Select one song you like and that in your opinion has an important message about life today something that matters in 2021. Write at least four double-spaced pages (not including title information) about it. The song you select must have been composed anytime from 1945 up until now, have lyrics, and be accessible now to the public in an online performance. Properly cite a reference for the lyrics and for the specific online performance you watched (otherwise you will receive 0 out of 100 points). See page two for citation details. Address all of the components in this handout. You may (but are not required to) include a very modest amount of information regarding what others have published about the song, only if you compare those ideas to yours and cite the source. Include a few very short passages from the lyrics. Do not write about the song “American Pie” or any specific song we have covered in class up to the date that you start your paper. Writing mechanics will be factored into your grade. Use paragraphs and check grammar and spelling.
Interpretation is your persuasive argument regarding what the big idea of the song is, what the song says about life, why it has important implications for the world today – in 2021, and why you personally connect with it.
Decide on one clear interpretation – the big idea that this song conveys – and provide a thorough rationale for it. Note the following.
- Consider your descriptions of the music, your emotional response, current or recent events/issues that connect to it, lyrics, ambience, energy, tempo, and any ideas related to genre, if important.
- Consider the ideas conveyed by the performer’s fictional body and how this informs your big interpretive idea. Note that they can be one and the same. Consider how they dress, move, gesture, express ideas, and interact with the audience. Also write about how this song engages with your body when you experience it. In what specific ways does it affect you how do you interact bodily with it? Why? Explain.
- Include other performance factors (e.g., stage lighting) only if you find that they inform your big idea.
- Explain how the music and lyrics relate to one another, including a few very short passages from the lyrics.
- Thoroughly discuss why you find the song important and personally meaningful and how it connects with some aspects of your identity and your worldview.
- Explain specifically how it relates to the world today.
- Include a few examples of short passages from the lyrics in quotation marks to illustrate your ideas
- Write from your perspective; don’t assume that other people view it similarly.
How/when do you experience it?
Explain when, where, and how (using which technology) you listen to the song. Describe the scenario in which you typically experience it, including the situation, and the kind and effects of the technology that you often use to listen to it. For example, how does listening to the song on an MP3 player with ear buds in a public space affect your musical, emotional, bodily, and intellectual experience?