For the midterm exam, you will prepare a listening guide to one of the first five Beatles albums(UK versions): Please Please Me (March 1963) With the Beatles (November 1963) A Hard Day s Night (July 1964) Beatles for Sale (December 1964) Help! (August 1965)Your listening guide will provide an overview of the album as a whole, and discussions of anythree songs from the album. One of the songs can be a song played and discussed in lecture or insection, but the other two must be songs not played in class. You will use course material historical, musicological, etc. to create a narrative for understanding the album.Your overview of the album can include information on the composition and recording of thesongs, but the larger focus should be your overall impressions of the album. You may alsocompare any of the songs to other music, from the past or the present. Remember, this is anexam, not a term paper: in preparing and writing it, you should draw on materials from the firstfive weeks of class, including readings, lecture notes, listening, videos, discussion sections, andthe weekly online writing questions. You do not have to do any additional research for thisexam, but if you want to include additional information, make sure to footnote your sources.Some questions to ask yourself when choosing a focus for your exam include: What do youthink is interesting about this album, what stands out to you? How are the Beatles addressingtheir audience? How are the Beatles responding to other music they know? What emotions orideas do you hear the songs conveying? What (if anything) do you think the Beatles are sayingabout themselves with this album? How does this album relate (or not) to the Beatles earlierwork? How does the album cover relate to the listening experience? What do you think alistener in the 1960s would have thought about this album? What do you think about the albumas a listener in 2019, and how does that compare with what you think listeners in the 1960swould have heard?The songs you choose will give you the opportunity to provide evidence for your overview of thealbum. Your discussion of each song must include specific musical details, as we have beendiscussing them in class. You do not have to account for every element for each song! Instead,think about what particular musical element(s) contribute to your impression and understandingof the song.Musical elements include:Things composers play with: Meter & Rhythm; Melody; Harmony; Instrumentation (includingvoices); Texture; Form; Lyrics/language (see slides, Week 1 Class 1)Things performers play with: Composer instructions; Training and skill; Timbre (soundcharacteristics); Expression (tempo, dynamics, phrasing); Re-arrangement (for covers,especially forces); Recording techniques (see slides Week 1 Class 1)And things Listeners play with: Paratexts; existing knowledge (about musicians, other music, etc);Listening contexts (see slides Week 2 Class 1)You may of course discuss the lyrics of songs, but make sure to consider purely musicalelements as well. Additionally, your framework for interpreting/understanding the album and itssongs can be based on concepts you know from outside this class, from other classes or fields ofstudy that seem appropriate, including (but not limited to) gender, sexuality, masculinity/femininity, race, class, nation (US and/or UK), consumerism, music industry politics, teenageidentity, etc. but it is not necessary to include material from outside this course.3-5 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins. For other formatting questions, askyour TA.Please Please Me album. Songs: Please Please Me, Twist and Shout, and Ask Me Why
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