A synthesis is a written discussion that draws on one or more sources. It follows that your
ability to write syntheses depends on your ability to infer relationships among sources – essays,
articles, fiction, and also non-written sources, such as lectures, interviews, observations.
As we discussed in class, the subject of love is the most written about in popular music. While
overall subjects vary, from falling in love, falling out of love, trying to fix the relationship,
breaking up, loving someone who does not love you, to finding true happiness in love in the
end, it generally has the same principle, love. It has been covered since the popular music
began. It has been covered in poetry before popular music even began.
Why do we want to constantly sing about this one subject? Why do we always want to listen to it
on the radio? Why does it even matter? This is for you to decide.
Choose five love songs, each from a different genre, and analyze them. Who are the
musicians? When was the song written (not just decade or year but when in the musicians life)?
How does the lyricist handle the subject matter in general? Is it a falling in love song, or is it a
break-up song? What emotions does it create in the listener? Why do you think the artist chose
those lyrics or tune?
You can even synthesize your own ideas, theories, or research with those of the songs you
have chosen. What experience do you have with the song? Why did you choose that song or
artist? How important is that song in your life? How does it speak to you as a person or a
musician or just a writer researching this idea? Did you listen to this song when falling in love, or
during a break-up? You can even interview some of your friends, or even perfect strangers to
find out what they the song means and whether they see the connection. Your primary purpose
is to show readers that you are familiar with the subject and are thus qualified to offer your own
Write a well thought out synthesis essay on those songs. In the essay make sure you do your
background on the artist! His/her life in general! When was the song written, what were they
going through? You may use resources on what the artist says about the song in this
background portion only, but not in your synthesis of how the subject love is treated in the songs
It would help if some of the songs come from different eras, but it is not exactly necessary.
Compare the way the artists wrote, the notes they chose, the words, and the exigence that
existed for that artist to decide to write the song. Also make other comparisons, like did it
become a hit or just a fan favorite? Did it make the artist money or was it just a way for the artist
to deal with the issues he/she was going through. Is it possible the artist sang it but someone
else wrote it? Is it also possible that someone wrote it to make a hit and that is the only reason?
Lastly decide for yourself why you think these and other songs are always in demand. Why is
love such a huge draw for people to write about? Why do people love it so?
You can choose from the following genres of music! The era/decade you choose the song from
is up to you!
Rock – From Classic to Modern
Classical – make sure it has lyrics
World – this is an English class – you must have the correct translations if you use this category.
The final product: For each student:
1. A well written essay synthesizing the music, the meaning, others views on the subject or song,
and ultimately how it fits into your life. No matter what, start here!
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