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In Despina Markakis’ presentation she finds a connection between music and animal cruelty. Despina found that many animal welfare organizations use music to connect with people and their cause. Examples of these groups are Music Against Animal Cruelty, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or (ASPCA). These groups use lyrics, background music, and musicians to perform for their charity. The first song she uses as an example is “Behind the Mask” by Goldfinger which speaks out on animal liberation and radicalism in the animal liberation movement. The second song she uses is “Exotic Animals Suite: I. Exotic Birds” by Mark Dal Porto which uses woodwinds to recreate bird noises.
If I wrote about this topic the music I would choose would be “In the Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, and “Get Off My Back” by Bryan Adams. The first song is connected to the infamous ASPCA commercial about neglected animals needed for adoption. The commercial uses the sad lyrics of wanting to be cared and loved for to convince people who watch the commercial to help these animals. The most musically interesting moment would have to be the very beginning because as soon as you hear it you might tear up a bit. The second song is less well known and is used in the movie “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” The song is used in the part of the movie where Spirit, the horse, is trying to be tamed by the ranchers who captured him. the entire time spirit is bucking them off not wanting to be tamed by them. The song is supposed to show the unwillingness of the horse and the cruelty he is put under. The chorus is full of energy and emotion that can only be described as anger and frustration.
1. Music and addiction can be related to “Addiction” by Kayne and “Your Love is my Drug” by Ke$ha. Addiction is associated with “Addition” by Kayne because West speaks a lot about addictions that he’s developed as he became famous in the song. The lyrics they mentioned were “What’s your addiction? Is it money? Is it girls? Is it weed?” It also uses musical texture and one melody while he asks questions. He also pronounces the question in a low tone and stays on beat.
“Your Love is my Drug” by Ke$ha is associated with Addiction because Ke$ha speaks about the emotions that come with feeling addicted to something. How being in love has the same side effects as being addicted to a drug. A quote they mentioned was “…I’m lookin’ down every alley I’m makin’ those desperate calls I’m stayin’ up all night hopin’ hittin’ my head against the wall”. Ke$ha uses autotune to make the song sound like dance-pop and electronic. She switches back and forth to a high dynamic.
2. Music and addiction can be related to “Sober” by Selena Gomez and “Rehab” by Amy Whinehouse. “Sober” by Selena Gomez discusses a girl who is struggling in her relationship because her boyfriend only loves her when he’s drunk. The lyrics that stood out to me were, “But you don’t know how to love me when you’re sober. When the bottles done you pull me closer.” Her boyfriend doesn’t know how to love her when he’s drunk. This song relates to alcoholism which is an addiction. A musically interesting moment is the first 20 seconds it’s just the beat with a weird sound that’s repeated throughout the whole song. This song has consonant and dissonant sounds because at certain points she sings low notes and then higher notes that sound pleasing.
“Rehab” by Amy Whinehouse is associated with addiction because it discusses her trouble with addiction. The lyrics “They tried to make me go to rehab. I said no no no” demonstrate that she doesn’t want help for her addiction. It’s actually sad because Amy Whinehouse died of alcohol poisoning at 27. The song has a lower pitch bc she has somewhat of a deeper voice compared to other female artists. The melody is also very catchy. A musically interesting moment is at 0:22-0:26 when she says “if my daddy thinks I’m fine”, it has disjunct because she drags out the words “daddy” and “fine” causing a long distance between the pitches.
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.
Music and feminism:
Feminism is about the idea that women should have complete social, economic and political equality. Many female workers in the industry promote this idea and support the idea of it. Making music allows them to spread the word and get more women to band together to fight for equality. The two songs that were used for this presentation was Strip by little mix and NRI by Raja Kumari. Strip by little mix encourages women to love who they are and be comfortable in their own bodies. Which relates to the topic as it creates an idea of women supporting women and that girls shouldn’t be ashamed of anything. The musically interesting moment was the rhythm contrast during as it starts playing halftime and her voice is constantly going up and down until she switches her flow when the beat goes back to full time. The second song mentioned addresses the feelings one gets from being considered as an outcast in society due to their race and gender. Raka Kumari wrote this to partially depict her feelings on being a POC women in the music industry as she worked with a lot of artists but not many people know of her indicating that women should get treated equally in the industry. The musically interesting moment in this scenario would be when the melody takes change of form. The beat cuts out and the rest of the song is being kept minimalistic. If I were to write about this topic I would use The song “The Man” by Taylor Swift and “My Future” by Billie Eillish. The song by Taylor swift is about how no matter what she did as a woman, she was always met with criticism while if a man did the same thing, they would be praised and put on a pedestal. Swift has said in an interview that she had been meaning to write this song for a long time but she couldn’t find the right words to say it. I think an interesting moment in the song is the amount of harmonies you can hear in the song. Especially in the chorus or bridge, I feel as if you could hear it slightly clearer than the verses. The second song I mentioned, by Billie Eillish, is a song about self-reflection and self-growth. Although it may not necessarily be aimed towards a feminist agenda, I think it can be applied to the topic as it can give a person the confidence to be themselves in the future no matter what happens. The second verse in the song says “Know I’m supposed to be unhappy Without someone (someone) But aren’t I someone?” I think this means that you can be happy by yourself and the concept of self love should be important to your own future even if everyone around says otherwise. A musically interesting moment in the song happens when she transitions from the first chorus to the second verse as the tempo changes as well as the timbre of the song. It seems to me like she’s breaking the news that she can be happy by herself and then once the change happens, she begins to be more confident and happy with her decision and talks to her future self during the chorus.
The presentation I am choosing to talk about is Adriana’s, “Music and Addiction” playlist. I thought this was a very interesting topic and something I did not think of myself. She explained that music is related to addiction because people can express their struggles about addiction through music. She also went on to explain that addiction can be about anything. People can be addicted to drugs, caffeine, another person, money, or social media. Her first song example was “Addiction” by Kanye West. It is an example of a straightforward song in relation to the topic. Kanye is speaking about his experience with addiction after fame in this song. Her next example was “Your Love Is My Drug” by Kesha. This song shows the side effects of addiction and shares the emotions that come about with being addicted to something. Two songs I would add to this playlist are “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran and “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first song is said to be about a woman struggling with an addiction to cocaine. Specific lyrics like “going mad for a couple grams” is a good representation of what an addiction can do to you. There is a constant melody that the strum of a guitar plays in the background throughout the entire song. The second song is a reference to drug use/ abuse. The lyrics “Under the bridge downtown is where I drew some blood” which suggests the idea of using drugs and even living on the streets. A musically interesting moment is when the guitar stops and then the music picks up with drums and they start singing. Overall, I think this was a very interesting topic.
In your own words, summarize the connection between the topic and the two music entries discussed in the presentation. Lyrics? Social context? Musical characteristic?
The presentation that I choose to discuss is the connection between Music and Animals, more specifically Animal Cruelty. In the US, there are roughly around 10 million animals that die from abuse. Music is a way for this idea of animal abuse to become well-known and a way for the charity to succeed.
In class, the two songs that were presented to represent this topic were “Behind the Mask” by Goldfinger and “Exotic Animals Suite: Movement 1” by Mark Dal Porto.
Behind the Mask
Lyrics and Social Context: Behind the lyrics, this song is a reference to ALF (Animal Liberation Front). It showcases support for animal rights and to end animal abuse, saying that the animal trusted the human and all the human did was put it in pain. Animals have a right to life and deserve to live it.
Musical Characteristics: Tempo = 175 BPm / B-key and minor mode / Instrument and Lyrics are repetitive / Music stops at a certain point and is being warped.
Exotic Animals Suite: Movement 1
Lyrics and Social Context: this musical piece is an orchestral one, with no lyrics. The composer created this movement to showcase the wonders of nature and the beauty that comes with it.
Musical Characteristics: This piece consists of three movements and is considered to be chamber music / The harmony is dissonance and polyphonic / Music reflects the sounds of birds (the technique used is removing the reed from the oboe to do so).
In all, both songs serve to bring awareness to protecting animals and appreciating their existence.
If you wrote about this topic instead of your own, what kind of music would you pick? Pick two songs/pieces that the author didn’t discuss in their presentation. How would you connect these songs/pieces to your topic? Lyrics? Social/historical/cultural background? Musical characteristic?
Song 1: Angel by Sarah McLachlan
This song connects to the topic because Sarah McLachlan sings this song for the ASPCA commercial. ASPCA is an animal rescue organization that rescues animals from abandonment and cruelty. Sarah McLachlan says the reason that she sings this song is because it brings out the emotions of everyone, making them want to cry alongside seeing the desperate animals in need of help. The song offers a way for the organization to gain some donations so they can better care for the animals in need.
Lyrics and Social Context: The lyrics are used to convey the hardship of struggle and hardship. This song was originally written about a drug addict’s struggles with the world. The “angel” symbolizes the drugs the addict gives in to repeatedly. Similarly, when Sarah McLachlan gave her song to the ASPCA organization, it was meant to portray the helplessness of the animal not being able to better its situation.
Musical Characteristics: The song is written in a minor key. When she performs the song on the piano, you really hear the minor keys. The minor keys serve to create that sad/grieving tone, which the song symbolizes, originally about addiction and then animal cruelty.
Song 2: Silent Night by Sarah McLachlan
Lyrics and Social Context: The lyrics, in the animal context, are used to convey the brutality of the cold winter night. The song is sung in a way to bring peace and to help put someone down for a night’s rest. In reality, it is meant to showcase the environment that the animals have to live in. They are hungry and cold and have no place to call home. Even though the song is meant to bring calm, it depicts the event that the song is bringing calm to.
Musical Characteristics: The timbre or tone color of the artist’s voice is natural and pure. The music is also very basic with not a lot going on, other than a piano accompanying the voice. The purpose of the artist’s singing in a lower and more quiet tone is to get the feel of the hymn because Silent Night is a hymn from the Christian faith, but here it’s used in a different context to depict the brutality of animal abuse and the singer’s voice does justice to that.
Link: Silent Night
During our in-class presentations, you were asked to take notes on at least three presentations that you found interesting but had very different topics from your own. Pick one of those presentations and answer the questions below.
To help you answer these questions, the slides for everyone’s presentations will be linked the evening after they present in-class.
- In your own words, summarize the connection between the topic and the two music entries discussed in the presentation. Lyrics? Social context? Musically interesting moment?
- If you wrote about this topic instead of your own, what kind of music would you pick? Pick two songs/pieces that the author didn’t discuss in their presentation. How would you connect these songs/pieces to your topic? Lyrics? Social/historical/cultural background? Musically interesting moment?
If you prefer, you can include links to your song choices on Youtube or Spotify.
This blog is due on Monday 12/19 at 11:59pm.
Refer to the Posting Guidelines to make sure you get full points for this blog. For help with posting your blog, check out the How-To Guide. You can earn a point of extra credit by reading a classmate’s blog and posting a substantial comment before Wednesday 12/21.
Links to Presentations
Music & Racism (Justin)
Music & Feminism (Punesha)
Music & Grieving (Susan)
Music & Feminism (Ibrahim)
Music & Animals (Despina)
Music & Death (Regina)
Music & Economics (Kai)
Music & Addiction (Adriana)
Music & Beauty (Megan)
Music & Beauty (Ellie)
Music & Feminism (Katia)
Music & Rebellion (Soja)
Music & Poverty (Marcus)
Music & World Peace (Ashton)
Music & Police Brutality (Kayla)
Music & Friendship (Joanne)
Music & Inequality (Luis)
Music & Mental Health (Salina)
Music & War (Anand)
Music & Addiction (Nav)
Music & Feminism (Zhuoyao)
Music & Death (Sophia)
Music & Racism (Derick)