1. Read the brief introduction (3 paragraphs) at the top of the webpage. (Links https://www.npr.org/2020/06/26/883334741/we-insist-a-century-of-black-music-against-state-violence .)
2. The playlist has a total of 50 songs, divided into 4 different groups by chronology. You’ll be using 3 songs for this assignment but you must pick 1 song from each of the first three sections. In other words: Pick 1 song from the first section (“1927–1963: Witness & Resistance”), pick 1 song from the second section (“1967–1985: Black Power”), and pick 1 song from the 3rd section (“1985–2012: Policing & Protest”).
3. Listen carefully to all 3 songs, taking notes on what you notice. Read the paragraph on the webpage about each song. Optionally, you can also seek out any other information you would like to know about the song or artist, or look up lyrics online.
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3. After you’ve spent some time with each song, write a paragraph about each song, answering these questions for each one:
What is your overall reaction to the song? What feelings or thoughts do you have when listening carefully to it? (The point is to answer these questions, not just to state whether or not you like it.)
How do you think the sounds in the song contribute to the effects it has on you? As in some past discussions, you must say something about the actual sounds in the song, not only the lyrics, though you can also discuss the lyrics in addition to that (not instead of it). There are many possible sounds and musical qualities that you might choose to discuss, such as timbre of voices or instruments, the song’s rhythms, how it changes over time or any other qualities you notice. We realize it is challenging to describe music, but as in past assignments, you should do your best to share comments that reflect careful, repeated listening.
If you address the questions above thoroughly, and revise your work so that it does not display significant grammar and spelling problems or lack of clarity, you will receive an A.
You will receive a B or lower grade if we feel you did not respond to the questions, if your writing has significant grammar errors, or if it is unclear or incomplete in any other ways.