Hi there, welcome to another blog post. My class and I just completed one of the shortest projects we’ve ever done. Nonetheless, it was quite enjoyable and taught me a lot. The most important part of this project was where we learned about how to analyze music through the language that it used – tone, poetic devices and overall meaning of the song. For our final product, we did so with five songs of our choice that reflected an aspect of our lives. Hence, why our project’s driving question is “How can we use music to represent texts and ourselves?”. 

My Tone & Mood Response

After learning about 40 poetic devices through a couple quizzes, we practiced analyzing the tone of poetry and songs. We then applied it in an assignment for a favourite song of our choice. As far as analyzing music goes, I think I started off well – but improved much more in my next analysis. 

The next analysis’ intention was to get more of an insight into what our teacher was looking for in our final products. When thinking about this assignment, I had a song that came to my mind immediately – I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. After receiving a lot of positive feedback from my peers and teacher, I went on to revise it a little and include it as part of my “Playlist of My Life”. If you’d like to read it, click here. If not, you can also click the accordion bellow for a summary. 

Listening to “I’m Yours” always brings me back to the moment I was laying in the grass as the sun was shining, with my dog about a week before he passed away. It’s a pretty simple moment, however, it has a much further meaning. As he had been with me my entire life, losing him was even more devastating than it would be set out to be. In fact, I was even taught a valuable  lesson – not to take anything for granted. The line “our time is short” which is referring to the cliche “life is short”, reminds me of this lesson I had learned – life is too short, so don’t take anything you have for granted. I also mentioned that I believed this song was addressed to life itself, rather than a person or romantic interest. As you listen closely, this meaning becomes clearer and clearer – you can start to see that he’s explaining how he is dedicating himself to life, or his own life rather, and is changing his attitude when it comes to it. 

As I said, this analysis compared to my last one was a major improvement. Although the biggest difference was mentioning poetic devices, I was able to go much more in depth in my second one’s meaning and how it reflected an aspect of my life – which is what I think was a big strength when it came to that analysis. This piece of writing was also one of my favourites out of my 5 songs and was a very good start. Although, I still think incorporating poetic devices wasn’t the strongest quite yet. Especially since one of the one’s I mentioned was just repetition, which is in practically every song out there because it makes them much catchier and easier to memorize. 


My least favourite analysis was that of Rolling in The Deep. Although this time I did much better at including poetic devices, it was the song I connected with the least. The only meaning I have to it is the fact that it reminds me of when I was little, and is still one of my all-time favourite songs. What I really enjoyed about my other analyses was how deeply I was able to explain how they reflected an important aspect of my life, and this one was lacking that. When I listened to this song when I was younger, I never seemed to feel the sense of anger that I noticed in analyzing the lyrics – which is why I think I don’t have as clear of a connection to it. 

Adele has always been a favourite artist of mine, as I’ve been listening to her for as long as I can remember. However, this song in particular stands out because it reminds me of singing my heart out to it at 6 years old. The tone of “Rolling in The Deep” is wrath, displeasure and heartbreak. She represents said tone with many poetic devices. A hyperbole such as “the scars of your love leave me breathless”, explaining how the betrayal left her astonished, but she obviously wasn’t shocked enough to be physically breathless. Adele gives a very clear picture of the emotions she is feeling in result of this heartbreak, even dark thoughts – desiring to get revenge and for that persons to feel more hurt than she did. When I listened to this song when I was young, I felt a sense of confidence in her voice rather than anger. Which can still make sense, since after experiencing this, she became stronger and confident that she wouldn’t let someone do something like that to her again.

Finally, the last analysis that I will be discussing was arguably my best out of all 5, which was “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. I believe it was a very good analysis all around – MJ was a big part of my life in terms of music, as well as the important event in which I connected to it. I was also able to analyze the true meaning/intention of the song and more naturally integrate poetic devices which added further to the effect the song had on listeners. I even suggested that the whole thing in which the song is addressed to (evil lurking) could even be an entire metaphor in itself to an aspect of society or someone’s life – one example could be overworking and stress.

Grade six was one of the years where I went through an entire phase of where all the music I listened to consisted of Michael Jackson. In this same year, I experienced a pretty big turning point in my life in which I was able to discover something I knew I was good at – joining my school’s track team. Thriller is essentially a horror movie in the form of a song – yet, I found it to be much more enjoyable and exciting than one. Additionally, this song has a romantic undertone to it – MJ’s character is hoping that his romantic interest will be so terrified that she’ll have no choice but to seek safety in his arms. Although appearing more simple, Thriller includes a number of literary devices in his song. To name one, “horror” is personified quite often – “as horror looks you right in between your eyes” and “you try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it”. However, using personification, and other devices such as imagery and hyperboles adds to the dramatic tone is brought through in the song.

 

Although I don’t have an issue with it, one thing I was pretty proud of when it came to this project was my work ethic. I wasn’t able to be at school for a week – which equivalents to over a third of the project. Nonetheless, I stayed on top of all the activities that were done in class. Additionally, I planned to do all four analyses that I had left in four days (one for each day) and managed to accomplish that goal on time. I was pretty happy about it as I usually spend way too much time than is necessary, especially on things that include writing – and that wouldn’t have been possible since I had activities and work in the majority of those days. 

Presenting to a couple of my peers

I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable while speaking in front of people, but I think this project’s final presentation has shown improvement in that area. I was well spoken, knew the majority of my presentation by heart and managed to keep my audience engaged with a fun game of bingo while still not having it distract them from my presentation. Although, these final products were pretty personal which was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed the challenge.

In conclusion, to answer the driving question “How can we use music to represent texts and ourselves?”, I think I did a pretty good job answering it. I chose songs that represented an important part of my life, and identified poetic devices as well as included my own outlook on each song’s meaning. I believe that this project already shows my improvement in critical thinking and analyzing skills since the last project. Our last project had to do with art, but this one did too – and it took me the different aspects from this project to realize how meaningful the stories behind some of my favourite songs are, and I’ll of course never look at music the same.

 

PS: Here are the links to the other analyses that I didn’t mention – “Rocket Man” and “Vogue”.