• 1. JOPIC #1 TIN PAN ALLEY
     

     JOPIC #1 TIN PAN ALLEY

    Tin Pan Alley paved the way for musical entertainment that we enjoy to this day. According to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, The term “Tin Pan Alley” originally referred to W. 28th Street in New York around 1910 when songwriters would be creatively banging around on lower end pianos that you could hear from the street.
    The following American Standard songs were created during the "Tin Pan Alley" era:
     
     "In the Good Old Summertime"  
    "Give My Regards to Broadway"
    "After the Ball"
    "Down By the Old Mill Stream"
    "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"
     "Shine on Harvest Moon"
     
    Part 1: Please select one of the songs from the "American Standards" list.
    Part 2: Please select a song from today that you consider a modern "American Standard".
    Part 3: Compare and contrast both songs, using appropriate musical terminology. For example,  describe the timbre of each song, the form of each, analyzing tempo and dynamics, identifying melody and use of dynamics, as well as the backgrounds on the composers and lyricists involved in each song.
     
     
     
     2. BLUE SKIES: AL JOLSON

    JOPIC #2 AL JOLSON: BLUE SKIES
     
    With the development of "talking pictures", Tin Pan Alley was ready to hawk its wares directly onto the screen. However, Hollywood was not ready for songs-or even sound. However, after some persuasive actions from studio heads, producers and directors began creating films with sound, including music. They used popular performers at the time, where they filmed the singer performing his own hits, making it possible for audiences to see and hear famous stars rather than waiting for live concerts of their songs. However, the problem was how to present the songs. It might have seen silly for an actor to suddenly burst into song, then go back to acting out the story. A more sensible way of presenting a song on the screen was to have it sung by an actor who was playing the role of a singer. Thus was born the "performance" convention of presenting a song in film. The songs need not to be important to the movie since they were presented purely as performance numbers.
     
    The most important song in The Jazz Singer was "Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin, a song which exemplifies the kind of song that would dominate American popular music in the 1920's. The actor and singer, Al Jolson, did not perform the song on stage but instead sings it to his mother as a demonstration of how, after running away from home, he has finally attained stardom as a performer. The song has many different emotional connections to it. Please, listen to the lyrics of the song, and tell me what emotions does Al Jolson sing about, referencing the lyrics in the song in which you  associate the emotions.
     
     
    3. Broadway Melody
     
     
    JOPIC #3 BROADWAY MELODY
     
    The backstage musical, in which the story is set in a theatrical context involving the mounting of a show, has proven the most durable type of film musical. The premise provides a convenient pretext for the inclusion of the production numbers that, after all, constitute the film musical's primary appeal. MGM's Broadway Melody(1929), the first genuine film musical, was a backstage musical about two sisters seeking fame in the theater. The film won the Academy Award®for Best Picture in 1929 and established the formula for the many backstage musicals to follow.
     
    All that distinguished such backstagers from one another were the performers and the entertainment venues that were portrayed in the film. The opening scene of The Broadway Melody gives us a glimpse into the world of Tin Pan Alley that was already becoming a thing of the past. As the camera moves briskly from one little cubicle to another, where different songs are being created, demonstrated, and practiced, we hear musical sounds of instruments and singers that illustrate how Tin Pan Alley got its name.  Eventually in the scene, one number stood out from the rest. This song, "Broadway Melody" was heard throughout the rest of the movie, making it the central character of the movie.
     
    Please research one film from the "backstager" genre. Tell me the title, the composer(s) of the songs, the instrumentations of the accompaniment, the plot, the characters, and the musical numbers that are found in the film.  Also, tell me about the songs in the film and what purpose the songs have. For example, does the song help move the story along or is it just there for the audiences' listening pleasure. Also, are there any songs that are repeated throughout the movie. Tell me if the songs changed in any way, for instance, did the tempo slow down or was there different instrumentation accompanying each rendition.
     
     
     
     Jopic #4: "Mr. Holland's Opus" Open Auditions

    Jopic #4 

     "Mr. Holland's Opus" 
     
     Integrated vs. Non-Integrated

    Non-Integrated

    In non-integrated movie musicals, putting on a show was a formula that made breaking into song and dance plausible, thereby justifying the inclusion of musical numbers in a film.

    Integrate

    For integrated films, the songs must help tell the story and boost the characters, presenting the dialogue and seeming to be, as much as possible, a continuation of dialogue.
     

    You are to watch a short scene from the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus". The school is putting on a musical review of George Gershwin tunes. Mr. Holland and his fellow teachers involved in the production are auditioning singers and dancers to be cast in the production. Please watch the scene from the movie and select one of the students that auditioned. If you could rate their audition, one (1) being the lowest and 10 being the highest, please give them a score. Tell me what they did well in the audition, what they need to worked on, and then give suggestions to improve their performance.  

    There MUST be no less than six sentences in your response. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    JOPIC #5
     Three Little Pigs 
     
    JOPIC #5 Three Little Pigs
     
    The movie was phenomenally successful with audiences of the day, so much that theaters ran the cartoon for months after its debut, to great financial response. The cartoon is still considered to be the most successful animated short ever made, and remained on top of animation until the introduction of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie. Three Little Pigs was the first time that anybody ever brought characters to life [in an animated cartoon]. They were three characters who looked alike and acted differently. Fifer and Fiddler Pig are frivolous and care-free; Practical Pig is cautious. The reason for why the film's story and characters were so well developed was that Disney had already realized the success of animated films depended upon telling emotionally gripping stories that would grab the audience and not let go. This realization led to an important innovation around the time Pigs was in development: a story department, where storyboard artists would work on story development.   

    "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" was sung by Fiddler Pig and Fifer Pig as they arrogantly believe their houses of straw and twigs will protect them from the Big, Bad Wolf. The song's theme was huge during the 1930s and it remains one of the most well-known Disney songs, being covered by numerous artists and musical groups. I would like you to research one (1) animated movie where the characters were well developed, meaning their personalities and emotions were brought to life on the screen thru song. I would like you to choose 2 characters from each movie. Both characters from each movie must be total opposites of each other. For example, in "The Lion King", Scar is the opposite of Simba. Through their actions, dialogue, and physical demeanor, they can be viewed as good versus evil. You can even hear it in their songs. For example, Simba sings songs that are jovial and high spirited, using staccato accents to emphasize joy, while Scar's anthem embodies his overall demonic essence thru the harsh, shrill, and aggressive nature of the timbre of the tune.

     
    The jopic is to have an opening paragraph, the information in another, and a closing paragraph.
     
     
    JOPIC #6
    "STORMY WEATHER" 
     
    JOPIC #6 "Stormy Weather"
     
    AABA Form
     
    The form of a musical composition refers to the general outline of the composition, based on the sections that comprise it or in specific details that are unique to a certain type of composition. The AABA format was the song form of choice for Tin Pan Alley songwriters of American popular music in the first half of the 20th century. Tin Pan Alley included songwriting greats like Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ted Koehler, George and Ira Gershwin.
     
    The AABA pattern, consisting of thirty-two bars, is a supremely effective way to structure a song: give the listener an engaging 8 bar melody (A); repeat the same phrase (A); then, in the third set of 8 bars, the "bridge" varies the pattern with a different 8 bar melody (B); but in the final 8 bars, return to the same initial strain (A). Slick, streamlined, and catchy, this musical formula typified the Tin Pan Alley song, then the Broadway song, and finally the Hollywood song.
     
    The song, "Stormy Weather" from the movie Stormy Weather, is an example of the AABA form. The music for the song was composed by Harold Arlen with the lyrics by Ted Koehler. Please listen to the song "Stormy Weather" 2 times. The first time, follow the lyrics while she is singing.  The second time, follow the melody line. 
     
     
    "Stormy Weather" 

    (A) Don´t know why
    There´s no sun up in the sky
    Stormy weather
    Since my man and I ain´t together
    Keeps raining all of the time

    (A)  Life is bare
    Gloom and misery everywhere
    Stormy weather
     just can keep my poor self together
    I´m weary all of the time
    The time, so weary all of the time

    (B) Since he went away
    The blues walked in and met me                                                                                                                                                                                                                     if if he stays away
    Old rocking chair will get me
    All I do is pray
    The Lord above will let me
    Walk in the sun once more

    (A) can´t go on,
    Everything I have is gone
    Stormy weather
    Since my man and I ain´t together
    Keeps raining all the time
    Keeps raining all the time

     
     
     
    For JOPIC #6, please tell me a song  that you have listened to already that is in the AABA form. Then, please listen to "Stormy Weather". Then, create your own melody line (A) on the score provided.  Your (A) section melody will be 8 measures long. At the next class, you will be performing your tune either on an instrument or singing it. If you would like to create harmonies as well, you may. However, all that I am looking for at the next class is a simple melody line.
     
     
     
     
      
     
    JOPIC #7 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
     

    JOPIC #7 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

     
    The film, "Meet Me in St. Louis" is a fictional tale of a family living in St. Louis  at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century. Houses, transportation, jobs, clothing, and other amenities were quite different at that time then turn of the century 20th into the 21st century. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters. Seventeen-year-old Esther has fallen in love with John, who has just moved in next door. He however, barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transferred to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the 1903 St. Louis Fair. 
     
    In this scene, Esther is riding the trolley car, the mode of transportation back then, as she waits in anticipation to see "The Boy Next Door" hop in the trolley. After the singing through of the song by the rest of the riders, Esther is pleased when she sees him running to the car. She sings a different section of the song. We will call it "C" or the bridge". She then continues on with the song which was sung previously by the chorus.
     
    This is another example of the AABA form that we are working on. For this jopic, please watch the video. Then, please come to class with three (3) possible themes (ideas) of what the song that you are working in class could be about. Please have them written down and available to me when I collect the assignment.
     
    REMEMBER if you have questions, PLEASE email me throughout the two weeks at Joanna.lajewski@woodbridge.k12.nj.us . Please do
     
     
    JOPIC #8  MUSIC CAREERS IN THE MOVIES
     
    Each movie that is produced requires time, talent, and perseverance. A myriad of people culminate to present a product that in the end, hopefully, will entertain an audience for a select amount of time.  
     
    Most of the people who create a movie are never seen. They are behind the scenes, making costumes, fitting lights, creating special effects and composing background music. For this jopic, I would like you to research a career in music that can be useful in making a motion picture. Please tell me what the job is, if you need schooling, when you work, the hours you work, how your jobs contributes to the final movie, as well as some names of professionals who have or are currently performing the same job. Tell me what kind of movies you would like to work on and if there are any actors or musicians you would like to work with on a film (or films).
     
     
    JOPIC #9  INSTRUMENTAL AM CLASSES
     
    Please write a detailed account of two weeks of practice on the songs that you will be performing for the G&T Middle School Music Concert. Please tell me the names of the pieces that you practiced and the date of the practice times. Tell me if there are any problems that arise during the sessions, noting the measure(s) and what the problem is. Tell me how you feel after the practice sessions, if you are happy with the outcome or frustrated with your progress.
     
    * Please note* Practice logs still need to be completed. This jopic does not take the place of a practice log.
     
     **Please note** The G&T Middle School Music Concert is on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in the AMS cafeteria. The show begins at 6:30 PM. Please arrive at the G&T Music room no later than 5:30 PM.
     
     
     
    JOPIC #9   VOCAL PM CLASSES
     
    Please watch the movie that is associated with the song you will be performing at the G&T Middle School Music Concert.
                            AMS "Friend Like Me"  ALADDIN
                            CMS "Wing Beneath My Wings" from Beaches  
        FMS, IMS, WMS "Beauty and the Beast"  Beauty and the Beast
     Then pleased research the background of the movie, stating when it was produced, who were the actors starring in it, what was the plot as well as the names of the musical selections that were in the film. Then, I would like you to choose one song associated with the movie that you liked. Tell me what you liked about the song. Then, please tell me your favorite part of the movie and the reasons behind your selection.
     
     **Please note** The G&T Middle School Music Concert is on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in the AMS cafeteria. The show begins at 6:30 PM. Please arrive at the G&T Music room no later than 5:30 PM.