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VPMA93 written assignment
Due: November 29, 2015
Value: 30% of course total
In the first lecture, we discussed the following quote by John Blacking:
Even if a person describes musical experiences in the technical language of music, he is in fact describing emotional experiences which he has learned to associate with particular musical sounds.
In the sixth lecture, we approached two pieces of music by first listening to them and describing their musical features and our emotional response to them. We then discussed the context of these two pieces and how this affected and changed our reaction to these pieces.
Your assignment is to choose one musical composition that is not on the course listening list and to approach your investigation of this piece in the same manner as we did in Lecture 6. The composition must come from a Western music tradition and can be in any genre (Classical,1 folk, rock, jazz, pop, etc.2). In the first part of this assignment you will describe what you hear using the technical language that you have learned in this course. How do the technical features of your chosen piece become an emotional experience for you as a listener? You will then research the composition and discover whatever you can about the context in which the piece was composed. What compositional techniques were used to create this piece of music and what might the composer have wanted to communicate? How does the context in which the piece was written give meaning to the music and affect or change your reaction to that piece of music? Due to the nature of this assignment, please feel free to write your essay using the first person narrative form.
Range: 1100 to 1200 words
As a starting point, be sure to familiarize yourself with the composition by listening to it. You will need to introduce the piece that you have selected using the technical language that you have acquired from class and provide your initial reaction to it; you will then provide an explanation of how your knowledge of the historical and cultural context affects your reaction
1 If you are thinking of choosing a multi-movement Classical work such as a symphony, focus on only one movement in your essay.
2 If you are thinking of writing your essay on a very recently composed piece of music, please begin by ensuring that there are secondary sources available to consult for the second part of your essay. If there are not, you will need to choose a different piece of music.
to the composition. Your paper must be in proper essay format.3 You may use any of the standard styles of citation. Examples may be found at http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/using-and-citing-sources-0.
An essay of this length must include a bibliography of at least four secondary sources to demonstrate that your argument is supported by balanced research. Once you have chosen your composition, a good place to begin your research is with Oxford Music Online, which may be accessed through the UTSC library: http://search.library.utoronto.ca/details?7911878&uuid=bb750053-753b-4791-9c03-190a730ec5c8 (you will need to provide your library card number or UTOR login if you are accessing the dictionary from home). The bibliography at the end of each article will provide you with further resources.
Many scholarly journals may be found on-line through the UTSC library. A good way to begin is by searching the JSTOR database: http://search.library.utoronto.ca/details?7911781&uuid=ef717e76-0238-4d86-8d6a-8de08cb9f9dc. You may then type in the name of the journal or perform a subject search – try “music,” “musicology,” “opera” or any other term that relates to your topic.
Using internet resources: please take care when researching your topic to use only those internet resources that are of reliable quality (such as scholarly journals found on-line or other resources connected with universities or other reputable institutions). While you may decide to use Wikipedia as a place to start your search, it is not acceptable to use as the basis of your research because it is known to be wrought with inaccuracies and incorrect information. Peer reviewed scholarly sources have editorial boards that ensure all information is correct, so please consult such resources.
Remember that you must cite any thoughts that are not your own through a footnote, endnote, or some other type of reference (this includes both direct quotations and ideas that are borrowed and put into your own words). It is not enough to merely list your references in your bibliography; you must refer to them when they are used directly in the body of your essay.
The attached grading rubric will provide you with guide to the features by that will be evaluated in your essay.
Students who are unaccustomed to writing essays or who have difficulties with communication in English are strongly advised to take advantage of the services offered at the UTSC Writing Centre: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/ (room 210 in the Academic Resources Centre). You
3 Due to the unconventional nature of this essay, your thesis will probably be some variation of “Upon first listening to the piece I had a certain reaction, and then after researching the composition my thoughts about the piece did/didn’t change.”
may contact the Writing Centre for help at any stage of the writing process, from developing a thesis to editing the final draft of your paper.
You will also find some U of T websites that offer advice on academic writing:
Academic Integrity is essential to the pursuit of learning and scholarship, and breaches in the form of plagiarism and cheating are taken very seriously. All violations of the standards of integrity found in the university’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters will be reported. Please familiarize yourself with aspects of academic integrity and methods of proper citation.
How not to plagiarize: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize
How to cite sources: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/using-and-citing-sources-0
Information regarding academic integrity: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/academic-integrity
Submission of your essay:
You will need to submit your paper to 2 different locations:
Acceptable file type: Word only
Please use the following format to name your file:
Surname First initial of your given name Student number
You will find instructions for submitting your paper to Blackboard here: http://portalinfo.utoronto.ca/content/submitting-assignments
A guide for students using Turnitin may be found on the course Blackboard page, or you may consult the guide found here: http://www.turnitin.com/en_us/training/student-training/submitting-a-paper
Class ID: 11008352
Enrollment password: timbre
VPMA93 Grading Rubric
Student Name: Student Number:
Depth and complexity of ideas supported by rich, engaging, and/or pertinent details
Depth of idea development supported by developed, relevant details
Basic idea development; repetitious and/or underdeveloped details
Little or no idea development; few and/or unrelated ideals
Quality of research
All information relevant to topic; sufficient information provided to support all elements of topic; research in-depth and beyond the obvious, revealing new insights gained
Most information relevant to thesis; sufficient information provided; research of sufficient depth
Insufficient research; some information relevant to thesis; information provided to support some elements of topic; surface research
Little research apparent and/or research inappropriate to support of thesis topic
Format and Organization
Clear focus established and maintained; careful organization that enhances presentation
Consistent focus or purpose; logical organization
Some organization; lapses in focus and/or coherence
Limited or no awareness of purpose; random and/or weak organization
Style and mechanics (grammar and spelling)
Sophisticated and varied sentence structure and length; precise and rich language; virtually no errors in mechanics
Controlled and varied sentence structure; appropriate, effective language; few errors in mechanics
Correct sentence structure that is simplistic or awkward at times; simplistic and/or occasionally imprecise language; some errors in mechanics
Incorrect and/or ineffective sentence structure; incorrect and/or ineffective syntax and diction; many errors in mechanics