25 abr. 2011

Song Studies

I'm devoting the last three weeks of my graduate course to the relationship between poetry and song, teaching entirely from my ipod with its almost 5,000 "songs." The scare quotes are because some of these songs are movements of Mahler symphonies or discrete sections of The Art of the Fugue. I did a thematic approach in this course, and we looked at violence, sexuality, alcohol and drugs, and, now, music.

The thematic approach worked fine with this group. I don't know that I would repeat it or do something completely different, like use the performance / performativity / music dimension during the entire semester.

3 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

I've been using Elvis Costello lyrics in a language-teaching, essay-writing class this term. I've never spent this much in time and energy on lyrics before, but the experience has confirmed me in my long-standing claim that song lyrics should not be radically distinguished from poetry (as many insist they should). Many lyrics are very bad poetry indeed, but so are many poems, and good lyrics can be as rewarding to study as good poems.

Flo dijo...

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for literature mostly for his song lyrics. (Little else had yet been translated into western languages.)

Flo dijo...

This comment, and the one previous, are from John. Flo is my wife. We share a computer.