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Six-page long, Fond: Times New Roman, size: 12.
Citations in Chicago Manual of Style!
Choose a composer, an instrument, a composition or perhaps a manuscript as the topic of your first paper. There might be also other areas that you are interested in and would like to expend your knowledge upon: music notation, music treatises, etc. If you would like to pursue it and you are not sure whether it is suitable for an essay, please talk to me.
Regardless of the subject matter you choose for the paper, make sure that it also relates to a particular piece of music. Thus, if you choose a composer or an instrument, find also a music composition, which you will discuss. The compositions we have discussed at the classes are excluded!
Thus, a half of your paper might be based on the research, on a composer, an instrument, a manuscript, etc (citing source is fine, please use Grove Dictionary: link is provided under Announcements). The other half of the paper should be your discussion of the music composition related to the topic (do not cite any sources!).
The topic must be drawn from the time period spanning from Ancient Greek music up to late Renaissance period. If you choose a vocal piece, focus on the text first (provide text in the paper with the translation). Make sure you choose the original arrangement of the composition! There are lots of contemporary arrangements of the old compositions on the web, for example, computer remaking of Renaissance songs. Make sure you have the original composition. If you are not sure, contact me. DO NOT assume I know the composition. There are thousands of Renaissance madrigals and motets and very likely the piece you choose will be a novelty to me. So, please, explain as plainly as you can, what is going on in the music, especially the details regarding the structure of the composition.
When constructing the paper, think about it as a magazine critique for example for the SAIC student magazine. Thus, the paper (in the form of an article) should be targeted towards your colleague at school. Encourage your colleagues to listening to your composition, or to pursue the topic. Of course, to encourage someone you need to be enthusiastic about the topic and the piece yourself: choose something you like. Please, do not use the vocabulary you do not know.
Here are some issues you might address in your paper, while discussing a music composition:
The meaning of the text and how the music is reinforcing it;
Melody (is it consonant or dissonant? wide in range or not?) Quality of the melody (easy to sing or whistle? or perhaps not? why?)
Rhythm (try to identify the rhythm the meter and the pulse of the piece)
Texture (polyphony, homophony, monophony)
Color (instruments, voices)
Perhaps tempo, or dynamics
Harmony (perhaps you are able to say whether it is minor or major mode?)
Instrumentation (you can talk about the instruments that are used in the piece)
Composer (his connections with other cultures, countries and how it influenced his music, do not write his biography!!)
The performance (Is it inviting? What do you like about it? Perhaps there is something you would change?) Perhaps you want to compare two different rendition of the same composition?
The structure of the piece (it is easier in the texted pieces), for the instrumental music try to grasp the overall scheme: ABA, or AB, etc.
Function: (what was the function of the piece? composed for a special occasion? for a large or chamber space?)
Please, provide the link to music you describe so I can listen to it. If you get the music from some other source, please make my access to it as easy as possible. I will not grade the papers for which I have not received the music.

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