Michael Bakan argues that tradition can be thought of “a process of creative transformation whose most remarkable feature is the continuity it nurtures and sustains

Michael Bakan argues that tradition can be thought of “a process of creative transformation whose most remarkable feature is the continuity it nurtures and sustains” (p. 30 [2nd ed. p. 29]). In all of the culture areas we’ve explored in Music 11, we’ve seen how musicians and audiences have transformed “traditional” musical materials into new kinds of musical expression as they (i.e., musicians, audiences, and the materials themselves) move across time and space.

For your essay, compare and contrast two examples of musical activities that demonstrate this idea of “tradition and transformation.” At least one of your examples should be something we covered in class; the second may be another example from class or else an appropriate musical expression of your own choosing. For each of the two examples you choose, describe (1) continuities: the traditional elements that have persisted through transformation as well as (2) transformations: the new or changed elements that respond to changing contexts and needs. Finally, (3) compare what sorts of elements changed and what sorts remained the same, and try to explain how, in each case, tradition and transformation met the changing needs of the people making and consuming the music. A complete answer might include at least five paragraphs–one for each example’s item 1, one each for each example’s item 2, and a final paragraph for item 3.

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