Please write a paper on some aspect of popular song that will be pertinent to our study. Sample topics.1. write a close listening account of a popular song written after 1960. The Beckerman article on “White Christmas” is a good example of this type of “close listening” account. So are the essays in Friedwald. Apply this approach to a song of your choice.2. a variety of interpretations of a popular song of your choice written either before or after 1960. Review Friedwald for a sample survey. The important thing here is that we have interpretations after 1960. What changes in the different interpretations? 3. changing technological and social aspects of songwriting. 4. analyze a variety of songs by a singer of your choice. How do these songs fit into the career path of the singer?5. pick out any two “breakthrough” songs by a famous songwriting team and discuss them.6. Pick out one of the great singers of popular song and discuss the key features that make the style unique. Among possible subjects are Sinatra, Presley, Dylan, Fitzgerald, Springsteen etc. Here we expect some careful listening, not just some generalities pasted in from web articles.7. Compare one popular song from this country to one from another.8. Compare a pre-1960 popular song to one from the post 1960 era.9. Read the Oliver Sacks excerpt from Musicophilia and research the idea of the “earworm.” How does it relate to the study of popular music? How do “hooks” work?10. How do lyrics begin to change in the 1950s and 1960s? What are the topics of the best popular songs: love, or other things? For example, you might consider comparing the lyrics of Bob Dylan with those of songwriters of the 1930s. 11. Can one person do everything? Write, compose, sing? Or is it better to divide up the labor of making a song happen? Give examples.13. Think of your own topic but clear it with one of us.
Find a focused topic. Be specific and do not write a dictionary or web-type summary of general information. Minimum length: four pages. Type your essay. Spelling, grammar, clarity and style count. Cite your sources. Wikipedia cannot be cited as a source, but feel free to consult it at your own risk. Some Wikipedia entries do cite reputable at the bottom of the entry. You may cite those but you must consult them if you do. Minimum of two citations other than our textbooks. Papers will be sent through Turnitin.com. Therefore, be sure to write in your own words. MLA format for citations.
***I consulted with them about 2 topics which they really liked. One was about the red hot chili peppers and their effect on a specific social norm and also about a specific artist who affected the acid era in San Francisco and the west coast. If it is possible to do one of those that would be great but any of the topics are fine. THEY DO NOT WANT A BIBLIOGRAPHY and made it very clear. Thank you
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