artist profile

Please read the following requirements and give me the choice of artist first, I need to submit the artist name for approval.

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For this project you will create an online artist profile of the rock or rock-related artist of your choice. Your artist can be a performer, composer, or group from any of the subgenres and time periods covered in the course and beyond — from rockabilly to a current artist — although not someone who has been discussed extensively in the lectures. Considering this — and the fact that your presentations will be a way for the class to learn about additional artists, eras and trends — all topics must be approved by your instructor and are on a first come, first serve basis.


Please post your top three choices for who you would like to write about in order of preference.

Once again, the artist/group you select cannot be one that is discussed at length in the lectures. For example, the Beatles, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Nirvana (among others) are off limits! I encourage you to look ahead at future lectures to see if your possible selection might fall into this category (when in doubt, however, ask me and I’ll let you know). I also suggest you look at the topics I have already approved for other students before you submit your top three choices to see if one of you preferred artists has already been claimed. Finally, please read all of the project instructions before submitting your topic selection.


Your Artist Profile should be created as a blog below. Once your topic has been accepted, you can edit your original post to become your project blog space. Note that you can go in and edit your page as often as you like by clicking on the settings “gear” icon and selecting “edit”:

Your Profile should include:

  • A title, including the name of the artist, in bold at the top of the blog design window.
  • A short biography/overview of the artist(s) musical career including a short discussion of the historical and cultural context of the artist’s work, (if applicable) musical/stylistic innovations, major hits, and influence on other artists. (500-1000 words)
  • A short analysis of a recording or album by the artist(s) (see detailed instructions below, ~500 words)
  • A few concluding remarks (no more than 500 words)
  • A Select Discography: a list of important albums or singles released by the artist(s) (if applicable).
  • A Select Bibliography. This should include but does not need to be limited to the sources you used in researching the artist (see Writing/Citation Best Practices for more about citation and bibliographies).
  • AT LEAST one relevant sound recording (in mp3 format or from YouTube).
  • AT LEAST one additional relevant embedded video.

The text of your presentation (excluding Discography and Bibliography) should be in the range of 1,500-2,000 words. While you can draw from the lectures and supplemental course readings for your profile, you are required to conduct outside research as well. At least one of your sources should be of an academic/scholarly nature (a book, article or encyclopedia entry, for example). Your project should be in your own words. Feel free to quote other sources to a limited degree but make sure that a) you properly cite your source and b) that the majority of your presentation is your own writing. The exception to this is the discography as this is more or less a list of facts (Performer/Composer, Title, dates, track listing, etc.). You can create your own discography or copy your discography from an external source as long as you credit where you got your information.

For the Analysis, chose one song or one album to address. Your presentation should include an mp3 or embedded YouTube video of the song you addressed (or selections from the album). This portion of the assignment is intended to gauge your critical listening skills, not your research methods. To that end, I would like to stress that you should not use any outside resources when preparing this section. I would rather you make your own educated (and supported) guess about what you are hearing than quote other people’s observations. What is important for this section is that you to apply the concepts you learned in the early units of the course to this recording.

The Song Analysis consists of three components:

1. An introductory paragraph that addresses the following:

  • What is the name of the song and when was it recorded?
  • What is the significance of this song to you?
  • When would you listen to song like this? What function might it serve?

2. A timed “musical outline” of the musical events in the song (see below). This portion should show:

  • The different sections of the song as they align to a song form. If the song does not match an existing form discussed or if you are not sure what traditional form is best, you can attempt to create your own terms to define sections of the song as long as you are clear and consistent.
  • At least the first lyric from each section.
  • The instruments/vocal parts present in each section with some discussion of “what they are doing” (i.e. providing a groove, taking a solo, playing a riff, singing the melody, etc.) and how they contribute to the “musical texture” (the total sound created by the instruments)

3. One to two paragraphs that reflect on the “musical outline,” including, but not limited to responses to the following:

  • What is the style/subgenre of this recording? (If it is in a style/genre not covered in class, what style/genre does it remind you of?)
  • Which song form does it fit best (12-bar blues, Verse-Chorus, AABA, other)? How might this reflect the song’s genre designation?
  • What is the historical significance or context of the song? Who might be the target audience?
  • How do the details of this song relate to your expectation of the group/genre/historical time period in question?

EXAMPLE: “That’ll Be the Day” Timed Musical Outline

:00-:03 – INTRO: Electric guitar riff
:04-:18 – CHORUS: “Well, that’ll be the day…”

  • Lead vocal singing lyrics and melody (see above)
  • Backing vocals singing some lyrics, oohs and ahhs
  • Guitar, bass and drums accompanying (drummer plays a shuffle rhythm with a backbeat)
    • Instruments drop out for a second right before the start off verse 1

:19-:32 – VERSE 1: “Well, you give me all your lovin’ and your turtle dovin’…”

  • Lead vocal singing lyrics and melody in Buddy Holly “hiccupping” style
  • Backing vocals singing oohs
  • Guitar and bass alternate between two chords
  • Drums plays a shuffle rhythm with a backbeat

:33-:48 – CHORUS (same lyrics, melody and texture as chorus 1)
:49-:57 – Guitar Solo – descending, repeating line
:58-1:03 – Guitar plays chords, drummer alternates pattern from standard beat to ride cymbal and then tom toms
1:04-1:11 – Guitar solo again, ending with “intro riff”
1:12-1:27 – CHORUS (same lyrics, melody and texture as chorus 1)
1:28- 1:41 – VERSE 2 (8 bars) “Well, when Cupid shot his dart…” (same melody and texture as verse 1)

1:42-1:56 – CHORUS (same lyrics, melody and basic texture chorus 1)

  • 1:48-1:50 drum fill on tom toms

1:51-END – OUTRO “Well, that’ll be the day, whoo-hoo…”

  • ends with drum fill and version of “intro riff”

Alternately, you can chose to write about an entire album discussing the album organization, genre associations or another feature that you think is important (refer to the second Beatles lecture for examples). While your analysis of the song/album should be rooted in the concepts presented in the course, feel free to put your own spin on it. The point here is to convey what speaks to you about the recording (affectively, historically, etc) in your analysis. Throughout the lectures I have taken a variety of approaches to discussing musical examples. Feel free to draw from these if you find it a helpful.


This project is worth a total of 150 points which are earned as detailed below. The project must be completed by 11:55 pm on the assigned due date or be subject to a 5pt/day late penalty (unless you contact your instructor and provide a reasonable explanation for the delay). A 5 pt penalty will also be assessed for the following: topics not submitted for approval (3 pt penalty if topic is submitted late), projects that are over or under the prescribed word count.

The totals below represent the maximum points awarded for each category. Full point values are awarded based on proper formatting, the quality of your writing and thoughtfulness of ideas.

  • 10 pts for including a title at the top of your project
  • 20 pts for a properly embedded video(s)/music file uploads
  • 10 pts for the completed discography
  • 10 pts for the completed bibliography
  • 60 pts for your short biography/overview
  • 40 pts for your completed song/album analysis