Order Description

Music 124

(Adapted from Bakan’s 5 Proposition’s for Exploring World/Non-Western Music)

Instead of having you do a standard research paper I want to give you a chance to express YOUR thoughts on the subject matter for this course and it’s presentation. I really want to read what you think. This is an exercise in critical thinking and must be written in a more formal, academic style:

-Think about the subject at hand (one of Bakan’s propositions)

-read what others have written about it or related issue (citing your sources where appropriate)

– synthesize and clarify your thoughts on the matter.

– then explain your opinion in a well-written, thoroughly researched academic manner. Clarity of thought is paramount.

In Chapter one of the MUS 124 text the author sets out a number propositions (and assumptions) about music in general and the study of musical matters beyond music of a Western European origin.

Below is a selection of some of those issues to review: (italics mine) The actual list to consult is in your textbook.

A) Music as organized sound

– Music sounds always emerge within some organizational framework, and are therefore organized.

– For example, Beethoven’s Symphony 9 (CD ex. 1-2) is easy for Westerners to identify as an organized form of sound.

– Japanese gagaku (CD ex. 1-3) is also music, although its organizational principles are unfamiliar to Westerners.

B) Bakan’s HIP (human intention and perception) approach and its merits

– It privileges inclusiveness over exclusiveness

– HIP emphasizes the idea that music is inseparable from the people who make it and experience it. [This describes a fundamental difference between the fields of musicology and ethnomusicology].

C) What is music? (observer/listener bias)

– John Cage’s 4’33” was intended to be music

– Islamic Qur’anic recitation (CD ex. 1-4) is perceived by many Westerners as music, but not by most Muslims.

– Music by a thrash metal band like Overkill is considered music since its audience members and band members consider it such, even though other people might not agree.

D) The Term Music Is Inescapably Tied to Western Culture and Its Assumptions

– Many cultures do not have a word equivalent to music in their language, and some languages that do have a word for music, like Arabic, apply it differently than speakers of English.

– [Therefore] We are thus doomed to ethnocentrism: we [those who are studying a different culture] cannot help but impose our own cultural perspectives on other groups practices and lifeways. (sic)


Paper topic

Pick one of Bakan’s five propositions for exploring World Music (these are listed on page 3 of the text, 2nd ed.)

State clearly whether you agree or disagree with it. Write a position paper detailing what it is you agreed (or disagreed) with in the proposition and explain why. Be specific!

Everything you state in a declarative way needs to have proof. In other words refrain from mere conjecture or assertion. You must cite sources to support your position and conclusions!


Papers should follow MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting guidelines. The following link has examples.

Must begin with a thesis statement – papers without a clear thesis statement will automatically be deducted one letter grade.

Aside from stating which of the five propositions you agree or disagree with, a thesis statement should be one or two sentences that distill your position. The analysis or evidence in support of it will make up the body of your paper. You may write in first person.

Structure your thesis statement as the answer to a question.

In general following these basic guidelines should help you maintain focus:

Tell me what you’re going to say. (Thesis statement) This is your first paragraph and it shouldn’t be overly long. It should set up the body of the paper to follow.
Say it. (The body of your paper)
Tell me what you just said. (Summary conclusion). Again, this should not be overly long. If it is then that’s likely because you did not adequately explain yourself in the body of the paper.
The following two links may prove helpful in getting started constructing your thesis statement:



Due Date: 11:59 p.m. (CST), Due date: August 3, 2015 11:59 p.m. (CST) *(This is three days before the end of the semester).

Length: 1500 words (Double-spaced, 12 point font). Papers that are at all deficient in length (even one word) will be deducted one letter grade. In essence, don’t just do (or write) the bare minimum. Write until you have clearly explained your position or addressed problematic issues raised by the proposition.

Thesis statement: Papers missing a thesis statement or with a nominal thesis statement that does not clearly state the proposition, your agreement or disagreement with it, and what you intend to discuss to prove your point, will be deducted one letter grade.

Cited Sources: Your paper should have 4 cited sources Wikipedia cannot be a cited source for the paper. Your text cannot be a cited source.

Percentage of cited material: Your paper can contain no more than 30% cited material. All papers are run through a software program/database that checks for originality and plagiarism. A very accurate calculation of the percentage of non-original material is generated for the instructor. Any more than 30% is, I feel, contrary to the intent of the paper which is YOUR original thought. Papers with more than 30% non-original material will be deducted one letter grade. Papers with more than 50% will be deducted two letter grades automatically. Papers with more than 60% will receive a zero automatically. It’s very easy to avoid this pitfall: Don’t copy and paste.

Content: No mere assertion. All statements need to be supported. i.e. “I feel this way about x and here are the reasons why”.

Style: For this assignment you are tasked with writing in an academic manner or “style”. What this doesn’t mean is using big words, excess jargon or run-on sentences. What academic writing means to me is being very clear and exacting with what your are stating and the conclusions you draw from your reasoning. If you make judgments about something in academic writing, there is an expectation that you will support your opinion by referencing what a published author has previously written about the issue. This lends validity to your conclusions and elevates them above the level of mere conjecture or assertion. By properly citing the work of other authors it shows that you have read related literature, understood the ideas, and have integrated these issues and varying perspectives into your writing.

Spelling: Spelling counts. Don’t rely solely on spell check. Make sure you proofread carefully.

Syntax: Basically this refers to sentence structure. Along with spelling, if a sentence doesn’t make sense or if I have to work hard to figure out what the heck you are trying to say, then you will be graded down for it or possibly receive a zero. Non-idiomatic writing falls into this category.

Don’t plagiarize. It is fairly easy for me to spot and verify “copy and paste”. Students caught plagiarizing will receive an ‘F’ for the course and may be subject to disciplinary action by Parkland College. It’s just not worth it.

I want to know what you think about a particular topic, not what someone else wrote about it. So, don’t be afraid to write in first person, but make sure your reasons for making a particular statement are clear.

Do You Need A Similar Assignment?

Place an order with us. Our skilled and experienced writers will deliver a custom paper which is not plagiarized within the deadline which you will specify.

Note; 6 Hours urgent orders deliver also available.

If you need more clarifications contact our support staff via the live chat for immediate response.


Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: