Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Text Books....

Well, first of all I would like to comment on the fact that we are all crazy procrastinaters. It is the Saturday before the day this blog is due and we have all had almost two weeks and none of us have posted.

The two textbooks that I have selected are my theory textbook "Theory and Analysis" by Clendinning and Marvin, and my spanish textbook "Camino Oral" by Richard Teschner. Yes, these are two very different textbooks, but I thought that would give me something to discuss, compare and contrast.

I have discovered recently that my theory textbook can be a great resource. In the earlier chapters of the book I will have to be honest that I simply scanned over the information, looked at the stuff in bold print and then quickly moved on to the homework. However, the last few chapters have come to puzzle me a little, so I decided that before turning to my fellow classmates for help I would see if the textbook could do anything for me and low and behold it could. There is alot that our theory textbook has to offer that I had kind of ignored before. DId you know that there are examples and that on top of these examples there are answers in the back of the book? I found this quite amazing. Who knew that a text book could actually equip you enough to do your homework. There are also these lovely blue boxes every few pages. These blue boxes highlight the general idea of the previous few pages. It's amazing, this can really come in handy when you are trying to do a quick review before a test and need just a brief summary of the chapter. I will have to confess that the listening activities are still something I haven't quite gotten in to, but I am sure they are quiet helpful too. Now if we are to move on to the actual language of the book I think in general the writers know how to convey the information they are supposed to but, I will admit that I often have to read things three or four times to understand the entire concept, this, however, is probably me and not the author.

My spanish book on the other hand is not quite as good. This is not a "normal" spanish book. The subtitle (translated) for this book is "phonetics, the study of phonetics and the practice of the spanish sounds". This book, as you can tell, is for my conversation and phonetics class. In general terms this book is one of the most confusing books I have ever had to read for a class. Yes, it is in spanish and yes, it expects you know all of the phonetic termononlogy in spanish, which I am slowly learning, but besides that it is not written in a manner that is easily understood. I usually read the chapter and then quickly give up because it does not make any sense. The funny thing I found was that unlike my theory book when I went to go use my book as a resource it failed me. There are no examples in this book, instead they have the homework activities and the first few answers are in the back of the book. However, I have not found this helpful. This textbook also does not have the quick refrences for a fast brush up on the chapter before class. Overall I am extremely frustrated with this textbook. I do not think it is written in a way that is easily understood and I think that if a book is written to aid in the teaching of a foriegn language the author needs to make sure that it is completely clear.

I hope you have enjoyed my little rant. I will end this as I have ended a majority of the other posts, I hope this answered the question. :) Enjoy the rest of your break.


At 10/21/2006 12:44 PM, Blogger Becca said...

First: you know that everyone is going to use their theory book. What other textbooks are there for music classes?
Second: I actually planned to write mine early, and then realized I didn't have the textbooks to refer to.
Third: remind me never to take 300-level Spanish. The textbook alone sounds daunting. =P

At 10/21/2006 5:39 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Uh, I don't know what to say, but it seems that you looked at the book more than I do. I think I would have failed your spanish class in the first week. Your analysis was good, but on the writing front make sure you end your work with no apologies. You wrote it so stand by it. No writer ever said at the end of a book or article, "Uh, I hope this is what you wanted to read." It cheapens your work. You are telling the reader that you have no confidence in your writing and then the reader loses confidence in your writing. It is amazing how much you say about your self when you end your points with apologies. I really liked the the post and then at the end you made me think that I shouldn't.

At 10/21/2006 6:35 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

hahaha way to point out our procrastination. =) Anyways, I liked your comparisons between the two books-it really makes a difference when you feel like your textbook is actually helpful.

At 10/22/2006 12:32 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

natalie, way to go on being the first blogger this week. i've been in (hahaha) disney world and have been unable to publish mine. sorry. anywho, you were very informative and it was very formally written. very good, not many people are making their blogs very formal anymore. i do think you should stop being so mean to us for waiting til the last minute though. i enjoy procrastinating.

At 10/22/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger Renee said...

i agree nat, quit being so mean! it's fall break! :) no just kidding, anywho... I think just about everyone is just now starting "to get to know" their theory book and discovering its many wonders!

At 10/22/2006 6:52 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

Crazy long dear. Ouch!

At 10/22/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Geeze. We don't get the first few answers. But yay for the blue boxes!

At 10/22/2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

I didn't procrastinate, it just took me two weeks to perfect my blog.

Anyway...I think people overlook textbooks as a resource, sometimes they can be just as helpful as an encyclopedia or a dictionary when you need to look up something.


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