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How to Appreciate Art

Here is the assignment for the research and analysis paper

Choose an American composer (someone born and/or raised in the United States) from any genre who was born prior to 1920. Write a short (3-4 page, double-spaced) biography of him or her. Then, listen to and review one piece by this composer (2-3 pages or more, double-spaced).

This review is the most important part of the assignment, so please spend plenty of time developing your own ideas about the music – do not simply regurgitate ideas of other authors in this section.

You can choose any American composer, from classical composers like Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Amy Beach, Elliott Carter, and John Cage to popular music composers like Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, and Cole Porter. Please be sure that the composer is American – your paper should not begin with “Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany…” The composer must also have been born prior to 1920.

You must use at least four sources for the biographical section of the paper. Drawing ideas from only one or two authors is not thorough research. You must cite your sources and use at least one printed (non-internet) source besides our textbook. Please use MLA citation format, with parenthetical citations in the text and a complete Works Cited list at the end. More information on MLA citations can be found at

http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla or

http://ww2.nscc.edu/adkerson_m/MLA%20Documentation.htm#parencite.

Internet sources must be properly cited, and you cannot use Wikipedia as a source (it is not a reviewed source, so it is considered unacceptable for serious academic work). If you have any questions please ask.

Please do your best to be creative and find someone whose music you are truly drawn to. Remember that your ability to review the music is more important than the biography section, so think deeply and expand your ideas.

Remember: Plagiarism will not be tolerated, so do not copy a biography from the internet!

 

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Category: Sample Questions