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Blog 9, Kutner

  1. “All of me” by John Legend relates to music and romance because this song is all about Legend expressing his love for his wife. The song mentions how he falls in love with every single part of her, and how he goes in full force with his love. As mentioned in the original presentation, romance is an expression of one’s emotions, feelings, and affection. This song definitely relates to romance as Legend is expressing his deep feelings, as stated in the song, “give your all to me, i’ll give my all to you.” This song is conveying deep commitment, strong emotion and love, all of which are involved in the topic of romance. Additionally, as stated, romance can also include feelings without the commitment and love. Romance can encompass lust and sexial desire, or just the comfort that comes from another person. “Bed” by Jacquees connects to this as the main message is that although Jacquees knows his significant other wants a real relationship, he on the other hand just wants that sexual component. “I know you want to love, but I just want to feel..I got to keep it real.” Jacquees just wanted simple lustful pleasure, without the real expressions of love and commitment involved, as he thinks that is more realistic. 
  1. If I did the topic of music and romance I would have chosen two songs from the country genre. The first song I would have chosen would have been “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs. I would have chosen this song because this song represents that no matter how crazy one’s significant other may be, all those things that make them different and quirky, is what makes them loved. Combs is singing about a special woman in his life that he loves no matter what, as he finds everything about her beautiful, the good and the bad. Although this song was written by a man for his wife, the lyrics are generic enough to allow anyone to relate to them in many different situations. This song represents romance for me because I think a part of romance is loving someone despite their imperfections since you wholeheartedly are in love with them. This causes everything about them to become beautiful, which is what I think this song represents. I don’t think romance only needs to include relationships, but can encompass expressions of love for the important people in one’s life. Another song I would have chosen would have been “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. I think this is a great choice for the music and romance topic because another component of romance is doing things one never even thought of, just because of one’s love for another person. In this piece, Brice sings about how he never thought of himself as a man who would settle down and make a commitment, however that all changed once he met his wife. As stated in the song, “I don’t dance, but here I am spinning you round and round in circles, it ain’t my style but I don’t care, I’d do anything with you anywhere.” I think this represents that he was willing to go out of his comfort zone and do things he usually wouldn’t be comfortable with, just cause he loved his wife so much that it didn’t bother him. This song was originally written for the first dance at Brice and his wife’s wedding, although I still think this song is a great message for everyone. In relationships, one may have to do things out of their comfort zone, however that just makes one love stronger. I think this represents Romance as relationships aren’t always easy, but they teach admirable life lessons.

Blog 8, Kutner

M.I.A created the 2012 pop song, “Bad Girls” as a dedication to the “women to drive movement,” which was a movement dedicated to help Saudi women get the right to drive as it was illegal for all Saudi-an women. Most listeners agreed with the message that M.I.A was trying to convey, as they saw this as a pressing issue for women’s rights in the Saudian culture. However, there were many  who did not agree with her point she was trying to make, as they thought only men should be the drivers as it’s not appropriate for women in Sudia to do so. Many critics criticized M.I.A for confronting the women’s rights issues in Saudia, as well as having women wearing hijabs driving cars in the music video, which was strictly forbidden. M.I.A was also accused of portraying Arabic stereotypes in the music video as the video portrays the Arabic culture. 

“Bad girls” is considered to be apart of several genres, including World-beat, Contemporary R&B, Dance/Electronic. Being considered a piece of popular music, I don’t think music in this genre is necessarily political. A lot of pop songs are created as more catchy, “feel-good” songs, that usually don’t carry strong political messages. However, I think more artists nowadays are  using the power of music as a way to create change, and I think more songs in the pop genre are conveying political messages.

Some lyrics are:

Live fast, die young

Bad girls do it well

Hands up, hands tied

Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang

I’m coming in the Cherokee


There’s steam on the window screen

Take it, take it

World’s bouncing like a trampoline

When I get to where I’m going, gonna have you trembling

When I get to where I’m going, gonna have you saying it

Lookin’ in the rear view, swaggin’ goin’ swell

Shift gear, automatic, damned if I do

Who’s gonna stop me when I’m coming through?

Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang

These strong lyrics show that women have to take charge in the fight for their rights, and that the Sudian culture should allow it. It mentions how Suadi Arabian women are being murdered for driving, as stated “leavin’ boys behind ’cause it’s legal just to kill.” Overall the lyrics are portraying women as empowered beings who need to take charge for what is right. Additionally, in the music video, the people sitting in the drivers’ seats for close-ups are all women, to help convey this message. These women are considered “bad girls” for going against the rules, however they were doing what was needed to be done for their deserved rights.

One musical characteristic that stood out to me right away was the rhythm. The whole song in general has very Middle Eastern and Indian sounds. The song starts out right away with a dupal beat that sets the tone for the rest of the song. More beats are then added into the song, with a medium tempo throughout.  There is also the unique timbre of the instruments throughout the song that gives off the Middle Eastern sounds. This is appropriate due to the fact that it was unique for Middle Eastern women to be speaking out for their rights and demand for what they deserved. M.I.A really encompased Middle Eastern women and their needs in her music, and used it to fight for what was right.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uYs0gJD-LE

Blog 7, Kutner

The affect of the music for the Sema ceremony has a strong impact on the listeners bodies and mind. The whole point of the music and dance of Mevlevi is to “experience direct spiritual union with God.” Therefore, the music is used as this slow, majestic, calming melody that helps to focus one’s mind so that they can feel a connection. The music coincides with the dance that they perform. One aspect of the dance is that they twist and spin, and as the video stated, they have their eyes open but unfocused, so they experience this blurred and distorted effect that can help with their “journey to God.” This aspect helps for the music to ignite their spiritual energy as it connects the body with the mind, and helps with that flow to God through the worship ceremony.

The Sema ceremony can be compared to the music in the synagogue for Kol Nidre. Similar to Sema in that this worship ceremony is sacred, Kol Nidre is a very special part of the Jewish religion, usually said on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. The chant of Kol Nidre is used as a way to connect to God, and has a deep meaning as Yom Kippur is the holiday that one prays for their life. The music is different in a sense, in that there is no specific dance that goes along with this chant, however, they are similar in that both melodies have a slow tempo and have a calming effect that can help with one’s spirituality and connectedness.

Blog 6, Kutner

One song that is closely associated with my ethnicity is the Hebrew song of “Hatikvah,” meaning “hope.” Hatikvah was written as a poem in the 19th century by poet Naftali Herz Imber, and is therefore associated with the Romantic period. This song is the official national anthem for the State of Israel, as well as the anthem of the Zonist movement, and it’s all about the longing of the Jewish people to return to their homeland. The song was originally written in Romania, however, only the first line from the original poem was kept for what today is the national anthem for the Jewish people. The state of Israel was established in 1948, and this was a huge milestone for the Jewish people as they had no homeland to go to at that time. During WWII, many Jews had no place to go to, as most countries didn’t want them in their land. The Bible established Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and this song talks about their hope that was not lost for over 2,000 years. The song emphasises the dream of the Jewish people to be a free nation in their own homeland. One musical characteristic that stood out to me was definitely the tempo, as the song is very slow and holds a mystical tune, including a lot of disjunct throughout the song. These characteristics make the song more meaningful and is appropriate for an anthem expressing deep longing. I wouldn’t say this song became part of pop culture that we have today, as Jewish people who are specifically living in the land of Israel have modern, secular Hebrew pop music. This piece is very much still tied to my ethnicity, as it is and always will be the national anthem of my people, expressing our desire to all unite in our home land.

Blog 5 Kutner

I would be most comfortable at the Jazz club concert. I would expect to see the performers to be lively and loud and improvise by adding in their own singing, clapping and having solos. Jazz music is also something I enjoy listening to as it’s fun and upbeat. Since it was at a club, people could have also been getting food, talking, etc. which helps give it a more chill vibe, as well as a more intimate atmosphere. With Jazz, the instruments take turns playing improvised solos and are more spontaneous, which is something I would enjoy. Concerts I usually attend are lively pop or EDM concerts where the audience is able to sing along with the artist and dance. The performers also interact with the audience members, talk to them and overall it’s a fun interactive experience. 

I would be the least comfortable at a chamber music concert. This is because chamber music performers don’t usually have that much interaction with the audience members. They play their instruments following their notes, and they don’t follow a conductor. It is also much smaller than the other concerts we discussed, which is something I am not used to as the concerts I usually attend are with a much larger crowd which I personally enjoy. Additionally, as a listener, I would be expected to sit and watch without being able to have any interaction with the  performers. When I attend concerts, I like being able to feel as though I am connecting with the performer, either through singing along with them or dancing to their music.

Blog 4 Kutner

I chose the movie clip from “Back To the Future.” This movie is about a teenager Marty McFly, who accidently travels back in time where he encounters his parents who were teenagers at that time, and experiences many other adventures throughout the film. All through the movie his friend and scientist, Doc, who created the time travel machine, try to figure out how to make it back to the future. In this movie clip, McFly is showing Doc a video of Doc in the future, talking about how much gigawatts he needs for the time machine. It is in this clip that they figure out a way of how to generate that much power, through lightning, to be able to travel back to 1985.

There are many diegetic sounds throughout the clip, such as the television which Doc is talking from. There’s also the sounds of the TV rewinding, running, doors closing, the wrinkling of the newspaper, and McFly and Doc talking to each other. Additionally there are nondiegetic sounds. When McFly and Doc have the realization that a lightning bolt is what can help generate enough power for the machine, you hear instruments all of a sudden in the background, such as multiple violins. The music definitely adds to the emotion and mood of the audience. The music adds to the excitement of the scene, as well as filling you with anticipation and eagerness. The music helps you to see the gears in McFly’s and Doc’s brains working as they figure out more and more of their plan. The dynamics and tempo play a big role in the nondiegetic sounds, as it first starts out slow and low, then progressively gets faster and much louder when the realization of McFly being sent back to the future finally hits. If the music wasn’t there, the scene would definitely have lost a lot of its excitement, anticipation, and eagerness for the audience.

Kutner Blog 3

A musical format is something that shapes the music within it. One very relevant use of musical format is the streaming application, Spotify. The invention of Spotify definitely fits our definition of technology as it immensely helps humans achieve their goals; the purpose of Spotify is pretty simple, it’s to be able to stream music. There are over 30 million songs on Spotify that are available by artists from all around the world. The format of the app is very convenient, as one can make his own playlists, listen to only specific artists, find albums, listen to singles, and even have personalized mixes made for users based on their algorithms. Your own personal playlists shapes the music within the app, and the way you listen to your music is affected by your preference of songs. Spotitfy even designed different albums for different moods, activities, or vibes one has, allowing people to find that perfect song. Some of my favorites include “songs to sing in the car,”  “mood booster,” and “chill hits.” Additionally, people can follow other people’s playlists so they can share music with each other and (with Premium, which costs a nominal monthly fee) people are allowed to download music so you can even listen to your favorite jams without internet, such as while taking a flight. Furthermore, there are podcasts that can be listened to on the app, radio options, and there’s even video streaming on some songs. The way that Spotify strategically decides what shows up on your feed helps to make it so popular. Spotify can also be used on a range of devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, speakers, TV, and cars.

I don’t believe there are people that use Spotify in the way that it wasn’t designed for. The sole purpose of Spotify is to be able to listen and stream music, and there are not many other options to do on the app besides that. I have a lot of experience with this technology as I use Spotify every single day, multiple times a day. Whenever I want to listen to music (which is almost all the time) I open up my Spotify app, find my playlists, daily mixes, or an artists album I like and listen away. A piece of music that uses this technology is the song “Intentions” by Justin Beiber. This song came out on the app as a single on February 7, 2020. Spotify made this song available to users, allowing it to be streamed, and then gave more suggestions of Beiber’s music after listening to the song.

Blog 2 Kutner

The first thing that stood out to me when listening to Kyrie (monophonic) was the rhythm. Rhythm is the way that music is organized into distinct time units. It tells the order and the length of the pitches. In this piece, the pitches stood on the notes for long periods of time, especially at the end of the verses (such as on the lyric “son”). The tempo stood out to me as well, as the tempo is the speed at which a piece of music or part of it is played. In this piece, certain pitches had more emphasis and took up longer periods of time than others. Certain pitches were assigned to longer durations of time than others, such as at the end of the piece where the last note had a particularly longer duration. Additionally, I took note of the melody, which is a unit of pitches that are sounded one right after the other (in succession). There are higher and lower pitches and those show the differences in the sounds that are heard. I noticed especially higher pitches towards the middle of the song as the music progressed. Furthermore, some pitches had shorter distances between each other, known as conjunct, and some had longer distances, known as disjunct. At some points, the words seemed to blend together faster, and at other times it sounded like it was taking a bit longer to get to the next verse, showing the disjunct. One thing I did not notice in this piece was the timbre, which is the particular sound of color of an instrument that makes it unique. There are no noticeable strings, woodwinds, brass, or percussion that was heard. However, after playing the song for a second time, I noticed a slight mystical sound in the background, almost like an echo, that was being played along with the singer’s voice. 

The next piece I listened to was Kyrie from the Pope Marcellus Mass. I really enjoyed this piece and found it pleasing to listen to. After learning the musical elements, I concluded that this could be from the consonant harmonies, which are harmonies that sound pleasing together. This piece had a very excellent use of harmony, which refers to the sounding of two or more pitches at the same time. This piece had multiple pitches that were being sung simultaneously, some going much higher, while others much lower in the background. I also noted the polyphony, which are several independent lines sounding simultaneously, which is what all the different voices sound like as they blended beautifully together. This contrasts with the ending, which I believed showed monophony, which is a single musical line that ended off the song in a satisfying way. I would say this piece of music is structured similar to church/gospel music, as it has that spiritual, higher power feeling to it.

Kutner Blog 1

The Baroque period took place from 1600-1750s. One thing about this period that excites me is that opera was invented during this time. The operas they had back then are very similar to musicals that we have today. The operas consisted of a combination between singing, as well as a storyline with a plot usually based on love stories from Greek mythology. Generally, included in the storyline were some sort of divine presence that came to save the day and helped all the issues work out. Early operas featured simple songs, however later on there were alterations between “speech like sections with melodious songs.” It was really fascinating to learn that even in the 16th century they had their own version of Broadway entertainment. 

Additionally, this was a time period when music started to become more adventurous. There were new instrumental genres that were being born such as “sonata” and “concerto.” Despite these broadening genres, all styles of music were still able to be unified. This is because all music from that century came from the same base line known as “basso continuo.” This bass line is what brought together all the different types of music and styles during this period. Furthermore, there were some modern advancements to music during this time, such as the development of major and minor chords, as well as ornaments being added to musical notes.

I chose the composer Gerorge Frideric Handel’s most famous piece,“Messiah.” This music does sound like what I expected from this era. This is because the structure resembled that of an opera, although there is no direct speech. In addition, during this time period musicians were into impressing their audiences. This piece includes fast paced violin as well as the voices reaching high melodic notes, such as the Hallelujah chorus, which are vocally impressive. This piece also has the angelic and divine feels to it, which was popular during the Baroque period.