For this final writing assignment of the term, you will be going beyond writing short essays to writing a research paper. You are asked to do background research (outside of course books and materials) on one single composer and his or her time period. Using evidence from the musical composition itself along with your background research write a 6-8 page research essay explaining how the composer reflected – or did not reflect – the particular historical and cultural environment. Please do not just summarize the composer’s life. Instead, in this essay you should seek to integrate relevant biographical material with your discussion of the music.
You may wish to consider such questions as: What were the identifying characteristics of the composer’s music, especially as shown in this composition which you are analyzing? What were the identifying characteristics of the music and the folk music of the country and time period? How do these characteristics mesh and influence one another?
This last Essay assignment is designed to synthesize or bring together your understandings of both environmental contexts and specific musical characteristics as you describe a musical work in its historical-biographical context. Please apply concepts and terms you have learned throughout the course in your essay. If relevant, you may quote from various resources (books, essays, online) etc. in your essay writing. Use APA format. You must attribute quotes and source use a simple footnote structure.
Use the following format for the research paper as your “guide”. Note the word “guide” because you may find a need, given the specific topic you have selected, to modify. Remember that this is a research paper – not a longer version of an essay. The research paper should contain the following format: Title page, Purpose of Study, Opening Statement, Assumption or Hypothesis, Discussion of Findings, Recommendations, Conclusion/Summary, and Reference Page.
The musical piece of choice is The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky.