The goals of Paper 1 are to encourage you to explore, compare, and contrast different jazz songs (or songs that can be related to jazz); to record your own impressions of the music; and to expand on this discussion by interacting with other writers such as musicians, critics, and music historians.
• Choose any three songs (or different versions of the same song) that are in the jazz genre or have some kind of connection with jazz. Listen to them again and think about them. What is it about them that grabs your attention? Construct an Argument-and-Analysis Essay about them.
• As you listen to your chosen songs, write down your impressions. What do you consider interesting or noteworthy about them? How do they compare to and contrast with one another? What relation do they have to jazz?
• For those songs that are connected to a specific jazz genre, note what Jazz critics or historians write about these genres. What do these authors add to the conversation?
• Do some research to find out more about the origins of the songs. How popular were they in their time? Are there other instrumental or vocal versions of the same songs?
• Include explicit comparison and contrast of the songs you chose. You should especially note similarities and differences in works that belong to different time periods.
• Then, consider ways to expand your discussion. One way to do this is to look at the song within a larger social, cultural, or historical context.
• What does the music say about the time and place in which it was created? Does its meaning change over time?
• What can you find out about the composers, lyricists, musicians, bandleaders, et al.? How do they imprint their personality or style on the music?
• In addition to the audio/video versions of the songs, include at least one more source for each song or song version, such as liner notes, concert reviews, album reviews, biography, history, etc.
Your paper should be written in the form of an argument-and-analysis essay, containing the following elements:
• A creative, interesting title.
• An introductory paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention; briefly introduces the songs you will discuss; provides some context; and makes a claim that you will prove in the body of the essay.
• Several body paragraphs, each focusing on one specific topic; each providing the necessary background, discussion, analysis, use of sources, relevant quotes, etc.; and each helping to support and advance your argument.
• A conclusion that recapitulates your main points and ends with a strong closing statement.
Length and format:
4-6 pages, typed double-spaced, with in-text citations and Works Cited, in MLA format.