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Why Honors Brit?
Growing Up Online
About Honors Brit
The Knight's Tale
Middle English Readings
CT Class Notes
Intro to Hamlet
Hamlet Class Notes
Devices of Satire
"The Rape of the Lock"
Satire Class Notes
Frankenstein & Romantics
Frank Class Notes
Wilde & Victorians
Wilde Class Notes
Exercises in Style & Tone: Lennon v. McCartney
The music of
has more to do with a course about British literature than you might think. Besides the obvious geographical similarities,
followed in the footsteps of both Shakespeare and Chaucer by relying largely upon existing traditions or works and simply adding their own personal twist. The Beatles (who were a rock n’ roll cover band for several years before hitting it big) based much of their early work on the works and styles of American R & B, blues, and rock n’ roll artists like
, and various
As Lennon & McCartney grew as songwriters, they each started to develop their own individual, unique songwriting style. Even though some later Beatles songs were written entirely by one or the other, the boys were contractually obligated to credit all their songs to
escaped this fate by not writing many songs until much later in the band’s career). This obligation even applied to solo songs released while the band was still intact (John’s “Give Peace a Chance” is credited to the duo).
AP and college-level studies of literature will frequently require you to analyze an author’s style – what elements of structure or content make the work uniquely his or hers. Some elements to consider when analyzing style are a work’s tone or mood, voice, perspective, and diction, among others.
Your group will listen to songs that were written predominantly by either
Analyze the musical and lyrical qualities of these songs from both the Beatles years and solo careers.
Identify specific elements of style evident in the music and lyrics. Consider content, tone, voice, imagery, style, and any other musical or literary devices with which you are familiar.
Record your findings in your notebooks (including textual examples) and be prepared to share your findings with the class
Stylistic Elements of Lennon's Songwriting
Direct 1-1 communication (lots of I-you)
Evocative - attack/confrontation
"In your face" message
Cultural topics (religion/politics)
Psychedelic, surreal imagery
Portrays his own feelings
Not much symbolic meaning
Stylistic Elements of McCartney's Songwriting
Consistent beat - no changes/hooks
Repetitive lyrics - "I love you", "Hey Jude"
Rhymes & "sorta-rhymes" across songs
Light, catchy melodies - very pop
Upbeat, encouraging, optimistic
Writes about ordinary people in ordinary language
Telling stories about characters
Not much symbolic meaning
help on how to format text
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