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Describes musical experiences in the technical language of music.

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


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, folk,

rock, jazz, pop, etc.). You will want to 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 been wanting 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?


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

to the composition. Your paper must be in proper essay format.

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:


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:


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 instead.

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 grade that your paper receives will take into consideration such features as:

Handling of the topic (thesis)

Analysis of the music

Quality of research and citations

Format and organization

Expression of ideas

Writing Support:

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


http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/ (room 210 in the Academic Resources Centre). You 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:



http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/using-and-citing-sources-0Academic Integrity:

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-toplagiarize

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/academicintegrity

Submission of your essay:

You will need to submit your paper to 2 different locations:

1. Blackboard

Acceptable file type: Word only

Please use the following format to name your file:

Surname First initial of your given name Student number

Ex. KingR9999999999999

You will find instructions for submitting your paper to Blackboard here:


2. Turnitin

A guide for students using Turnitin may be found on the course Blackboard page, or you may

consult the guide found here:


Class ID: 10030521

Enrollment password: timbre


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