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Hey Music People!

Posted by Electric Turahk , in School Nov 27 2012 · 228 views

Music Essays
I need help. I've got a paper to write and have no idea what kind of genre of music to even look at to find something that will work... Any advice from those of you more versed in music than I?
 

In this assignment you will discuss the synthesis of music and text in a work of your choice by analyzing a composer's choices. You may use any piece of vocal music we have not covered in class. Vocal music is any genre that utilizes the human voice, it could be a cappella or accompanied, solo or ensemble, traditional or new. The only criteria are: the work includes text, is not longer than 10 minutes, and that it is interesting enough to discuss in some depth. You may choose a work that is part of a larger work, such as an opera aria or a movement from a large vocal work. If this is the case, be sure to focus your attention on a very specific part of the larger work.

Take your time and be careful in your musical choice. Please choose a work that has both substance and depth. You will need to focus on the music and the text in concert. A work may have interesting text but no solid musical support of the text, this is not a good work to choose.

For this assignment you will not be listing the elements you hear, instead you will be discussing how the composer utilizes the elements including sound, rhythm, melody, texture, harmony, tonality, and form to enhance the meaning and dramatic effect of the text. To start, you should look for evidence of text painting, formal design (repetition, variation and contrast), consonance and dissonance as well as various melodic and harmonic features that emphasize or support the text.

TLDR version: 1. What does the text [lyrics] mean? 2. How does the music support the text?

~|ET|~

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I'm going to be that one guy and suggest the Queen Internet Hits of Don't Stop Me Now and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Alternatively, Steam Powered Giraffe does lovely things with The Spine's vocal range in Brass Goggles and Automatonic Electronic Harmonics, amongst others.
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Portal Nuvia
Nov 27 2012 01:57 PM
And I am going to be the guy that nobody knows who suggests a song that nobody has heard of. =P

I would suggest (*fin) by Anberlin. There are so many different parts to the song, that surely you can find something to talk about.
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Answering the question of what genre to look for, I would personally look into something more classical, like a part of an opera perhaps. At the moment, I cannot give you a specific piece of music that I would recommend, but I'll be sure to inform you if I do. I just can't say one off the top of my head. :P Anyways, I'd say that it would be best to find something more classically oriented, because it really is easier to pick out the individual parts of the vocals (Most of the time, at least), and modern genres seem to emphasize a bit too much on the instruments and also add effects to the vocals--this can make things more difficult when determining the separate parts of the vocalist.

-Rez
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Electric Turahk
Nov 27 2012 02:07 PM
Opera is the obvious choice given we're talking about it in class and is very relevant.

Too bad I don't know a darn thing about opera so don't know which ones to look at for meaningful pieces.
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Booker DeWitt
Nov 27 2012 02:13 PM
Listen to Fuel Up by Stornoway.

I mean, it's probably of no use to this assignment, but you should still listen because it's a great song. Also LONG DISTANCE LULLABY. Basically any Stornoway song. Go listen, YEAH!

- Tilius
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Madu Cabolo
Nov 27 2012 02:14 PM
The lord of the rings symphony. It has lyrics. :P but of course they are in elvish. :/

Whatever.
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And I am going to be the guy that nobody knows who suggests a song that nobody has heard of. =P

I would suggest (*fin) by Anberlin. There are so many different parts to the song, that surely you can find something to talk about.

This is an awesome song.
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Princess Grr
Nov 27 2012 03:45 PM
If you want to go the obscure, experimental route, try "Lady Godiva's Operation" by the Velvet Underground; it's an experimental piece with a single undulating and distorted rhythm throughout but with truly bizarre vocal performances, ranging from diatonic singing to sprechgesang interruptions and numerous vocal imitations of medical instruments. And it certainly includes interesting text: it's about a botched lobotomy.
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Electric Turahk
Nov 27 2012 04:20 PM

And I am going to be the guy that nobody knows who suggests a song that nobody has heard of. =P

I would suggest (*fin) by Anberlin. There are so many different parts to the song, that surely you can find something to talk about.

I like it. Definitely up there on the list now.

I'm going to be that one guy and suggest the Queen Internet Hits of Don't Stop Me Now and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Alternatively, Steam Powered Giraffe does lovely things with The Spine's vocal range in Brass Goggles and Automatonic Electronic Harmonics, amongst others.

Just thirty seconds into Don't Stop Me Now I can already easily tell how the music is supporting the text. That would make writing the paper easy. Hmm... The lycis themselves are also nice and clear which helps.

Listen to Fuel Up by Stornoway.

I mean, it's probably of no use to this assignment, but you should still listen because it's a great song. Also LONG DISTANCE LULLABY. Basically any Stornoway song. Go listen, YEAH!

- Tilius

...Eh.

If you want to go the obscure, experimental route, try "Lady Godiva's Operation" by the Velvet Underground; it's an experimental piece with a single undulating and distorted rhythm throughout but with truly bizarre vocal performances, ranging from diatonic singing to sprechgesang interruptions and numerous vocal imitations of medical instruments. And it certainly includes interesting text: it's about a botched lobotomy.

Definitely a bizarre vocal performance. If this weren't just a general elective class (so I'd want to put in some actual effort... maybe) I'd probably actually love to break this song down just for how different it is.
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Booker DeWitt
Nov 27 2012 05:51 PM

Tilius, on , said:

Listen to Fuel Up by Stornoway.

I mean, it's probably of no use to this assignment, but you should still listen because it's a great song. Also LONG DISTANCE LULLABY. Basically any Stornoway song. Go listen, YEAH!

- Tilius
...Eh.

WRONG ANSWER. Listen to them again. They're GROWERS.

- Tilius
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You mostly lost me at "Vocal Music". I was all ready to recommend Mike Oldfield, but his best stuff is mostly devoid of lyrics.

How about Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Or Cryoshell?
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"The Smile Song" by Daniel Ingram.
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