MUSI 212--Essay #2
Friday, 11 November 2005
In this essay, as in the first essay question, we would like you to
analysis to concentrate on a pair of pieces; at the same time, we would
like you to use analysis in the broader context of an argument.
Choose one of the pairs of musical examples listed below. Each of the pairs
is related in some way--by style, performer, or time period. Relying primarily
on your analysis of musical sound, construct an argument that
links or contrasts them.
The argument may be social or historical in nature (e.g., the nature of
"blackness" as social
identity), or it may relate to a few points of musical style that you choose to
focus on. Regardless, your argument must relate directly to the music you listen to.
You may cite, as you wish,
broader concepts of biography and style derived from class; but ultimately,
bring your argument to bear on the uniqueness of the individual examples.
Use your music analysis to describe short segments of each performance
in detail, citing specific examples with CD/mp3 timings. Be specific in your writing by
using the musical vocabulary introduced in class
to articulate your points. (For a list of terms, see "Definitions" on the web site.)
examples are on the web site, and those marked with * are also on
Ken Burns Jazz.
- *Dizzy Gillespie, "Salt Peanuts" and
*Charlie Parker, "Ko-Ko"
- *Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, "Doodlin'" and
Cannonball Adderley, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"
- Mingus, "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" and
"Far Wells, Mill Valley"
- Miles Davis, "Bye Bye Blackbird" and
- Ornette Coleman, "Lonely Woman" and
"Song X Duo"
- *Dave Brubeck, "Take Five" and
*Modern Jazz Quartet, "Django"
- *John Coltrane, "Giant Steps" and
A few disclaimers:
- This is not a research paper. You may cite articles from outside the class, but your argument
should be based primarily on your own observations and material presented in class.
- Do not base your argument directly on arguments or
analysis presented in class or on the webpage.
You may use this information as a guide, but use your own ears and your own mind
to find specific ideas and
musical moments that are interesting to you.
- Do not suggest in your argument that one kind of jazz is superior because
it is compared to an example that is inferior. All the music chosen in this
class is of superior quality.
- Make sure that the ideas behind your argument are clearly stated.
- Remember that in
music analysis, it is very easy
simply to follow a piece from beginning to end, but all too often, such a description
fails to make any kind of point at all. As before, students who make their argument without
analysis can expect to receive a lower grade (B as the best possible grade).
- If you cite a source--whether it's a page from the web site, an article in the
reading, or some other resource--be sure to put it in quotation marks and cite
the source. Failure to do so can be considered plagiarism.
- When citing the class web site, use either in-text parenthtical format or footnotes.
Include the subsection as listed on the "Assignments" page ("Fusion," "Miles Davis
in the 1950s," etc.)
3 to 5 pages, double-spaced.
to be delivered to your TA's mailbox no later
than Tuesday, 29 November.