research paper for music class

3. Overview:

It would be easy to assume that nearly all of the music you will study in the coming weeks was written for the sole purpose of being listened to. However, we often loose track of the fact that in many parts of the world, and for much of the history of Western culture, music is or has been intimately tied to a function such as work, worship, or even warfare. Even the music that was intended as entertainment was sometimes listened to in a different context. Some of our favorite chamber music from the Classical era, for example, was originally used as social “background music.” It is important for you to keep this in mind as you begin exploring the larger musical world.

Issues:
By and large, our culture views music as entertainment. Even when it is used in a functional way (in ceremony or even in worship) it is hard to ignore the entertainment element. This creates some questions when we listen to music that has, or had at its creation, a specific function:

  • What do we miss when this music is divorced from its function?
  • Is the piece still the same work, or has it been transformed into something subtly different?
  • Should a performer try in some way to evoke the nature of the music’s original purpose?
  • If we do not hold the beliefs (cultural, religious, or otherwise) that are tied to the piece, will we still be able to appreciate it fully?

Project:
The web is a great place to start looking in more detail at any of the topics you cover in class. For this Cultural Perspective, try doing a web search for the following terms and see what you can find:

  • Music and Ritual
  • Music and Social Function
  • Music and Worship
  • Ceremonial Music
  • Noh Music

Task: Write what you think about the issue and what you have found out.

Requirements:

  1. From the list above, select a topic which interests you. You may suggest your own topic, but you need to get instructor’s permission to write about it.
  2. Research the topic in detail.
  3. Write a five page (double spaced) paper on your chosen topic.
  4. Paper must have a title page, including the instructor’s name, course number, date, title of the paper, and student’s name.
  5. This assignment must be typed.
  6. Your paper must be properly documented according to the MLA format/style (see link to MLA instructions below in “grading the paper” section) of documentation (parenthetical notes within the text of the paper and a works cited page at the end of the paper). Check out the information at http://www.ctcd.edu/academics/library/helpful-hints-tutorials-and-websites/citation-help/ and the Central Texas College MLA Guide regarding MLA format and plagiarism. You can also find information at this site: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ (NOTE: papers that do not use the MLA format will not be accepted).
  7. Your works cited must contain a minimum of five different sources, including at least one book, at least two periodicals, and at least one encyclopedia.
  8. The paper must be submitted not later than the date specified in the syllabus.

Check list for Research Paper:

  • My research topic is from the approved list of topics.
  • My paper is typed.
  • My paper is five (5) pages in length.
  • My paper has one-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right).
  • I used a font that is no more than 12 point.
  • My paper is double spaced.
  • I have put a parenthetical notation at the end of each sentence in which I have taken ideas, opinions, or statistics from another source, or I have directly quoted another source (citing must be done using MLA format).
  • All of the entries in my works cited page are cited within the text of the paper.
  • I have provided a “works cited” page at the end of the paper listing all sources cited. (The page must be typed according to the MLA format).
  • I have used a minimum of five different sources cited in this paper.
  • I have edited the paper for spelling and grammar.
  • My paper has a title page with the instructor’s name, course number, date, title of the paper, and my name.

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