The Music of Frank Zappa: Journals

Students are responsible for maintaining a weekly electronic journal, which will be submitted on Blackboard; students may access Blackboard by clicking here and logging in with their EUID and password. Due dates for each of five sets of journal entries are indicated in the class schedule and on Blackboard. These journals provide an opportunity to respond to the various reading and listening assignments throughout the semester, and may be used for reference when preparing the research paper and class presentation (graduates).

  • Journal entries should be between 300 to 500 words each, and will vary according to the content of each; graduate students are expected to aim for the high end of this range.
  • Each of the five journal sections will be given a letter grade (for content and substance) and a fraction expressing the number of completed entries. Grading is based upon evidence of critical thinking and the application of concepts discussed in class. You will be expected to consider the music and articles on a deeper level rather than merely providing a blow-by blow description or a simple paraphrasing of facts (e.g., from CD liner notes, etc.). More points will be awarded for content based upon a reasoned approach to the material than for either excessively vitriolic or fawning remarks without substantiation of any kind. Frequent spelling errors, poor grammar, or vague prose will result in a lower grade.
  • In addressing the given questions for each week's journal entries, you will need to provide specific examples from the music, videos, and readings; familiarizing yourself with the journal questions ahead of time and taking notes while you are listening/viewing/reading will help you in this regard. Make sure you are familiar with the concepts and vocabulary discussed in class, as you will want to incorporate these terms in your commentary.
  • You may also find it helpful to do some additional research on the works being studied using internet resources; this will provide you with useful background information that may allow you to better understand and contextualize Zappa's work.