Write a personal narrative about your own musical preferences and how they intersect with your personality, identity, and life history.
In this 1500–2000-word paper (not including endnotes or references), you’ll write a personal narrative about your own musical preferences and how they intersect with your personality, identity, and life history.
A rubric for this paper will be available below.
The audience for this paper is readers who frequent media outlets like The New Yorker, The New Criterion, Commentary, The Paris Review, and Pitchfork. Alternatively, you can think of your audience as the smartest undergraduate at DU.
Think of the paper in three sections (which might be of very different lengths):
To contextualize your narrative for these readers, begin by briefly summarizing the state of research on the links between music preference, personality, and identity. We’ve surveyed some of this research in this course, but you may also want to consult the course bibliography or find articles that cite articles we’ve read through scholar.google.com.
Briefly sketch how your music preferences (or, if you wish, aversions) simultaneously reveal and obscure your own personality, identity, and life history. I am not asking for a chronological account of “phases” of music preference. Rather, I am asking you to compare your own experience, especially as it relates to sound, with the research you’ve just surveyed.
Conclude by discussing whether/why/how you think music is reflective of identity and personality.
Parts of Writing I Expect Will Be Tricky:
Determining which readings and sources are relevant to your own narrative and conveying them to unfamiliar readers in an interesting and accurate way.
Incorporating musical observations, and doing so without technical language.
Threading these sections together in a cohesive way.