Unit 8 – Music and the Fictive Dream

Music and the Fictive Dream

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Present a performance of a musical composition that is part of a story told with multiple musical selections. CLO#14
  2. Examine and present research related to the selected composition and the story as a whole. CLO#5, CLO#6, CLO#7
  3. Define basic information for the composition in the presented performance.  
  4. Summarize the background/history of the story.  
  5. Explain the role of the selected composition to the whole story.  
  6. Propose a theory which explains the social/moral commentary relayed in the specific musical selection. CLO#10
  7. Research your proposed theory explaining the social/moral commentary. CLO#12, CLO#11
  8. Express an aesthetic reaction citing several musical elements which contribute to the aesthetic response.   CLO#8, CLO#5, CLO#3
  9. Present research with appropriate citation in MLA format. CLO#16
  10. Express an opinion on the theory presented by other students. CLO#12
  11. Describe their own opinion on the works and musical analysis presented by other students. CLO#15
  12. Propose other musical elements, research, or musical selections that could be examined in response to analysis by other students. CLO#13, CLO#15

Unit 8 Instructor Lecture

Checklist of Learning Activities for this Unit


Music and the Fictive Dream

  1. Watch Instructor Lecture – Music and the Fictive Dream
  2. Browse Suggested Topics
  3. Watch introductory links in the Suggested Topics.
  4. Read   Instructions – Music and the Fictive Dream Blog
  5. Research a musical composition that is part of a story told with multiple musical selections. LO# 1, #2
  6. Read Blog Post   Requirements – Music and the Fictive Dream
  7. Create a Music and the Fictive Dream blog post LO #2-#9
  8. Submit the URL of your blog post on Bb.
  9. Read Instructions – Music and the Fictive Dream Comments.
  10. Comment on 2 classmates “Music and the Fictive Dream’ posts offering your opinions and additional learning. LO#   10, 11, 12
  11. Copy your comments and submit them via Blackboard.

Music and the Fictive Dream Checklist – a downloadable copy

Suggested Topics and Resources

Music, Stories, Emotions and Your Brain

View the content in the above  link to warm you up for some concepts composers deal with when putting music to stories. While the video presentations are specific to film, many of the principles apply to other music/story genres.

Use the links below to find kickstart information on specific genres of music and stories.

Instructions - Music and the Fictive Dream - Blog Post

Music and the Fictive Dream

Click the link above if you want to download a copy of the instructions.

Pick a specific work of music – music that is part of a story

First, select a work that uses music to tell a story – a movie, a television show, a ballet, a video game, an opera, a musical. It must use multiple songs or musical works to tell the story. Examples – movie –  The Lion King,  television show –  Lost,  ballet –  Swan Lake,  video game –  Journey,  opera –  The Magic Flute,  musical –  Hamilton.  

Then, you are going to focus a specific work from ONE of the multi-work shows featured in this unit. You can use the resources in the Instructor Lecture for this assignment as a starting point. You are going to need to dig into a specific work and find a specific work within the larger work.  YouTube is frequently a great source to find that work. Your library can also be helpful. Many famous works were broken down into specific works in a soundtrack album.

Biographical Information  

Include a biography/history paragraph that focuses on the background of this work.

What role does this specific work serve?

How does the work you selected serve the story as a whole? What does this work tell us? Maybe it is giving us background information, maybe it is setting the tone for the entire show, or maybe it gives us insight into the thinking/emotions of a character(s).

Social Commentary

Often a specific song carries a social/moral message for the audience. Disney’s Jungle Book ­-1967 featured the song Bare Necessities, which preached a life of ease based on simplicity, living off the land, not yearning for more than what is already available to you. This idea was gaining traction in the growing Hippie Movement. A subset of Hippie culture focused on a return to simplicity, rejecting consumer materialism, suburban ideals of perfection, and embracing non-conformity. During the 1960’s and into the 1970’s intentional rural communities were formed, many with the aims of self-sufficiency. Several of those communities still exist today, like The Farm in Tennessee.

If you think that your work is simply a work that is designed for the sole purpose of entertainment, you will need to expound on that as social commentary. Research that supports this section of your blog will be required.

Music, music!

You need to include the work that you selected in your blog.  A link will do just fine.

Your Opinion

Use your musical elements vocabulary to describe your personal reaction to the selection you chose. This needs to be related to the social commentary section and/or the role that the specific work serves.


Like your previous blogs, you will need at least two cited sources. What reputable sources did you use? Who wrote the music? Make sure you include the basic information for each work you featured on your blog.


Good writing counts. Penalties for poor editing will be applied. Same thing for video. Don’t ramble. Have a script or an outline to follow.

Grading Criteria for Blog

In this analysis assignment, you will be graded on the following:

  1. Basic Information — Title (in italics if necessary), date, composer, country of origin — 10 points
  2. Biography, role of the work, social commentary and opinion— 70 points
  3. Citing your research, and utilizing quality sources — 20 points
  4. Presentation — 20 points

Blog Post Requirements - Music and the Fictive Dream

  1. A clear title presents the blog, which includes “Music and the Fictive Dream or Music and Stories” in the title.
  2. A link to the song or work being analyzed.
  3. Titles of the song and the larger work it came from (usually in italics), composers, the date it was written or released, and country of origin clearly supplied in the text of the blog post.
  4. A summary presentation of the research conducted on your chosen topic. A minimum of two  reputable sources required.
  5. A clearly formatted analysis of at least two musical elements found in chosen musical selections. This analysis needs to relate to the role the specific work serves to the larger piece, and/or to the social commentary portion of the assignment.
  6. A discussion of the social commentary (deeper message) that is delivered in the specific work.
  7. A statement of your  personal  aesthetic reaction related to the analysis the musical elements presented
  8. Carefully  edit  your blog post.
  9. Sources are cited below the article in  MLA style. All internet sources must include a working hyperlink to the source material.
  10. The blog has visual interest. An image or an embedded video is included
  11. The blog post URL is submitted through Blackboard –   Assignment Submit – Unit 8 – Music and the Fictive Dream, with a working hyperlink. If your hyperlink doesn’t work, you will be given a zero with a chance to resubmit. Late penalties will apply.

General Blog Requirement Checklist  – Click on this link for a downloadable copy. It will take you to a new page, and then you need to click on the General Blog Requirements Checklist again.

Instructions - Music and the Fictive Dream Comments

You can learn a great deal by reading what your fellow students wrote.  You might hear music you’ve never experienced before.  You might hear something you already know in a different light.  As part of the EXPLORATION component in this course, you are required to comment on 2 of your fellow student’s blog posts.  Your comments  need to include the following:

  1. Agreement or disagreement. Did you like the same things that they liked? Why or why not. Be polite. If we all liked the same things, music would never evolve.
  2. Social Commentary.  Provide commentary on the social commentary discussion.
  3. Add to the discussion. Did you notice something was missing from the assignment? Did you notice another musical element that wasn’t considered? Could you direct them to another performer, work or style? Maybe there is an article that would be helpful?
  4. Submit your comments on Blackboard for grading  using the Assignment Submit link ‘Unit 8 – Music and the Fictive Dream’
  5. Proper submission formatting.
    1. Use the  Assignment Submission section of Blackboard to submit your comments.
    2. Do not use the  Add Comments  area of Blackboard.
    3. Submit the URL of each blog you commented on and hyperlink it in Blackboard.
    4. Cut and paste your comment below the hyperlinked URL.

Click Here to see an annotated guide to comments.

Grading Criteria for Comments

  1.  All comments must be submitted properly. If not, then you will receive a zero, with a request to resubmit properly – 1 point.
  2. Diuscuss the social commentary presented – 4 points for each comment.
  3. Explanation of option – 4 points for each comment.
  4. Adding to the discussion/exploration/learning – 4 points for each comment.

Preparation for the Next Unit

It’s a free for all! You get to choose the topic for your next assignment. Some suggestions are given for further exploration, but if you have a topic you’d like to explore – go for it. You are also free to repeat any of the topics previously covered in the course.