Writing Music
First Edition   ©2018

Writing Music

A Bedford Spotlight Reader

Jeff Ousborne (Suffolk University)

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-02015-1; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-02015-6; Format: Paper Text

About the Bedford Spotlight Reader Series

Preface for Instructors

Contents by Discipline

Contents by Theme

Contents by Rhetorical Purpose

Introduction for Students

1. What Is Music and Why Do We Love It?

Barry Parker, Making Music

Brad Mehldau, Blank Expressions: Brad Mehldau and the Essence of Music

Stephen A. Diamond, Why We Love Music and Freud Despised It

Leonid Perlovsky, Music and Consciousness

St. Basil, from The Homily on the First Psalm

Oliver Sacks, Brainworms, Sticky Music, and Catchy Tunes

Jan Swafford, The Most Beautiful Melody in the World

Justin Davidson, Beethovens Kapow

2. How Does Music Express and Shape the Self?

Rob Sheffield, Left of the Dial

Aristotle, from Politics

Frederick Douglass, from My Bondage and My Freedom

Robert O'Meally, Lady Day

Laina Dawes, Hardcore Persona

Judy Berman, Concerning the Spiritual in Indie Rock

Will Wilkinson, Country Music, Openness to Experience, and the Psychology of the Culture War

Jeff Ousborne, Songs of Myself? Not Quite

Zach Moldof, Humble Trappings: Blue-Collar Hip-Hop and Recasting the Drug Dealer's Myth

Jeremy Gordon, I Listen to Everything, Except Rap and Country Music

3. How Do We Make and Consume Music?

Mark Oppenheimer, Stop Forcing Your Kids to Learn a Musical Instrument

Gracy Olmstead, Loving Through Pain: Why Learning an Instrument Matters

Meghan Daum, Music Is My Bag

Lessley Anderson, Seduced By Perfect Pitch: How Auto-Tune Conquered Pop Music

Robert J. Oxoby, On the Efficiency of AC/DC: Bon Scott versus Brian Johnson

Tom Jacobs, When Things Look Dark, Country Music Gets Sunnier

Damon Krukowski, Making Cents

George Howard, Why Artists Should Stop Chasing Spotify's Pennies and Focus on Top Fans

4. How Does Music Negotiate Race and Ethnicity?

Eugene Holley, My Bill Evans Problem: Jaded Visions of Jazz and Race

Samantha Ainsley, Black Rhythm, White Power

Heben Nigatu, In Defense of Kanye's Vanity: The Politics of Black Self-Love

Sasha Frere-Jones, A Paler Shade of White: How Indie Rock Lost Its Soul

Deborah Pacini Hernandez, To Rock or Not to Rock: Cultural Nationalism and Latino Engagement with Rock 'n' Roll

Chris Kjorness, Latin Music Is American Music

Kat Chow, How the 'Kung Fu Fighting' Melody Came to Represent Asia

Jeff Chang, It's a Hip-Hop World

5. What Does Music Reveal about Sexuality and Gender?

Tamara Winfrey Harris, All Hail the Queen?

Susan Hiwatt, Macho Rock: Men Always Seem to End Up on Top

Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, They've Got the Beat

Amy Clements-Cortes, The Role of Pop Music and Pop Singers in the Construction of a Singer's Identity in Three Early Adolescent Females

Madison Moore, Tina Theory: Notes on Fierceness


Sentence Guides for Academic Writers

Index of Authors and Titles