Research necessary to explain and discuss the sound and behavior of musical example and how they relate to the concept of the music.


  • Demonstrate your ability to conduct research on a musical culture you have not learned through a lesson in this class
  • Engage in an educated, in-depth conversation about a musical culture

Overview:  In this assignment you are expected to watch one of the assigned recordings and do the research necessary to explain and discuss the sound and behavior of musical example and how they relate to the concept of the music.

Be sure to read this week’s assigned online lessons before reading this discussion board.  In particular, focus on the Music and Memory page of this week’s lesson to prepare for this discussion.


We have been talking about music and memory as a central theme in the ballad tradition. But what exactly is the connection between music and the preservation of memory?

When it comes to preserving and evoking memories, music can be very powerful. Some music and songs we intentionally commit to memory, while some music we just “pick up” subconsciously. But most of us find we have songs that we associate with certain times in our lives, or certain places or persons.

Music, however, does not just help us reminisce. Music can be a very effective tool, aiding memory in several different ways, including the following:

  • Influencing and Reenacting memories: Music influences the way we remember things and allows us to reenact memories of the past. For years music therapists have benefited from the ability of music to retrieve seemingly lost memory in patients who have suffered both long term and short term memory loss. This leads music therapists to believe that music memory might function differently than other types of memory, such as linguistic and personal recollection.
  • Commemoration: Music commemorates significant people and events in our lives and in history. It has the ability to create an air of great solemnity, if it is appropriate to the occasion. Music also has the ability to express great emotions such as sadness and grief. Thus it is typically used in occasions such as funerals and candlelight ceremonies or vigils that observe significant (and often sad or terrible) events, such as deaths or violent acts, such as murders or assassinations. Popular examples of music used for commemoration are “Taps” and “Amazing Grace.
  • Preservation of information: Music aids memorization of facts (people, places and events) as well as text (stories). Music functions very well as a mnemonic device. Many people find it easier to remember words and ideas when they are set to music. Music has served as a tool for teaching and memorizing for generations. Most children of the English language learned the alphabet to “The Alphabet Song. There are also songs taught to children to help them learn their numbers, days of the week, the fifty States, the books of the Bible, etc. It is in this same way that music helps ballad singers remember long, complex stories.

Here are directions that will apply to all Groups and all discussion boards:
Since each Group will be participating in only two discussion boards throughout the semester, every participant will have time to craft a thoughtful initial post of approximately 300 words in length. Think of the discussion board as an opportunity to write a mini-essay.  Choose your approach, identifying specific musical characteristics, instruments, vocal styles, as well as behaviors and how they relate to the music.  You may discuss the entire video or focus on just a portion of it.  (Use parenthetic times to clarify points in the video.)  I recommend that you prepare your post as a Word document, so that you can polish your writing before posting it. (Make sure you have edited your writing to remove spelling and punctuation errors, sentence fragments, typos, etc.  You can then copy and paste your text into the discussion board.) These discussion posts are more about quality than quantity.

IMPORTANT: In your post, as well as in your responses, use the appropriate terminology that you are acquiring from the lessons. The goal of this assignment is to begin to distinguish between your personal reactions to music and the scientific study of music using musical terminology and Merriam’s model in examining the material.

Use the Topic number and title as the title of your initial post (e.g., “Korean Pansori 1”).

As we learned in this week’s lesson, music can be a very effective tool, aiding memory in several different ways, including influencing and reenacting memories, commemoration, and preservation of information.  In this Discussion Board we will be exploring Music and Memory in several other cultures around the world.  Specifically, the topics for Discussion Board #2 are:

Special Note to Group Memory members: The musical examples listed above were carefully and purposefully chosen.  Please take some time to do some research into the culture, genre, artist, and/or specific song represented in the example you have chosen as you prepare to write your initial post.   

Regarding your responses: Offer substantive responses that address the thoughts and observations of your Groupmate who has made the initial post.  (Avoid general “value” statements, such as “interesting” or “nice,” which contribute nothing substantive to the conversation; the quality of your comments will be reflected in your grade.)  All Group members are invited to contribute additional replies on topics that interest you.  And, sooner is better.  That way, there is more opportunity for discussion.


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