Again, as the Hunter College Blackboard site is still wonky (well, it works right now), I’m posting the Extra Credit Assignment here for students’ convenience.
Choose one of the following topics and write a 3- to 5-page essay (double-spaced, 12 font size, 1″ margins) according to the guidelines specified below. Your essay will be worth up to 15 extra credit points and will be added to the point total of either your test scores or your homework scores (whichever has the lower percentage). This essay will be due at the beginning of the last class, Wednesday May 13th (no exceptions).
Extra Credit Topic A
Explain the difference between classical and flamenco guitar styles.
Your writing should account for the origins of these styles, how these styles have been transmitted over time, and differences between classical technique and flamenco technique. What are the objectives that a player of these styles would strive to be able to do (e.g. clear tone, minimum muscle effort, speed, etc.)?
Terms to be incorporated into your essay:
Andrés Segovia (classical) and Paco de Lucia (modern flamenco) are two fantastic artists representative of two contrasting styles of guitar performance. Watch some performances of the two below to get started:
Your essay must include at least three scholarly resources. While I encourage you to use the internet for starting (there is a great article on flamenco to get a starting orientation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamenco), the only online resource you may quote from for this essay is Grove Music Online, http://www.grovemusic.com. This is an online musical encyclopedia, which you may access from Hunter computers or with your Hunter username and password. Also, JSTOR is a fantastic online journal database for scholarly articles, and it allows you to download articles as .pdf files. Go here to access Grove Music Online and JSTOR: http://library.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/databases/index.php.
Extra Credit Topic B
Bert Williams (1875-1922) is one of the most popular black entertainers and comedians of all-time, and was by far the best-selling black recording artist before 1920. He managed to gain respect as a comedian from all audiences, despite living in a time where stereotyping and racial inequality was an accepted part of life. Your task will be to explain the following:
a) why Williams performed in blackface;
b) how he ascended to star status (specifically, what were the influential shows that brought him before larger audiences);
c) how he became a best-selling recording artist;
d) what roles did George Walker, Florence Ziegfeld, Eddie Cantor, and the Gotham-Attucks publishing company play in furthering Williams’ career?
e) for a time Williams was viewed by many leaders of the black community as a hindrance rather than a progressive figure, but that has changed with recent scholarship. Why was he viewed negatively? Why is he viewed as a vitally important pioneer now?
A recent compilation of his music is available as a CD entitled “Bert Williams 1915-1921″ (2005 Document Records).
Your essay must be at least three pages (double-spaced, 12 font size) and must include at least three scholarly resources. While I encourage you to use the internet for starting, the only online resource you may quote from is Grove Music Online, http://www.grovemusic.com. This is an online musical encyclopedia, which you may access from Hunter computers or with your Hunter username and password. Also, JSTOR is a fantastic online journal database for scholarly articles, and it allows you to download articles as .pdf files. Go here to access Grove Music Online and JSTOR: http://library.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/databases/index.php. New York has the fortune of being home to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, up in Harlem. For a thorough study I would definitely make a trip there to research the topic.
Here’s an example paper that got 15 points last semester.