Technology of Self

For your first writing assignment, you will use your own observations about how you use and encounter music throughout your day and relate those findings to ideas presented in Music in Everyday Life by Tia De NoraDe Nora suggests a number of private and public ways people use music, and carefully differentiates between these types of use. For example, she distinguishes “using music for concentration” from “using music for self-regulation,” even though both are private/personal modes of music use. Your thesis will frame your daily encounters with music as one of these types of music use.

You will need to take a 2-3 days’ worth of notes regarding your personal and social encounters with music. Consider what music was used, who chose the music, why that particular music was chosen, and what characteristics (if any) may relate to that use. These notes are ultimately your evidence and support. You will not use all of the examples found throughout your day, but it is better to have more detailed notes of what you actually encounter rather than having to guess/imagine what you experienced. It may also be useful to vary at least one of the days to broaden your data set; if you take two days of notes during a regular school day, pick a weekend day when you are off campus to compare.

Your thesis relies on your reading and comprehension of the De Nora reading. Consider how each mode of use can itself be considered an argument you may adopt.  You, however, are not using her examples as your evidence. Given your collected data, you might also consider how your experience of everyday music is characterized by more than one mode of music use. A well-written paper will be able to articulate De Nora’s ideas in your own words, supported by descriptive auto-ethnographic work, and structured in a logical and linear manner.

The paper should be between 600-750 words, double spaced, and include bibliographic entries for any works cited.

Your outline should at least contain these components:

  • - one use that DeNora states, with the exact quote/page.
  • - one musical encounter
  • - a lot of descriptive details of what

A good outline should at least contain these additional element:

  • - How your encounter confirm, extends, complicates, and challenges the use that DeNora states.
  • - How is the encounter exemplary, exceptional or both?
Field of study: 
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