ERIC Number: ED347551
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-24
Reference Count: N/A
Writing Down the Songs.
Horner, Bruce M.
The use of music in the literature or writing classroom has been attacked for various reasons, including a "mystification" of music which portrays it as ineffable and abstract. Surprisingly, however, three common arguments for using songs in English classes actually help to maintain the same "mystifying" distinction between music and visual representations of it; namely, that: (1) songs constitute a long literary tradition; (2) the musical settings of songs empower students to appreciate better the lyrics; and (3) the difficulty of representing music makes it a useful subject for developing writing skills. Each of these approaches emphasizes the distinction between texts associated with music and the music itself. Some alternative ways of using songs in the classroom, however, counter such mystification. Mystification is combatted by reconceiving the music as itself "textual" in the form of scores, recordings, and performances. The classroom also can act as a forum for the investigation of competing discourses about songs. A course designed along these lines would elicit such discourses from students' experiences. Also, it should prompt the investigation of those discourses from the perspectives of other elicited discourses. Sample assignment descriptions for the course, the second a revision of the first, illustrate these objectives. The revised version presents different conceptions of songs as operating in the students' experiences. The course does not so much bridge the distinction between music and its representations as erase it. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lyrics; Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (81st, Seattle, WA, November 22-27, 1991).