Discussion

Choose one of the questions from the list below.

Reflect on the question by writing a 2-3 paragraph response.
Include the link to an educational website other than Wikipedia that helped you to form your response, with a 2-3 sentence description of how this website enhanced your learning for the week. Visit the UMGC Library “Is My Source Credible?” page and the Research Guide for Music (including links to Open Access Music Journals) to help you choose a reliable, credible educational website.
Select and add an image to your post that reflects your learning, including the specific reasons you chose the image.
Post your written reflections, educational website and image in the Week 1 Discussion forum, using the Week 1 Discussion link.
Post a substantive (at least one paragraph in length) response to at least 2 classmates.
Please see the Discussion Grading Rubric for evaluation criteria.

Based on the materials on the meaning of music we have explored this week, do you think John Cage’s 4’33” should be classified as music or not? On what grounds might you argue for or against its musical status?
Do you think animals make music, or is music specifically a human phenomenon?  How would you support an argument for either side of the debate?
What are some of the principal social institutions that are involved in music production and reception in your world?  How do these various institutions contribute to the ways in which you experience, understand, and value the musics that are a part of your life?
How do the Internet and other mass media influence the way in which people conceive of their identities and the identities of others relative to music? What kinds of virtual music communities do you belong to (or could you belong to), and why? Does today’s high tech world make the potential for building community through music greater or less great than it was in the past? Why, and in what way?
This week, our course materials introduced numerous themes and issues for exploring music as a phenomenon of culture. There are a great many more that one might consider: children’s music, music and the elderly, music among people with disabilities. How might one go about examining these areas, and what others can you think of that could lead to deeper understandings of music and human experience?
Think of a song or other piece that has been a part of your life for a long time. Has the significance or “meaning” of the song changed over the years? If so, what has changed in your perception of the song and what factors in your life (personal, cultural or other) might have contributed?  Write a brief account chronicling your personal history of this song, focusing specifically on what it means to you today and what it has meant to you at different points in the past.
Draft a chart listing all of the different kinds of music you listen to, indicating when you usually listen to them and for what purposes.  What do you listen to when you’re trying to relax, working out, or studying?  What do you like to dance to? What music makes you feel romantic, nostalgic, happy, sad, patriotic, subversive?  Are there specific kinds of music that you identify with your ethnicity or with your cultural or national identity?  On the basis of this chart, create a “music identity profile” of yourself, considering how music in your life contributes to your sense of who you are on multiple levels.
Listen to a variety of songs and pieces from your personal music collection that you are very familiar with.  Try to identify different elements of rhythm present in each of them.  Locate the beat of the song, then see if you can determine the level of subdivision (duple, triple, quadruple, other) and the meter, using the materials you have studied this week.
Listen to two or more pieces of music from your personal collection that are representative of the same music style and identify as many elements as you can. Next, listen to one or two other pieces in a contrasting musical style and do the same. Compare your findings. What does this reveal about general similarities and differences in rhythmic approach between the two styles?
Take a familiar song (“Mary Had a Little Lamb” will do) and sing it several times in a row, each time at a different temposlow, medium, fast, very fast, variable.  How does changing the tempo change the feeling and spirit of the song overall?  What does this tell you about the significance of tempo in music?
Get together with a friend or two and play a rhythm game.  Clap out the rhythm of a familiar song like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or “The Star Spangled Banner” without actually singing the tune and see if your friend(s) can identify the tune on the basis of the rhythm alone.  Then, switch roles, asking someone else to clap out tunes for you to identify.

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