Here are the requirements for your paper.
This is a project that is all about you. There are very few rules and restrictions – only the practical magic such as font, number of pages and the basic premise on which the project is based. The rest, as “they” say, is up to you…
First, this is a piobaireachd. I have purposely left out the name of the tune so as to not allow it to get in the way of how you receive the music that lives within.
It is a very unique piece and very old. The composer is not important for you to know. All of this adds to the specialness and will ultimately provide you with the ability to draw upon your inner wisdom and create something pretty amazing.
You will no doubt need to listen to this several times in order for it to “speak to you”. For me, it came right away and parts of it drew me into a world of magic, darkness and magnificent beauty as only could be delivered by the great highland bagpipes. I don’t think this would ever be the same on any other instrument – not the piano, not the harp, not the fiddle, not the guitar. Perhaps, the voice… Maybe… Which is probably where it originated. But, all that is for another day…
So, listen to the tune. Digest it. Listen for note combinations. There is a pattern of notes that you will hear and perhaps recognize. If you do manage to recognize the pattern, write about it.
Your story must interact with the music. I am NOT looking for a random story that doesn’t connect to the music. They must go hand in hand. The music is because of the story and the story is because of the music.
Feel free to use the music within the fabric of your story and bring some “magic” and infuse it within. You will be graded on original thinking and ingenuity. Think about how “Game of Thrones” came to be. It began with an idea…
First of all, you are a journalist working for a very large corporate newspaper or some other such media outlet and you are their “star” reporter with many “scoops” to your credit. People listen to you and as a result you have a huge following and you have been known to go against the grain and are fairly controversial but are willing to listen to all sides and you make your own choice in the matter and stick with it. Somehow, you are transported back in time to the 1600’s to 1700’s and you find yourself in the midst of a “situation” that involves the tune that you just heard. The music and the tune is significant – tell me why. You, being the curious and professional journalist make it your business to investigate. At the same time you have to figure out where you are and how you are going to get back to your normal time of 2019. Whatever it was that got you there will not work so if you wish to return back to the 21st century, you must find a way. Since magic is something that is widely used and accepted in the time period you now find yourself, that is a possibility. You will perhaps wish to research old “lore” to find something that could work to transport you back. Perhaps a coven will help you. An old priest. A group of women who practice magic and herbal remedies – be creative and think of someone or something. Make something up. You will be graded on your ideas and the originality of what you come up with. Cell phones don’t work where you are going but they can always be re-wired…
When you return, it is the story of a lifetime and you have to tell it in your own way and perhaps realize the lesson that it is showing you by having the experience. Talk about how much courage it takes you to tell the story – you could be open to ridicule or criticism. Reference the people, their characters, their lives, their suffering, their losses, their victories, their loves, their hates, their struggle against impossible odds to survive, their weapons, their food, their clothing – anything that you can think of that might apply to creating the most interesting and compelling story you have ever written. I don’t want a “war” story. Be creative. Think outside the proverbial box.
(I can tell you that two of my students have written their own novels after they graduated so don’t rule this out)
Introduce some funky characters – wizards, sorcerers, “witches” ( I never liked that term) /occult practitioners – you decide who you wish to introduce. Whatever scenario is happening is complicated, exciting, dangerous, mysterious – and it is unfolding right in front of you. Perhaps, you were a long lost ancestor who was summoned back to right a great wrong that you may have committed during this time. Somehow, you are involved in the story. There can be all sorts of characters that you meet – bards, chieftains, a “delicate woman” who was sad about not being allowed to marry her true love, brave warriors, brave women, dancers, pipers, fiddlers, harpists – anything goes.
You can be the subject of the tune if you wish. The basic rule is that there are no rules.
Describe in detail how the tune pulses, noting the ebb and flow of the variations. Notice the variations, the Taorluaths and Crunluaths – make a connection with how these parts affected how you heard the tune and what it was telling you.
Tell me what kind of tune you think it is – a lament, a salute, a gathering, a rowing tune or a battle. There is no right or wrong answer.
Music has color. Look for the colors in this tune. If that is hard for you, no worries. Just make it an original story that comes from you and it is about how you perceived the music of the tune. If you look on the course materials there is a file there with examples of some of the stories. My bet is that every one of you could write something even more original and more spectacular.
It has to be a minimum of 1500 words, (around 6-7 pages, longer if you wish it to be), 12 font double spaced New Times Roman and 1″ margins. No exceptions. It should have a title page and this page would NOT count as one of the pages. There cannot be any grammatical errors or spelling errors. I would suggest that you ask someone you trust to read it prior to submitting it.
It is without a doubt, my favorite assignment and my hope is that there is a hidden “gem” just waiting to be discovered.
I think this pretty much covers it.
I have attached samples of previous stories written by my class. It is before the new premise of being transported back in time. Probably your story will have evolved from this sample work.
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