Focal Topic Playlist

What will be the sounds of your focal topic? Part of what you have to do with the larger audio assignment is figure out the best way to use sound to convey your message(s) to your audience.

Before we get there, however, let’s experiment with building a playlist that could accompany your topic. You can be literal, metaphorical, and creative about this. For example, let’s say I’m writing about the trend in architecture to re-use buildings for completely new uses, and the impact that’s having on neighborhoods as well as architecture as a field. That’s a big topic, that I’d have to narrow in on for my soundcast eventually. But for this in-class assignment, I could find songs related to building, or to spaces, or cities. Or I might seek out music that creates a particular mood associated with the topic and my take on it: upbeat, perhaps. Another angle might be to create a playlist one might hear in a church turned coffee-shop, or old factory turned clothing store. If my topic was related to feminism, I could focus on girl bands, or perhaps create what I might call the Sexist Playlist, made up of songs that showcase how sexist popular music has always been. For this I might create a historical view of various pop songs that frame women in particular ways. I might also seek out female empowerment songs, or protest songs for a different kind of playlist. See where I’m going with this?

You want to make a choice, a theme, and stick with it though for the duration of the playlist. Create about a ten-fifteen (5-7 songs) minute playlist, and depending on the song length you might have more or less songs than your classmates. That’s fine.

You can build your playlist in Spotify,, slacker,  8tracks, even YouTube or some other site that creates shareable/linkable lists . Most of the above sites require signing up for services, but on each of them are basic accounts that are free.

When you have built your playlist, I would like you to post them on your blog. Spotify allows you to embed playlists. Youtube creates a link to a playlist, and the other sites all work differently with their links and embeds. If you’re unsure on how to do this, I can try to help. In the blog post, write about how the playlist is related to your focal topic, what you hoped to achieve or argue with the playlist, and ultimately what you imagine a listener response might be.

In class on Tuesday, I will ask you to share your findings and responses.


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