1. Listen to Vera Hall’s performance of “Trouble So Hard” take some notes on your listening experience. Pay attention to your emotional reactions, the quality of the sound, the details of Hall’s vocal performance. Next, listen to Moby’s “Natural Blues” and go through the same process. Compare your listening experiences. You may find Oliveros’ descriptions of sounds and listening to be a helpful model. 2. Summarize Shank’s argument. What is he saying about Moby, Vera Hall and the song “Natural Blues”? What is he claiming in general about the music industry, race relations in the United States and issues of appropriation? Work to capture the nuance of this chapter, as an overly-simplified summary will fail to accurately convey what Shank is trying to say. 3. What roll does technology play in this story? Consider both the possibilities and the limitations of audio recording. 4. In thinking about your final paper for this class: How does Shank’s intense focus on a single song allow him to address a hugely complex issue effectively? Is there a similar approach that you could take for some or all of your project.
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