Rhythm: The Essential Element Of Music Writing Sample

Analyzing music, people recognize seven basic elements: harmony, timbre, melody, dynamics, texture, form, and rhythm. Music is often described as an art, science, unity, or continuity, as a complex entity consisting of numerous components working to create a balanced whole. However, I suppose that we could distinguish the most important element of music – rhythm as it builds the structure that organizes a range of chaotic sounds into a harmonious composition. Consequently, music should include at least a certain rhythm to be recognized as music.

First, rhythm is the crucial element of world music. Presumably, a drum used for ancient rituals and ceremonies might be the first musical instrument. People could also create rhythmical sounds by clapping, stomping, or hitting something with a stick. That is enough to produce music as it is the “art of arranging sounds in time,” the result of the production of a unified and continuous composition (“Music,” n.d., Definition 1). Rhythm creates the pattern of musical sound with the repetition of elements, and its primal role in music could be seen in the culture of modern tribes or in early children’s attempts to create something coherent with the sounds.

In addition, scientists consider that rhythm predates the development of other basic elements of music in frames of evolution. According to Toussaint (2020), rhythm and melody create the primary dimensions of music – the horizontal and vertical directions, which could be encoded in a human brain in a combined manner or independently. However, melody lacks its shape without rhythm, while rhythm could exist without it. Toussaint (2020) emphasizes that psychological experiments on music studies proved the dominant role of the rhythmic dimension. Hence, the leading position of rhythm was demonstrated from the scientific perspective.

Music as an intricate concept includes a variety of aspects, producing vivid and evocative images and sensations. Still, music could consist only of rhythm, generating its structure. According to history, psychology, and music study data, rhythm is vital in music: it is an autonomous and indispensable element creating the essence of compositions.

References

Music (n.d.). In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Web.

Toussaint, G. T. (2020). The geometry of musical rhythm: What makes a “good” rhythm good? (2nd ed.). CRC Press.

Gilgamesh’s Lesson In Search For Immortality

The story of Gilgamesh mainly deals with matters affecting human life. Gilgamesh is celebrated for his successes as a human, such as protecting the city and learning to accept mortality and not his dimity. Initially, he did not fear anything because he had powers bestowed by the gods to rule over the town of Uruk, and he believed that he was superior. Unfortunately, the gods became angry with him because of his bad behavior, so they created someone identical to him. “Do not put your all your trust in your strength. Let Enkidu who knows the way lead you” (Ferry 18). This statement meant that he sought for ways to immortality such that he could encounter the fear he had developed. This paper will reflect on the main lesson of immortality, why Gilgamesh dressed like Enkidu, and why he was afraid of death.

He dressed like Enkidu because he wanted to cause confusion so that he could lie with the bride before the husband. “Before the husband, Gilgamesh will lie with the bride in the marital chamber. There is no withstanding the aura or the power of desire of the Wild Ox Gilgamesh, he is the strongest of all.”(Ferry 14). In this quotation, Gilgamesh is revealing his bad behavior that made the gods hungry. When Enkidu heard about the plans, he decided to follow him to Uruk because he understood him as evil, and whatever that he wanted, he would force plans and get it. When the crowd saw Enkidu, they surrounded him, hailing him as their champion. He fights Gilgamesh, and since he is not more robust, he is defeated and decides to pledge fidelity to Gilgamesh. They reconciled after the fight, and Ninsun Gilgamesh’s mother gave them blessings believing that Enkidu would be the faithful companion of her son.

The two found an adventure to go to search the demon, which people feared. In this instance, Gilgamesh finds a path to attain immortality. “The demon must be killed before Enlil and the other gods are told (Ferry 30).” Enkidu explains to Gilgamesh about a fearful Monster in Humbaba who the gods appointed to guide the cedar forests. Even though he warns that the monster is invisible, Gilgamesh is determined to fight by accepting death as long as he lives an essential mark on earth by killing the enemy or by even dying in the hands of the enemy. They finally agree to join forces and fight the demon. After ordering new weapons from the armor makers, they together went to seek destiny.

The poem mainly addresses the theme of mortality. Gilgamesh is tasked to understand that despite being a king, he must face the fate of death mainly after the gods are frustrated. While on their way to Humbaba, Enkidu expresses his concerns about death, after which Gilgamesh laughs saying that life is short and therefore, no one will live forever. He is distraught that he even seeks the way out to Utnapishtim to learn the secret in immortality. Despite his hopes to get a positive answer about immortality, Utnapishtim tells him the flood story. He further explains that the quest for immortality is futile because, during the creation of each living thing, there is the seed of death. Gilgamesh returns to Uruk with the main lesson of mortality that life is not is measured by wealth but by the time when alive around the people who were closer to him.

Initially, Gilgamesh was fearless and did not fear anyone because he had was the ruler of Uruk. Due to his bad behavior, the gods became livid and created a person identical to him. He had to seek ways of getting himself out of the problem by joining forces with Enkidu. Unfortunately, the friendship did not prosper for long since Enkidu was murdered. From this instance, Gilgamesh feared death that he sought to visit Utnapishtim because he believed that he had all the answers to his questions. “He said to himself, that he would seek Utnapitshtim, he might find out how death could be avoided.” The end of Enkidu was the turning point of his life mortality, and his journey was because he wanted to gain immortality. He fears death and does not want to be forgotten.

Upon arrival, he asked Utnapishtim how he had received his immortality, and he was answered that it was a hidden secret so that humans could not be explained about it. He is presented about the history of the world how the gods destroyed people through the floods and only spared one man and his family. The floods were intense in that the gods were also frightened that they started regretting, “The days of old have turned to stone: We have decided evil things in our assembly.” (Ferry 34). Gilgamesh lamented that death was following him until the wife to Utnapishtim pleaded that he could have mercy on him. He is offered a place of immortality where a plant at the ocean’s bottom could make him young again.

In conclusion, Gilgamesh did not receive immortality because he lost it before confirming if it was a magic plant on their tour to guarantee its legibility. After eating, a snake slithered and ate up the plant when they were dead asleep. When he wakes up, he weeps after finding out what the snake did. “For whom have I labored? For whom have, I suffered? I have gained absolutely nothing for myself. I have profited the snake, the ground lion! (Ferry 67). The eternal power remained with Utnapishtim alone.

Works Cited

Ferry, David. “From the” Epic of Gilgamesh”. Triquarterly, vol 83, 1991, pp. 1-35.

Lewis, Jenny. Translating Epic from an Unfamiliar Language: Gilgamesh Retold. Diss. Goldsmiths, University of London, 2021.

The Great Depression Vs. The Civil Rights Movement

It is important to note that both the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement had a major impact on the American socio-economic state of being. On the one hand, the former was a devastating occurrence, which destroyed institutions, degraded citizens, and shattered American economic power. On the other hand, the Civil Rights Movement uplifted African Americans and other minorities and ended lawful and direct forms of discrimination and segregation. However, the effect and the overall impact of the Great Depression were grander and more global compared to the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement because the former benefitted the entire US population, whereas the latter primarily empowered only certain groups. Thus, the Great Depression had the largest impact due to the number of affected people, areas of change, and cultural transformations.

Firstly, the Great Depression was more impactful due to the sheer number of people affected by these historical events. It is stated that the “United States ended 1933 with a population of 125,580,000 people, which represents an increase of 741,000 people compared to 1932” (“United States – Population,” n.d., para. 1). Since the New Deal of 1933 was a major transformation of the entire US economy, banking system, and population, the number of impacted people is equal to 125,580,000 (Amadeo, 2021). In comparison, the outstanding and revolutionary achievements of the Civil Rights Movement mainly affected non-White groups, which “constituted 88.6 percent of the total population in 1960” (US Census Bureau, 2018, para. 1). In other words, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 uplifted and empowered the lives of roughly 42,000,000 people (History.com Editors, 2021). Therefore, the impact of the Great Depression was larger than that of the Civil Rights Movement.

Secondly, the Great Depression’s key outcome, which is the New Deal transformed the United States in a wide range of areas, whereas the Civil Rights Movement was mainly a social and political change. It is stated that “the New Deal programs installed safeguards to make it less likely that the Depression could happen again” (Amadeo, 2021, para. 2). In other words, the event made the entire country more resilient to future tragedies and devastating recessions. The historic event deeply impacted the American economy, politics, social dynamics, unemployment laws, and the banking sector (Amadeo, 2021). However, the profound changes of the Civil Rights Movement were mainly political and social, with no direct transformations in the economy, banking, or citizen safety net.

Thirdly, although both the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement can be categorized as cultural changes, the former also resulted in an uplift of the working class in capitalism. It is stated that “the Depression affected politics by shaking confidence in unfettered capitalism,” which ended the long-standing belief in laissez-faire economics and shifted the paradigm toward Keynesian economics (Amadeo, 2021, para. 10). In other words, the American Dream as a cultural phenomenon no longer trusted pure and unregulated capitalism, which led to the creation of social safety nets for American citizens in the form of unemployment benefits, stock market regulations, and banking system reforms. Such a cultural and social transformation was far grander than the positive outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement in regards to cultural transformations.

In conclusion, the Great Depression had the largest impact compared to the Civil Rights Movement because it affected a greater number of people, changed more structural areas, and transformed the American culture more profoundly. Although the Civil Rights movement brought equality and ended segregation increasing the United States’ prowess, the Great Depression changed the very foundation of the US and its central pillars, ensuring a more stable and brighter future for all its citizens.

References

Amadeo, K. (2021). The 9 principal effects of the Great Depression. The Balance. Web.

History.com Editors. (2021). Civil Rights Movement. History. Web.

United States – Population. (n.d.). Web.

US Census Bureau. (2018). 1960 Census of the population: Supplementary reports: Race of the population of the United States, by States: 1960. Web.

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