Length: 6-8 pages, or roughly 2000-2200 words.
Format: Use a 12-point font and double-spacing.
Sources and Citations: Use at least 5 sources for your essay, at least 3
of which must be scholarly sources (such as academic journal articles or
scholarly books). Wikipedia does not count as one of your 5 sources
(although it may be a useful resource for getting started). You may cite
your sources using either footnotes in the Chicago Style (also known as
Turabian) format or parenthetical citations in the APA or MLA format.
Regardless of the citation format you use, you should provide a
bibliography of sources cited. Instructions for formatting your citations
are available via many websites.
Assignment: Select a popular music artist active between 1950 and the
present who is NOT represented in the required listening for this class.
(You may select an artist who appears in the supplemental folders on
Brightspace as long as that artist does not appear in the required
listening folders.) Select one song by that artist that came out after 1950
and make a case for why that artist and song should be covered in a class
called “The Rock-and-Roll Era and Beyond.” You may discuss more
than one song by your artist, but you should focus on ONE song and
argue why it should be required listening for this course. This requires
that you think about what constitutes historical significance and
demonstrate that your selection has it. In doing so it may be useful to
link your song to the musical movements it is associated with (e.g., soul,
heavy metal, funk, girl groups, disco, hip-hop, etc.), and, if possible,
explain how it relates to broader social, historical, political, and/or
You should provide relevant background information on your selected
artist; however, this is NOT a biographical essay assignment, and your
coverage of the artist’s biography should be limited to information
relevant to her/his/their historical significance.
Be sure to discuss musical details and how they contribute to the
significance and/or impact of your chosen song. Explain how the song
works and what kinds of meanings it offers, and to whom. What musical
elements are most important to this particular song? How do these
musical elements contribute to the meaning, effect, and impact of the
song? Why does this song matter, and why should it be required
listening for this course?
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