PDA

View Full Version : essay topic



thekingisdead
10-29-2007, 07:53 AM
I must do a seven page research paper with a fifteen minute oral presentation in a week for my English 101. I have never spoken for fifteen minutes in my life. In the paper, we have to pick a topic and make an argument, using seven sources. I'd like it to have something to do with popular music over the last century, but I can't really come up with something to "argue". I've been trying to think of an argument for a month now. I assume there are some people here who know a lot about music or at least have something they could say about music. Any suggestions for a point to argue?


Thank you very much!

-Robby.

thekingisdead
10-29-2007, 08:24 AM
That's the thing.. I could come up with a "topic", but a topic isn't a "stand". Get it?

funeralpudding
10-29-2007, 09:57 AM
You could take a stand for or against copyright laws / piracy / sharing

thekingisdead
10-29-2007, 10:31 PM
i would love to do a paper about piracy, however my professor has very strong opinions on the matter and it would not be a good choice.

birdman
10-30-2007, 03:37 PM
Three works you want to use:
Meno- By Plato (the part about the bee's)
Simulacra and Simulation- Jean Baudrillard (relatively short-i think between 10-30 pages)
Philosophical Investigations- Wittgenstein (not all, just find the part about transformation from page to instrument. If its not in p.i. look at the tractatus. I think it might actually be in the tractatus).

What your going to do with these works is argue about form.
Meno discusses what is it that bee's share early on. You want to think about that example. The other elements of meno you don't need.
Simulacra and simulation discusses the use and repetition of symbols- for your sense, the production and reproduction of a piece of music.
Philosophical investigations/tractauts discusses the ability to create a message through a sheet music-how does one move through forms?


For your other 4 other sources. You find one song, i.e. gardenhead. You then attempt to find it in as many forms as you can. You find a version of it on tape. A version of it on cd. a record version. A version of it on paper (chords and lyrics). A version of it on some sort of storge device. An Ipod. And further, when you present your argument, you play all of these different versions. through different devices. The more sources you can find the better. You need to overwhelm the audience with versions- bring up the point of baudrillard.

And then, what you explore, is:

Where is and what is the piece of music, looking specifically at the different forms of a piece that you present.

The reason why you argue about the form of the music is to argue about the existence of the music. This relates to the issue of piracy. What is it that is being stolen?

For example: Think of oink. A piece of music is transferred from a cd onto a computer. The user then converts the file to a new encoding, changing the structure of the piece. He then uploads that file onto Oink. From oink, that piece of music is downloaded by 1,000 individuals. Those 1,000 individuals all do different things with the piece: some convert it again to either a higher or lower bitrate, from a mp3 to a aac. Some sample elements of the piece and frankenstine a new creation. Some simply make physical copies of the piece onto cd. Some give those physical copies of the piece to friends, thus exending the piece farther.

In these exchanges of music do these exchanges have any realtion to the original piece? And, in effect, stolen and pirated works?

Your point is going to stem from a very simple question: What is the relation between two songs that seem to have the same form and constituion? And, depending upon the strength of this relation, what constitues an act of piracy. Is a song acquired from the interenet (transfered, converted, posted multipled times and then reproduced) the same song as a song that has been copy written?

mikehattem
10-31-2007, 04:17 AM
I must do a seven page research paper with a fifteen minute oral presentation in a week for my English 101... In the paper, we have to pick a topic and make an argument, using seven sources.

That's a tall order for ENG101. In my ENG101 class we write paragraphs about "our favorite accent", "what's the difference between fall and spring" and "what do you think of the weather". And I'm not joking in the slightest. It's actually kind of sad because there are loads of kids who struggle with that. Unbelievable. I would think a good balance would be somewhere in between like 2-3 pages using multiple sources (think 2-3).

Mike

thekingisdead
11-03-2007, 02:45 PM
I think I'm going to go with something about how all contemporary music is a reshaping of previous music. I'd like to take one band and trace their influences all the way back to early popular music. I'm not sure what band to start with, I want it to be something that some people might argue to be completely fresh and original... something that would take a lot of page area to trace back. Any ideas?

jefferoo
11-03-2007, 05:52 PM
When I was a freshman in college, I had to do the same. I argued in support of genetic engineering, got an A and won the debate. Prior to the assignment, I was against genetic engineering. Go figure.

birdman
11-04-2007, 02:05 AM
I think I'm going to go with something about how all contemporary music is a reshaping of previous music. I'd like to take one band and trace their influences all the way back to early popular music. I'm not sure what band to start with, I want it to be something that some people might argue to be completely fresh and original... something that would take a lot of page area to trace back. Any ideas?

I think you should look at Scott Cortez (Lovelies Crushing, Astrobrite...). I think he is a very important contemporary but unknown figure. He also presents to you two paths to take, that of rock history and that of classical history. You can look backwards from Scott to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Brian Eno, while, also, giving you the ability to look back to try and make comparisons to Steven Reich, John Cage, and Philip glass.

http://www.geocities.com/wavertone/- Website of Scott Cortez
http://www.liepaper.com/llc.htm an interview with lots of names on it.
http://www.somewherecold.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=146&page=1- an interview with scott cortez.

thekingisdead
11-04-2007, 02:40 PM
I think i've finally arrived at something I can work with. I'm going to take three relatively modern genres of music and then trace them back to their stylistic roots, I will also relate the subcultures surrounding them to past social movements and subcultures. I know I am definitely using rap music, but I need two more.