Role of Music Essay

What is music? What characteristics need to be present to classify something as music? In this activity we will look at the classic definition of music as well as try to determine what things can be classified as music based on that definition.
As you read this week’s reading assignments, be mindful of the following terms and definitions:
Materialist basis – all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.
“Analogy, not homology”- something similar, not exactly the same.
Efficacy – causing productivity.
Fixed consensual reference – constant meaning that doesn’t change from individual to individual.
“Heterogeneity of meaning” – has similar, but different meanings to different people.
M1 Reading Assignment:
“So in discussing possible evolutionary origins for musical behaviors, the question is not, What caused people to make music? but rather, How might music-making behaviors have escaped the hatchet of natural selection? or more precisely, What advantage is conferred on those individuals who exhibit musical behaviors over those who do not?” (Is Music an Evolutionary Adaptation? by David Huron; School of Music, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.)
The first reading assignment is an article by Ian Cross that explores the question posed above by Dr. David Huron, a music professor in the Ohio State University School of Music. Look for Cross’ definition of music on page 5. Do you agree with it? Can you put his answer to the evolutionary question above into your own words?
The second reading assignment addresses the skill and development of listening to music. Aaron Copland, one of America’s premier composers, describes three planes of listening: sensuous, expressive, and sheerly musical. Which of these planes of listening is your default listening mode?
LIBGuide To Reading Resources
Write a brief essay (800 words or no more than 3 pages, double spaced) about the role of music in your life. Consider this role from several angles. How did you experience music as a child? Teenager? Adult? Are you an active music maker, or do you experience music solely as
a listener/dancer? Was music ever instrumental in helping you to learn other material (e.g. many children learn the alphabet by singing it to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”) When do you typically listen to music during the course of a day? Did music ever help you define your identity to others (think punk rockers…country music lovers…classical music geeks…etc…)?
Please pay close attetion to what’s in Red.

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