Music Assessment Essay Summary:
Write an essay which assesses a particular musical product, e.g. a CD, or a concert performance. Your assessment should include an introduction to the artist and a thesis providing your overall judgment about the CD/performance, etc. You might provide background information, about where/how your chosen subject fits into the genre, and your should state how the particular CD/performance fits into the body of the artist’s work. The majority of the essay should be evaluation, analysis, and description of the music itself (In a CD or Concert, Analyze 5-7 representative songs). The essay must include descriptions of the sound of the music, as well as discussion of lyrics, sociopolitical elements/messages, and musical/harmonic elements, and possible comparison with similar artists. You can also describe your emotional/psychological response to the music. Your conclusion should add a final perspective.
Sources are not required, but any research sources must be direct quotes only, in MLA format (in-text citations and a Works Cited List), 8th edition.
It is not necessary to cite the lyrics with MLA citation, since your source is clear from your chosen topic. Sources must be underlined in essay and Works Cited to ensure they are complete.
• Guide to the music essay paragraph structure:
*Intro/hook thesis—makes an overall judgment about the album
b*Some background about the artist and genre, with discussion of the way in which the chosen album fits into the artist’s’ career/theme/persona
Choice: Further continue background of artist, or talk about a media highpoint crisis/ or just go directly to your first song analysis.
SONG ANALYSES ( OR MOVEMENT/ SECTION ANALYSIS – IF INSTRUMENTAL
*Song 1 judgment/analysis
*2-3 sentences describing/analyzing the sound of the music in that song itself.
Include both instruments and vocal analysis
*2-5 sentences analyzing the message of the song, quoting and analyzing lyrics
*Choice: Comparison with other musicians, consideration of psychological/social/political media elements,
comparison with other songs, reception of song, your experience of song, etc.
*Song 2 judgment analysis (same content as above)
*Song 3 judgment analysis (same content as above)
*Song 4 judgment analysis (same content as above)
*Song 5 judgment analysis (same content as above)
*Song 6 judgment analysis (same content as above)
*(optional) Song 7 judgment analysis (same content as above)
CONCLUSION – Re-state overall judgment and provide final reflection
Note that a requisite part of this assignment is a description of the sound of the music itself. Such a description should comprise approximately 5-10% of the paper, or 2-3 sentences per song. There will be an assignment wherein you develop this description. It is a challenging and satisfying task to use words to describe music. You may have to listen to the music several times with a keen ear to distinguishing critical characteristics. You may need to develop a musical vocabulary appropriate to discussing your genre. However, music can also be described in terms of your reaction to it—such reactions may be emotive, intellectual, or physical, and might be described using more standardized terms. *One exercise to ensure that you have adequate descriptions is to imagine the following the scenario: The person who is reading your assessment is deaf; however, he/she has an excellent vocabulary and excellent reading comprehension… Could this person get a good sense of the music by your description? The answer is yes, if your description of the sound is effective.
MUSIC ASSESSMENT ESSAY CHECKLIST.
Write an essay which assesses a particular musical product, e.g. a CD, a concert performance. Your assessment should include an introduction to the artist and a thesis providing your overall judgment about the CD/performance, etc. You might provide background information, about where/how your chosen subject fits into the genre, and how the particular CD/performance fits into the body of the artist’s work. The majority of the essay should be evaluation, analysis, and description of the music itself (In a CD or Concert, Analyze 5-7 representative songs). The essay must include descriptions of the sound of the music, as well as discussion of lyrics, sociopolitical elements/messages, and musical/harmonic elements, and possible comparison with similar artists. You can also describe your emotional/psychological response to the music. Your conclusion should add a final perspective. Any research sources must be direct quotes only, in MLA format, 8th edition. It is not necessary to cite the lyrics with MLA citation, since your source is clear from your chosen topic. Sources must be underlined in essay and Works Cited to ensure they are complete (See #27 and #28 in Checklist). (See paragraph model in course materials)
Format: (See guidelines in course materials)
_______ 1) Typed, double-space in 12 pt font, and was submitted as a Word Document
_______ 2) intentionally left blank
_______ 3) Two sentences (bare minimum) in each paragraph must not be quotes or paraphrases
_______ 4) Sufficient length (should be 1500 words minimum)
Structure and Focus :
________5)Introduction/Hook is effective
________6)Thesis provides an overall judgment/evaluation about the chosen subject
________7) Topic sentences in body paragraphs specify paragraph content.
>>One song, tune, or movement should be discussed in a separate paragraph, or paragraph set
________8A) Conclusion is sufficient and effective reiterates overall judgment, with final perspective/comment
________8B) Description of sound of music (2-3 sentences per song).
________8C) Analysis of lyrics/quoted as necessary.
________ 8D Evaluation of psychological/social/political messages
________8E) Consideration of your personal psychological/emotional response, if appropriate
________8H) Any Research Sources used are direct quotes
________9) Specific paragraphs (each paragraph should be less than 2/3 of page max)
(Indent paragraphs, don’t skip lines between them)
_______ 10) Paragraphs are clear, distinct, and focused, integrating related ideas in compelling manner,
using appropriate transitional words and phrases where needed.
_______ 11A) Details/Analyses/Supporting sentences are sufficient – support thesis & topic sentences
_______ 11B) Criteria are logically and consistently applied
_______ 11C) Examples are used when necessary
_______ 11D) Definitions are used to clarify topic when necessary
_______ 12) Focus of Essay is appropriate and does not go off-track or contain unrelated/unnecessary material
_______ 13) Transitions effectively differentiate paragraphs and topics
_______ 14) Tense is consistent/logical (should not switch back and forth in appropriately)
_______ 15) Direct Quotes are correctly punctuated (if used)
_______ 16) Dialog – punctuation/structure is clear/correct (if used).
_______ 17) Sentence Structure conforms to grammar of Standard Written English.
_______ 18) Grammar / / Usage / Punctuation is correct and effective
_______ 19) Sentences are clear and logical, well-paced, and avoid needless repetition
_______ 20) Diction (Word choice) is appropriate for subject matter
If SOURCES USED – MLA FORMAT : MUST BE DIRECT QUOTES ONLY / NO PARAPHRASES
________21) Sources provide specific data
________22) Source Data is Adequate / Reliable / Current
________23) Correct In-Text Citations (Cite by Author if available, if not by title or short form, etc)
________24) Correct Works Cited List (Hanging indent, article titles in quotes, alphabetical, etc)
_______ 25) Correct Long Quote Format (if more than 4 lines, indent 2 tabs/left justify, cite after period)
________26) EVERY IN-TEXT CITATION HAS A CORRESPONDING WORKS CITED ENTRY AND VICE VERSA
________27)* Each in-text citation is underlined to prove it has been corresponding Works Cited entry
________28)* Each Works Cited entry is underlined to prove it has a corresponding In-text citation. For more information on A Music Product visit this: https://www.britannica.com/art/music
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