songs organized? Are there contrasting sections or parts that repeat?
8. If there are videos or photographs of the performers, how do the performers act and
move on stage? How are they dressed? Are there connections between these visual
cues and the music?
9. What is the overall emotional affect of the songs and what are the most important
elements in creating that affect?
*Note: Do not organize your description by just going through these questions one by one. Organize your response by the relevance of the details to your song; some of these questions will yield interesting answers for your songs, and some will not.
Part II: Reading Response Assignment:
Assignment: Write a 1- to 2-page summary of one of the course readings listed below. Your summary should be in your own words (not quotes from the readings), and should focus on identifying and explaining the author’s thesis and the evidence they use to support it. Do not just write a “first they said this, and then they say that”
type of paper; instead, summarize the reading as a whole.
Wald, Chapter 12 or 13 ( you can find it as an attachment) please make sure to choose only one chapter.
Important Note #1: In your reading summary, include a paragraph in which you use one or both of the songs you described and compared in Part I of this
assignment to help explain the author’s thesis. You can use your song
example(s) either to help prove the author’s thesis, or to provide a
counterexample. Be sure to include some important detail from your analysis in this paragraph.
Important Note #2: In your reading summary, include some context that indicates how your reading selection fits into the larger work of which your selection is a part. For example, if you choose to summarize Chapter 1 of Wald, indicate how Chapter 1 fits into the other Wald chapters that have been assigned.
Formatting and Length: Use 12-point type in a standard font (Arial or Times), double-spaced, with 1” margins.
I’ll attach the readings and also I’ll attach an example for an A paper from an old assignment. Do not treat this model as a template; there are many different ways an “A” paper can be written, and this is just one example.
Also, make sure to choose only one pair from the songs and choose one chapter from the readings.
Please follow each step in the description and if you have any question please let me know.
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