Ross School - Senior Projects 2012
Mentor: Marty Cooper
Domain(s): Cultural History, Technology
Faculty Grader: Gary Skellington
Documentation of Product
Title: How Music and Culture Effect Each Other
For my senior project, I have investigated how culture has affected music and vice versa from the beginning of the twentieth century up through the present. My research demonstrates, through examples, the mutual relationship between music and culture. To present this material, I have chosen to use an interactive website containing a page for each decade that includes both historical information and music or music videos. Please enjoy.
Exhibition & Presentation Summary
(My presentation was written and I showed my website on the screen behind me)
I chose to develop a website because it is easy for someone to navigate and get information. A website provides shorter pieces of information and lets the reader go to the areas that they are interested in. When I was beginning to think of how I could organize my website, I thought about organizing the information into categories such as music influencing clothing and dances, or economics and current events influencing music, but I thought that the best way to organize the information was by decade. Dancing was popular socially during the 1950Õs and many of the songs were influenced by World War One. When teenagers began to see themselves as individuals and began to explore more freedoms. Picking the youtube video for this decade was really hard because there were many incredible songs and performers to chose from. The process was quite simple. I had to gather information and put it into the website.
Script that I used for Presentation
Good afternoon. I'm Nick Grille and the title of my senior project is How Music and Culture Effect Each other. Throughout time, the language of music has had powerful influences on individuals and societies. At the same time, historical, social, political, and economic influences have helped shape music. Certainly, now in the 21st century, music and culture continue to impact each other. What I will talk about and show today is the final product of my planning and research in the form of a website. My original ideas were to choose from a movie, a research paper, or a website. I chose to develop a website because it is easy for someone to navigate and get information. A website provides shorter pieces of information and lets the reader go to the areas that they are interested in. I observed this first hand at the gallery opening last Thursday night. I watched as several different people navigated to the decade that interested them, then they took the time to read the text and watch the youtube video that was embedded in it. It was really interesting to watch them interact with the website. The content covers the decades from just prior to 1900 to present. The design includes an introduction, some information prior to the 20th century and then each decade leading up to the present. To compile the information and put the information in the website and build the website it took me from the beginning of July to right around christmas break.
This project was perfect for me because I have a strong interest in technology and music. My interest in technology goes back as far as I can remember. When I was little, I loved playing with cell phones and remotes and at the age of three started playing games on our first home computer. My interest in music goes back as far as I can remember as well. My mom says that she used headphones to play music for me before I was born. I wanted to blend those interests with what I have learned here at Ross, so I used my interest in the Cultural History curriculum for the project. My 89 year old neighbor and friend, Bob Greene, has shared his love of New Orleans jazz with me through his music and stories. Since I was 5 years old he has told me stories of New Orleans that helped me paint a picture in my mind about the Culture of that time when I would hear the Jazz music. He has also played Jazz music for me on many occasions. Also, my dad has exposed me to Bruce Springsteen's music through concerts and just listening to the music together. Springsteen writes a lot of his music to tell stories about the current culture in America. You might remember his many songs that reflected our culture after 9/11.
To help you get a better sense of who I am and how this project came to be, I want to share a short clip of a project that I filmed and edited on my own in 3rd grade with Bob Greene. The film was called my enchanted neighbor Bob Greene and I was inspired to make this film by Irene Tully, a board member here at Ross and one of my former teachers. I shared with her my love of Bob Greene and my experiences learning about the Jazz music and culture of New Orleans from him. So this little movie that I made 9 years ago, continued to inspire me for this current project. You will get to hear a bit of Bob Greene's story telling. As you listen to his words, make a picture in your mind of Old New Orleans west of Canal Street. These people were the newly freed African Americans, poor and lacking in cultural advantages. Then picture the other side of canal street and the sight of an Old French opera house where Victorian style dancing was becoming a thing of the past.
Then came the challenges and difficulties. One challenge that I faced was time management and getting myself to work. I feel like everyone is going to say that. But once I got started, doing the research came easier to me. Another big difficulty for me was finding the time to set up meetings to meet with my mentor and other people that would help me with my project. Another challenge I had was learning new technology techniques while building the website.
Now I would like to show you a glimpse of the website I created. What you are looking at now is the homepage of my website with links to the different time periods and my sources. I thought about organizing the information into categories such as music influencing clothing and dances, or economics and current events influencing music, but I thought that the best way to organize the information was by decade. If we go into 1910 to 1919, you will see that this decade was called the Ballroom Dancing Decade. Dancing was popular socially during this decade and many of the songs were influenced by World War One. Jumping to 1950 to 1959, this decade was the beginning of Rock and Roll. When teenagers began to see themselves as individuals and began to explore more freedoms. Picking the youtube video for this decade was really hard because there were many incredible songs and performers to chose from. Now I am going to show you samples of the pieces of music that were indicative to the time period. The first one is from the 1940's and is Duke Ellington's It don't mean a thing. (Play first clip from 15-43). The second clip is from the 1950's and is Jerry Lee Lewis's Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On. This shows the change from the last piece that you heard because within this decade, musicians started to create what will later be known as Rock and Roll. (Play clip from 20-50). This next clip is from one of my favorite artists Bruce Springsteen. This is when Rock and Roll was the main focus musically in the time period in the 1980's. (Play from 13-57)
Throughout the process of this project, I have learned a lot. I learned about music and culture from decades in the 20th century that I had not been exposed to before. I have learned some new techniques for website development and those are skills that I will utilize in my college years and beyond. I expect to develop websites like this in college and possibly after college when I start my career. I expect that my passion for music and technology will continue to strengthen and develop all my life. I am interested in majoring in Communications or Health Promotion in college. I will utilize technology skills in whichever major I chose.
I would like to thank first of all Mr. Cooper for putting up with me through the good times and the bad times. I would also like to thank Mrs. Scott for putting up with all of my questions throughout the time that I was doing my project. I want to thank Ross School for giving me the opportunity to do a senior project and also my parents for encouraging me throughout the whole project. Last but not least I would like to thank Urban for coming to meetings and helping with putting the website into place. Thank you for taking the time to come and watch my presentation today and I hope that you have enjoyed it!
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