Each student will successfully complete a brief, 5-PARAGRAPH research paper on a Western classical
composer. The student should follow the following outline:
PARAGRAPH 1: INTRODUCTION
In this paragraph, you should introduce the composer to their audience by giving basic background information
(DOB, where they are from, and their overall reputation as a composer). This paragraph should end with a
THESIS STATEMENT, outlining the rest of your research paper.
PARAGRAPH 2: EDUCATION AND EARLY CAREER
This paragraph should illustrate the musical education and early career of your composer.
Focus on their formal training.
Did he/she begin music lessons at a young age?
What is their primary instrument?
With whom did they study?
Did they attend a music conservatory or other university?
You should also discuss the early composition career of your composer.
When did he/she begin composing?
Where did they study composition and with whom?
What are a few of their early pieces?
PARAGRAPH 3: MAJOR WORKS (minimum of 3) AND STYLE
In this paragraph, you need to examine at least THREE major composition so f your composer. These can be
long or short in duration and written for any medium/instrument(s); but each piece should be IMPORTANT in
the composer’s overall output. Make sure to describe your composer’s STYLE, and explain why the pieces you
chose are famous/influential.
PARAGRAPH 4: PERSONAL REFLECTION ON MAJOR WORKS
In order to successfully write this paragraph, you will be expected to LISTEN to the major works you discussed
in paragraph 3. This can be done in a variety of ways (YouTube, iTunes, etc.). After listening (more than
once!), please describe your personal opinions/reflections of each composition, making sure to use proper
musical terminology when appropriate (and as best you can).
PARAGRAPH 5: CONCLUSION
This paragraph will server as your conclusion for this research paper, allowing you to collect your final thoughts
on your composer. Make sure to restate your THESIS at the beginning of this paragraph
You will be expected to use no less than 3 scholarly sources (no unsubstantiated sources such as Wikipedia or
allmusic.com will be accepted). Your textbook may be used as a starting point but will not count toward one of
your number of required sources. All sources must be cited using MLA format (in-text citations).
MLA Format, 744 words