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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Musical Analysis: The song by Craig Hella Johnson (Essay Sample)


Consider the following in your response: What was your overall reaction to the work? Did it move you? Do you think the composer succeeded in telling Matt's story effectively? In getting his message across? Was there a text or section of the work that you felt was particularly moving/effective? If so, why? Please cite the text. Perhaps there was a section that you thought didn't quite work? Please cite the text. Tell me anything else you'd like to share about your reaction to the piece. If the composer was here, what one question would you ask?


Musical analysis
The song by Craig Hella Johnson was composed for the 20th anniversary of the death of Mathew Shepard. The song kicks off with soft instrumentals led by a piano and then followed by other vocals. The use of the instruments is sparse, and it enabled us to listen to the vocals even better. The overall reaction I get from the song is an emotional one. The song tells a sad story perfectly well, and it brings up the capacity of understanding different human circumstances that we all should tolerate. The song contains a powerful and gripping message. The song moved me intensely on its ability to tell out the story of Sheperd very well, articulating some of the nasty experiences the b...
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