Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Led Zep Midterm

To all the scoffers:

Here is a copy of the questions I had to answer (in 200 words or less per question) for my Led Zeppelin midterm. This is to prove, once and for all, that this class is not the musical equivalent of underwater basketweaving. It's frickin' hard!

Note: My prof sent the questions out in all caps, or at least that's how my email server interpreted them. I apologize for all of the "yelling", but I am too lazy to retype all of the questions.

1. HOW WOULD LISTENING TO LED ZEPPELIN IN SURROUNDSOUND WITH FOUR SPEAKERS, TWO RIGHT AND LEFT, TWO FRONT AND BACK, ENHANCE THE DRAMATIC NARRATIVE QUALITIES OF 'WHOLE LOTTA LOVE'?

2. GO TO ERIK DAVIS'S WEBSITE (www.techgnosis.com) AND READ ABOUT HIS IDEAS. THEN RELATE THE CONCEPT OF 'TECHGNOSIS' TO THE LED ZEPPELIN TEXT.

3. HOW DOES THE SOUND OF THE GUITAR DURING THE SOLOS ON 'CELEBRATION DAY' AND 'TANGERINE' ILLUSTRATE DAVIS'S THESIS CONCERNING TIMBRE AND TRANCE, AS EXEMPLIFIED ON 'NO QUARTER'?

4. HOW DID JIMMY PAGE'S WORK AS A SESSION MUSICIAN AND WITH THE YARDBIRDS LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR THE ORCHESTRATION OF GUITARS UTILIZED ON LED ZEPPELIN'S ALBUMS?

5. WHAT IS IT THAT LIES ON THE WHISPERING WIND? (He later stressed that he wanted an answer that included an interpretation of the song, not just "your stairway.")

6. FROM WHOM DID LED ZEPPELIN TAKE THE FOLLOWING SONGS – A) BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE; B) DAZED AND CONFUSED; C) WHOLE LOTTA LOVE; D) STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.

7. DESCRIBE MICROPHONE PLACEMENT DURING THE RECORDING OF THE GUITAR BREAK ON 'HEARTBREAKER' AND EXPLAIN ITS INTENTION AND ITS EFFECT.

8. WHAT IS THE CONGRUENCE BETWEEN DRONES IN MUSIC AND ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND HOW CAN THIS INSIGHT BE USED TO UNDERSTAND THE MEDITATIVE ASPECT OF LED ZEPPELIN'S MUSIC?

9. WHAT IS THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN GOODWIN'S TIMING AND ZEPPELIN'S AND HOW DO BOTH DIFFER IN NATURE FROM BONHAM'S?

10. USE THE JIMMY PAGE QUOTE ON THE FIRST PAGE OF OUR SYLLABUS AS THE BASIS FOR A CRITIQUE OF THIS EXAM.

You can find my answers here.

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