Objective: To better understand how music reflects personal and social identities of an individual or group.
Requirements: Write a 700 - 1000 word essay (roughly three pages) discussing a particular song or composition that you feel best expresses your personal and social identity.
Due Date: On 1/31 or 2/5 you will present your report and play your musical example.
From Dr. Terry Miller, “World Music a Global Journey”
Music is a manifestation of the personal and social identities of an individual or group. The function of the music, the structure of it, the context in which it is performed, etc., all reflect the cultural environment that surrounds a musical performance and indicate significant values of the people who create it. Recognizing and understanding how music reflects the identity of a community is an important means of "getting to know" other people and how music expresses "who they are." I want to "get to know you" and discover what music says about "who you are." Since you took this class, I assume that you consider music an important element of your life. Undoubtedly, most of you listen to many kinds of music, i.e., rock, rap, etc. Your task is to choose ONE example of music that you feel best expresses the many facets of YOU, i.e., your identity. This will prove more difficult than you think if you put some thought into it. Don't tell me what music means to you, explain how the example you have chosen represents who you are.
For example, as an American, what one example would you choose to reflect your "American" identity? Does Rap define who we are? How about Jazz? What kind of jazz? Which composer and from what era? Defining "American" identity through one example of music is impossible, yet in this class (and others) we only have time to focus on a few examples from countries often much larger than the USA and with