Choose a genre of music from one of the assigned cultures (Essay 1: India or Indonesia; Essay 2: Africa or Latin America) and write a 1000 word essay. Genre essays must include:
A) Cultural and historical background information: who/what/where/when/why?
B) Description of the performance context: what happens around the music?
C) Musical analysis including instrumentation and other musical details.
Your essay must be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced. This assignment requires outside research synthesizing at least two sources other than the textbook and a works cited page in MLA format.
WHEN did this music first become popular
WHAT were the circumstances that led to the development of this music?
WHERE is this music performed—what kinds of venues?
WHO plays this music: is there an exclusive group of people who play this music? Who is their target audience?
WHY—what is the purpose of playing this music?
What does the venue look like? How is it set up for the performance?
What expectations about the music does the venue convey?
How large? What demographics?
How does the audience behave?
What does the audience behavior show about their experience and expectations of the performance?
How many performers are on stage and what is their relationship to each other?
How do the performers present themselves to the audience (dress, grooming, speech, etc.)?
How do the performers seem to feel about the music?
What kinds of voices and/or instruments do you hear?
Does this genre use instruments that would be recognizable to a Western audience?
Are there instruments that are unusual and new to you? Describe the instruments and describe their timbre. How are the instruments put together, and what kind of distinctive sounds do you get from them because of their unique traits?
Remember melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, form
Pay special attention to rhythm: is there a unique or interesting approach to understanding time?
Pay special attention to texture: how do the different parts fit together and what musical effect do they create?
Pay special attention to timbre:
You don’t have to write about every detail of a piece, but tell me what the musicians do that gives the music its distinctive sound or character
Try to capture the overall mood of the music, and tell me HOW the composer creates and develops that mood