Home » Articles posted by Justin Yi

Author Archives: Justin Yi

Yi Blog 9

The connection between feminism and the two music entries was how music gave power to women and the feminist movement. Through music, women are able to push and bring attention to inequalities within the world. For example, the song “Run the World” by Beyonce aims to empower women by bringing to attention all the countless contributions they make. In the song, one of the lyrics used is “How we smart enough to make these millions Strong enough to bear the children (children)”. Through the song, Beyonce is pushing the message that women need to e respected and aren’t there to be disrespected. Two songs I would have used are “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna and “Woman” by BoA. The song “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna was released in 2015. It is of the pop genre. The reason why I chose “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna was because it was showing how tough and powerful a woman could e. In the song, Rihanna compares herself to Lebron James who is the richest basketball player. She compares her wealth to Lebron’s by saying “Pay me what you owe me Ballin’ bigger than LeBron” and also “Turn up to Rihanna while the whole club fuckin’ wasted Every time I drop I am the only thing you’re playin’”. Through these lyrics, she demonstrates how well off she is and how her success keeps on growing. The next song “Woman” by BoA was released in 2018. It is of the K-Pop genre. The reason why I chose “Woman” by BoA is that it discusses the topic of how people are perfect the way they are. It mentions how people shouldn’t change themselves to be like others or to make others like them. The lyrics in the song are “You want me to be me? Then show me yourself You have a pearl but you’re looking for a diamond You’re getting deceived, you’re being slanderous”. The lyrics show us how people don’t recognize their true value. This is shown when she states “you have a pearl but you’re looking for a diamond” through this she is howling us how we are already good enough and that there is no need to try to be better. It also mentions how forcing femininity is incorrect and that people should thrive to find what fits them. She states, “When they were forcing femininity (girls on top) When I didn’t even know what it was to be a woman (didn’t know that) Now I know, what I really need (I’ve got it) I have the best inner beauty Feels good to be a woman”. The whole song preaches the message of being yourself and being satisfied with yourself. 

Yi Blog 8

I consider the song “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson a good song for various reasons. The reasons why I consider it a good song is the long period of time for which it topped the charts and the impact it had. Billie Jean topped the pop chart for seven weeks in March and April of 1983 which was considered a long period. It also paved the way for more uptempo black music to crossover after three years of post-disco blacklisting by pop radio. Another reason why I consider it a good song is the usage of its various hooks. One after another you’re subject to an onslaught of hooks. The drum beat, bass line, string stabs, funk guitar, vocal punches, and tiny horn runs. It is catchy to the point that everyone recognizes each one of these as being from that song. They share the traits of being independently strong, catchy, and also being significantly memorable. The story behind the song also adds to the charm of the song. According to Jackson’s biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, “Billie Jean” was inspired by letters Jackson received in 1981 from a woman claiming he was the father of one of her twins. Jackson, who regularly received letters of this kind, had never met the woman and ignored those claims. A unit this song could have been featured in was Unit 3: Elements of Sound and Music. In this unit different parts that make up a song are mentioned such as beat, pitch, harmony, melody, vocal, timbre, texture, etc. I believe this song displays a variety of these skills and we could have broken this song down to identify each of these terms. For example, we could have seen how harmony was utilized in the song and what type of texture the song was played in. This would have allowed us to identify terms better and also see how it’s incorporated into popular songs.

YI Blog 7

Music plays a large role in the religion of Buddhism. Most Buddhist practices involve chant in some form, and some also make use of instrumental music and even dance. Music can act as an offering to the Buddha, as a means of memorizing Buddhist texts, and as a form of personal cultivation or meditation. Music is mentioned throughout Buddhist writings such as “The Amitabha Sutra”, the scripture mentions how heavenly singing and chanting can be heard in the Pure Land, as mandarava flowers softly rain down from the sky. In the Pure Land, one can always hear birds making beautiful, harmonious music. Animated by a gentle breeze, the movements of jewel trees ring out in melodious chords, as if thousands of gentle tunes are being performed in harmony. Upon hearing their song, those present naturally recollect the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. In another Buddhist text, the “Great Perfection of Wisdom Treatise”, states that “For bodhisattvas to purify the Buddha land, they seek out beautiful music, wishing that sentient beings in that land can hear the music and soften their hearts, making them easier to transform. This is why music is given as an offering to the Buddha.” Music is very important to the religion of Buddhism as is shown how it is mentioned several times throughout its scriptures and writing. Music plays a variety of roles such as calming one’s mind and allowing the disciples to open their hearts to the teaching of Buddha. The chant/music of Buddhism is very synchronized. Each chant performed by the disciple are in sync and performed in a similar vocal tone. The chat starts off with a chime from a bell, the sound of the bell starts off loud and clear and then starts to gradually fade. We can also hear a drum-like instrument behind the voice being hit while the chant is being performed. Occasionally we hear a bell-like instrument ringing behind the voices. This music expresses religious belief because it incorporates the chant of the mantras. Instead of using lyrics, the Buddhists incorporate mantras so that they are able to memorize and better understand them. 

Yi Blog 6

One performance I watched online was by Michael Jackson. It was a performance he had done in 1993 at the Superbowl. During his performance, Michael Jackson performed a variety of songs such as “Jam” (with the beginning of “Why You Wanna Trip On Me”), “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” (including the beginning of “Another Part of Me”) including the ending of Batten’s guitar solo. The thing that ultimately made me watch the concert was the hype surrounding the performance. I had always heard about Michael Jackson and how talented he was as a musician so I decided to watch one of his concerts. This was my first exposure to a Michael Jackson live and I was not disappointed. I believe his performance and aura were well worth the hype as he was perfectly in control of the stage. Michael Jackson appeared in a costume similar to the one that marching bands wear. It was formal wear and in the color of black and white. During one of his performances, he wore a hat that he incorporated into his dancing. The audience was very excited by the performance as they were all cheering and yelling. He performed with such gust that most of the audience was speechless. The beginning of his performance was also impressionable as he stayed silent in front of the crowd to build the hype and get the audience riled up. The major difference between the concerts of Michael Jackson and Igor Stravinsky was the overall mood. Michale Jackson’s concert had more of a pop genre and was more well accepted by the audience. The audience loved Michael Jackon’s performance while the audience was more confused about Igor’s performance. Igor’s performance was more experimental so it wasn’t too well received by the people. 

Yi Blog 5

The author of “100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater”, first starts off with a quick explanation of the piece “The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. The author states how the piece today is considered a work of modernism with its frenetic, jagged orchestral ballet that boldly rejected the ordered harmonies and comfort of traditional composition. He then adds how the piece had left a mark ​​on jazz, minimalism, and other contemporary movements. The debut of “The Rite of Spring” in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées caused a great commotion. The show started with a meandering and eerily high-pitched bassoon solo, followed by a group of dancers dressed in whimsical costumes, the dancers performed bizarre and violent moves. This irritated a large portion of the audience causing the audience to engage in a scuffle and fight with one another. With this performance, Stravinsky was subjected to harsh criticism due to his introduction of a new form of art that used harsh dissonance, complex rhythms, and repetitive melodies. The author of “Did Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring incite a riot at its premiere?”, argues that the riot had never happened and it was all just misunderstanding and exaggeration of the events. He shares how the accounts of the riot came from the balcony, but The balcony of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées was exceptionally resonant allowing sound from the orchestra to bounce off concrete walls. He shares how it is likely for the walls to have amplified the sounds from the orchestra creating a misconception of chaos on the lower level. He then goes on to share how the fight that occurred was not about the art form but more about the aristocrats and politics. The author states, “aftermath of the premiere that compared the atmosphere to that of a contentious debate in Parliament or a criminal court trial—confrontational and impassioned, but not physically violent.” With the evidence, he manages to disprove accounts of violence and brutality that were claimed to occur. The first time I watched the ballet I found it interesting due to the unique dancing. Unlike what I normally know about ballet the one performed in this video was unique. The dance moves did not seem very refined but instead rough around the edges. The dance sequence incorporated a lot of jumping up and down, left to right, and collapses. If I was an audience in 1913 I would have been shocked by this new display of movements that I was not yet used to or familiar with.

Yi blog 4

The song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” was released in 1961. It is famously known as the song sung by Elvis Presley and is of the R&B/Soul genre. The primary emotions being conveyed in the song are love. In the song Elvis shares how love is dangerous and no matter how experienced one is, it is hard nonetheless. He then goes on to share how despite knowing the danger of “love” he can’t help falling for this girl that caught his eyes. With the lyrics, we can see how his feeling for this girl are genuine and how deeply he has fallen in love. Another performance of the song I found similar yet different was a cover from the artist G-Dragon. The cover from G-Dragon was overall very similar but the portion near the chorus was different. Around 1:29 the song takes a different route from the original and changes the beat and tempo. The tempo increases and the song changes from a calm to an energetic feel. The cover had a very pop feel as opposed to the original song. Elvis Presley’s version was very calming and melodic while the cover was very energetic. Despite the few differences most of the song and lyrics remained the same and overall conveyed the same message. The song still conveyed the same message of love and how deep he is into love. Another similarity is the beat and overall tempo. The beat of the song is very similar to the original song. Some ways the musical setting could have affected the emotions in the song is the style or genre. The original song was sung by an American artist while the second song was done by a Korean singer. The styles or genre that is popular could have been different between the two countries leading to such differences. Artists after all make songs that would be appreciated by their fans and normally their country. 

Yi Blog 3

The human voice is an instrument that has existed for as long as humans have. It has provided humans with the ability to communicate with one another and make sounds. The human voice requires many parts of the body to work together to create noise and function. It states on page 11, “The human voice is essentially a wind instrument, with the lungs supplying the air, the vocal cords setting up the vibrations, and the cavities of the upper throat, mouth, and nose forming a resonating chamber”. A total of 5 parts of the body need to work together as a unit for us to make sounds and a lack of these parts will prevent us from doing so. Each of these parts plays its individual role whether it is to create vibrations or supply air to the body, so that sounds may be produced. The human voice has many uses so it is difficult for us to say it was designed for a certain purpose. However, the main function of the human voice would be to make noise or sounds that allow us to communicate with one another. In this process, we use it to make music or to act in plays. It states on page 11, “The words in secular music may express feelings, narrate a story, describe activities associated with work or play, comment on social or political situations, convey a nationalistic message, and so on”. Through the human voice, we incorporate it to create different forms of art whether it may be plays or songs. Its uses are very broad and do not have an incorrect use. I have a lot of experience with his technology as I happen to use it every day. I either use it to speak to someone or when I hum/sing to a song I like. As a matter of fact, most people tend to use this technology every day on a day-to-day basis as we all rely heavily on it. A lot of music nowadays uses the technology but from the large variety of songs, I believe the song “Hello” by Adele has the best usage of the musical technology. In the song despite the numerous amount of instruments and sounds that are played Adele’s voice remains the centerpiece of the song. With her voice, she expresses feelings of sadness and the long sense of missing someone. The technology allowed the song to sound more harmonious as it was well-balanced and did not overpower the music.  

Yi Blog 2

The song I decided to choose was the song called “Sunroof”. The song is of the pop genre and the artists who sing it are Nicky Youre and Dazy. The song established itself in the top 10 of Billboard 100 and placed itself at number six. I happened to discover this song randomly on social media while I was scrolling through some videos. While listening to the song I noticed it had a very good rhythm, a catchy melody, and lyrics that were easy to remember and sing along to. The overall vibe of the song was very energetic and perfect for summer. It wasn’t heavy or overbearing and instead let you relax and follow the flow of the song. Another factor of the song I liked was its genre. I like pop songs and this is what probably led me to gravitate toward it and pique my interest. The lyrics and melody were so catchy it was stuck in my head for the day and let it establish itself as a hot song. Two musical elements I noticed in the song are harmony and texture. In the song, I chose I noticed it had a thin texture were only a few instruments playing, or there were only one or two melodies and harmonies. As supposed to having a heavy texture where there are many instruments playing. As for the harmony, I believe it went together and was well-balanced. The song was balanced and didn’t seem to have components that were overbearing. A musically interesting moment in the song is the melody and the pitch of the song. To start off the song has a mixture of low and high pitches. The song is in a low pitch for the most part of the song but rises in pitch as the song goes toward the chorus. The chorus portion of the song has a higher pitch than the other portion of the song which is very. The song also incorporates hums into the melody during some portions of the song. The incorporation of the hums is well blended into the song and doesn’t seem distracting. It is also not very noticeable as it is well incorporated into the rest of the melody. This was interesting as I haven’t heard many songs that use hums but rather use instruments to create these noises. It was refreshing to see new techniques being used and outside of my knowledge. 

Yi Blog 1

The most interesting thing about this historical period is the large number of changes it brought to the field of music. Within the 20th-century historical period, major shifts occurred such as American composers straying away from the widely used Romantic European conventions to creating their own distinctive styles. Charles Ives for example was one composer who sought to develop his own by employing dissonance, atonality, complex rhythms, and nonlinear structures. It states how, “Charles Ives, writing in the first two decades of the century, was the first American to move away from the Romantic European conventions of form and style by employing dissonance, atonality, complex rhythms, and nonlinear structures”(Page 33). Within this period the biggest change could be considered to be the changes artist were willing to make to develop music. As time went on more artists sought their own music and as a result, began making music with their own take or beliefs. Like Charles Ives, John Cage was another composer who experimented with developing music. It states how “John Cage would challenge listeners to completely rethink what constituted music and art through his radically experimental works…Cage paved the way for the so-called “downtown” New York experimental scene that broke down barriers between music, visual art, performance, and so forth”(page 34). It is clear that the 20th century period of music was different from what people were used to and sought to incorporate more of the composer’s personality. 

Although I do not know much about the music from this period based on the textbook I can see that it was a very experimental and changing time for music. From the way it was described in the textbook, we can see how musicians and composers sought to create a different type of music that did not exist, and as a result, more composers put their own unique personalities into their pieces. The “Major Figures in Music” I decided to choose was Michael Jackson. Based on listening to several of his songs I noticed how some of his songs contained synthesized or digitally altered sounds as the reading stated. It states in the article how, “Synthesized, sampled, and digitally altered sounds are commonly used for special effects in popular music, movie scores, and works for the concert hall”(page 34). It was common practice for musicians to use these newly developed sounds in their music and Michael Jackson can be seen using them. It made his songs seem fresher and more uplifting to listen to, it was different from other songs that were more calm and smooth.

Library OneSearch

Enter your search term and click Search to find an item in the CUNY catalog.

June 2024

This course includes Open Educational Resources (OER), which are entirely cost-free and accessible online. Developed in the Open Knowledge Fellowship at The Graduate Center's Mina Rees Library, this work is made possible by state grant funding through the Office of Library Services.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.