"Music / Musicians / Instruments" Essays

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Jazz Gillespie Live in '58: Analyzing Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,121 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0



Gillespie Live in '58: Analyzing and Appreciating a Historic Jazz Concert

The live performance given in Belgium in 1958 by Dizzy Gillespie and some notable band mates is both historically important, helping to solidify the spread of modern jazz to Europe, and aesthetically pleasing today. Despite being a half-century old, the sounds that this group produces still sound fresh, causing almost any listener to start toe-tapping and finger-snapping. Joining Gillespie on his ubiquitous trumpet are Sonny Stitt on saxophones (tenor and alto), Lou Levy at the piano, Ray Brown on bass and Gus Johnson on the drums, and this quintet puts modern jazz through its paces with a variety of songs and sounds. The varying roles that each player and instrument has in each song demonstrates the level of mastery that each of these musicians brings to the group and the performance.

Blues After Dark

A mute solidly in his upward-slanting trumpet, Gillespie is joined by Stitt on the tenor sax as they begin "Blues After Dark" by playing the simple melody in unison, with Lou Levy's piano breaking in only to fill the spaces between the sparse melodic spurts provided by the fronting duo. The song gives way relatively quickly to a solo by Gillespie, during which Gus Johnson's drums become slightly more noticeable if only for their almost non-presence under the lightly brushed strokes of the restrained percussionist. Neither Johnson nor Brown ever move out of the basic rhythm section on this piece, and Levy's piano also remains primarily in the background though without the strong rhythm of a stride piano or of the bass and drums. After Gillespie's solo, throughout which Stitt stands silently to the side, the saxophonist steps to center stage for his own solo, which Gillespie punctuates with short blasts on occasion before standing aside and letting Stitt take over. Johnson has moved from brushes (or a brush) to sticks at some point, and the song picks up intensity ever so slightly under his insistence.

His solo completed, Stitt steps off to join Gillespie on the sidelines while Levy enjoys a brief yet relatively tame solo, interesting becoming more predictable in its rhythm -- a heavier left hand more reliably hitting every downbeat -- before the horn players come back to the melody. Levy again fills the silences, though with les improvisation and much greater simplicity. Throughout these final repetitions of the melody, the bass and rums have become all but invisible, with Johnson again relying on his brushes to provide just a whisper of sound and with Brown's bass contributing an undercurrent to the subdued chords of Levy's piano. Gillespie's solo is the clear standout here, beginning with an ornamented version of the melody before breaking into a counterpoint melody and then indulging in loud blasts and fast chromatic trills and including melodic nods to other songs. This highly successful solo is reminiscent of Armstrong and points of things to come from Miles Davis. By returning the listener to earth with an… [read more]

Miles Davis and Modern Jazz Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,833 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


[...] Miles' performance tradition emphasized orality and the transmission of information and artistic insight from individual to individual. His position in that tradition, and his personality, talents, and artistic interests, impelled him to pursue a uniquely individual solution to the problems and the experiential possibilities of improvised performance (Nettl & Russel, 1998).

Musical References

"Miles Davis and Quincy Jones -- Live in Montroeux." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMqWHkvP_1s

"Miles Davis -- Kind of Blue." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB669XXjnUg

"Miles Davis -- Out of the Blue." www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5D6YX8jqN8&playnext=1&list=PLC185D2985024BC66&feature=results_main

"Miles Davis -- Milestones." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRfdlcQ_MZw


Remembering Miles. (1991, November 12). Retrieved March 2013, from The Rolling Stone Archieves: http:/www.rollingstone.com/Desktop?s=1991111428#/19911114/44

Miles Davis. (2006, June). Retrieved March 2013, from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Indusction: http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/miles-davis

House Resolution 894 Honoring the 50th Anniversary of "Kind of Blue" and Reffirming Jazz as a National Treasure. (2009, December 15). Retrieved March 2013, from clerk.house.gov: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll971.xml

Cook, M., et al. (2002). The Cambridge Companion to Jazz. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Davis, G., & Sussman, L. (2006). Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books.

Gioia, T. (2006). The History of Jazz. new York: Oxford University Press.

Mandell, H. (2008). Miles, Ornett, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. New York: Routledge.

Mingus, C. (1955, November 30). An Open Letter to miles Davis. Retrieved March 2013, from Downbeat Magazine: http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com/Mingus/miles_davis.html

Nettl, B., & Russel, M. (Eds.). (1998). In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Taylor, A. (1993). Notes and Tones. New York: Da Capo Press.

Common Abbreviation… [read more]

Hip Hop Culture in Saudi Arabia Research Paper

Research Paper  |  15 pages (4,627 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 10


Hip Hop Culture in Saudi Arabia

Culture and globalization

Culture which refers to the symbolic systems Williams 91()

through which human beings exist and coexist has been globalized by taking ideas, values and meanings across national borders through international travel and the Internet. These global shifts in culture are seen to be creating rapid social changes in the society with… [read more]

American Idol Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (645 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


The author then continues to argue that the show has changed the public's musical tastes through its diverse song choices and its explorations of various genres. While it may be true that the show has the ability to make past songs popular again and provides an example of Whitney Houston and how a person may be exposed to her music because of the show, there is no evidence in the form of statistics given to support the author's claims, thus making these claims seem less credible.

Additionally, the author comments on how the show has made the industry more profitable because of its ability to profit from the contestants in addition to the original artists. However, the explanation given does not make sense, and that author fails to demonstrate how the music industry profits from the re-release of music beyond actual music sales.

Lastly, the author comments on the show's star power citing Carrie Underwood's success as well as David Archuleta, who was a runner up. David Archuleta is not a strong case for people that did not win because he was a runner-up meaning that it is implied he would have a successful career ahead of him. This paper would have been even more successful if the author had provided an example of an individual who was not in the top 5, but rather if the author had chosen someone like Jennifer Hudson, who placed 7th and went on to become a successful recording artist and Academy Award winner.

Overall, I believe too much praise is given to "American Idol" and the essay does not take into account the negative impact the show may have on the original artists, how it discounts the efforts of people that have been struggling to "make it" for years, and the strict regulations imposed by the show that prevent certain individuals from auditioning simply because they are too old, or too…… [read more]

Discovering Statistics Music Valence Lab Report

Lab Report  |  8 pages (2,203 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Just by looking at the data it is apparent that there could be significant differences between different conditions. The arithmetic means are shown graphically in Figure 1 and the difference between genders is statistically significant [F (1, 24) = 140.8, p < .001). The interaction between gender and music groups was also significant [F (2, 24) = 11.8, p <… [read more]

Jazz "Blues After Dark," Feat Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,029 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


The saxophone is occasionally staccato, but mainly smooth, dancing around the bass notes. Brushes can be heard in the background, with the occasional cymbal. The saxophone solo is long, and nuanced, moving through various registers. Occasionally, Stitt packs in several notes into a bar, and sometimes fewer.

There is also a trumpet solo in "Sunny Side of the Street" that starts delicately with thin high notes. The bass responds with thin, high notes. This solo does not necessarily have a lot of structure. It allows the basic structure of the song to remain…while laying on top a curiously thin upper register melody, before Gillespie changes the height of the mike. Even then, the muted trumpet works and then suddenly, unexpectedly, the vocals kick in "sunny side of the street," and both Gillespie and Stitt are singing.

Performance: "Loverman," Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (tenor saxophone), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Gus Johnson (drums). In Belgium 1958

Style = Ballad BeBop

Role of Piano = Comping

Role of the Bass = Comping

Role of the Drums = Brushing

Role of the Saxophone = Lead and Melody

"Loverman" is very slow and languid, but it leaves the listener with a deep emotional impact. The title, "Loverboy," does suggest that there is a love song written here.

Performance: "Blues Walk." Dizzy Gillespie Quintet Live in Belgium 1958 with Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet) Sonny Stitt (tenor saxophone), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Gus Johnson (drums)

Style = BeBop

Role of Piano = Stride and Comping

Role of the Bass = Walking

Role of the Drums = Brushing and Riding; he uses mallets at the beginning in a more aggressive way

Role of the Trumpet and Saxophone = Lead and Melody

The first solo is the saxophone. Stitt plays a continuous flow of notes, barely stopping to breathe. The piano accompanies with some punctuation. A walking bass line also plays sixteenth notes. In fact, the title of the song could easily refer to the walking bass line. Toward the end of the saxophone solo, the phrasing changes briefly and it has an overall improvised feel.


This performance was enlightening in the sense that is shows the role of different instruments in the bebop jazz performance. I especially appreciated the way that in "Blues After Dark," the song begins and ends in much the same way. The effect like alpha and omega makes the listener feel a sense of wholeness and completion. I was able to listen to "Blues After Dark" over and over again for the assignment and not get tired of listening to it. It is a very well composed song that I hope to emulate as I develop my own skills as a composer.

Listening to bebop, I can see why people appreciate jazz. There are many types of jazz that I do not care for as much as this type. The arrangements are simple here. There is some improvisation, but not too much that the song does nowhere. Instead, the… [read more]

Listening "Blues After Dark." Belgium Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,214 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Role(s) of bass: The bass serves to provide a deep baseline, keeping the overall sound downbeat and somber.

Role(s) of drums (including sticks or brushes or mallets): Use of brushes at beginning creates a very light sound as the sax plays.

Role(s) of horn players: The alto saxophone is the primary instrument in this piece. Much of the time, the other players are not even touching their instruments in fact.

In Greater Detail:

For your selected solo within this song:

Identify the Solo: Saxophone played by Sonny Stitt

How did the solo progress from beginning to end?

The solo begins the song with a downbeat, torch song sound to it, picking up tempo to the point where it is a series of runs before the song ends.

Was the solo successful? Why or why not?

The solo was not successful because it took up the entirety of the song and did not allow for the real emotion to carry through, although it was successful at the start of the song.

What was your emotional response to it?

The beginning of the song was emotional in that it carried a deep, depressing sound to it. It seemed that the player was missing someone or lacking something but then when the sax player continued into his runs, that feeling of sadness disappeared into a complex series of notes which confused the emotion.

4. "Blues Walk"

Belgium 1958 ~ Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (tenor and alto sax), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and Gus Johnson (drums)

Style(s) of the piece: blues; upbeat jazz (Afro-Cuban Jazz)

Role(s) of piano: It is hard to make out the piano amid the other more powerful sounds, indicating that its function is to create a rainbow of musical textures until the point of his own solo.

Role(s) of bass: The bass keeps the upbeat tempo and serves to dovetail the prevailing drum.

Role(s) of drums (including sticks or brushes or mallets): The drum is very prevalent in this song, setting the tempo and elevating it to a jubilant song.

Role(s) of horn players: The horn and sax perform the function of the vocals of the piece, singing with their instruments.

In Greater Detail:

For your selected solo within this song:

Identify the Solo:

How did the solo progress from beginning to end?

Which soloist(s) heard in class did it remind you of?

Was the solo successful? Why or why not?

What was your emotional response to it?

Conclusion: Emotional Response to the overall performance: Was it pleasing to you? Why or why not?

In the overall performance of Dizzy Gillespie and his ensemble, the musicians play their instruments with real power and true emotion. Consequently, the person listening to the pieces has no choice but to feel what the musicians are experiencing. When the music is sad, the audience is sad. When the music is joyous, so is the audience. This is the case for any truly beautiful music.

Works Cited:

"Loverman." YouTube. YouTube, 15 Jan.… [read more]

Sonny's Outline James Baldwin Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (4,114 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Later, Sonny left Harlem in order to escape from the heroin use, but was unable to run from his dark feelings. He says, "The reason I wanted to leave Harlem so bad was to get away from the drugs. And then, when I ran away, that's what I was running from" (101). Upon his release from jail he is finally… [read more]

Concert Review: "Jazz Legends: Arturo Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,366 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Here, Sandoval's career flourished" (Gullard 2012). Without prior knowledge of this history, however, the viewer would not be cognizant of the tune's special meaning for Sandoval. There is little interaction with the audience in terms of wordplay, and the music is allowed to speak for itself. Except for Sandoval's bright shirt, the other musicians are not particularly dressed up for the concert.

However, even if a listener were unaware of the name of the song or Sandoval's personal relationship with Gillespie, he or she would be able to perceive some 'ghosts' of Dizzy's music. It is during this piece that Sandoval is at his most showy during the performance. He plays notes in rapid succession, some impossibly high, others impossibly low, and leads the band on a cacophonous roll. He puts down the trumpet at one point to engage in a bit of wordless 'patter' singing that is not characteristic with the rest of the concert, but embodies the type of 'big band' style that defined Dizzy Gillespie's career. Using his tongue and teeth as well as his voice, the audience breaks into gales of laughter and applause until finally Sandoval allows the band to take over again and the music returns. This shows an artist at the height of his confidence and powers, to allow for such 'out of the box' thinking in terms of how to present a song. Evoking another famous artist shows a great deal of confidence on the part of Sandoval as well as respect, and Sandoval rises to the challenge he has set for himself.

The main trumpet solo of "Nights in Tunisia" yields another striking example of allowing the trumpet to 'talk' to the audience. Sandoval's fingers fly; there is a crescendo of rapidly-escalating notes. Sandoval thanks the audience, generously and warmly, but briefly, as he begins to play the softer warmer sounds of the song's conclusion. The song does convey a sense of what a night out might be -- anticipation, excitement, followed by a quiet, peaceful end. The final notes ebb away as gently as a sunset. The mood is more restrained than "Blues for Dizzy" and the song is more elegant in its presentation. The contrasting songs show two sides of Sandoval's character -- one the consummate performer and entertainer (like Dizzy) the other the consummate musician.

Although less well-known for his jazz piano, Sandoval is an equal virtuoso at this instrument. "I Remember Clifford" features him beginning on the piano, caressing the keys in a solo. The tune is meditative rather than ostentatious. The audience is more restrained as this song plays, but is clearly listening attentively as Sandoval sways gently with the music as he plays.

"Rene's Tune" marks a complete change of pace. Sandoval introduces it with characteristic brevity -- suddenly the drums just begin. The beat is Latin in sound and makes the listener want to dance. Sandoval plays the drums seemingly without effort, and switches just as naturally and confidently to the trumpet. After the… [read more]

Music and the Internet Essay

Essay  |  9 pages (3,319 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


All of this in a device the size of a pack of cards."[footnoteRef:5] This fact can only help move us, music, and the digitalized transfer of music forward, as many download more and more, faster and faster, and as more technology is created, humanity thus advances. [5: Shane Richmond, 2011. Happy 10th birthday to the iPod - the little machine… [read more]

Rap Music - A Soundtrack Essay

Essay  |  17 pages (5,566 words)
Bibliography Sources: 17


As a result, rap has been like a cultural virus, spreading its sounds, attitude, and images throughout all cultures (social and political bodies).

DJ Kool paved a leeway for hip hop culture across the entire world, for the new rap artists such as "Grandmaster Flash." DJ Grandmaster Flash together with his group of the "Furious Five" were great innovators of… [read more]

Music There Is an Old Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,178 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


In fact, contemporary music can be a way of bringing a subculture to society's awareness, a way of legitimizing a subculture. Music is an essential thread in the fabric of every culture and subculture. It memorializes the culture, distills its essence, and offers it a path to the future.

How does one judge the cultural strength of any particular style of contemporary music? One can look to anthropology, which evaluates customs according to their ability to foster the emotional involvement of participants. It should communicate clearly the message and meaning of the music -- which should have relevance to that particular culture. It should foster group identity and social cohesion, a sense of belonging, and it should have integrity. If it has true integrity, it will inspire new compositions and further strengthen the culture.

A good example of contemporary music that served our culture well were the anthems and songs sung on 9/11/2001. A few songs were chosen again and again at ceremonies, gatherings, commemorations and fundraisers, and these songs had an even greater impact than the American flags that were waved in so many towns, in so many homes across the country. Although we have a national anthem, and a beautiful one, simpler songs often won the day. "God Bless America" could not be more homespun in its words and simple melody. Like a poem of the people, it inspires and reverberates through the cultural fabric. Another song that was almost always performed was "America the Beautiful." The melody is simple and memorable, the words evoke the majesty and myth that is America -- her spacious skies, her amber waves of grain -- and the song inspires emotions that very few Americans can resist. High-minded classicists may say these are not truly great pieces of composition, but they satisfy all the requirements of true folk music, of music that has meaning.

One of the most interesting aspects of contemporary music is that it is so inventive. It is not bound by strict forms -- as sonatas or symphonies, ballads or hymns once were. Contemporary music can use any instrument from around the world, as well as invented instruments created by computers and digital synthesizers. For instance, the genre called 'new classical music' tries to infuse classical music with the energy of contemporary culture. New classicists may compose for traditional instruments like violins and flutes, but they compose for the spirit of today. One such band, NEO, which contains classically trained instrumentalists, advertises itself this way: "Fusing pop culture with classical technique, NEO-grabs your attention with infectious melody, driving rhythm, and a dynamic performance style which rivets from beginning to end." New classicists often play with a dynamic performance style - standing up, and at times using multi-media technology and collaborating with art forms like dance. If surprise is the essence of artistic pleasure, then contemporary music has the greatest license to constantly surprise us, and it often does so. There is more good contemporary music than any of us… [read more]

Ups and Downs of Russian Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,139 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


He defined how "social realism" should be applied to the music composed so there would be no misunderstanding. "Social realism' meant highly conventional premodernist forms and a banal, propagandistic content, avoiding any critical treatment of actuality (as in Western 'realist' arts) and instead depicting what Soviet life was supposed to be or would someday be" (Daniels 181-182).

In other words, "music was to follow the traditional (that is, nineteenth century) forms and the content was expected to be optimistic and hortatory. Pessimism, introspection, and serious social criticism -- not to mention religious subjects and political dissent -- were firmly repressed" (Daniels 311).

Stalin had squelched creativity and individuality and traded those things for the heroic classics.

Dmitry Shostakovitch lost favor with Stalin when he composed his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which vividly portrayed the position of women in pre-revolutionary Russia. Women were regarded very highly back in those days, as were the three empresses who were mentioned in this paper. Shostakovitch's opera was banned in 1936 for its "jarring, irritating, and affected intonations" (Spector 518). Shostakovitch redeemed himself by composing the Fifth Symphony two years later. After that, he was in hot water again when he composed the Eighth Symphony because of its "subversive ideological content" (Gunther 412).

After the Stalin years, the strict guidelines relaxed and creative freedom was loosened. Leadership did continue to frown on foreign influences and did continue to encourage social realism, but they allowed outside musicians, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and American violinist Isaac Stern, to entertain the Russian masses.

Phonograph records were available and in demand, but the Russians wanted more music. They had an insatiable appetite for music. Black market prices for American jazz was extraordinary, an average of one hundred dollars for a single record. The black market recordings "were taken on tape from Voice of America or other broadcasts, and then reproduced on discs made of discarded X-ray plates salvaged from the hospital (Gunther 322).

Enter Mikhail Gorbachev and perestroika in March 1985. His idea was to toss out the old method of doing things and usher in a new way. The feeling of freedom spread everywhere and it spread into music as well.

Here is an example of a political song that used to be sung secretly, but with Gorbachev reforms, it could be sung out loud:

Grass is green there And Stalin's eagles

Eat shish kebab and fine chocolates

Behind seven fences.

Bodyguards and informants

Protect them from the people.

They make us watch films

About factories and collective farms

And at night, they watch imported films about whores,

And they like Marilyn Monroe" (Smith 108).

Here is another example of a political song that was created in the Gorbachev era and sung out loud:

Perestroika, perestroika

Our new GenSek [Party Leader],

Powerful or not,

Goes from one unfinished stroika [construction site] to another.

The dumbfounded foreigners are naive about him, my brothers.

The foreign serenaders sing and toast to Russia" (Smith 108).

The Russians had… [read more]

Classical and Popular Music Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,720 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


We hardly pay attention to the role of electronic media in music and thus fail to detach the real from the unreal. We accept things as they are presented to us without ever questioning their authenticity.

In short, the reality and unreality of music is just one way Pynchon chooses to comment on the invalidity of many theories, values, customs, beliefs and the reality that they all give birth to. In the case of music, he has chosen technology as the metaphor for everything that blurs the reality and replaces it with things insubstantial and less original. (Slade 1974)

Works Cited

Hans, James S., Emptiness and plenitude in "Bartleby the Scrivener" and 'The Crying of Lot 49.'. Vol. 22, Essays in Literature, 09-22-1995, pp 285(15).


Joel Stein, The Case For Thomas Pynchon., Time, 07-09-2001, pp 50.

Joseph Slade, Writers for the 70s: Thomas Pynchon, New York, 1974.

Larry Swindell, Pynchon's corpulent 'Gravity' may make readers sink, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11-21-1996, pp 07E.

Matthew Eklund, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, The Explicator, 07-01-2001, pp 216

Pynchon, Thomas, Gravity's Rainbow, New York: Viking, 1973

Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49 New York: Penguin,…… [read more]

Music of the Twentieth Century Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,016 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


One composer, Berlioz, did not use a piano like most romantic composers; he used other instruments, and helped move the music to a new level. One critic said of Berlioz, "He knew the instruments, their capabilities and limitations, and he opened new avenues of tonecolor, discovered the relation between different emotions and instrumental timbres, and created a new orchestral language" (Bauer and Peyser 47). This willingness to grow and change musically is a common thread throughout musical history, and shows how experimentation in one century can lead to change and growth in another. Creating more "modern" classical music in the Nineteenth Century led directly to more experimentation in the Twentieth. Berlioz's work opened up doors for other composers to explore and invent, including masters such as Liszt, Wagner, and Bizet.

Composers have always been revered by society, and the part they play in the social fabric of a time is incredibly significant. The music of Copland and Gershwin embodies an age in American culture, just as the music of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman embodies another time and place. Good composers can "feel" the time and place, and create music that embodies the spirit of the country and the people. This was never more evident than after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when people suddenly wanted to hear patriotic melodies, and several composers complied by writing touching tributes to America and the victims of the attacks. Composers have always created music that spoke of the people and the times, and as such, they are mirrors of society, and change in society. Jazz came about because the lifestyle of the people was changing, and they needed music that reflected these changes. Rap came about for the same reason, and so did rock and roll. All of these forms of music came about at the right time. Composers recognized the societal changes, and were not afraid to change with them.

Music can touch a place in a person's soul, and this is another reason composers who can feel what the people are feeling are so important. Music is woven into the fabric of our lives. We marry to special music, are buried with special music, and remember certain music of the past by the memories it evokes. Music, and the people who write it, are a vital part of society at every level, and at every stage in a person's life. We tend to look back at the music of our youth with fondness, which is one reason music of the past can sometimes resurge, such as the current cult popularity of swing bands, such as Big Bad Voo Doo Daddies, Manhattan Transfer, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

In conclusion, music has always evolved and changed how we listen to it. One critic said, "Reviewing the popular music of the twentieth century as a whole, most people would probably agree that some of it is excellent, some unbearable, and most of it very indifferent" (Van der Merwe…… [read more]

Negro Spirituals and the Development Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (3,512 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The theories about the origin of jazz are many. The most commonly accepted theory is that it originated in New Orleans. This was a result of many influences including African polyrhythms, European classical and American Negro spirituals. This then spread rapidly in the turn of the century culture, and within two decades it had become the most popular form of… [read more]

Rap Music and Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,272 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Fields contrasts this paradigm with the one by Eminem and others. The latter choose the values of their childhood not only in their music, but also in their lifestyle and behavior. While this is valuable in terms of raising public awareness regarding the conditions breeding such values, it is also destructive in terms of cultivating and encouraging rebellion, substance abuse and prejudice in society. Teenagers and young adults, who make the largest base of fans for rap artists, are naturally rebellious and identify with the brutality in this music. Thus, the more brutal and more explicit the lyrics, the higher the number of fans is likely to be.

On the other hand, some artists have shown that, while the brutality, violence and depravity present in society can be acknowledged, this can also be used to create a more positive outlook. A Tribe Called Quest for example has devoted an album to love instead of sex or drugs. The members of the "Tribe" originate from Brooklyn and Queens, environments from which typical rappers could say to emerge. For their art, this group relies on exploratory rhythms and art that is honest while it is wholesome. Following in their footsteps are De La Soul, Monie Love, The Jungle Brothers, and others (Ehrlich).

What is striking about the new movement of rappers is their honesty relating to social shortcomings. They do not attempt to hide the realities of the above-mentioned childhood worlds that some are forced to grow up in. In this way they differ from Sinatra, who gave the illusion of sophistication while denying the paradigm of his childhood world. Instead A Tribe Called Quest and those following in their footsteps focus on healing rather than hardening and rebelling (Ehrlich). This is then a healing without the denial of brutality. Brutality is acknowledged for what it is: a defense mechanism against a society that has been unfair to a certain portion of humanity for lifetimes. Yet, this is then replaced by a more acceptable paradigm of healing and moving forward with a life that is profitable and sustainable.


Rap music has a huge body of fans. The age group of these fans is mostly teenager and young adult. Thus, to replace a paradigm of violence with one of acceptance and healing is vital for the future of peace in society. Internet statistics show that the portion of rap fans spending money on purchases of music far exceed that of other music genres (Rapmusic.com).

A conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings revealed that rap music was most popular among Internet music purchasers. In fact, rap music held the top position of likelihood to be purchased by online music enthusiasts. Of all Internet users, music lovers were 111% more likely than the average surfer to purchase rap music. Dance and club music received 106% in this category, with alternative rock at 77. When translated to numbers, 31 million active Internet users purchased music during the 30 days preceding the survey (Rapmusic.com). It is therefore obvious that… [read more]

Child Psychology Music and Brain Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (2,774 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


McDonnell foundation is upset that the motivation for music education is being hijacked. "If our intent is to use science and research to form policy, to guide educational practice and to give parents assistance, it's incumbent on people putting forth those arguments to get the science right. If they choose not to get the science right, if they choose to… [read more]

Latin American Music Industry Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,994 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


"Consumers increasingly are seeking the instant gratification of free downloads, and the ability to burn those downloads to blank CDs offers even more personalization and choice. The primary message of the CD burner is the consumer doesn't want to be straight jacketed into buying a prepackaged CD. I think what we're seeing is not only the death of the physical… [read more]

Charlie Parker Music Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (8,078 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


These houses also normally employed a solo piano player who was called "Professor" by the girls. Jelly Roll Morton had also taken up employment as a professor and that had resulted in his being kicked out from his family. The importance of New Orleans as the center for Jazz ended when Storyville was closed down by the Navy. But, by… [read more]

Cajun Music it Is Impossible Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (539 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The most significant Creole contribution has been the Zydeco, "a distinctly black Creole music known for its blending of French songs and African-Caribbean rhythms," and heavily influenced the Deep South rhythm and blues (Louisiana Pp). Cajun and Creole music have contributed much to the state's culture, including Cajun dance music, with two-steps, waltzes, and haunting ballad; Creole Zydeco music, with its African influence; and beginning in the early 1950's, a unique cultural mix created a regional variation of rhythm and blues music called 'swamp pop' that has become common throughout South Louisiana (Louisiana Pp). Swamp pop is a combination of rhythm and blues with Cajun and black Creole music, and country and western, and is characterized by a strong horn section and honky-tonk piano (Louisiana Pp). Dance halls abound with Cajun and Creole music for tourists and locals alike (Louisiana Pp).

Lafayette, Louisiana, host to the Le Cajun Music Awards Festival and the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival, is the heartbeat of Acadia and where one truly feels the pulse of Cajun Country with its cultural blends of unique heritage and contemporary sophistication (Lafayette Pp). "Born out of the enduring spirit of the Acadians and Creoles, Cajun and Zydeco music is as much a part of the landscape as meandering bayous and moss-draped oaks" (Lafayette Pp).

Works Cited

Cajun & Zydeco Music


Cajun 1


Louisiana's Traditional Cultures


Lafayette The Heart of French Louisiana

http://www.lafayettetravel.com/culture/history/heart_of_louisiana.cfm… [read more]

New Orleans as a Focal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (2,241 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Morton was born in New Orleans to a French Creole family. His real name was Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe. Jazz experienced many changes during the 1930's and Morton faded into seclusion. In 1938, folklorist Alan Lomax recorded many interviews with Morton for the Library of Congress. Morton recounted his experiences in jazz while demonstrating the music on the piano. The interviews… [read more]

Jazz as a Musical Tradition Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (984 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


And there are jazz schools in Trondheim (Norway) and in Hanoi. The International Association of Jazz Educators conducts larger and more culturally inclusive conventions each year.

For these reasons I do not believe that Jazz can be monopolized by a single culture either inside or outside the United States. Whereas in American culture the musical form started with the African-American tradition, it has grown to become so much more. As mentioned above, it belongs to everyone to be used as a means of expression, like language. I also do not believe that jazz will ever be replaced on a wholesale basis. Instead it involves and is pliable to become integrated in the consciousness of whichever time it is serving. This is then also the reason why this musical genre is so timeless.

The reasons why jazz appears to be old-fashioned to some is because the evolution of this music is mistaken for replacement. The avant-garde form of jazz has not replaced traditional, classical jazz. They are simply different forms of the same music genre, speaking to different generations. I do not believe that the older forms of jazz will ever completely die. There will always be those playing or listening to such music, as there are those still reading Shakespeare centuries after his death. Older forms of jazz are becoming classic, whereas newer forms are continually springing up to inspire the enthusiastic up and coming jazz musician not only for the year 2004, but for many decades into the future.

I do not believe that jazz has ever lost its position among its fans. It should be recognized that, like all art, jazz needs to evolve in order to truly live. If, as purists would want, older forms of jazz were to be the only accepted jazz, it would certainly die and eventually be replaced by other forms of music. Jazz is however far too much a living genre for this to happen.

Nobody either writes or talks like Shakespeare anymore. This does not mean that great writers have not learned from him or that readers are not inspired. The same is true of jazz. The classical forms will remain timeless, while simultaneously guarding its message for the generation that created it. Avant-garde and other jazz musicians would therefore be foolish to deny being able to learn from it.

Jazz is a flexible, lively form of music that cannot help but evolve with the times and the needs expressed by the culture of the time. This is why I believe both the present and the future of jazz in all its forms is a resounding success. Indeed, jazz music can be compared to any evolving form of life. While the past is no longer directly relevant to the present, it remains a vital part of the organism as it exists in the present and will exist in the future. Jazz has not died; it is hardly at the beginning…… [read more]

Music Culture: Congado Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,070 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Repiques: Variations that are extreme in nature creating breaks from the original pattern of rhythm.

The repique temporarily transforms the basic pattern's nature. Generally the basic pattern is maintained by one drummer with another drummer or two playing the repique which results in a polyrhythmic structure. The "rhythmic behavior that is the functional complementaries of the groups in the ceremonies of Congado is evidenced on the musical level." The hierarchy determined that the Congo would be the initiator of the parades with Mocambique leading the royalty.

The drums each have a different pitch with the Marcacao being played by the drum of higher pitch while the Requesta is played by the other two lower pitched drums in the ceremony.

The Marcha Lenta, or "slow march" and Marcha Grave, or "grave march" have ritual functions quite different from one another which somewhat put limitations on the allowance of repiques. The more solemn part of the Congo ceremony as well as the mournful parts are both led by the Marcha Lenta and this is done without repiques in the rhythm. Performed in the parades and allowing repiques, the Marcha Grave is in tempo faster than the Marcha Lenta.

The basic patterns of rhythm are easily distinguished in the Mocambique due to the fact that at least one performer plays the base with other performing the repiques. However, in the Congo repiques are faster than those of the Mocambique are however the variation in the Mocambique are heavy with meaning and through their power the Candombe becomes emergent. In Lucas' account of the Congado Captain Joao Lopes from Jatoba states that:

Mocambique is a part of Candombe!"

This statement seems to serve as a reminder that the entirety of the ceremony is in relation to the creation story. The allowance of variation is noticeable in other group specifics especially instrumentation. The culture's music is undeniably connection to the music and is of a higher nature than the entertaining sector of music. The rhythm line of the Marcacao starts with a quarter rest and the rhythm line of the Requesta begins with a quarter note. Then follows two eighth notes played by the Marcacao, then two eighth notes played by the Requesta and finally two eighth notes by the Marcacao comprising one measure of the song.


The music is deeply expressive with the dance or choreography demonstrating passages of time. The music that is played in the Congado is sacred, belonging only to the rituals and is never played except for that purpose. The pageantry is of a nature that without having experienced it one can hardly give a deserving description and the essence of the music is not of the nature that words would do justice in the telling.


Glaura, Lucas (2002) "Music Rituals of Afro-Brazilian Religious Groups with the Ceremony of Congado." Yearbook for Traditional Music.

Glaura, Lucas (2002) "Music Rituals of Afro-Brazilian Religious Groups with the Ceremony of "Congado" Yearbook for Traditional Music

World…… [read more]

Concerts Across Time the Performer Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,003 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


The principle difference in the role of concerts between the Baroque era and the contemporary one is that in contemporary society, pop music concerts are an occasion for concert goers to release themselves -- to unwind and enjoy the music. Again, there was more formality associated with baroque concerts so, although there was some degree of pleasure involved on the part of concert goers, the occasion was altogether serious and considered highly valued art. In comparison, concerts are principally a venue for listeners to have fun, enjoy the music, as well as to intermingle and meet people.

The type of people who attended concerts during the baroque period included fairly serious individuals. These included royal personages and members of the government, as well as individuals who were considered high society or high class people. Attending concerts was definitely a privilege during this epoch. However, within contemporary times, concerts are attended by laymen or regular people. There are still some concerts (typically of classical or even Baroque music) in which the upper crust of society -- meaning the wealthy -- are more likely to attend than those who are not socially and monetarily elite. However, for the most part concerts are attended by the general population. The average attenders of a rap music concert, for example, are just regular teenagers and young adults from all walks of life including many different races, nationalities, and religious denomination.

As previously alluded to, people attend concerts within contemporary times as a means of having fun. Also, some go because they feel a really strong connection to particular performing artists. Others go because concerts are simply social events and ways of meeting new people. Some people even go to concerts (especially those which involve certain types of music which is considered subversive) to start trouble, pick fights, and commit crimes. In general, however, people perceive of concerts as a way to have fun for an afternoon and an evening. People frequently like to engage in mind expansion via chemical substances such as alcohol or recreational drugs like marijuana.

New technologies certainly change the way that people experience music. This fact is perhaps best demonstrated by the influence of the internet. The internet -- and other new technologies as well such as digital media, ear pods, and video possibilities -- makes for a much more individualized experience. People no longer have to wait for a radio station or even television station to play their favorite song -- they can instantly access it in a medium in which they are the only ones to hear it at that particular point in time.

Works Cited

AdeleAnne. "Little Baroque Suite." www.dailymotion.com. 2013. Web. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz6v02_ohb-little-baroque-suite-ph-gordon_music

VIP Media. "PJ Morton -- In Concert." www.dailymotion.com. 2010. Web.


WarnerClassics. "Une Fete Baroque." www.dailymotion.com. 2012. Web. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xof2dn_une-fete-baroque-10eme-anniversaire-du-concert-d-astree_music… [read more]

Use of Music Therapy Seminar Paper

Seminar Paper  |  14 pages (4,267 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Blues through History of Slavery and the Clinical Applications of Blues Form in today's therapy

History of American Slavery -- Brief Overview

In the year 1619, first African slaves were transferred to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia. They were brought here to help in the production of crops like tobacco, which were considered to be lucrative.… [read more]

Role of Music in Shaping the Ages Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,345 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


It was used to demonstrate the social and psychological conflicts at a time when the United States was struggling with racism. Fight the Power was used to encourage the African-American community to stand up for their rights amidst racial segregation. The encouragement is evident in its lyrics such as "Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps." The song was primarily an attack on the personifications of the white American ideal and its discriminative culture.

Lil Wayne's Georgia Bush is a song the reflected the mood of the 2000s and rivals any anti-Vietnam song in the 1960s. Lil Wayne produced the song as a sarcastic critique and attack of President George W. Bush and his administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina. It was a representation of the disaster's victim who felt that their country deserted them at their point of need. The hit song was used by the media to represent the discontentment that some victims of Hurricane Katrina felt, especially the affected African-Americans. While the song did not necessarily change the minds of many people, it forced them to acknowledge the plight of millions of people undergoing difficult periods while the government ignored them (Suddath, 2011). With lyrics like "The white people smiling like everything's cool / but I know people who died in that pool / I know people who died in them schools," the media used the song to criticize President Bush's handling of the effects of Hurricane Katrina.


Mass media has become an important part of today's culture that not only entertains but also educates and informs the public to an extent that it is integrated into people's lives (Vivian, 2012). One of the major ways in which the media informs and educates the public is through music. This is primary because of the role of music in social movements and definitive events within a particular period. Generally, music is a medium that has shaped the ages by acting as a representation or reflection of social movements that have existed and evolved. The role of music in shaping the ages is evident in its use to speak for generations and exemplify the existing belief systems.

As evident in this analysis, music has been used to represent the social context in each decade and reflect the primary mood of the public during the specific decade. The lyrics in each of these songs are influenced by the events taking place during the decade. Musicians not only produce the songs to represent their beliefs but also use them as a tool for speaking on behalf of others who share their feelings. In addition, these songs were used as mediums for influencing other beliefs and speaking to the generations in each of the decades.

The other notable component in the analysis is the connections between the decades and commonalities of the social movements based on the people represented. As reflected in Bob Dylan's and Edwin Starr's songs, the connection between the 1960s and 1970s was the effects of war… [read more]

German Culture Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,025 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Early in the 19th century, Richard Wagner was branded as a person for music of the future; he did not like the strict traditional style of German music. He developed leitmotivs that were simple recurring themes found in his operas. His course brought about changes in opera as well as German music in general. The late 19th century saw Vienna continues elevation of its position in European classical music (Joseph, 2012).

In the 20th century there was a split between German and Australian music. In Vienna, Arnold Schoenberg together with his pupils moved along an avant-garde path and pioneered atonal music in 1909 and also twelve tone music within 1923. Composers within Berlin on the other hand took a populist route from the cabaret-like socialist operas to Gebrauchsmusik.

In the second half of the 20th century, West Germany German and Australian music was dominated largely by avant-garde. On the other hand composers in East Germany had ben advised against avant-garde and compose music in keeping with tenets of socialist Realism.

Germany music has many regions that have their own folk music and dance. Most of the 20th century saw a large part of the German culture being appropriated for ruling powers. In East and West Germany, children were taught folk songs called volkslieder. These songs were sunny, popular and optimistic but had very little relation to authentic German folk traditions. Germany went through many changes inspired by American and English root rivals and this saw new songs that featured political activism and realistic sadness, joy and passion being written and performed within the burgeoning folk scene. Some of the popular folk songs in Germany include emigration songs, work songs, and democracy oriented folk songs. There are several types of folk songs in Germany these include Oom-pah which is a type of music played by brass bands and linked to beer halls. Bavaria is folk music that is well-known outside Germany.

German schlager is a form of German music that combines elements of the traditional German music and popular entertainment. These are jolly songs that are mostly apolitical and they address an older audience as opposed to youth oriented pop music. This type of music is common in carnival in cologne or the Oktoberfest in Munich.

Music fans in Germany also listen to English-speaking pop music just like other countries. The pop music scene undergoes frequent changes and only a few bands have been able to maintain their popularity over time. Among the most vibrant and prominent music styles in Germany today is hip hop. There are bands that have taken pride in coming up with German-speaking pop, jazz, hip hop and even reggae (InterNations, 2014).


Joseph, A. (2012). Ten Reasons to love German culture: German Giants of classical Music. Retrieved September, 26 2014 from http://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/ten-reasons-to-love-german-culture-german-giants-of-classical-music-/

InterNations.org. (2014). The German Music scene. Retrieved September, 26 2014 from http://www.internations.org/germany-expats/guide/16030-culture-shopping-recreation/the-german-music-scene-16028

Countriesquest. (2009). Culture, Music. Retrieved September 26, 2014 from http://www.countriesquest.com/europe/germany/culture/music.htm… [read more]

Violin Stringed Instruments of Some Sort Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,013 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Violin

Stringed instruments of some sort or another have been around for millennia. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians knew how to achieve a range of pitches using strings of varying lengths on the same instrument. For the most part, stringed instruments were plucked until the development of the bow by the Islamic and Byzantine cultures in… [read more]

Works of John Coolidge Adams: Music Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,069 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


John Coolidge Adams is one of America's most successful living composers, with his popularity being attributed to personal approach to minimalism, and his ability to produce dramatic works that touch on highly topical subjects. Born in Worchester, Massachusetts on February 15, 1947, Adams took to music at a young age. He learnt to play the clarinet from his father and would often travel to Boston for more training from Felix Viscuglia of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Kirzinger, 2). He would also join his father in playing in the community orchestra and in marching bands, where he learnt the art of conducting. By the time he was ten, he had already began compositions and when he was fourteen, one of his orchestral pieces received its premier, marking the onset of his journey to stardom.

In 1965, Adams went to Harvard University, where he received composition lessons from the likes of David Del Tredici, Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, and Roger Sessions. According to Kirzinger, he had become a well-rounded musician and would often conduct the Bach Society Orchestra, as well as play the clarinet for the Opera Company of Boston and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (2). In fact, he was one of the first students at Harvard to hand in a musical composition as an undergraduate thesis and after he received his undergraduate degree, he advanced to a master of arts, which he was awarded in 1972. He later taught at the San Francisco Conservatory until 1982. This text takes a look at the works of John Coolidge Adams in detail and examines the significant place he occupies in the American musical life, and how eccentric he is for his time.

The works of John Coolidge Adams

Majority of Adams' works often touch on highly topical subjects. For example, one of his works 'On the Transmigration of Souls' in 2002 commemorated the victims of the September 11 attacks and won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. 'Nixon in China' in 1987 recounted Richard Nixon's visit to China back in 1972 and 'Doctor Atomic' in 2005 provided details about the building of the first atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project and Robert Oppenheimer (Kirzinger, 2). 'The Death of Klinghoffer' was also based on the events that took place when the Palestine Liberation Front kidnapped Achille Lauro, a passenger liner, and the brutal murder of Leon Klinghoffer. When working at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Adams managed to build his own synthesizer, and he often paired with young talented musicians to come up with unique pieces of music. Some of the pieces released during this time were: 'Shaker Loops' (1978), 'Harmonium' (1981),'The Chairman Dances' (1985), 'Grand Pianola Music' (1982), 'Harmoniolehre' (1985) and 'Light over Water' (1973) among many others. Each of the pieces was well composed with a minimalist mix of styles and instruments, which earned him the title of one of the most famous composers of all time.

John Coolidge Adams' eccentricity

In addition to Adam's dramatic works and preference for current and… [read more]

Music and Vibration Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (2,603 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


¶ … detecting emotion in music and movement. Specifically, the literature involved in this analysis will focus on children's decoding of emotion in expressive body movement and the modeling of cue attunement. The literature presented in this review will demonstrate that the ideas behind children's learning is significantly based on movement and musical vibration. The literature will also reveal that… [read more]

Music and Creative Process Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,130 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C Minor, the musical voice, theme and variation are defined by the integration of the classical symphony style with Beethoven's style of contrasting musical dissonance and harmony. These elements can be compared to the dissonant yet harmonious style of Virginia Woolf's writing, where she uses colons and dashes to create dissonance which eventually flows into harmony and, consequently, illustrates the desire for balance in the life of female writer. Woolf's writing style can be compared to Beethoven's distinctive four note "short-short-short-long" motif by the insistent use of colons to lengthen the presence of her sentences and set a distinctive dissonance contrasted with the harmony of her words. The insistent use of this common motive separates Woolf from other writers, much like Beethoven's insistent use of dissonance and harmony to demonstrate the balance of themes, variations and voices present in his music. Both evoke the sense of angry energy of a genius, how this dissonance allows for the "freeing of the whole and entire of the work that is in him" which allows for the "incandescent" nature of the creative process.

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C Minor is famous for the use of dissonant chords used in combination with melodious notes throughout the thirty minute piece. While Beethoven relies heavily on the classical structure of symphonies as defined by Haydn and Mozart, he defies this structure by achieving a balance between dissonance and harmony through the variety of voices in instrumentation. A consistent theme present throughout the symphony is the insistent concentration on one motive, which commands the attention of the listener and demonstrates the contrast between the dynamics of loudness and softness throughout the voices of the instruments involved. The musical voices of the symphony are found in the combination of instruments used in each movement and brought out in different themes. The instruments normally used in combination define the dissonant and harmonious aspects of the symphony itself. The instruments present in the symphony are the flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets and strings. These instruments are used in different dynamics of sounds, usually alternating between loudness and softness which suggests the desire of harmonious balance between them.

The presence of the strings instigates the loudness of chords, which is more dissonant to the listener in comparison to the harmonious softness of the horns and violins. The voice of the trumpets and woodwinds in rest of the movements are often dissonant, and which flow classically into harmony as the strings and flutes take over to balance out each movement. The first movement sets a template for the following three movements, where the composer uses variations upon the combination of instruments. One of the most striking characteristics of these movements is the balance between the dissonant and harmonious voices of the instruments. The lyrical work inscribed in the combination of these instruments demonstrates Beethoven's desire for balance in the tenuous unraveling of genius, represented in the seeming life and death struggle between dissonance and harmony.… [read more]

Music a Survey of Culture and Classical Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,591 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6



A Survey of Culture and Classical Music from Bach and Brahms to Ives and Schoenberg

When Henry Simon complained in 1946 of a friend (and others) who believed Mozart's Don Giovanni to be a tragedy, it was telling for two reasons: 1) Mozart's 1787 opera was no tragedy -- but a light comedy, an opera buffa according to the… [read more]

Endangerment of Jazz Music Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,646 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Jazz Endangered Genre

Jazz has a history of being linked to African and black roots and hence always had many obstacles to face in its acceptance as mainstream form of music in White American culture. Jazz music is an endangered genre not because of difficult acceptance but because of the fact that it is not an easy kind of music… [read more]

Impact of Jazz During the Civil Rights Movement Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,779 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Jazz during the Civil Rights Movement

In America, music has a tremendous influence on culture. Part of the reason for this, is because it has the ability to transcend racial and political lines. As the artists, the songs and the ideals that they represent will transform, the way people interact with each other as well as various social… [read more]

Music of the Vietnam War Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (997 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Summer of Our Discontent

Often touted as the generation of peace and love, the 1960s were filled with mass discontent, violent and non-violent protests, and civil unrest. Over the span of a short few years, men such as President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy had been violently assassinated. America found itself at a crossroads and had become involved in conflict overseas that would forever affect the youth of the nation. Tensions were at an all time high among America's youth; their anger and frustration seething in all aspects of life and culture, but none so predominately as in music.

While protest music was not a new phenomenon in the 1960s, the radical shift in subject matter and support greatly impacted society. While many folk singers supported the civil rights movement and advocated their support through their music, as the war in Vietnam began to intensify, they began to shift their attention to the conflict raging overseas.

The genre to which the youth of America was focusing their attention on was also changing. While folk music was airy and "acid rock," youths started to listen more to the "angry, slashing, piercing blues," which was gaining prominence in both America and across the pond in Britain.

The youth began to relate to the music of an oppressed race and embraced the message that was being conveyed. As protests and demonstrations proliferated college campuses across the nation, and more than half a million troops had been sent to and were stationed in Vietnam, blues infused rock music replaced folk music, and aided in the merger between cultural protest and political demonstration.

The more the war raged on, the more music became influenced by the conflict. For the first time in history, protest songs out-numbered pro-war songs, a clear reflection of the overall sentiment towards the United States' involvement in the war. While many songs demonstrated their opposition to the war, other songs advocated the overthrow of the United States' political system.

Songs reflected the unease perceived by the impending draft, and the disparaging accusation of classism loomed over draftees' heads.

Others brought to light the overwhelming casualties suffered and forced Americans to realize that Vietnam was no longer a remote place.

The popularity of Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, and the Rolling Stones was founded on the "ferocious sound and nihilistic and/or anarchic sentiments" found in the musicians' lyrics. Many popular musicians' discontent towards the war stemmed from personal experience, while others were influenced by the tragic outcome of student protestation across the country, specifically the murder of four students at Kent State in Ohio. Notable musicians who served in the Armed Forces during the 1960s include Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox (U.S. Army, 1961-62), Country Joe McDonald (U.S. Navy, 1962-65), Kris Kristofferson (U.S. Army, 1960-65), and John Fogerty (U.S. Army Reserve, 1966-67).

Most of the songs came out during the mid to late 1960s as conflict was escalating and youths were being drafted with…… [read more]

Freedom in Music in "Sonny's Blues Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (1,124 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Freedom in Music in "Sonny's Blues"

"Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin is more than a tale of two brothers, it is a tale of the healing powers of music. The two brothers live different lives with Sonny's brother constantly looking down on Sonny and expressing disgust for his lifestyle. His brother believed he took the moral high ground while Sonny lingered behind in the dark shadows of the city. Sonny, however, learns to live and love music, which gives him a freedom that his brother can only see from a distance. It is not until he experiences him play that begins to understand the importance of music as a tool and escape from life. His experience enlightens him as he undergoes an interpersonal transformation watching Sonny transform before his eyes.

That these brothers come to a moment of interpersonal transformation is amazing because they are so different from one another. Sonny is portrayed as a dreamer and a loser. His brother, on the other hand, believes his life is more fulfilling since he integrate into the white man's world and made a decent living for himself. Sonny suffers because he chose not to take that path in life. He avoided school and fell into drugs. Hicks writes, "Rather than fulfilling himself by assimilating into the mainstream culture and following the American Dream, he chose to immerse himself in the blues world and become a heroin addict" (Hicks). This is significant because it demonstrates that Sonny is responsible for his own decisions. There is probably no one that believes this more than his brother and this gives him reason to look down on Sonny and think the worst of him. He has reason to think he can express or experience something beautiful -- something beyond words. Amazingly, Sonny participates in something his brother cannot even begin to grasp when he delves into music. His brother's pragmatic lifestyle refuses to let him experience such freedom. Hicks maintains, "It is within this portrayal of how individuals react to and deal with their circumstances that we see Baldwin looking both at individual importance and ethnic renewal" (Hicks). The brothers are their own people but they each have a lesson to learn about each other and life in general.

Sonny's life is nothing to which anyone should aspire. He has no real future and he lives in utter hopelessness and helplessness. However, in this dark and shadowed life, Sonny has something his brother does not have. This indescribable thing is powerful and addicting like heroin and the best Sonny cannot even describe it sufficiently. His brother dismisses Sonny's talk about music as he does most of everything else Sonny says or does. This changes when he hears Sonny play. When he experiences the music with Sonny, the things Sonny tried to express to him about music begin to make sense. The brother begins to understand music and he also begins to understand his brother. The freedom Sonny experiences when he is playing is something his… [read more]

Past Innovation the Future Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (634 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Innovation = the Future.

Just one glimpse at the history of the technology of music tells us that Alvin Toffler is correct: the past and innovation certainly equal the future, although whether that future is preferable to the past is arguable.

Three centuries ago, the daughter was still playing piano in her mother's drawing room. Along came Edison with his phonograph in 1877. The phonograph was intended, according to Edison, for recording contracts and business letters, but the future of music intended it to be used otherwise. It was the first 'technical' instrument in the history of the technology of music.

The phonograph changed music in more ways than one. Songwriters shortened their compositions so that they would measure to the size of the record. Singers worked on their voice projection and enunciation; and just as had occurred with the aegis of the publishing industry when people awakened to the diversity of books that flooded the market, so too with the music industry: listeners now became more knowledgeable than ever of the quantity of music titles available for them. The phonograph changed styles and converted people, who had not been so before, into music lovers. Piano sales fell, and instead of people grouped around the player clunking on her piano, they were now craned over the horns of their Victrolas

Since then technological innovations have changed the course of music every quarter of a century or so, and, doing so, have altered the future, at least as far as music is concerned.

In the mid 1920s, for instance, electrical recording -- which made for clearer recording -- paved the way for Bing Crosby and others to introduce the new sound called pop.

After World War II, further innovations led to a dramatic change in the future - so dramatic that Elektra Records founder Jack Holzman called these changes the "Big Bang." The impetus was tape…… [read more]

Uses of Formulaic Language in Music Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,351 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Formulaic Language

The Use of Formulaic Language in Today's Musical Genres: A Comparison of Country and Pop Lyrics

Music is a ubiquitous and universal feature in human culture. Though it can serve as a means of communication and of record keeping in pre-literate societies, this is not music's primary function in most societies or necessarily in any society -- there seems to be something intrinsic to music itself that makes it a necessary component of human culture and society. Something about the rhythms and the melodies of musical expression connect with the brains and/or could of individuals in a way that science is beginning to recognize but will likely never fully explain. Still, the interpretations and conclusions that have been arrived at in regards to music through scientific study are interesting to not, especially in the areas of the "soft" or human sciences that do not have the same rigid cause-and-effect structures of physics, for example.

Many attempts have been made to analyze music in terms of linguistic theory, with music equated to a language with discrete phrases similar in arrangement to sentences with their specific rules of syntax, and with a grammar of melodic and harmonic relationships that produces music that "makes sense" to the ear and the mind. Other scholars have noted that music truly resists this analysis and comparison when viewed objectively, and that it is a human phenomenon as independent and self-contained as any other complex cognitive process or achievement. Regardless of which view is true, the modern era has increasingly seen the mixture of language and music as a means of achieving combined meaning that is more strongly asserted than by either medium independently.

Words and music have long been paired together, of course, and the human voice is likely the oldest musical instrument ever used. From tribal chants that can still be observed in certain cultures in African and the Americas to the epic poems of the ancient Greeks that existed in song form long before they were ever written down, through the use of Hebrew and Latin passages in songs written for prayer -- a practice utilized by many cultures with many linguistic and religious backgrounds -- and the eventual emergence of the popular song that was unrelated to these higher motives and ideals, words and music have gone together in virtually limitless parings. It is not until the modern era, however, that truly different genres of music have competed for attention within a single culture at the same time.

The proliferation of musical styles is obvious to anyone living in a reasonable developed country today; especially in Europe and North America as well as the more "Westernized" countries of other continents, a simple glance around a record store or examination of the plethora of popular music magazines announces the large and diverse importance that individuals ascribe to various musical genres. Rap, Hip-Hop, RnB, Rock and Roll, Alternative, Punk, Funk, Emo, Techno, House, Reggae, Reggaeton…all of these different styles have different followings in… [read more]

Debussy and His Piano Works Research Paper

Research Paper  |  15 pages (3,910 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Debussy and His Piano Works

Claude Achille Debussy and His Piano Works

The Life and Times of Claude Achille Debussy:

During the period in which Claude Achille Debussy lived, the musicians and writers were influenced by some of the academic institutions of their times in their compositions. In order to understand the piano work of Debussy and why he became… [read more]

Downloadable Songs' Effect on the Music Industry Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,003 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7


Music Industry Research

A Research Process Concerning the Web and the Music Industry

If one is to take the music industry as a case study of the changing nature of commerce with the integration of internet technology, there may be evidence to suggest that the retail approaches traditionally taken by many industries may be subject to extinction. The initiation of Napster to the collective consciousness of web-users and lawmakers alike began a new era for the exchange of media on the internet. Though the web had initially been viewed as a popular way for major record companies and compact disc retailers to expand their reach, it would ultimately prove a means to the obsolescence of a physical rendering of a digital recording. Napster was a peer-to-peer-based way to trade digital media such as music and movies already possessed by private users and contained on computer hard drives. Though a court injunction closed its operations, this proved an inflection point for both ecommerce and the music industry. The free exchange of media which formerly commanded imposing profit margins for record companies and retailers alike, had become an increasingly widespread means through which consumers would obtain their music. This is the trend that would drive my personal research process, and would take me through a review of available literature, an investigation into the music consumption habits of those whom I know personally and a direct reflection on my own music consumption habits. Collectively, these sources have revealed a music industry that has been significantly damaged not by the emergence of music downloading patterns but by its own failure to adjust to the changing demands of its buyers.

With respect to these changing demands, the article by Rosenbaum (2007) would be particularly useful in informing my research process. The article in question would discuss the increasingly prevalent willingness of musicians to give away new recordings in exchange for the publicity, proliferation of music, merchandising and touring benefits that come with a well-distributed album. Citing Prince, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, the Rosenbaum article demonstrates that artists are increasingly using the web technology at their disposal to remove the middle man separating musicians from their bases. Though I entered into this process with some understanding of the importance of technological innovation in altering distribution patterns in the industry, it was not until I truly considered the implications of the Rosenbaum article that I began to appreciate how dramatically this changes the business landscape. By removing the need for distribution amongst many of the most prominent and powerful artists, the technology now available has significantly diminished the practical relevance of the record company. Bands are increasingly able to operate successful without the expenses that are often a part of working in the traditional industry mode.

This was particularly highlighted for me in the research by McCready (2008), which examines the legal and accounting implications of working with a major record company. This was certainly the most complex of the articles which I have considered in… [read more]

Beauty of Jazz in the Time of Louis Armstrong Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,827 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Louis Armstrong: Jazz Great

Jazz music exists as music inspired by a set of emotions is significant to music because it captures a cultural emotion and mindset like none other. Born from rugged blues music, jazz is a type of music that is very personal. It represents freedom from the past and it also represents freedom of the individual at… [read more]

Music Influencing People Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (620 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Music has a powerful influence on emotions and mood, and even on thought processes. Both the instrumental and the lyrical dimensions of music can influence a listener's emotions. Minor tonalities can seem sad, offering a "misery loves company" sensation. This is why many listeners feel better after listening to death metal and other darker forms of music. Other listeners need more directly uplifting songs, melodies, and lyrics to affect changes in mood. The cheerful pop music hits from the 1960s are examples of songs that convey a happy-go-lucky message. Dance music is almost by definition uplifting, as it is composed to inspire people to move their bodies with joy. Current dance tracks have their roots in disco, which was influenced in turn by soul and original rhythm and blues. For example, the disco hit "I Will Survive," made most famous by Gloria Gaynor, is an emotionally uplifting disco era song. The empowering lyrics are matched by the instrumentation, which is simple and yet inspiring. The song has been sampled liberally because even just a few verses of "I Will Survive" evoke positive emotions in listeners.

The lyrics of the song tell a story about an abusive relationship and a woman who tries to extricate herself from it. Because of this, "I Will Survive" reflects Maslow's hierarchy of needs perfectly. First, the lower survival needs such as the physiological, safety, and love needs, are fulfilled by an individual's engagement in an intimate relationship. Sex and sexual intimacy are alluded to, as well as the sentiment, "I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give." Moreover, the song refers to the fears that may arise when a person does not have those needs fulfilled: "Kept thinkin I could never live without you by my side." Because the vocalist is a female, it can be assumed that the…… [read more]

Concert Number 90, Podcast Number 95 Assessment

Assessment  |  3 pages (897 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Concert Number 90, Podcast Number 95 on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Web site features Tchaikovsky's "Meditation" and Dvorak's "String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77." The podcast, entitled "Recycling Tchaikovsky and Dvorak," includes performances by violinist Nicholas Kendall, pianist Robert Koenig, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. At the beginning of the podcast, a narrator explains the background of both pieces. Tchaikovsky's "Meditation" is in the key of D-minor, presumably reflecting the composer's melancholy mood. As the narrator to the podcast notes, the "melancholy D-minor theme was likely born out of the difficulties in the composer's personal life." Indeed, the piece is wrought with difficult emotion, in keeping with the overall themes of the Romantic era. Dvorak's "String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77" has an entirely different emotional impact on the listener. The Czech composer imbues the piece with lively folk music elements that inspire the desire to dance, whereas the Russian's "Meditation" conveys a more bittersweet, disillusioned tone.

Tchaikovsky's "Meditation" opens with a solo piano introduction that is sad, solemn, and somber. At the onset of the piece, "Meditation" seems suitable for dinner or brunch music. However, the bittersweet tone likely renders it too depressing to be used in such a context. The piece opens with almost all the notes played in the lower register. The bass-heavy tones signal a low mood. After the violin comes in, the melody feels strained as if to parallel the emotional state of the composer. The effect on the listener is also one of emotional strain. The performers do an excellent job executing the sense of emotional strain, which is done with precision so as to come across as being clearly deliberate. The pianist and the violinist work well together, playing off each other or harmonizing as the composition demands. At times the piano serves as the melodic percussive instrument backing the melodic, wistful violin.

At other times, the two instruments seem to be in their own worlds. In fact, as the piece progresses, the distinction between piano and violin becomes clearer. First one instrument sounds agitated, then the other. The piano will be "saying" one thing, the violin something else -- just as if it were a married couple preparing for divorce and sharing their side of the story. Indeed, the story behind Tchaikovsky's "Meditation" is that the composer was going through a difficult divorce. Musical counterpoint is the ideal method of communicating the tension between emotional attachment and separation that divorce entails.

The piece finishes with a flourish as the violin screams out, as if to assert its independence. Tchaikovsky perfectly embodies the theme of divorce with the composition. Emotional agitation, sadness, longing for freedom,…… [read more]

Jazz Is a Complex and Challenging Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (893 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Jazz is a complex and challenging for of music. The genre is also one of the most diverse, making it important to distinguish between different types of jazz. Compared with rock, jazz involves a vast array of song structures and sonic elements. Rock relies heavily on steady beats, usually in 4/4 tempo. Jazz, on the other hand, uses unconventional time signatures as well as more straightforward ones. Both jazz and rock share similar roots in African-American folk music, and both genres have influenced one another.

Jazz began in conjunction with the blues, as a purely African-American art form that became embraced increasingly by mainstream audiences and listeners. As the commercial music industry developed in the United States, certain types of jazz and jazz performers became famous starting with ragtime, bebop, and big band. From Duke Ellington to Count Bassie, from Ella Fitzgerald to Louis Armstrong, early jazz made a major impact on the development of Western music in general. Jazz borrowed many elements from blues music, and at times the two genres are nearly indistinguishable except for instrumentation. Jazz incorporated brass and woodwind instruments during the big band era, and instruments like trumpet and saxophone continue to characterize jazz music more than a century after it developed.

Like other forms of Western music in the 20th century, jazz became more experimental by the 1960s. Improvisation has always been a keynote of jazz music, but the big band styles proved more predictable and easier to dance to. As musicians began experimenting more with improvisation, unconventional time signatures, and irregular rhythms, jazz became less of a dance hall genre and shifted into the province of the intellectual and thought-provoking arts. Seminal artists like Miles Davis have spearheaded various movements within jazz, from the traditional to the radical. Just as rock became radicalized by the end of the 1960s, so too did jazz. Jazz and rock started to infuse each other and progressive rock and jazz bands borrowed elements from each others' repertoires.

Also like rock music, jazz has been sold to the highest bidder in the music industry, leading to a plethora of limp artists and genres like smooth jazz. In fact, many listeners associate jazz with the insipid tones of Kenny G. And other smooth jazz artists. The sound of smooth jazz is indistinguishable from elevator music. Rock has also fallen pray to the evils of commercialization and the bad taste of an undiscerning listening public. However, jazz and rock have both survived. Jazz festivals held around the world continue to introduce new and innovative artists while celebrating the classic stars. World music, the sounds and beats from non-Western nations, have also infiltrated jazz in a wonderful…… [read more]

Illegal Music Downloading Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,867 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Illegal Music Downloading

Ethics and leadership analysis and application:

Illegal downloading of music

Ethics and leadership analysis and application:

Illegal downloading of music

Relevant facts

During the early days of the Internet, one of the most popular activities online was downloading 'free' music from popular file-sharing websites such as Napster. The website provided access to seemingly innumerable popular songs in… [read more]

Music Slow Hora/Freylekhs the Klezmer Conservatory Band Journal

Journal  |  2 pages (826 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Music

Slow Hora/Freylekhs

The Klezmer Conservatory Band (Klezmer)Dancing in the Aisles

"Slow Hora/Freylekhs" is a traditional Klezmer song performed by the Klezmer Conservatory Band. The song represents the style and instrumentation of Eastern European Jewish music, and includes the strong representation of woodwinds. The instrumentation may include clarinet, oboe, and bassoon with the percussive punctuation added by bass instruments. Actual percussive elements are present but kept to a subtle minimum to allow the woodwinds to carry most of the song; the melodic lead is carried by the highest-pitched woodwind, which may be a clarinet.

26.E Baiana

Clara Nunes (Brazil)

Meus Momentos: Clara Nunes

Clara Nunes performs the quintessential samba in "E Baiana." Here, African beats and African vocals blend with some European instrumentation including the guitar on top. The song is very danceable and shows how African music influenced Brazilian music. "E Baiana" is also highly percussive and includes the shakers and syncopated clapping at the end of the song as well as the pervasive and persistent drumming that make the hips move. Also the background vocals and notably African in nature.

27.Malaguena Salerosa


Rodrigo, Remedio Flores (Spain)

Flamenco Caravan

This Flamenco song starts as many other Flamenco songs do with acoustic solo guitar, which is characteristically intricate and complex. The odd vocalization punctuates the guitar solo. The melody changes, ranging between somber and mellow to perky. The guitarist also accomplishes his own percussion. However, the quintessentially Flamenco foot-tapping is integral to the song. The vocals come in relatively late. The vocalist is a male with a very chiseled voice. This sounds like a love song.



Fairuz (Lebenon)



This Lebanese song starts off with some interesting organ sounds, and reminds me of something from an Eastern European wedding. The vocals are very sultry, and the singer draws out each word, enunciating the Arabic very clearly. There are some background vocals, as well as accordion or an accordion-like instrument. Although I don't like the vocals, this song is captivating and mysterious.

29.Hristiankova Kopanitsa


Ivo Papasov & His Orchestra (former Yugoslavia)


30.Rind De Hore


Taraf de Haidouks (Roumania)

Latcho Drom

The traditional music of the Roma people is well-represented here in "Rind De Hore" by the Romanian group Taraf de Haidouks. The song was featured in the film about gypsies (Roma) people called Latcho Drom. Instrumentation includes flute, violin, and some kind of bass. The song is fast-paced, uplifting, and happy in tone. The flute…… [read more]

Thinking About Sex and Music Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (737 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Sex and Music

Lady Gaga: Sex-Positive Icon or Mixed Message Master?

Lady Gaga, a recent pop sensation, has become one of the most successful artists of the new decade. She has earned many fans, but also has detractors who say that her outspoken nature and explicit videos (which cover not only sex, but also the divisive domains of violence, politics, and modern art) are merely publicity grabs. In other words, her contribution to the community conversation about alternative sexuality is not to be taken seriously. Though Lady Gaga is a product of the post-modern machine which requires pop stars to be all things to all people (from purity idols to sex fiends), she has managed to cultivate interest in important issues while entertaining a mass audience, and for that reason alone, her music is a positive influence on young people.

To understand the complexity of Lady Gaga's view of sex, a representative sample of her lyrics should be examined. The song "Bad Romance" explores non-traditional ideas of sexuality, featuring Gaga pleading for her a "leather studded kiss in the sand" and asking not for the beauty or perfection of her partner, but his "ugly" and "disease" ("Bad Romance"). In the song "Poker Face," Gaga describes how she can mask her true feelings during sex ("he can't read my poker face"), yet her partner will still enjoy it ("I'll get him hot, show him what I've got"), which is an expression of the power of female sexuality ("Poker Face"). It is even more interesting then, that a common interpretation of the song is that it is about her fantasizing about being with a woman while she is with a man (Juzwiak). Though it is not explicit in the song, Gaga has mentioned it, giving credence to the idea that her idea of sexuality is not non-conformist.

Gaga's music is also very visually based and she has done a number of event videos that function more as short films with mission statements than just advertising vehicles. The nine-minute video for "Alejandro" features a fairly conventional song about lost love. But the images juxtaposed in the video are more challenging, including Gaga in a rubber nun costume, half-dressed male…… [read more]

Music "Aguas De Moloch." Afroreggae (Brazil) Journal

Journal  |  2 pages (764 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Music

"Aguas de Moloch." Afroreggae (Brazil). Favela Uprising.

What first struck me about the live version of Afroreggae's "Aguas de Moloch" was how "rocky" it seemed, especially the opening. I was expecting more of a softer reggae feel. As I listened, I could tell that the band was conveying a distinct beat. The rhythms are catchy, yet if it were not for the vocals I would think it were a regular rock band. The vocals actually remind me more of hip-hop than anything else, and somehow it all comes together.

"Montanerismo" Los 50 de Joselito (Columbia). Colombia

The Columbian sounds of Los 50 de Joselito is at once exotic and familiar. With elements of Mexican music and salsa as well, the song "Montanerismo" is uplifting. Acoustic guitar, bass, and horns are the predominant instrumentation. The vocals are cheerful and fun-loving.

"La Arenosa." Mercedes Sosa (Argentina). En Argentina

This gorgeous song begins with a few bars of bass before the acoustic guitar comes in. The mood is captivating from the start, as the bass drum adds captivating rhythm. When Mercedes Sosa starts singing with her husky voice, I am already shaking my hips. The music offers a curious combination of tribal drum beats, romantic Spanish lyrics, and lyrical flamenco-esque guitar riffs.

21. "Gurinsi-Waa." Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulai (Ghana)

Master Drummers Of Dagbon

The wild, seemingly chaotic drum sounds in "Gurinsi-Waa" are intellectually captivating. While they do not seem to have any pattern, my body instinctually feels like there is one. The sounds the "talking drums" make borders on being electronic; the Kalangu do not make drum sounds I am familiar with. Moreover, the drumming is layered and has musical texture. If I were to dance to this song, my dancing would be chaotic and free-style.

22. "Cavaleiro Monge

." Mariza (Portugal). Fado Curvo

Fado is a musical style that developed in Portugal during the early nineteenth century. Characterized by a sad, mournful feel, fado has a history of being sung by men. However, Amalia Rodrigues became the "queen of Fado" and popularized the genre as one with a female front. Mariza continues this tradition. Besides the powerful voice of the lead vocalist, the instrumentation consists mainly of acoustic guitar. However, the guitar parts are layered. The song builds in tension every so…… [read more]

My Life Reflected Through Music Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,005 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1



Timbaland's song "The Way I Are" is uniquely inspiring among modern popular hip-hop. Sang by both a man and a woman, the lyrics represent a soulful conversation about genuine love and friendship. Along with the catchy electronic beats in the background, the lyrics grabbed me as soon as I heard the song because it differs strongly from most of the materialistic messages normally propagated on the radio or MTV. "The Way I Are" is about loving people -- and ourselves -- just the way we are. Timbaland's song focuses mostly on romantic relationships, but the lyrics can also apply to our attitudes towards our friends, strangers, and ourselves. Because I am often fed up with how shallow and materialistic our society is, I find Timbaland's song exceptionally refreshing. I seek authenticity in my relationships and do not want to base my self-worth on how much money I have or the way I look. Moreover, I hope never to judge others based on superficial traits. Timbaland's song "The Way I Are" sends a universal message that can inspire self-esteem and improve my relationships with family members, friends, and romantic interests.

The core message of "The Way I Are" is that the healthiest, strongest romantic relationships are the ones based on love, not wealth or power. In a consumer-oriented society like ours, it can be crucial to hear messages like the one delivered by Timbaland in "The Way I Are." Most music videos and song lyrics in the hip-hop genre seem to be about attracting women through fancy cars and other "bling." I have never been such a materialistic person, and therefore cannot relate to song lyrics like that. Just like Timbaland says, "I don't have no money / I don't have no car to take you on a date / I can't even buy you flowers / but together we'd be the perfect soul mates." Finding a soul mate cannot depend on superficial traits, or else the relationship itself will be fragile. The song refers to shallowness in both men and women. In "The Way I Are," one of the most important lines in the song is spoken by the male voice. He sings about his woman not having a body like Pamela Anderson but not caring. Another line goes, "before I let you lose a pound I'd buy a bigger car...I love you just the way you are." Likewise, the woman in the song reassures the man that flowers or fancy cars are not going to impress her. She just wants her man to strip down, be himself, and show her who he is on the inside. Women do not all care about jewelry and bling, and not all men care just about large breasts. "The Way I Are" seeks to dispel some of the most common stereotypes, which is why I appreciate the song.

I can also relate to the song because I have had conflicts with friends and family members who have shallow values. Although "The Way… [read more]

Why Is so Much Modern Pop Music Sexist? Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,305 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Pop Music

One glance at the MTV Website reveals a stunning revelation about gender in popular music. Of the 66 music videos featured on MTV.com, 46 (about 70%) are of male artists. Of the 20 female artists that are featured, more than half have long blonde hair. Gender, to a large degree, determines visibility and success in the pop music industry. Moreover, women are often pigeon-holed into specific social roles when they are depicted in music videos. Granted, the men featured in music videos are also relatively homogenous in terms of their physical appearance and are also stereotyped. Therefore, the root cause of sexism in popular music can be traced to deeper cultural norms related to proscribed gender roles and proscribed sexuality.

Women are often featured as eye candy in roles in pop music videos. They lyrics to popular songs reflect the view that women are used for decoration purposes only. For instance, in Timbaland's video for "Carry Out" featuring Justin Timberlake, images of women are everywhere -- so long as the women are exotic dancers or wait staff. The women in the video are projected into stereotypical roles as servile beings. "You're looking fine," is the first thing that is said directly to the females in the video.

An analysis of the lyrics to "Carry Out" reveals an even more disturbing form of sexism. "I'll take you home, let you keep me company" suggests that women are like take-out food. "I'll take you home" is a phrase clearly suggesting that the women are viewed as nothing more than pieces of property or like pets. They will be "taken home" like a stray dog. Then, the phrase, "let you keep me company" reveals patriarchy in startling ways. The male vocalist proclaims that he will "let" as in "allow" the woman to keep him company. The woman in this case has no self-determination. She is bound by whatever the man says. If he wants to take her home, he will. If he let's her keep him company, she should feel grateful.

Many of the hip-hop videos are guilty of sexist imagery that panders to male soft pornographic fantasies. Ludacris's "How Low" features a male fantasy of a girl's pajama party -- two friends dancing low in front of the mirror with each other. The vocalist sings to them, about their dancing and "how low" they can go. Lyrics refer to how great it is to voyeuristically watch the women as they look at themselves in the mirror. It is as if the women are performing for the men. Even when they look into the mirror, their reflection is not of themselves but of Ludacris looking at them. Ludacris stalks the women at the pajama party, and the video disintegrates into imagery that nearly suggests rape. Thus, some of the sexism in pop music video can be considered extreme.

"If you come to my crib I might show you girls a thing or two," the lyrics go. As with the Timbaland video,… [read more]

Jazz Blues Jazz Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,171 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


Jazz Blues

Jazz and blues are as much cultural phenomena as musical ones. Even when they are conceived as clearly defined genres, jazz and blues reflect the complexity of American history, African-American history in particular. Jazz and blues are ever-evolving styles, adapting to new instrumentation and innovations in composition. Likewise, the cultures surrounding jazz and blues have also changed since the styles took root in the early 20th century. Jazz and blues are both quintessentially American, but their infectious sounds now permeate music around the world.

Blues traces its roots farther back than jazz, and it may be said that jazz evolved from the blues. The blues most likely "originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century," when slaves and sharecroppers "sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields," (Kopp). However, blues borrowed from earlier musical traditions including "African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music," (Kopp).

Until the 1930s or 1940s, the blues remained relatively confined to the Mississippi Delta and surrounding rural regions. Robert Johnson, John Hurt, and Son House were among these seminal Delta blues musicians. The first recordings of blues artists were made during the 1920s and 1930s throughout the south. Many of those recordings were made by African-Americans although some were made by whites. By this time, jazz had migrated to urban areas and to the midwestern United States during the 1920s. The migration of jazz impacted the development of blues into a more unified yet still diverse genre.

Musically the blues gradually became more cohesive, exhibiting characteristic traits such as the twelve-bar structure and blues scales. Instrumentation in the early days of blues sometimes consisted of only a well-honed voice or an out-of-tune guitar. Jug bands can also be considered part of the blues foundation (Kopp). In addition to actual jugs, ordinary everyday appliances like washboards were employed as instruments along with a litany of others like "mandolins, banjos, kazoos, stringed basses, harmonicas, and fiddles," (Kopp). West African folk music and slave spirituals were transformed into a compelling and versatile genre of music.

On the contrary, jazz evolved rapidly in urban areas like New Orleans and incorporated European orchestral instrumentation. For example, ragtime was one of the first expressions of jazz and relied heavily on the piano. Woodwind and horn instruments became part of the jazz tradition early in the 20th century, and jazz ensembles were often as large as orchestras. Jazz also shares tonality in common with European music and is "obviously a hybrid" musical genre. Thus, jazz can be considered music's cultural ambassador.

However, jazz does owe much to African-American roots music. Jazz and blues sometimes fuse together, testifying to the collective history both shared. In jazz, "we also hear ululations, grunts, hums, shouts, and melisma as integral and indispensable parts of the musical meaning of jazz renditions. In rhythm, we hear the influences of African music," (Kirchner 16). At times, blues and jazz are fused. At times, the… [read more]

Beastie Boys Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (976 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Beastie Boys are referred to as the "first successful white rap group" but would have made their mark on America's music scene regardless of their ethnic background ("Biography"). With a revolutionary spirit, the Beastie Boys "treated rap as part of a post-punk musical underground, where the Do It Yourself aesthetics of hip-hop and punk weren't that far apart," (Erlewine). Few artists in any genre have enjoyed success as long lasting as the Beastie Boys. The Beastie Boys helped bring hip-hop into the mainstream. They are still producing and touring, making the Beastie Boys "one of the few acts from the early days of hip-hop that still enjoy major success." ("Beastie Boys"). Because of their deft fusion of disparate musical elements and their enduring ability to please both fans and critics, the Beastie Boys are one of the most important bands in American musical history.

The Beastie Boys started as a punk band called the Young Aboriginies in 1979, and in 1981 the group changed their name to Beastie Boys. When Adam Horvitz (aka Adrock) joined the band in 1983, he, Adam Yauch (aka MCA) and Mike Diamond (aka Mike D) explored the musical potential of hip-hop. Horvitz had also been playing in the New York punk scene, with a hardcore band called The Young and the Useless. The first rap-influenced single the Beastie Boys produced was "Cookie Puss," released in 1983. Soon afterwards, producer Rick Rubin helped take the Beastie Boys' sound to a whole new level.

The main musical style of the Beastie Boys remains a highly eclectic fusion of rap, pop, rock, and even jazz. When the first few Beastie Boys albums came out, their sound was groundbreaking. The Beastie Boys used humorous lyrics, and sound samples that appealed to a white audience such as Led Zeppelin riffs ("Beastie Boys: Biography"). The Beastie Boys' sound matured by the late 1980s, "expanding into spaced-out funk and psychedelia, yet retaining its adolescent charm and hit-making sensibility," ("Beastie Boys: Biography"). The Beastie Boys have enjoyed forays into a wide range of musical styles but have always retained a solid footing in both punk and hip-hop. The band is most known for their rap music, but even their hip-hop style is presented with the edginess of punk as well as the occasional guitar riff. In fact, the Beastie Boys continue to play instruments, depending on the particular sounds they are aiming for on the track or the album.

Rick Rubin signed the group with the Def Jam label, earning the Beastie Boys some early credibility points in the hip-hop scene. The band's first album was License to Ill, which became not just the Beastie Boys first time at the top of the charts. Remarkably, License to Ill was the first rap album to ever go number one in sales. Because of their image and lyrics, the Beastie Boys developed a frat boy reputation as "macho clowns," (Erlewine).

In spite of…… [read more]

Daniel Barenboim Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,264 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Daniel Barenboim: Music Is Life

Daniel Barenboim presents music as away for human beings to explain the world around them. For Daniel, music can be used as a catalyst for both positive and negative forces, as well as a way for humans to grow, heal, and further understand the human condition. The wide scope of purposes that music has and… [read more]

Tribe Called Quest Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (1,016 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Tribe Called Quest

Biographer John Bush claims A Tribe Called Quest as "without question the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s." The group "jump-started and perfected the hip-hop alternative to hardcore and gangsta rap," providing sonic alternatives for discerning ears (Bush). A Tribe Called Quest fused socially conscious hip-hop with jazz musical elements to create fresh sounds. Unsurprisingly, the members of A Tribe Called Quest were veterans of the hip-hop scene in New York including Q-Tip from De La Soul. Because of their willingness to keep hip-hop grounded in its political roots and their commitment to innovative sounds, A Tribe Called Quest became a benchmark of artistic integrity.

The music of A Tribe Called Quest is decidedly hip-hop, but the group's sound differs significantly from most commercially successful rap music. Most notably, A Tribe Called Quest incorporates jazz elements such as horn and stand-up bass into hip-hop. A Tribe Called Quest can be classified alongside other premier jazzy hip-hop groups like predecessors De La Soul and Digable Planets. Each song by A Tribe Called Quest has a unique sound, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact sub-genre of the group. Some tracks incorporate elements from world music such as the sensual sounds of Indian instruments on "Bonita Applebum." Other A Tribe Called Quest songs incorporate sonic textures like the white noise crunchiness on "Oh My God" or electro accents like the ones on "Electric Relaxation." Lyrics also vary from sexuality to the politics of race. A Tribe Called Quest's music is smooth and jazzy with a hip-hop backbone.

Their willingness to experiment with fresh sounds did not preclude A Tribe Called Quest from enjoying commercial success. Although the group lambastes the mainstream recording industry on several of its tracks, A Tribe Called Quest understood how to attract large numbers of fans to live performances and record purchases. Rolling Stone magazine outlines the trajectory of A Tribe Called Quest's commercial career, with several of the band's songs and albums selling in the top 100.

Although described as "minor hits" from a commercial point-of-view, the collection of A Tribe Called Quest albums are considered classics of the genre ("A Tribe Called Quest"). Their 1990 debut album was at number 91 in record sales, and is widely believed to be among "the first rap work to fuse jazz samples with hip-hop structures," ("A Tribe Called Quest"). Rolling Stone also notes that A Tribe Called Quest's second album release in 1991 made it as high as 45 in sales. The album, The Low End Theory, "had a harder edge and extended the group's jazz leanings, featuring jazz great Ron Carter on upright bass," ("A Tribe Called Quest"). Bush claims Low End Theory "has held up as perhaps the best hip-hop LP of all time."

A Tribe Called Quest is revered by hip-hop pioneers, and has retained overwhelming peer support. The group "cemented their support of the rap community" especially after the release of Midnight Marauders in 1993, with an album jacket that… [read more]

Numerology in Music Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  7 pages (2,281 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Numerology in Baroque and Classical Music

The idea that music is related to mathematics goes back to ancient times. In his Dialogues, Plato agreed with Pythagoras's assertion that harmonics and astronomy are sister sciences of mathematics.

The connection to astronomy, in particular, reveals Pythagoras' mystical bent. Much as the Ancients saw the stars and planets as controlling the workings of… [read more]

Antonin Dvorak Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,418 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Antonin Dvorak

The merging of artistic and popular music: The Romantic, nationalist strains of Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No.5 in F Major, Op.76.

The 19th century manifested the beginnings of the current seismic divide between classical (or 'serious') art music and popular music. Pairing the image of a heavy metal head-banger against a Mozart-listening nerd is a common trope in American… [read more]

Technological History of Jazz in Film Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,575 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Technological History Of Jazz in Film

Jazz has a long and colorful history within American popular culture. It is truly an original American tradition, and has mesmerized music lovers for generations now. Part of its rise in popularity was its use in early film history as the medium began adopting elements that allowed for the recording of sound to go… [read more]

Piano, Including the History Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,034 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 10


He began writing piano music at a young age, and together he and his brother Ira became some of the best known and respected Broadway composers. George wrote numerous Broadway shows including "An American in Paris" which was made into a film starring Gene Kelley. Gershwin also wrote some stunning classical music pieces for the piano, including "Rhapsody in Blue," and "Preludes for Piano" ("George Gershwin). He is one of the most famous American-born composers of all time.

Some of the most famous and well-known pieces written for the piano include "Album-Blatt (Fur Elise)" by Ludwig van Beethoven, "The Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss, the "Bridal Chorus (Lohengrin)," by Richard Wagner ("World Famous"), "Clair de Lune" by Debussy, and "Fantasie Impromptu" by Chopin ("What are?") Of course, there are numerous others, such as "Rhapsody in Blue" that are extremely famous in certain areas of the world, but not as well-known in others.

Orchestras are groups of performers who play a variety of instruments, from drums to violins, and often they feature a piano. There are not really "piano orchestras" as such, but many performers do perform on the piano with an orchestra. One of the most famous symphony orchestras is the American Symphony located in New York City. It was founded in 1962 by the famous composer and conductor Leopold Stokowski. They offer performances throughout the New York area, and are the resident orchestra of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College ("Orchestra").

Another very famous orchestra, which just moved into a new concert hall a few years ago, is the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra from Los Angeles. This orchestra was founded in 1919, so it has a long history in Southern California. They perform with a variety of guest artists, and they also offer an outdoor concert series in the summer. They moved into the Walt Disney concert hall, a spectacular building, in 2003. Their Web site says, "In the fall of 2003, the Philharmonic took up residence in the acoustically superb, stunning Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall" ("The Los Angeles Philharmonic"). They are extremely successful, and known as one of the best orchestras in the world.


Editors. "Frederic Francois Chopin." Classical.net. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "George Gershwin." Gershwin.com. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "Orchestra." American Symphony.org. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "Piano." Wikipedia.org. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "The Los Angeles Philharmonic." LAPhil.com. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "The Piano Timeline." ConcertPitchPiano.com. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "What are Some Famous Piano Pieces?" Yahoo.com. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Editors. "World Famous Piano Pieces." FrederickHarrisMusic.com. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009.


Koster, Jan. "The J.S. Bach Home Page." Personal Web Page. 2008. 17 Nov. 2009.


Sadie, Stanley. "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." Classical Music Pages. 2009. 17 Nov. 2009

.… [read more]

Ethnic Musics of Different Countries Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  1 pages (387 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Ethnic Music Is My Favorite Type of Music

The day ends. I lie on the couch and travel through the world. I do not travel through the world physically -- in fact, I hardly move a muscle, other than to push my ear buds more securely into my ears. My traveling takes place musically, as I listen to the sounds of various songs from throughout the world on my MP3 player. I love the haunting Celtic tunes of Irish music, the pounding beat of calypso, and the cloud of blended, drumming rhythms and vocals that wraps around my brain from Africa.

Of course, I do listen to more commercial music on the radio. But I find myself noticing how some of the most popular musical acts seem to have their roots in music from different lands: consider the Latin American flavor of Shakira and how so much of contemporary rap and R&B has a similar flair to West African music. If only people took more time to discover where their favorite artists come from and what inspired these artists to create music in the first place! A whole new world might…… [read more]

Bso Concert Review Dressed Up for Cacophony Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  3 pages (714 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


BSO Concert Review

Dressed up for cacophony, and tasting for more -- might be an apt title for this Boston Symphony Orchestra concert conducted by Vasily Petrenko and, for the final performance, Assistant Conductor Julian Kuerti. This all-Russian program features Stravinsky's Scherzo Fantastique, Rachmaninoff's tone poem the Isle of the Dead, and the infamous, and the infamous Symphony #10 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Performances are October 8, 10, and 13 at 8pm, October 9 Matinee at 1:30 PM, Symphony Hall in Boston.

While each piece is unique, and perhaps the theme of Russian romanticism, neoclassicism, and even a bit of avant garde thrown in, one certainly needs to be in the mood for vibrancy, chromaticism, and angry percussivness for most of the evening. Even when the composers wax poetic, there is an underlying theme of dread, just under the surface and peaking through occasionally. Russian born conductor Vasily Petrenko, now with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, makes his BSO debut leading this all Russian fest with typical Russian fire, accentuating the dissonance and most especially showing his dichotomous training (Soviet vs. Russian) with the Shostakovich. Young conductor Julian Kuerti, though, brings just the right amount of testosterone and vibrancy to the final performance, neither rushing the musicians nor spending time languishing a phrase; although there are times in the Rachmaninoff one might have asked for a bit more "breathing" room in the phrasing.

The BSO, renowned for at least the last 50 years for the quality of its ensemble and virtuoso excellence of some of the top players, never disappoints. Two of this reviewers past favorites, Ray Still on Oboe and Richard Herseth on trumpet are aptly represented with the superb brass work of Thomas Rolfs and crew; and some of the most sublime oboe passages by Principal Oboe John Ferrillo, with whom one can clearly tell he had years of experience at the Metropolitan Opera, for his attention to detail literally sings through the woodwind section.

Each of the Russian offerings has a unique place in the musical life of the individual composer. Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead was based on a painting by Arnold Bocklin and completed…… [read more]

On Music of the World Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (733 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Caribbean Music ( class 5,6,7) - What is meant by Caribbean Music in a new mode? What emphasis, in this chapter, seems to justify a departure from traditional presentations of music and culture of the Caribbean?

Though Caribbean musical approaches have historically taken a diverse array of folk forms relating to the tribal and spiritual traditions of the inhabitants of various islands, today the commercial manifestation of Caribbean music which has been exported to the American and European mainlands is dominant in our understanding of the term. The expansion of this form over more traditional modes though may be emphasized by the effectiveness with which commercialization has extended representative genres such as Reggae, Calypso and Soca.

(2) Jazz Music ( 8,9,10)- the blues made its way into many kinds of music. Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Elvis Presley are just a few of the people who have acknowledged its importance. Using the model of the blues, find a popular song and discuss how its design reflects the blues influence.

"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" is a song with deep roots in American blues iconography. Its recording on the live Nirvana record MTV Unplugged in New York is among the most soulful and emotionally rending variations of a track that has been recorded by Leadbelly, the Louvin Brothers and innumerable others coming from the country blues tradition. Interestingly, Kurt Cobain's reading remains extremely loyal to takes on the trade from many decades prior, but its contextualization as something of a swan song before the singer/songwriter's suicide in 1994 helps to underscore its currency and intensity. Cobain takes a blues turn on the song, but the cord-shredding and mournful vocal is also distinctly urgent and appropriate in the Nirvana songbook.

(3) Korean Music (11,12,13)- Listen to the piece in this chapter. Analyze the musical function of the lead singer, and the musical relationship between the lead singing and the chorus.

In the form played here, the lead vocalist functions as a cantor to a congregant. The chorus plays the part of respondent in a musical dialogue that bears certain religious inherencies in its give and take. In some ways, this approach has a constancy with a variety…… [read more]

Modernism and Modern Music Thesis

Thesis  |  7 pages (2,586 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Rock Modernism

Rock Music and the Modernist Dilemma

The end of the 19th Century brought with it a host of changes which, as driven by technology and spreading urbanization, brought the entire world under the sway of the Industrial Revolution. Factories, tenements and immigrants filled the cities of Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, and with them came… [read more]

Hard Rock Cafe a Different Experience Thesis

Thesis  |  9 pages (2,730 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Rock Cafe (HRC) and the Hard Rock Hotels / Casinos is a highly successful series of ventures that serves up fun, music, food, nostalgia and beverage. The HRC is also famous for its music collectibles, including guitars used by icons in the industry, some linked to living musicians (Madonna, for example) and some linked to those who have… [read more]

Music and Mind Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,562 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Music and Mind

Music Research and Response

It can be safely stated that the range of musical styles, formats, beats and tempos is wider than the circumference of the whole world -- maybe even of the universe -- and that is what makes listening so interesting and in many cases pleasing. To go a step further, this paper delves into… [read more]

Music History an Idyll for the Misbegotten Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (613 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Music History

An Idyll for the Misbegotten (Images III): George Crumb (b.1929)

The many apparent allusions to other works in the words and melodies of this piece caused me to seek out what inspired it. According to composer George Crumb, the works of environmentalists inspired his "idyll" or postmodern pastoral (Idyll, Arts of the States, 2009). This work is alternately energetic and desolate, with sharp shifts in tempo, as if one is wandering on a long walk, gazing at varied scenery. The work is a pastiche of sounds and phrases, all of which, Crumb hopes, will move the listener to take greater care of the earth "Over a slow bass drum tremolo, the flute begins its haunting melody, which over the course of the piece includes quotations of Claude Debussy's solo flute piece Syrinx and spoken verse by the eighth-century Chinese poet Ssu-K'ung Shu: 'The moon goes down. There are shivering birds and withering grasses'" (Idyll, Arts of the States, 2009). Crumb says that he wrote his work to inspire others to care more for the environment -- it is both a celebration and a warning, hence its use of so many different moods and sources. Learning about what inspired the work made me appreciate Idyll much more as a listener.

Rumba (Columbia, Guaguanco): Traditional

A rumba is a traditionally propulsive form of Latin dance music. Listening to a rumba makes the listener want to dance, given the way that the percussive rhythms drive the music forward. There are no really slow dynamics or pauses -- the music seems so fast it can hardly give the dancers time to breathe or think, as it exhibits a tempo that is more athletic than dance-like.

Although this traditional melody is foreign it sounds the most familiar my ear of all of the musical works, not simply because the…… [read more]

Music History Rodney Newton (B.1944): Three Places Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (791 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Music History

Rodney Newton (b.1944): Three Places in Old England

Warwick Castle


Cannock Chase

Rodney Newton is a British composer from the Midlands who has attempted to inject new life into traditional British classical music. Newton writes for school brass bands as well as professional orchestras, in an attempt to revive a love for classical music in his nation amongst the young (Thomas 2008). Newton's "Three Places in Old England" refers to several locations near the composer's region, including Shakespeare's birthplace of Stratford.

Zoltan Zodaly (1882-1967): Serenade, Op.12

Zoltan Zodaly was a Hungarian composer whose life and work had profound affects upon his contemporaries. Not only do his 20th compositions "enjoy a place in the standard repertory" of many orchestras, but also his research and cataloging of folk music have served "as models for ethno-musicologists" and his "Kodaly Method" for teaching music in schools is used throughout the world ("Zoltan Zodaly," Sierra Chamber Society Program Notes, 1997). Serenade, Op.12, was written for the "unusual trio combination of two violins and viola" and is often said to, especially in its 'dreamy' second movement, convey an otherworldly and Romantic quality consistent with the composer's other works ("Zoltan Zodaly," Sierra Chamber Society Program Notes, 1997). Zodaly's compositions are tonal, and are considered to be more conventional and melodic in style when compared with his contemporary Bartok.

Bartok still appreciated Zodaly's work, however, and said Serenade was a work "extraordinarily rich in melodies" and was particularly impressed by the slow second movement, which he described as "a double thread of mysterious sustained seconds and ninths, tremolo passages in the second violin played pianissimo and consordino" and "a kind of dialogue between the first violin and viola. The strangely floating passionate melodies of the viola alternate with the spectral, flashing motifs on the first violin. We find ourselves in a fairy world never dreamt of before" ("Zoltan Zodaly," Sierra Chamber Society Program Notes, 1997)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943): Trio Elegiac No.1 in G Minor

The name of Sergi Rachmanoff is synonymous with sweeping and expansive works on the piano. Trio consists of one rather than three or four movements and twelve sections with various themes. "In the opening section, Lento lugubre, the piano presents the gentle, elegiac main theme against a soft accompaniment in the strings. Each of the string instruments is then given a chance to develop the theme.…… [read more]

Downloading Music Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  1 pages (401 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Downloading Music

To All Students, a Memo Concerning Music Downloading

Although it is not fully the responsibility of the college to infringe on the activities of students, one particular activity has been causing a lot of controversy and hassle for the campus administration -- illegally downloading music. Along with blatantly breaking the law, illegally downloading music off the internet causes the college a lot of headache. In fact, the practice can also take away from the educational resources of the college; according to some reports, "Downloading music and using file-sharing programs can strain a college's bandwidth, hampering its use for research or other educational purposes," (Burk 2007). Despite its common occurrence, this practice is illegal. If discovered by law enforcement or record companies, students may be in danger of facing criminal or civil charges, (Kosturakis 2007). In fact, several cases where the RIAA found students to be illegally downloading material, have led to civil suits filed against students. Illegally sharing and downloading programs and music through the university's resources is much different than exploitation of public services, such as taping a song from the radio. When students take university resources for granted and break the law, it looks bad on…… [read more]

Jazz Ensemble Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (617 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0



The works of Michael Mossman, Rachel Eckroth, Charlie Parker, Earl MacDonald, and Bob Berg reveal how varied and nuanced the jazz genre can be. Michael Mossman's "Partido Blue" opens with a few bars of drums before the whole ensemble comes in together: first a delightful panoply of horns playing overlapping melodies. The feel is syncopated, enhanced by the subtle bass line in the background. A tuba adds depth to the bass, which remains in a perfect pocket throughout the piece. "Partido Blue" is an uplifting piece with a strong percussive feel to the horn parts. The multiple horn sections are richly layered, which adds depth and texture to the music. Accompanied by woodwinds, the horn section works at several different registers throughout the song. "Partido Blue" is further punctuated by several changes to rhythm, time signature, and instrumentation. Thus, "Partido Blue" has excellent dynamics and so does "Out of the Blue (OTB)." A tasteful alto saxophone solo about one-third of the way through the piece is mellow and integrates well with the predominant trumpet. Undulating rhythms, richly layered horn and woodwind sections, syncopation and dynamics make Michael Mossman's music delightful to listen to.

Rachel Eckroth's "Monday was a Good Day" and "Long Road" are sultry, soft piano pieces with accompanying bass and drum. Piano is fully featured throughout the Eckroth songs, which fall short of being titillating in spite of the well-structured and composed piano parts. Pianist Eckroth retains a solid connection with the bass register on the piano, and works well with the bass player in both "Monday was a Good Day" and "Long Road." Moreover, in both "Monday was a Good Day" and "Long Road," Eckroth varies the time signature to enhance the dynamics of her work. In spite of her skillful playing, the Eckroth compositions remain less than compelling.

On the other hand, Earl…… [read more]

Wind Ensemble Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (651 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Wind Ensemble

Concert review: Wind Ensemble

Throughout the concert, most pieces made ample use of the variety of instruments at their disposal, including flues, oboes, English and regular horns, base and regular clarinets, bassoons and contrabassoons, trumpets, trombones, tubas, and percussion instruments, as well as piano and strings. Clearly, the showpiece work of the evening was Karel Husa's "Music for Prague 1968." As its name suggests, it was written in commemoration of the brief flowering of democracy in Prague in 1968, before the Russian invasion of the country. The work makes use of both old and new musical sounds, beginning with a plaintive Renaissance-style choruses and a soft timpani drum. According to the program, in which the composer's own notes were transcribed verbatim "the first and most important" theme is the fragmented use of an old war song from the 15th century, "Ye Warriors of God and His Law," a resistance song. "The beginning of this religious song is announced very softly in the first movement by timpani and concludes in a strong unison Chorale. The song is never used in its entirety. The second idea is the sound of bells throughout; Prague, named also the City of Hundreds of Towers, has used its magnificently sounding church bells as calls of distress as well as of victory."

Although this gives a somewhat medieval cast to the work, the pastiche quality of the song and the bells stands in contrast to more traditional reworkings of Renaissance pieces such as the more linear, toe-tapping melodies of Tylman Susato: "The Danserye." The use of religious choruses is subtle and ambiguous, in contrast to David Gillingham's more straightforward "Be Thou Vision" or even the elastic vocal tones of Pavel Tschesnokoff: "Salvation is Created." Although other works during the evening such as Alfred Reed: "Armenian Dances, Part I" and Andreas Makris: "Aegean Festival Overture" made use of traditional, nationalistic melodies, the juxtaposition of "Ye Warriors" and the holy bells of…… [read more]

Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis for a Little Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (379 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis

For a little over two hours on the evening of November 20, I relaxed and let myself go into the free flow of jazz emanating from the piano of Ellis Marsalis and his quartet. Marsalis is -- or ought to be -- one of the leading figures of jazz; according to the program notes he has trained many of today's most renowned jazz musicians, including fellow pianist Harry Connick, Jr. On this particular evening, the other three members of his quartet were Derek Douget on saxophone, Jason Stewart on bass, and Jason Marsales on drums.

What has always struck me as especially impressive about jazz is the way the musicians listen to each other and play off of the sound that the group is producing as a whole, creating a new sound, which in turn is played off of, which creates a new sound, etc., etc., etc. Marsalis and his quartet epitomize this process; in this performance, which was titled "An Open Letter to Thelonius," the musicians each had solos, but their best playing was when the group was working as a mixture of equals,…… [read more]

Elements of Music Harmony and Form Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,097 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Harmony and Form

There are very few elements of a piece of music that are more noticeable and less noticed than form. The simplest way to describe form is as the structure that a piece of music takes and how (and if) it changes. There are many established forms in music, from an Indian raga to a Western sonata and many others in between. Other pieces have forms that are less definable but still incredibly influential -- it is impossible, after all, to have a piece of music that doesn't have structure; anything more than one note automatically has form and structure. The same is true for the concept of harmony. If melody or the melodic line is describes as the horizontal aspect of music -- how a piece changes in itself and affects the listener as it moves through time -- harmony could be termed the vertical aspect of music; that is, harmony deals with the layers and affects of a piece of music in a given point in time. To put it more simply, harmony is the mixture and layering of different notes, either in chords in the melodic line or in separate secondary melodic or harmonic lines. Two pieces of music with very different approaches to form and surprisingly similar attitudes towards harmony are the movement, "The Fair" from Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka, and the Zimbabwean folk melody "Cheumutemgure." Both pieces have several lines stark of melody and/or harmony -- the difference, as will be shown, is not always clear -- but very inconsistent forms.

Oddly, the form of "The Fair" from Starvinsky's Petrushka might seem stranger to Western ears than "Cheumutemgure." Though he various voices and ultimately the language of the latter piece are certainly more alien than the timbre and texture of Stravinsky, there is a more solid melodic line that carries through the piece. Within this relatively short piece, which itself is just a movement in a larger piece, there are several distinct sections that do not always flow evenly with those preceding or following it. There is an especially abrupt and distinct shift in the short-term, moment-to-moment structure of the piece tat occurs about half-way through. Up to this point, the rhythm of the piece was fairly consistent in its bouncy drive. There is an almost percussive element to the staccato and regular rhythm of the piece's first few sections of the piece, which suddenly fades away to be replaced by a more legato, softer melody with a close relation to the opening melodies but which also represents a definite departure. The opening sections, with the driving power behind the march-like and almost ominous sounding melodic line, also sounds highly introductory, as if it is the precursor to the main event. Leading into the softer section as it does gives the structure of this piece a disquieting feeling, almost of disappointment, as if the thing that was waited for and hinted at by the introductory feel of the opening, as if it never arrived,… [read more]

Gustav Mahler and Richard Straus Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (940 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Mahler and Strauss

Both Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are renowned composers and conductors, and both reached the peak of their careers during the early twentieth century. Mahler and Strauss are also both classified as late Romantic era composers. Both Mahler and Strauss revealed their musical talent during childhood and enjoyed considerable success during their adult careers. Both had parents and mentors who fostered their musical talents. In fact, Richard Strauss's father was an elite horn player in Germany. However, their backgrounds and approaches to music both differ.

Gustav Mahler was born to Austrian Jewish parents in a town in Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic. He spent most of his life and career in Vienna, Austria. Richard Strauss also spent a good portion of his life in Vienna. However, before he could settle in Vienna with a secure position as a conductor Gustav Mahler lived in Ljubljana, Olomouc, Kassel, Hamburg, Budapest, Leipzig, Prague, and several other cities. His personal life was as tumultuous and tiring as his professional life. Mahler's parents and his sister died in 1888 while he was in Budapest. His younger brother, also a composer, committed suicide in 1895. In 1907 his daughter Maria died of scarlet fever.

Richard Strauss was born in Munich, Germany and had some loose but controversial connections with the Nazis, having been appointed by the Nazi government to the post of President of the State Music Bureau. Strauss's personal writings showed disdain for the Nazis in spite of his having worked willingly for them. Mahler converted to Roman Catholicism in 1897, ostensibly so that he could accept the position of Director of the Vienna Opera. Jews were not allowed to serve in a post of prominence. Thus, both Strauss and Mahler can be accused of making serious compromises to promote their respective careers. Ironically, Mahler would be chased away from his post on the Viennese Opera years later because of a swell in anti-Semitism in Austria; it did not matter that Mahler had converted to Christianity. Also ironic was that Richard Strauss had a Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren, all of whom he actively protected during the Nazi manhunts in spite of his professional connection with the Nazi-run state music bureau. Strauss' experiences eluding the Nazis culminated in his hiding out in a small town in Bavaria. Therefore, Nazism personally affected both Mahler and Strauss and undoubtedly shaped themes in their music.

Both men married fellow musicians, but did not play music with their wives. Misogyny and traditional gender roles prevented Mahler and Strauss from enjoying a professional partnership with the women in their lives. Their marriages were both paradoxically stormy and stable at the same time.

Mahler and Strauss focused on opera but their compositions also included instrumental tone poems and symphonies. Mahler's approach to composition was slightly less traditional and…… [read more]

Coldplay Concert Analysis Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  6 pages (1,825 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1



British rock band Coldplay has been entertaining fans worldwide since the year 2000 with their first hit single "Yellow." Since then, Coldplay has produced a consistent roster of rock anthems, all of which are atmospheric in tone and socially conscious in lyrical scope. In addition to their widespread appeal, Coldplay has received considerable critical acclaim to bolster their fan… [read more]

Beethoven the Great Symphonist Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (886 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4




In the words of John P. Blackburn, Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 to 1827) "was a pivotal musical genius who played one of the most important roles in the evolution of Western music than any other composer in history" (87), with Johann Sebastian Bach being the exception. Undoubtedly, Beethoven stood at the crossroads of Western music and single-handedly changed older classical forms into new avenues of expression, especially with his piano compositions and symphonies and as a composer of some of the most brilliant and beautiful music ever put on paper, Beethoven was responsible for completely transforming a musician's ability to express the entire range of human emotions via a musical instrument, particularly when brought together in the form of a symphonic orchestra.

Although Beethoven's musical repertory covers a vast amount of different styles, themes and genres, it is his magnificent symphonies that remain the most complex and endearing to all lovers of classical music. In 1802, while attempting to endure the continuing loss of his hearing, Beethoven composed his Eroica Symphony (no. 3) and Symphony no. 5 in which "the somber mood of the c Minor first movement... ultimately yields to a triumphant C Major finale with piccolo, trombones and percussion added to the orchestra" (Ludwig Van Beethoven," Internet). By 1805, Beethoven had composed his Pastoral Symphony (no. 6) which "conjures up his feelings about the countryside which he loved," Symphony no. 7, and Symphony no. 8 and between 1822 and 1824, Beethoven composed his most famous piece known as Choral or Symphony no. 9, Op. 125 with its familiar opening line in d Minor ("Ludwig Van Beethoven," Internet).

Most Western music scholars agree that Beethoven's musical output hit a high point between the creation of the Second Symphony and his E-flat Symphony, opus 55, also known as Eroica which exhibits "rare nobility and grandeur and stands as a musical milestone when the symphonic form came into its own" at the hands of Beethoven (Morrison, 165). This symphony was originally to be called the "Bonaparte Symphony," due to Beethoven seeing Napoleon Bonaparte as a true liberator of the people and the instigator of the French Revolution. As a piece of music designed for the pleasure of an audience, Eroica offered to the public "a radically new creation that was part symphony and part oratorio, a hybrid that proved puzzling to his less daring observers" and listeners of the time ("Ludwig Van Beethoven," Internet).

This symphony premiered in the city of Vienna, Austria on April 7th, 1805 and in 1809, Beethoven himself conducted the work at a charity concert at the Theatre an der Wien. Most certainly, the audience at…… [read more]

Music Video PSA Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (581 words)
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Music Video PSA

Music videos have been used as promotional tools since their inception. The upcoming presidential election offers an optimal opportunity for the use of music to promote political goals. I therefore propose a music video that shows why Barack Obama is the right choice for the next American president. The video will also be used to encourage young people to vote.

The target audience for the music video will be young, first-time voters of both genders. Ethnicity of the target audience will be Caucasian: which is the largest demographic of undecided voters. Many young Caucasian voters may have been swayed by nefarious propaganda against Senator Obama and this video will dispel any myths as well as propel the candidate into greater fame.

Because more males than females tend to be suspicious toward Barack Obama, the video will be slanted to a male, heterosexual audience. The music used in the video will be hip-hop because of the affinity some Caucasian suburban dwellers have toward urban sounds. Imagery used in the music video will reveal realities of the street: poverty, violence, discrimination and crime. Sexuality will be underplayed in the video except to reveal the damage that would be caused by restricting reproductive rights and freedoms for women.

The target audience will respond to the imagery used in the music video because of the socially conscious message. Women as well as men are included in the target demographic, so the video will not be a typical MTV sexually charged marketing tool for hip-hop. Instead, the video will hearken to the roots of hip-hop as a socially conscious genre of art. Target demographic will be youth, first-time undecided voters of both genders from random economic class groups. The video will be…… [read more]

Concert Report the Performance Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  5 pages (1,604 words)
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Concert Report

The performance that I chose to attend was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Special performance of the Inca Trail. This performance was chosen because it differs from their usual baroque and classical faire. The performance was supposed to have a Latin feel to it. It transported the audience to another place and time. The following summarizes my impressions of… [read more]

Claude Debussy's Lyric Drama, Prelude De L'apres Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,294 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Claude Debussy's lyric drama, "Prelude de L'apres Midi d'un Faune" is a symphonic poem that captures the spirit of Debussy's innovative style. The piece is elusive, light, and dreamy. Since Debussy is considered a master of suggestion, it seems fitting that we explore a piece that is completely suggestive to a mysterious world. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects… [read more]

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