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Participation Post for “Music in Concert”, Week of 3/18-3/25

To receive participation points for this unit, please leave a comment on this post with your responses to the questions asked in the lecture videos for the week of 3/18-3/25. Like with our blog posts, you are also expected to leave a substantial comment in response to one of your classmates. You can access the lecture videos through the Course Schedule.

Participation comments are due by Wednesday 3/25 at 5pm.

Prompt for Blog 4

Pick one of the following film clips:

  1. Opening Scene from Get Out (2017)
  2. Ride of the Valkyries/Helicopter Attack from Apocalypse Now (1979)
  3. 1.21 Gigawatts from Back to the Future (1985)

If you aren’t already aware of the story for the scene you picked, look it up online; in a few sentences, tell us what’s going on in your clip and the movie as a whole. Remember to use quote marks and share the source you’re citing if necessary.

Next, identify some of the diegetic sounds (including music) from the clip; are there any nondiegetic sounds?

Recalling our conversation in class this week, what does the music add to the clip? Does it tell the audience something about the story, characters, or plot? Does it establish an emotion or mood for the audience? If you aren’t sure, try watching the clip without sound to compare. Be as specific as possible, naming at least one musical characteristic that you think is important.

Refer to your class notes, the textbook, and our class slides if you aren’t sure how to talk about the music in your example.

This blog is due Sunday March 15 at 12pm. Remember to consult the posting guidelines and How-To Guide if necessary.

Prompt for Blog 3

Select a piece of musical technology such as a musical format, an instrument, a mode of instruction, software, etc. This can be anything related to music that fits our definition of technology:

“Knowledge, techniques, and tools that help humans (or animals!) achieve certain goals.”

Referring to your textbook, notes, and any online sources you find useful, describe this technology and answer the following questions. What is its purpose? How does it work to achieve that purpose? Are there any people that use this technology in a way that it wasn’t designed for? Do you have any experience with this technology?

Find a piece of music that uses the technology that you’ve chosen. How did the technology influence the music it helped to produce? Please include in your blog either a YouTube or Spotify link.

This blog is due Sunday March 8 by 12pm.  Remember to consult the posting guidelines and How-To Guide if necessary.

Prompt for Blog 3–Still Postponed

Hi everyone! I mistakenly mentioned in class that there is a blog due this weekend. In fact, Blog 3 is not scheduled for this weekend. Like I wrote in my previous update post, the prompt for our next blog will be posted on Wednesday March 4 with a due date of Sunday March 8.

Apologies for the confusion and best of luck with your topic proposals!

Prompt for Blog 3–POSTPONED

Because of our canceled classes, there will be no blog due for this weekend (2/23). Instead, take this time to review for our upcoming quiz on Wednesday February 26 or begin researching a topic for the Music and… Playlist.

The prompt for our next blog will be posted on Wednesday March 4 with a due date of Sunday March 8.

Prompt for Blog 2

REMINDER: I will be collecting your notes worksheet on the musical elements on Wednesday 2/19. Paper copies only.

Under Monday 2/10 in the schedule, I’ve included links to three pieces of assigned listening: Alapana from Sitar, Sarode, and Tabla; Kyrie (monophonic); and Kyrie from the Pope Marcellus Mass. For this blog, you will pick two of these listening examples and discuss them in connection with any three of the musical elements: melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, texture, or form.

Your discussion can take many forms–the most important aspect of this assignment is that you listen closely, make an effort to apply the musical concepts from class, and describe the results. Here are some things you can choose to do in your blog:

  • define your musical elements or terms
  • describe how these elements or terms are present in your example
  • if you think the elements or terms don’t apply to your example (or you can’t hear them), describe why the music doesn’t fit within these categories, or what information you’re missing to make a decision
  • compare/contrast how your examples utilize a musical element
  • talk about your process of close listening with the musical elements in mind

You can learn more about the listening examples as well as the elements by consulting the following resources: Chapter 2 of the textbook (available in three sections as PDF files under 2/5 and 2/10 in the schedule); class slides (2/5 and 2/10); your class notes; or finding sources online (but make sure to quote or give credit as necessary!).

This blog is due Sunday 2/16 by 12:00pm. Don’t forget to comment on a classmate’s post and consult the posting guidelines pinned at the top of the blog.

Prompt for Blog 1

Based on the first letter of your last name, you will write a blog on one of the six historical periods of Western Art music described in Chapter 1.

Medieval: A-D

Renaissance: E-I

Baroque: J-K

Classical: L-M

Romantic: N-V

Twentieth Century: W-Z

Some questions to answer after reading the textbook’s description of the period and reviewing the slides from the course schedule: What about this period excites you? Are there any historical events within the period that you know about? How does the textbook describe the music from that period?

Next, pick one of the composers listed under that time period at the end of Chapter 1 and listen to some of their music. Tell us which composer/piece you picked. Does the music sound like what you expected from the textbook or your own knowledge? Why or why not?

Due Sunday, February 9 by 12pm.

Refer to the Posting Guidelines to make sure you get full points for this blog. Please do not share your blog as a comment to this prompt. Instead, create a new post of your own and leave a comment on another blog post. Refer to “Step 5” of our How-To Guide if you aren’t sure how to do this.


Thanks for creating a Commons account and joining our course site. I’m excited to read your thoughts about music in each of your blogs throughout the semester. Please comment below to briefly introduce yourself (name, year, major, and a musician/song/group/composer that you like). Feel free to share a music recording from Youtube.

For example, here’s my introduction. Hi everyone! My name is Samuel Teeple and I’ll be teaching this course. I’m a PhD student at the Graduate Center and I’m studying musicology. One of my favorite composers is Felix Mendelssohn since I study German music in the 1800s–here’s the London Symphony Orchestra playing his piece The Hebrides, a work he composed in 1830 after spending time in Scotland near the sea.


Posting Guidelines

In your blog posts, I expect two to three paragraphs (around 180 words) in which your ideas are supported by musical or textual evidence. This means that along with giving your thoughts or opinions, you need to provide specific reasons why you have given that answer. Points are given based on your use of evidence and the length of your posts.

For full credit, you need to comment on at least one of your classmates’ responses. Since blog posts are due Sundays at 12:00pm, I will be checking for comments at 2pm. If you post your blog before everyone else, I expect you to come back to the blog later that weekend to post a comment. These comments should be two to three sentences long and be more than a simple “that’s cool,” “I agree,” or “You’re wrong.” It’s fine to disagree or support their point, but provide specific reasons why. Or, if you think of something interesting that relates to or builds on their point, feel free to share that as well.

Happy posting!