Rhythm and Melody

(Ability to read music not necessary to do these exercises).

Listen to song below.  First, follow the rhythm.  How many beats are there in a measure?  Those who haven’t studied music, you can still figure out what a measure is and how many beats are in there.  Listen for patterns that are repeated throughout the song.  The song is neatly structured.  Think of a measure as containing one breathful of sounds and ideas.

 

Next, graph the melody.  Draw up and down based on the musical notes.  Like this:

graph.jpg

Don’t think about it, let your body go with the flow, your instincts will guide you.  Do this exercise enough and you’ll become a better dancer, I promise.  And you’ll teach yourself how to visualize music and Math so you can understand both better.  We’ll go over this tomorrow and consider what makes a melody and rhythm pleasurable.

Euphemisms

A euphemism is “a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.”  In other words, a euphemism is a polite and dangerous lie.  English professor, social critic, and curmudgeon Paul Fussell on euphemisms:

The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts. They like them also because they assist their social yearnings towards pomposity. This is possible because most euphemisms permit the speaker to multiply syllables, and the middle class confuses sheer numerousness with weight and value.

I’ve noticed the same.  The poorly educated wrongly imagine the well educated as dainty and discreet, so they end up parodying themselves when they try to act high tone.  For to be well educated is to be able to confront, rather than escape from, the harsh realities of life, whether that be stepping on dog shit or death during a pandemic.

Again, some of the principles of good writing:

  • Less is more
  • Be honest
  • Be clear
  • Focus on your audience.
  • Be accountable

Euphemisms violate the “be honest” and “be clear” principles.  It often violates the “less is more” and “be accountable” principles.

Below are a list of euphemisms.  Find a simpler and more precise word for each.  Example:

Quantitative Easing (euphemism)
Printing money out of thin air.

Here’s the list:

  • Passed away
  • Ethnic cleansing
  • Friendly fire
  • Collateral damage
  • Put to sleep
  • Pregnancy termination
  • Restroom
  • Project coordinator
  • Full figured
  • Escort