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(RILM, 2014) Ziegel, Aaron; Towson University. Department of Music
[From essay]: When teaching 19th-century Western art music to both music majors and general-education students alike, the debate between advocates for program music versus proponents of absolute music is a fundamental component in a student’s understanding of the Romantic era. The period’s composers and music critics, as we well know, had plenty to say about the topic, and this primary source commentary provides one pillar of that understanding. Analysis of music examples makes for a second pillar. But experiencing precisely how music, through aural means alone, can convey to its auditors an image, feeling, or idea of something remains a much more elusive notion. This essay will share one possible in-class approach to exploring that topic—an approach that aims to foster a link between a conceptual understanding drawn from various primary-source quotations and an engaged listening activity that encourages students to “see with the mind’s ear” (if you will pardon the mixed metaphor). An experience such as this allows students to approach music listening not as a challenge to their patience and attention spans, but rather it suggests, as Charles D. Morrison has argued, “that engaged music listening is itself a form of ‘creative activity’”
Memes are powerful social media tools, but also powerful information literacy artifacts. Through theory and practice, memes have an important place in how we understand the way our students are thinking, how we can envision the future of information literacy, and how we can have some fun in the process.