The Baroque Era

The most important new genre of the Baroque Era is opera. Another genre is the oratorio. There is Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which is an opera and Handel’s Messiah, which is an oratorio. Compare the two genre, opera and oratorio and explain their components, likeness and differences.

Sample Solution

Pop Culture Bites

  1. Find the article in the list below that offers a counterpoint or a contrasting viewpoint to the same topic as your “Pop Culture Bites” article. (Clicking a title will open the article in a new tab.)
  2. Read the article carefully, using the critical reading strategies discussed in your textbook.
  3. Write a 300–400 word summary of the article that includes the following:

An introduction that identifies the article’s topic, author, and thesis (central claim/position)
A paragraph discussing each main point
Key ideas/examples that support each main point

Sample Solution

Reading response

According to Brindley, what kind of purposes does music serve at the Zhou court? Choose one example from her text and discuss how music figures in cosmological thought of the period. In an earlier chapter, she states that her purpose is to “narrate a history of idealized representations of music and its changing values in society.” To this end, Brindley decides to rely entirely on received and excavated texts dated to 400–100 BCE; in other words, she chooses to write a history of music without recourse to archaeological findings. Recall that the Marquis Yi of Zeng is not recorded in any of these texts. What are the pros and cons of her method? What is missing from a history written as if the Marquis’s tomb was never found?

Sample Solution

The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader

Reading: The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader (ed. David Brackett) Chp 12. Chapter 14-19 and chapters 20-22.
According to the reading, smaller independent record labels were able to succeed, and even thrive, during the post-war era. This led to the development of
rock and roll, as these labels took the lead in experimenting with styles, markets, and tastes. Using two labels mentioned in the readings as contrasting
examples, describe the difficulties that they faced before and after the Great Depression. Second, discuss the techniques by which they worked to overcome
those difficulties. Third, describe the ways in which each carved a niche in genre and marketing. Use the following types of information to guide your essay:
What artists, genres, geographic or social tastes defined each label? Were they successful? Where there any specific ideologies or strategies that they used?
What role did the producers play (did they allow the artists freedom, did they suggest specific songs or stylistic changes)? Who were the important figures?

Sample Solution

Music in Civilization : “Opinionated Listening”

In this class, you’re developing your ability to describe what you hear. Tis paper is a chance for
you to practice and demonstrate this ability, and to use those descriptions in the service of an
interpretive argument about why you like or dislike music. Tis assignment focuses on the skills
of description. Later assignments will focus on skills of interpretation and argument.
Tis assignment asks you (1) use precise terminology to describe music that you hear, and (2)
articulate why you like or dislike what you hear, referring to the parts of the music you described.
Both of these goals are in the service of fostering the ability to make clear interpretive arguments
about music that are backed up by clearly-described evidence in the music itself.
Assignment Process

  1. Choose two pieces of music you know very well: one you like, and one you dislike. Tese can
    be of any style or genre, as long as you are familiar with them If you prefer, you could choose
    two pieces we’ve covered in class so far.
  2. Listen to each piece of music in the following way: in a quiet/calm place with few
    distractions, listen to the whole piece on headphones. Focus on moments that sound
    particularly interesting, important, or unique to you, taking written notes while you listen.
    Ask yourself: “What are the musical dimensions that make me have this overall impression/
    understanding of this music”? Listen again, this time focusing on those specific dimensions
    individually. Take more notes precisely and accurately describing these salient dimensions.
  3. In a clearly organized, carefully edited paper (500–750 words), write about your reasons for
    preferring one piece over the other, AND imagine why another listener might have the
    opposite opinion. For both parts of your argument, cite specific parts of the music as often
    and precisely as possible, referring to specific time-points (e.g. 1:24) in each piece in order to
    clarify your argument.

Sample Solution


Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was a leading figure in bebop, drawing upon the styles of both of Count Basie’s tenor players, Lester Young and Herschel Evans, to forge his own style in the bebop idiom. His composition Bikini exhibits an interesting and unique hybrid form.

Listen attentively to Bikini performed by Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone (ts); Jimmy Bunn, piano (p); Red Callender, bass (b); and Chuck Thompson, drums (d); and address the following questions:

  1. The order of solos in this piece is: Gordon, Bunn, Callender, and Thompson (at end). Provide counter numbers for the beginnings and ends of all four solos.
  2. Compare and contrast the solo styles, and describe them. Listen to how they phrase or create musical lines over the chord changes. Try to include some detail.
  3. How many choruses does each of them take? Note: This piece is a 44-bar hybrid AABA song form in which each A section is a 12-bar blues chord progression, while the B section (the bridge) is a standard 8-bar section. The first chorus is 00:11 to 01:00.
  4. What is your impression of this piece? How do these bebop soloists differ from the swing soloists that you have heard? Does the bebop ensemble treat or arrange the melody differently from the swing big band arrangements (of melody) that you have heard? If so, how?
  5. Generally speaking, this band would have performed for what type of audience?

Sample Solution

Analyzing the song “Solace” of Scott Joplin.

Characteristically, rags have a steady “boom-chick, boom-chick” in the left hand, with the bass notes sounding on the beat and chords sounding on the “and” of each beat. Does the left hand play this sort of characteristic figure through Solace, or is it more elaborate than that?
Do any portions of the piece have a more distinctive 2/4 “feel” in the left hand than other portions? Provide counter numbers. Hint: The tempo of Solace is quite slow.

Sample Solution

Style of music

It is 2 parts-

You will choose 1 chapter (chapters 54-86 only) from the book. Only one student can do an assigned chapter. This is on a first come-first served basis.
Part 1-You will create and upload a powerpoint or Google slides presentation about your chapter, including audio. 80 points
Part 2- You will use this information in a discussion later in the course. (additional points)
You should include the following information in your video and presentation:

What style of music are you discussing?
What years did this style begin?
What are key features of this style?
What are the roots of this style?
Who are important musicians in this style?
How has this style impacted popular music today?

Sample Solution

Music theory

    Always rearrange the notes if the chord is inverted. Use half step method or roman numeral analysis to complete.
    Use the 7th chord construction worksheet. Count half steps between notes to identify 3rds.

Paste the “progress report” LINK in each of the corresponding numbers.





Sample Solution


1st paragraph: Explain both the apps and the methods that you use to listen to and find music. Rather than just list the apps, explain how you use them to find music. For example, do you get suggestions from software, based on your previous choices? Search tracks based on input from friends? Search by genre, by playlists? Follow what appears on your social media feed? In other words, what choices determine the music you typically hear?
2nd paragraph: How do you think that these ways of encountering music you just described affect the kinds of music that you are exposed to? Are there types of music you’re aware you would enjoy, but don’t usually encounter because they don’t appear through your normal ways of finding music?
3rd paragraph: This week’s readings and film on the music industry described a range of different fears that people have about changes in the popular music business. As summarized at the end of the instructor’s lecture, explain whether you share any of those worries or not, and why. Do you feel like there is anything you would like to change about your own habits, and if so, what?

Sample Solution