MUSC 120 SJSU The Swing Era and Respectability to Jazz Research Paper The major research paper will be required of every student in MUSC 120 and will be written on a course appropriate topic such as an in depth discussion of a major jazz performer or composer and their contributions or a study of a Jazz time period such as swing, early jazz, cool, or avante garde etc. The length of this paper should be 6-8 pages, not including the bibliography and including at least five references. The final draft will be submitted by the last day of instruction. Topics chosen by the student will adhere to the goals specific to Area S GE courses. Sample general topics include: the different ways in which early African-American and European-
American jazz musicians were viewed (LO-1); reasons behind the increased opportunities afforded white jazz musicians in the early recording industry of the 1920s (LO-2); the influence of the Middle East and south-Indian Carnatic music on the free jazz movement of the 1960s and its association to the United States civil rights movement (LO-3); and the increased musical interactions between United States jazz musicians and diverse groups of immigrant musicians in the post-modern jazz movement of the 1980s and 90s (LO-4).
The following is an example of a specific research paper topic: Miles Davis, a leader in the fields of bop, cool and modal jazz styles, alienated many fans and critics when he ceased activity in previous styles to pioneer jazz-rock fusion in the late 1960s. Many saw this move as a commercial sell-out, but behind this problem lurked a larger debate about the “blackness” of jazz, the “whiteness” of rock and race in general. What was Davis trying to achieve and why the reaction to it? This essay pertains to Area S GE LO-1 in being about the perceived identities of diverse groups within the society of the United States (“Black” America vs. “White” America and their respective musical aesthetics); and LO-4 in demonstrating interactions and collaborations Davis was creating between a traditionally “black” music and musicians (jazz) and a traditionally “white” music and musicians (rock).
*Grades received for the Concert Reviews and Major Research Paper will be assigned according to the following rubric:
A= 90-100% of technical terms used correctly. The report is extremely well organized, with outstanding and substantive musical content, clearly presented and grammatically correct. The report makes a strong impression. The writer shows a command of the language and a clear grasp of the concepts.
B= 80-89% of technical terms used correctly. The report is well organized, with better than average coverage, content, and grasp of the concepts. The report is well presented, with adequate use of the language, and basically does the job well.
C= 70-79% of technical terms used correctly. The report is mediocre and not well organized. Coverage and content are adequate, at best. Grammar and syntax problems are present.
D= 60-69% of technical terms used correctly. This report is basically incomplete, lacking in any substantial content. Pervasive grammatical problems are present and the use of the language is poor.