Short paper topic and instructions
In this course we study various ethnic and cultural musics and traditions as well as examining (and perhaps challenging) some biases and preconceptions related to this study. In trying to understand how other people reflect their cultural identity through music, it’s important to first understand how similar processes are at work in our lives
For this brief paper I want you to describe in detail your personal musical soundscape and the role music has played in your process of enculturation.This is not simply listing the music of performers or bands that you like but rather examining what music was around you and may have influenced you during your formative years.
You paper should include the following three primary sections:
1) 1) A brief biographical sketch that includes birthplace, possibly any ethnic affiliation, early childhood, places of residence, education, and family life. Basically you should describe where you were born, grew up, went to school etc. and more or less how you self-identify. (I am a Chinese, please describe the background as an Chinese.)
2) 2) A detailed description of the role of music in your life. This may include early childhood exposure to music, various styles that have influenced your cultural identity, present listening tastes, bands that you play(ed) in, and the various contexts in which you listen actively or passively to music. Keep in mind that it’s certainly possible to have a strong identification with a type or style of music even if you don’t particularly like it. Often it is due to the music you may have been exposed to during your childhood or in your home or neighborhood that ties in strongly to your self-identity.
3) 3) A self-analysis of how you express yourself through music. This may include why you listen to specific artists or specific songs, why you identify with a certain North American soundscape (or a different country if applicable), how specific musics reflect your cultural values, and why you choose to identify with certain musics (as opposed to others).
Due Date: 11:59 p.m. (CST), April 3, 2015.
Length: 800 words (Double-spaced, 12 point font).
Content: No mere assertion. All statements need to be supported. i.e. “I feel this way about x and here are the reasons why”.
Spelling: Spelling counts. Don’t rely solely on spell check. Make sure you proofread carefully.
Syntax: Basically this refers to sentence structure. Along with spelling, if a sentence doesn’t make sense or if I have to work hard to figure out what the heck you are trying to say, then you will be graded down for it or possibly receive a zero. Non-idiomatic writing falls into this category.
Don’t plagiarize. It is fairly easy for me to spot and verify “copy and paste”. Students caught plagiarizing will receive an ‘F’ for the course and may be subject to disciplinary action by Parkland College. It’s just not worth it. Also since this paper draws so strongly on your personal experiences I don’t see how copying someone else’s work could be at all useful or relevant.
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