Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scouring for a Research Topic.

Shayne Kelly
Dr. Wielgos
College Writing II
31 March 2014
Scouring For a Topic
            My previous two projects for your class have been on music as an everyday thing as well as music being more than sound but a way of life. Now it is obviously time to take to the next level and write a research paper on the topic. To be honest, I did expect this to come so soon; although I’m ready to make the decision on what my paper will ultimately be about. If you have read any of my other design plans or other paperwork, you will understand music is all that I have sometimes. So I decided to research something I didn’t know existed until as of very late: music psychology.
            My plan is to enlighten people on the subject, as well as the cognitive effects the music has on the brain. In terms of what I’d like to do about, arrangement or medium: unfortunately I am unsure of what I’d like to do (if you have any ideas/recommendations that would be cool!). The argument I would like to propose is: do the cognitive effects of music really affect us emotionally? What I mean by that is does we have control over our own feelings and actions, or does music assist in influencing every decision we make. I feel like people could be on either side of this argument or even on the fence about it. People that would disagree would most likely have no influence musically, or just don’t believe it can really act upon a person. I wouldn’t call it much of an issue, but I believe it could help people in terms of treatment of mental illness. One in five Americans has a mental illness: diagnosed or could be diagnosed. It has been known to assist people to make the burden they carry not so heavy. How I want to go about research is look at either research journals such as Music Psychology: The Building of a Community, or The Effect of Pitch, Rhythm, and Familiarity on Working Memory and Anxiety as Measured by Digit Recall Performance and books like Musical Perceptions by Rita Aiello and John A. Sloboda. Any online sources would work as well. The knowledge I hope to gain from this to gain a complete and precise understanding of music psychology, and the cognitive effects music has on the brain; as well as learning what music can do to help with any situation. My stance on my current topic is I believe that music can influence a lot of decisions we make as well as help us come to conclusions. I’m at this stance in the argument, because I am put in the place of this happening to me. Music doesn’t directly make me respond or act the way I do but it has influenced me since I was very little in my decision making, and who I am this day. Even if the people that view this essay are not as influence by music such as me, I still think they can relate to events that have happened to them as well. My parents ultimately are the reason my stance is sent on this topic, because they’re both talented musicians in their own right and have taught me that music is always going to be there for you through thick and thin.
            In conclusion, I think this topic would be a good choice for me to argue and research because it is in my element. I know so much about the other topics of music other than this one. I think the cognitive effects are import because it shapes who we are as people. The brain allows us to create an identity. Music helps form an opinion of ourselves and others. Music allows us to be us, and help form our decision making and choices.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Experience with the Photo Essay.

This is my first time doing a photo essay, like many other people in our class. I have enjoyed putting it together thus far. We all hit snags in the road and I'm still trying to figure what to do combat them. In my honest opinion... I'm doing a lot better than I would on a regular essay.
Some worries I have run into are meeting the page limit. I have only 6 photos at the moment which is about three sets(each photo is group together). This was due to not having a heck-ton of film, and I couldn't order anymore at this time. Like I said I still need to put the photos in an order, so that it would make sense and I can meet the requirements. This is really my only struggle. I just hope it's enough to make people understand what I'm going for.
In my original plan, I wanted to get some testimonials as well. I still need to do that too. That won't be as vigorous, but I thought I'd mention it.

Good luck on your essays.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Beauty In Sound

Shayne Kelly
Professor Wielgos
College Writing II
15 February 2014
The Beauty of Sound
The title prompts a question that could be answered in a plethora of ways, so why music? Music has been procedure of recreation and life since the dawn of time. Whether it be just listening to it, playing it or even finding a mate with your song, music finds a way to sneak into our lives. The Economist writes this article to shed some light on the reason why music isn’t just an object. Music is a process that fuels life. This appetite must be fueled by as the article states “singing on”. The argument The Economist is attempting to present that music is just more than noise, it gives living organisms emotion, and it fuels an extreme number of processes that make life livable.
            The Economist is geared toward highly educated readers and is published by Pearson: a company that makes many textbooks we use for school. The audience could go even farther than that. The average person will listen to thirty-thousand songs in a given year, and that adds up when the average human is about seventy years. Humans will hear more songs than that, because of nature. For instance: Birds chirping on a nice spring day, or even mating calls by many other species. The article also ties to many social and physical sciences such as psychology, and biology. The article could spike many interests in the reader by just reading the first line; a Shakespearean quote: “If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it”. The intended audience could be determined as anyone who has a strong or weak connection to music and enjoys other topics of research. Along with finding a distinct audience, there are strategies to convince the intended and other audiences to see the side to see the writer’s point of view.
            The incredible use of ethos in the article is sure to convince the reader to approve this article. The article is crawling with doctors of various professions. Such as, Dr. Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico who revived Charles Darwin’s idea that music has a role in survival and reproduction. As well as, Dr. Robin Dunbar of Oxford University who believes music has gone on to be socially beneficial but has evolved into being sexually beneficial.  Both claims by the respective doctors make an enormous statement. They show that music isn’t just something that us as people sit down and listen to. It has more value than that: it helps figure out whom our future mates will be, along with deciding how we will react to one another. Music can also lead to the manipulation of emotions, which is a common theme between Miller and Dunbar. The article also uses Dr. Steven Pinker and Dr. Aniruddh Patel to generate logos with figurative examples.
            Dr. Steven Pinker makes a fascinating comparison about music: “music is like an auditory cheesecake”. The writer of the article gives a brief, but well-rounded explanation of what that exactly means:
Dr. Pinker's point is that, like real cheesecake, music sates an appetite that nature           cannot. Human appetites for food evolved at a time when the sugar and fat which are the main ingredients of cheesecake were scarce. In the past, no one would ever have found enough of either of these energy-rich foods to become obese, so a strong desire to eat them evolved, together with little limit beyond a full stomach to stop people eating too much(“Why Music?”).
Using this figurative comparison of music to a cheesecake gives some insight on what music actually does. This appetite is beyond biological need, but it has become a necessity to quench it.  It requires the brain to turn sound into meaning. Singing is described as an auditory masturbation to settle the craving. This explains Dunbar’s statement on how music is sexually beneficial. Dr. Patel on the other hand compares music to writing. He explains reading and writing must be taught by specialists at a critical time in a person’s life. He refers to this as a “transformative technology” because both will transform a life. Patel reasons learning music is somewhere between learning to read or write. This leads him to believe music just like reading and writing is a “transformative technology”. This ties back to Dr. Miller and favors his opinion about music and it being a part of natural selection. The ethos assists the logos because all four doctor’s ideas tie together. Small appeals to emotion are made but can be crucial in deciding whether to believe in this article or not!
            An article isn’t needed to describe the felling music gives an individual. According to the article, “Around 40% of the lyrics of popular songs speak of romance, sexual relationships and sexual behavior” (“why music?”).  Almost half of the music anyone will listen to deals with love: an emotion any person cherishes. The other 60% could be a variety of other emotions or feelings. For instance: Know Hope, an album by The Color Morale is about the struggles we find every day in believing in spiritual or personal hope. Even the album title gives a neat portrayal on words. The Economist’s article gives us reminder that we all react to music completely differently. It is up to the listener or viewer to decide how they feel. The piece offers visual aid to go with the textual piece.
            The Economist uses two illustrations to portray that music is a creative process. Just as it writing a song, it requires a process. The illustrations depict very intricate designs (see Fig. 1).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maintaining a BLOG.

 Why do people communicate via blogs? What are some things to keep in consideration while posting?

People communicate via blogs because it allows them to get things of their chest, without having to even know the person you're talking to. With 7 billion individuals in the entire species, there is at least one person that will be willing to listen or may feel the same way you do.  It may also give a sense of comfort to the writer, who may be going through tough times. When a person is unable to talk to anyone, they will need an outlet to blow some steam. A blog is a perfect example of this outlet.

Things To Keep In Consideration:

Some things to take into a count when posting on here is to be mindful of others views. On the internet, it is extremely difficult to understand how one should feel because you are typing on a screen, and no one can see how you react. So usually if someone is blowing steam, they'll "TYPE LIKE THIS" or you know do this ">:(((". Another thing to keep in consideration is to, understand that people will be reading this, and make criticism. If you can't take criticism about certain topics, its best not to post about them: certainly if you feel emotionally attached. A third thing to also consider is the fact people will be reading this, like I said before. Meaning that people can see you spill your heart out on the internet or see you put someone on blast. Just be very mindful when posting.

This is something I abide by.

Shayne Kelly