Question variety of music types, and this perhaps

Question 1: From the various periods
of music you have studied so far, choose one. Using the material in the chapter
and information that you might know from other courses (I.e. history and art
appreciation etc.). Summarize the events and circumstances that drive the given
era. In that discussion place music as the focus. What, within the given period
of time, gives form and structure to the music of day? Use several solid
examples to explain your answer.

The twentieth-century musical era
defines a musical period that predominantly came to be due to technological
developments and the use of machines in creating sounds and rhythms. The
inadvertent development of radio and its use in the propagation of melodies
drove the uptake of music across the masses in the twentieth century. The
twentieth-century musical era is also associated with the development of a wide
diversity of music based on the lack of preset rules on music composition.
Furthermore the lack of regulations in the musical enterprise created an environment
that enabled musicians to actively embrace their creativity and develop new
rhythms and sounds in their music. Moreover, since music was not limited to
clubs and concerts, it became relatively easy for musicians to gain fame
throughout their individual nations and the world. Interestingly, the
development of the radio enabled audiences to be predisposed to a wide variety
of music types, and this perhaps leads to the formation of a genre known as
world music. Additionally, the twentieth-century musical era was marked by a
remarkable increase in the propagation of music based on the audience’s visual
experience. Music enthusiasts and performers, therefore, embraced the visual
representation of music through broadcasting concerts and music videos.

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The twentieth-century music
revolution was also accompanied by an increase in the portability of music.
Growth in technology drove the development of portable music devices such as
the mp3-players and Walkman’s. Furthermore, the development of headphones enabled
individuals who were sitting next to each other to listen to similar or
entirely different musical performances. Inevitably, the culture of headphones
and earphones has become predominant in society, and individuals of various
ages have embraced its use in listening to music. With the development of
portable music devices, copyright laws were strengthened (Pbs.org, n.d).
Unfortunately, further developments in technology promoted the illegal
production, copying, and proliferation of music regardless of the formulated
copyright laws.

Sound recording technology played an
integral part in the formation of the twentieth-century musical era. It
promoted the generation of music by ensuring the production of music was
relatively cheap and recorded music could be easily transported. Notably, in
the twentieth-century musical era, music was recorded and transmitted on
compact disks, vinyl records, compact cassettes, televisions, radio, and in the
1990’s through the internet (Smither). In 1995, the music industry discovered
the concept of multi-track recording and mixing. This played a crucial role in
the recording and development of the rock and pop music genres since it enabled
producers to record multiple vocal and instrument tracks and put them together
in a way that could not be possible in a live performance. Moreover, the idea
of the multi-track recording played an integral role in the development of
various subdivisions of classical music such as acousmatic and Musique
concrete (newworldsencyclopedia.com). Interestingly, in the 1970s, the
record turntable was repurposed by African-American musicians into an
instrument (newsworldencyclopedia.com). These musicians created the rhythmic
“scratching” melodies by using the vinyl record set on a turntable. 

Question 2: The name of the course
is Music appreciation. What specifically does that mean? In terms of what you
have studied this summer, define the term. In addition, I want you to imagine
the following situation. Imagine that you have been given the task of setting
up a short course in music appreciation, based on the definition you have
given. What would you include and why? In other words, pick out what you think
is important to include in such a course. You should consider styles, artists,
composers, time frames, instrumentation, music theory (part one of the text)
you have to think in terms of what is important. Make sure you substantiate
your response with specific information.

Music appreciation refers to the cultivation of
a culture that focuses on understanding and improving an individual’s sensitivity
towards music and its effects on emotional and social well-being. Notably, the
development of a culture of music appreciation will enhance one’s understanding
of the lives and contribution of musicians and music producers, and the essence
of technology in the development of various music styles. Moreover, music
appreciation will enhance a student’s perspectives towards various concepts of
music such as tone, rhythm, and the use of instruments. An in-depth study of
music and its development will also reveal the native culture of the musicians
and their original contributions towards the development of music genres and
the propagation of specific cultural undertones. If for example, a student was
looking into African-American music that was predominant in the 1970s, the
student will learn of the innate struggle of African individuals against their
harassment and oppression by the police. Moreover, a student will learn of the high
crime rates that were predominant in the Black-American neighborhoods and the
development of a sense of community in this localities. Kirk-Duggan, for
example, suggests that the music produced by Black-American singers in the
early twentieth century gave them a chance to express their humanity regardless
of their horrific oppression.  The
appreciation of African-American music will thus essentially improve one’s
understanding of the set of social and economic injustices that black people
underwent while also enabling an individual to appreciate the creativity,
humanity, and passion that was blatantly expressed throughout their music.

If I were to create a course on music
appreciation, I would focus my classes on the history of individuals and the
development of various musical styles across history. Furthermore, I would look
into the development of each musical period as a consequence of the social and
technological changes of the period and thus delve into the development of
musical styles and the use of various technologies (Fitzpatrick). If, for example, the course I develop is
focused on classical musical, I will look into the types of musical instruments
used in a specific music period and will analyze the musical compilations of
musical geniuses such as Mozart. An understanding of Mozart’s classical music
compilations will perhaps increase my perceptiveness on adequately structured
and effectively composed music.

Music appreciation, I believe, focuses on more
than understanding the reasons why specific genres of music were formed or why
specific messages were passed through songs. One has to also appreciate the
effort and creativeness of musical composers and artists. The development of
perfectly structured musical compositions and the design of lyrics that touch
the emotional centers of listeners is an art, and thus it needs to be
appreciated. Moreover, the intonation and clarity of a song’s message also need
to be recognized and treasured. Any music appreciation course, therefore, has
to teach individuals to listen keenly to the vocal representation of a
musician’s ideas, note the instruments used and the consequent emotion and
psychological effects of the song, and find a link between style, time-frame
and the artist of the song. If for example, a student was focusing on a song by
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald such as Cheek
to Cheek and can’t we be friends,
he/she would note that the genre of the music is blues and vocal jazz.
Moreover, a music appreciation student should observe the music prowess of both
singers and the precise balance between Louis’s gravelly voice and Ella’s sweet
and silvery voice. Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald musical compositions are
a classic example of perfectly balanced music that influences the emotional
states of individuals. Understanding the background for their musical prowess
might thus drive an individual’s appreciation of the blues genre of music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 3: Choose any one
contemporary artists, style, composer, group, etc., that you find worthy of
study. Explain the merit of this person, concept, style, genre, etc. to me asthough
I have no concept of what you are talking about. Using what you have learned
this semester in terms of music, make me understand what you like and why . . .
.  Most of all don’t simply pull
something that you think I would like for you to write about. Write about what
truly interests you. In some cases you will be making some critical judgments
in your essay, so support them accordingly.

One of the best music composers and
performers of all-time is Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson performed and
composed numerous songs that, at the time of his death, had one of the highest
sales numbers in the world. Often dubbed the “king of pop,” Michael Jackson created
hit songs such as Billie Jean, Beat it and Thriller. Notably, he was first introduced to the world of music as
a singer in the Jackson Five band. Later on, he became a solo musician and
composer of his own songs. Like the musical genius Mozart, Michael fully
realized his songs before he wrote them down or produced them. During the
“dangerous” court case of 1994, Jackson said that the actual words, chords, and
presentation of a song came to him like a gift (Holmes).

Jackson’s songs employed the use of
technology to promote the development of rhythm and a unique sound that would
engage his fans. His first song Wanna Be
Startin, for example, used an upbeat tempo that was made using a drum
machine (Cabrera). The drum
machine created a steady and clear drumbeat that captured the attention of
listeners immediately after the song began. Moreover, Jackson employed the use
of multi-tracking to integrate various sounds and instruments throughout the
song. I think that this song was composed well. However, I find that the drum
beats loop can become dull over time regardless of the use of various
instruments and styles in the song.

Interestingly, Michael Jackson
employed numerous styles in his songs. The song Beat It off his first album Thriller,
for example, seems like a fusion of rock and pop genres. Contrarily, the song Pretty Young Thing is mainly based on
the funk genre. Most of Jackson’s song also vary in scale and speed. The song Beat It is based on the E minor scale
and has a beat per minute rate (bpm) of 139 while the song Human Nature is based off the D major scale and has a bpm of 93
(Lucy Jones). Moreover, Jackson could not read or write music. He, however,
played a little guitar, keyboard, drums, and percussion but was not entirely proficient
at it. Furthermore, Jackson lacked any formal composition training. It is thus
surprising that he could compose enchanting music and fully figure out the
song’s progression even before he had recorded or produced it.

I find the arrangement of
instruments and effects in most of Michael Jackson’s songs particularly
enthralling.  In his track Human Nature, off the Thriller album, for example, the song
starts with a calming melody created by a keyboard and then passes on to a
string of broken guitar chords. The shift from the keyboard to guitar
instruments occasions the development and presentation of the song’s lyrics.
Notably, as the song progresses, the lyrics of the song are accompanied by a
staccato feel and a percussion that perhaps enhance the receptibility of
Jackson’s lyrics in the chorus. This song also seems to induce relaxation in an
individual due to its use of a guitar and long tenuto sounding vocals

In conclusion, the artistic works of
Michael Jackson represent one of the most formidable music compositions and
performances. Jackson is one of the musicians in the twentieth-century music
era. He employs the use of devices such as synthesizers and drum machines to
enhance his music and increase its rhythm and progress.

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