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This handout features common types of music assignments and offers strategies and resources for writing them.
Music often evokes strong emotions in listeners, but these may not be the same for everyone.
Music that you experience as “powerful” or “triumphant” may be experienced by another listener as “angry” or “violent.” Giving specific examples from the music will help explain your emotional reactions and give your reader a context for understanding them.
A process essay example can give you an opportunity to know more about this type of writing, as it highlights the most important steps to complete this assignment.
Every process essay should be written according to some patterns, which allow completing the assignment step by step.
Typically the terms that will be most helpful to you and most essential in your writing will be ones that have been covered in class and explained in the textbook.
In addition to all the terms that you DO want to use, musical discourse also comes with some terms that professors and TAs might find particularly unhelpful.Writing a process essay presumes highlighting the process itself, as well as its particular analysis.Students should know how to write a process essay because this assignment aims at explaining any process they want to describe in an appropriate language.These commands do not affect the score produced, and have been omitted for clarity.] As for characterizing this composition as a real music, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so readers are encouraged to listen to this piece if they have not already done so.A listener may or may not like this composition (this is guided by personal aesthetics, after all), but upon listening to it I believe most people will agree that it fits the category of a real music.This is done with the following language statements: This is shown in standard notation below: The melody process is referenced by another process.This process executes the melody process 6 times, incrementing time by 3.25 beats and decreasing volume by 10 each time.Also, the time dimension is scaled by a factor of four in the execution of the melody process.[Note: The score used for the recording sets some MIDI-specific values to aid in the production of sound (assigning programs to tracks and setting the pan and master volume of the tracks).For example, instead of saying “The chorus of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit” sounds angrier than the verses,’ you might argue that, “The added distortion in the guitar, increase in volume, and additional strain on Kurt Cobain’s voice give the chorus of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ an angrier or more critical tone than the verses.” On occasion, or in some assignments, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of technical vocabulary used to describe even the simplest musical gestures.Over the past thousand years, the study of music (particularly Western classical music) has acquired a host of specialized terms from Latin, Italian, German, and French, many of which remain untranslated in common usage. If you have questions about these terms, ask your instructor or consult a reliable music dictionary.