Series of Biographical Questions

Each student will research and write a biographical essay (of at least 1000 words) that examines the life and music of a
composer introduced in the textbook (or selected by the instructor). Each student will be assigned a composer in
the weeks to come.
The purpose of this assignment is to develop the skills necessary to analyze, synthesize, and critically assess research
materials. A series of biographical questions will be provided for each student to address during the course of their
The essays must be double-spaced and use Times New Roman, 12 Point Font.
Students are required to include an annotated bibliography with a minimum of six (6) sources cited (two books, two
journals, and two web links). Both MLA and APA styles are acceptable. Please note, Wikipedia is not considered a
reliable academic source and will not be accepted. In addition, papers missing in-text citations will not be accepted.
A rubric will be used to assess the project (See Attachment)
Check the calendar for due dates.
Listening Requirements:
Students are required to listen to one complete work composed by the research subject and respond to question(s)
about the musician’s music.
Students are required to submit this writing assignment to In addition, each student will be required to turn
in the Tutor’s comments with the final draft of the assignment as proof that he/she made use of the service. The final
version must also be submitted using Blackboard’s SafeAssign tool.
Below are eleven (11) biographical questions for each student to address during the course of their research.
1. When and where was the musician born?
2. What are the names of the musician’s parents, their occupations and any additional facts regarding their
role in developing the musician’s musical talent?
3. What are the facts regarding the musician’s general education and musical training?
4. What instrument, or instruments, (include voice) did the musician play?
5. Based on the range of years of the musician’s life and work, to what traditional period of music history
does he (or she) belong?
6. What influences (i.e., family members, teachers, or established musicians of the day) helped to shape the
musician’s musical work?
7. What kind(s) of music (e.g., chant, opera, oratorio, art song, symphony, etc.) did the musician create over
the span of his (or her) career?
8. After listening to one of the musician’s compositions, how would you characterize the music? Include the
title of the piece of music that you are discussing and the details that illustrate the musical elements
present in the piece (i.e., melody, harmony, rhythm).
9. What is the most significant contribution that the musician has made to the history of music?
10. When did the musician expire? Give specific details regarding the circumstances of the musician’s death?
11. Recount one anecdotal story about the musician’s life or work that you discovered during your research?

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