In a short essay (~500-700 words), describe the SOUND of at least three, and no more than five, different

In a short essay (~500-700 words), describe the SOUND of at least three, and no more than five, different recordings. Listen critically, with musicians’ ears! What sort of emotions or images (if any) does the song bring up for you? Be as specific as you can in your desсrіptions. Think of yourself as a painter – use colorful language and images to carry across the flavor of the interpretations.

Songs: Ain’t Misbehavin by Fat Waller in 1992, Ruth Etting Ain’t Misbehavin, and Louis Armstrong′s: Ain’t Misbehavin

Feel free to list some general information about the song… but don’t make this the major thrust of your paper. (e.g. What is the title of your song? The composer? If there are lyrics, who was the lyricist? When was the song composed? And for what context? What versions have you located of the song? When were these recorded, and in what context?) NOTE: I’m actually not terribly interested in all this “biography”-type stuff, but it’s good to know and to get out of the way so you can then discuss what’s actually interesting to me: your relationship to the song and how you describe the sound of what you hear.

What comparisons/contrasts can you make about the different interpretations? Which do enjoy the most, and why? In giving this assignment, my hope is that you discover some of the flexibility of these well-crafted, older songs.

Also, consider what the experience of spending time with an unfamiliar song, or most likely, an unfamiliar period of music, has meant to you. You have free reign to write creatively, to tell stories, to include ideas about popular music we’ve discussed in class, or to explore whatever direction your mind takes you in related to our semester so far!

Three bits of advice about what not to do:

1) Don′t waste time speculating about the inner emotional life of the songwriter or the performer, in a way that isn′t connected to a discussion of musical details. Remember that songwriters are doing a job, which is to conjure emotion – they′re not necessarily experiencing that emotion themselves. Your focus should always be on creating a picture of the sound of the song to someone who isn′t listening to the track.

2) Try to stay away from hackneyed images, such as: ″I could picture this being played in a smoky jazz club or Italian restaurant, with people snapping their fingers and bobbing their heads.″ Images like this do not create a sufficient picture of the music – dig deeper! Also, clichés deaden our ability to think imaginatively by putting things into our own words. Related, don′t make the mistake of assuming that the relatively limited ways this music might function today (as in, ″I could picture this being played at a classy Italian restaurant″) is the only value it has ever held.

3) Don′t reference our class, ″Professor McCool,″ or the parameters of this assignment. Try to make your writing stand up outside of the context of this prompt, so that someone might be reading, say, The New Yorker, and come across your essay as a legitimate thinkpiece, rather than something which reads like a rote response to an college writing prompt.

Please remember my golden rule of expository writing: It’s almost impossible to write well about a topic that isn’t interesting to you. I’m completely uninterested in “Wikipedia regurgitations,” as, I assume, are you. Instead, write about what moves you, and invest something! Find an interesting, attention-grabbing title for your work, and remember, you have 1.5 seconds to grab your reader’s attention at the very beginning of your paper. (This is your “lede″ – we can talk more about this in this week′s live session – but basically, it′s what hooks your reader in and makes them want to keep reading. Think about what makes you keep reading when you first open a news story or article. Please note: dry facts almost never work as a strong lede (e.g., [So and so] was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1921: BORRRRINGGG. Storytelling usually does–show some personality!)

“Names of Songs” should go in quotes, and Album Titles (or Film Titles) go in italics. Please double-space. And obviously, don’t forget to proofread for spelling and grammar.

grading rubric

1. STYLE
• Does the author impart an elegance of phrasing and word choice?
• Attention to details? A sense of variety?
• Creative and colorful desсrіptive details? (use of metaphor, imagery, humor)
• Does the prose have a sense of flow, and feel well edited? (Look out for repetitions and seek variety!)

2. CONTENT
• Does the author present an argument that seems clear, coherent, and developed?
• Does the analysis go somewhere?
• Does the author seem to have discovered anything in the process of writing the paper?
• Are ″facts″ (biographical or historical details) deployed not as an end (as in an encyclopedia entry), but a beginning?
• Are facts contextualized within a larger framework of speculation and original thought?
• Does the author employ an authoritative tone?

3. STRUCTURE
• Is the piece well organized?
• Does the author use paragraphs to lend direction and focus?

4. INVESTITURE/STAKES
• Does the piece sound like it came from a human who has a stake in the game, and something to say?
• Did the author choose to write about a topic that meant something to them?
• Is the author revealing anything about themselves?
• Do I get a sense that the author grappled with any of the key issues?

5. GRAMMAR
• Has the paper been adequately proofread?
• Are any instances of clunky grammar or passive voice expunged from the writing?
Songs: Ain’t Misbehavin by Fat Waller in 1992, Ruth Etting Ain’t Misbehavin, and Louis Armstrong′s: Ain’t Misbehavin

Feel free to list some general information about the song… but don’t make this the major thrust of your paper. (e.g. What is the title of your song? The composer? If there are lyrics, who was the lyricist? When was the song composed? And for what context? What versions have you located of the song? When were these recorded, and in what context?) NOTE: I’m actually not terribly interested in all this “biography”-type stuff, but it’s good to know and to get out of the way so you can then discuss what’s actually interesting to me: your relationship to the song and how you describe the sound of what you hear.

What comparisons/contrasts can you make about the different interpretations? Which do enjoy the most, and why? In giving this assignment, my hope is that you discover some of the flexibility of these well-crafted, older songs.

Also, consider what the experience of spending time with an unfamiliar song, or most likely, an unfamiliar period of music, has meant to you. You have free reign to write creatively, to tell stories, to include ideas about popular music we’ve discussed in class, or to explore whatever direction your mind takes you in related to our semester so far!

Three bits of advice about what not to do:

1) Don′t waste time speculating about the inner emotional life of the songwriter or the performer, in a way that isn′t connected to a discussion of musical details. Remember that songwriters are doing a job, which is to conjure emotion – they′re not necessarily experiencing that emotion themselves. Your focus should always be on creating a picture of the sound of the song to someone who isn′t listening to the track.

2) Try to stay away from hackneyed images, such as: ″I could picture this being played in a smoky jazz club or Italian restaurant, with people snapping their fingers and bobbing their heads.″ Images like this do not create a sufficient picture of the music – dig deeper! Also, clichés deaden our ability to think imaginatively by putting things into our own words. Related, don′t make the mistake of assuming that the relatively limited ways this music might function today (as in, ″I could picture this being played at a classy Italian restaurant″) is the only value it has ever held.

3) Don′t reference our class, ″Professor McCool,″ or the parameters of this assignment. Try to make your writing stand up outside of the context of this prompt, so that someone might be reading, say, The New Yorker, and come across your essay as a legitimate thinkpiece, rather than something which reads like a rote response to an college writing prompt.

Please remember my golden rule of expository writing: It’s almost impossible to write well about a topic that isn’t interesting to you. I’m completely uninterested in “Wikipedia regurgitations,” as, I assume, are you. Instead, write about what moves you, and invest something! Find an interesting, attention-grabbing title for your work, and remember, you have 1.5 seconds to grab your reader’s attention at the very beginning of your paper. (This is your “lede″ – we can talk more about this in this week′s live session – but basically, it′s what hooks your reader in and makes them want to keep reading. Think about what makes you keep reading when you first open a news story or article. Please note: dry facts almost never work as a strong lede (e.g., [So and so] was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1921: BORRRRINGGG. Storytelling usually does–show some personality!)

“Names of Songs” should go in quotes, and Album Titles (or Film Titles) go in italics. Please double-space. And obviously, don’t forget to proofread for spelling and grammar.

grading rubric

1. STYLE
• Does the author impart an elegance of phrasing and word choice?
• Attention to details? A sense of variety?
• Creative and colorful desсrіptive details? (use of metaphor, imagery, humor)
• Does the prose have a sense of flow, and feel well edited? (Look out for repetitions and seek variety!)

2. CONTENT
• Does the author present an argument that seems clear, coherent, and developed?
• Does the analysis go somewhere?
• Does the author seem to have discovered anything in the process of writing the paper?
• Are ″facts″ (biographical or historical details) deployed not as an end (as in an encyclopedia entry), but a beginning?
• Are facts contextualized within a larger framework of speculation and original thought?
• Does the author employ an authoritative tone?

3. STRUCTURE
• Is the piece well organized?
• Does the author use paragraphs to lend direction and focus?

4. INVESTITURE/STAKES
• Does the piece sound like it came from a human who has a stake in the game, and something to say?
• Did the author choose to write about a topic that meant something to them?
• Is the author revealing anything about themselves?
• Do I get a sense that the author grappled with any of the key issues?

5. GRAMMAR
• Has the paper been adequately proofread?
• Are any instances of clunky grammar or passive voice expunged from the writing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>