Author Archives: Yue Zhang

Discussion #7

1.At the beginning of this episode, Krukowski asserts, “the marginal-the rejected-the repressed-is whatever the powerful have decided is of no use at the moment.” What does he mean by this statement? He goes on to ask, “But might it [the marginal-the rejected-the repressed] not be a key to alternate approaches-to art, to society-to power itself?”What is he trying to get at with this question? How does music indicate the differences between the powerful and the marginalized?

The author says when he enters the record store, he finds that those albums and records are preserved for long time. And they seem to be outdated. Nowadays, people prefer to download music from Internet rather than go to record stores and pick CDs. But it doesn’t mean that those albums or songs are useless for our society. They provide a new view of art for us. In addition, in some record stores, when you pick your favorite albums, you can talk to anyone in the stores. They are interesting and conversable. You can get lots of information from them.

2.How are the music listening experiences enabled by Forced Exposure different from those that Paul Lamere is working on with platforms like Spotify?

In this podcast, according to him, the composition of music is culture and our society. For music platform like Spotify, what they need to do is focus on technology and data. They need to develop their machines, pay attention to listeners’ comments and follow the trend.

3.What distinctions does Krukowski draw between being “surprised” by music and “discovering” music? What are the differences between these experiences and according to Krukowski, why are they important?

Being “surprised” by music is that you have never heard that before. It is totally new for you which may draw your curiosity. But “discovering” is the opposite side of it which means you know clearly about what you are looking for. You listen or search it with definite purpose. Like you want to find the answer on Google. The answer will not surprise you. With the development of technology, the music platform can use data base to analyze and predict our interests and tastes in music, so it is harder for us to be surprised by music.

4.According to Krukowski, what is noise? What is signal? Why are these distinctions important?

According to Krukowski, signal is significant sound we can hear and something what we are trying to pay attention to. Except for signal, the rest of the sound is noise. What signal and what is noise all depend on your brains. But in musical studio, the clarify of signal and noise is determined by musicians. Their arrangement of it will maximize your enjoyment of music.

5.What central idea about noise does this episode convey? Why is it significant?

The signal in music is something that the producers want listeners to hear. So, they try to maximize the volume or influence of it. Meanwhile, they use technology to remove the noise. However, we cannot remove it, what we can do is to reduce it. Noise is inevitable.

6.How does this episode relate to other episodes?

The essence of music or sound is two things—–signal and noise. All the effort we put is to get the signal and reduce the noise.

Blog Post #5

Almost every morning, I wake up with the sound of cars passing by my window and the song of birds outside. They are the most precise wake-up alarm clocks for me on weekdays. When I am boring having nothing to do, I’d like to hear the different kinds of sound around me. The sound of the wind passing through the leaves are slightly different depending on seasons. In the summer, the breeze is gentle. When it blows through the leaves, its sound is amazing just like the wind chime which slowly flows into your ears like clear streams. I’d like to seat near my windows looking at the tree outside. When the breeze blows, the leaves are dancing with the beautiful music produced by themselves. The shadow of the tree also dances for them. It is a perfect performance for our summer days. In the winter, the tree becomes the battleground for wind and dried leaves. When the cold wind hits the tree, I can hear the cry and shout of the leaves. The branches are shaking intensely protecting their friends —- leaves. The cold wind seems laugh at the dried leaves for their stubborn. It is a sad story for our winter days.

Discussion #6

1.According to Krukowski, what are the main differences between a microphone and a cellphone and why is this difference important?

The microphone is a digital device which is more complicated than cellphone. It can convey speakers’ or singers’ feelings and emotions. But cellphone is not very good at it which just transfer our voice and words from our mouth to somewhere else. Therefore, it is extremely for musicians to master the skill of microphone in order to make their listeners feel that they are just singing near their ears which is better for listeners to feel musicians’ emotions in music.

2.What do Krukowski and Gary Tomlinson, the professor he interviews, assert about the “musical” qualities of the voice and how are these changed by digital transmission?

The “quality” of the voice is not only about the word you say or sing, it is much more about the feeling or emotions you express which will influence listeners in their minds. However, sometimes the digital transmission will weaken this influence. What you hear is just the words, the emotional and impressive parts of voice disappear in the process of transmission.

3.What is the significance of Krukowski’s comments on the voice to ideas about community and interpersonal connection?

Sometimes due to the distance between people, we can not meet everyone in our life. But our voice can reach further than our bodies. It connects people from different places tightly. Our voice is a kind of media to let us travel around the world.

4.Krukowski begins by discussing the issue of music file sharing. What is your opinion of this issue? Should music be freely available or should one have to pay?

I think there are two sides of music file sharing. The first side, the music sharing is a good thing for those who love music but can’t afford every CDs. Through music file sharing, they can enjoy their favorite music without any cost. The second side, the music file sharing means the music is free for everyone. It is unprofitable for musicians. Some of them will confront financial problems when they produce new albums. The question of the price of music is a little bit difficult to answer. I think it’s all up to you. If you have extra money, you can buy it to support their career. If not, music can be freely available.

5.How does this episode represent the relationships between music, community, and culture?

The relationship between music, community and culture is interrelated tightly. The specific culture will create the specific music. And that specific music will promote community development. Meanwhile, the development of our community will encourage cultural creation.

6.Does charging money for music impede the formation of communities around this music or does it help support the circulation of music?

I think charging money for music will impede the formation of communities around music slightly. Because finance is one of the most significant points in every field. And it is no doubt that it will help support the circulation of music by increasing musicians’ creative motivation.

Blog #4

I could still clearly remember that The Lion King was the first Disney movie I watched when I was young. It is so amazing and impressive. Since then, The Lion King is one of my favorite movies. It opened a new window for me to see the outside world. In the beginning of the movie, there is an amazing music which immediately bring me from China to the faraway and vast African savanna. Through that music, I can feel the breeze blowing over my face. The aroma of grass and flowers haunts me tightly. I can even hear the sound of wind dancing over my head. I am on the savanna instead of my small bedroom. The roar of lions cheers me up. The sound of animals running seems make my floor vibrate. I am a cute deer celebrating the birth of Simba. The sound of that movie is so amazing that makes me feel immersive. I just ingnored everything around me when I watched it. I can’t hear the noisy honk outside the window. The bark of my dog from downstairs seems disappear. Only the beautiful music from the movie flows into my ears just like a clean stream flowing slowly in vast African savanna.

Discussion #5

  1. What is Krukowski’s main point about how we experience time in the “real” world versus are experiences with “digital” time? Why are these differences significant?

The author’s main point about how we experience time in the “real” world versus our experiences with “digital” time is that the “real” world time is live time we all experience in our analog world. And we can clearly feel every moment we spend. “Digital” time is a kind of machine time, not live time. It is locked in a clock. It exists in a series of time codes which makes everything more regular than live time. These differences are significant because sometimes our experience of a moment is being lost in the transition between real and digital time.


  1. What does Krukowski mean when he says that listening has a lot to do with how we navigate space?

When he says that listening has a lot to do with how we navigate space, he means that listening is a kind of perceptual tool which helps map ourselves from the source of those sound. Therefore if you pay attention to the sound of your surroundings, you can detect the location without your sights. And this idea inspires me to remove my attention from my headphones to the surroundings.


  1. In the interview at the beginning of the episode, Jeremiah Moss argues that developers in Astor Place are “privatizing public space in a very stealth way.” What does he mean by this? What does Moss say about the distinction between public and private space, and why is it important?

Jeremiah Moss argues that developers in Astor Place are “privatizing public space in a very stealth way.” What he means is that nowadays more and more people walk around with their screens, and they don’t want to be hear or do not hear. They are creating some private bubbles which are moving through our public space. And it is this private bubble that turn our public space into private space in a very stealth way. He says that public space is where people can do whatever they like to do, such as hold protest or somewhere people can express their opinions without having to follow rules set by private companies. He argues that it is important because people don’t realize the encroachment of their public spaces. They are not even aware of the public space they are around because they are always on their screen.


  1. What is the significance of Emily Thompson’s idea that the development of concert halls arose from desires to “control interior spaces”? How is this desire, according to Krukowski, related to earbuds and headphones?

Emily Thompson’s idea of the development of concert halls arose from desires to “control sound in interior spaces” because there were technological developments occurred in that time. And so many loud sounds produced by big working engineer machines make our life much noisier than ever before. But it is very hard for people to deal with those noisy sound. Therefore, the desire for residents to live in a quieter place is really in need. Thanks to earbuds and headphones, people can own a private interior space in that noisy world.


  1. In your own opinion, what are the key ideas from this episode about the relationship between sound and space? What strikes you as interesting about the ways that sound influences our experience of space.

In my opinion, the key ideas between sound and space is that sounds make us aware of our surroundings and make us realize the travel of time. The sound from surroundings can help me locate myself. Different sound will influence people in totally different ways. It might change your mind as well as your thoughts.

Discussion #4

1.According to Berger, publicity proposes to each of us in a consumer society that we change ourselves or our lives by buying something more. Besides, publicity is a process of manufacturing glamour. But what is that kind of glamour? The glamour he mentions in this situation is constituted by the state of being envied. Publicity or advertising-images is a sort of effective way that the producers and companies promote or sell their products by stimulating our eyes. For costumers, publicity is a creative way to combine our illusion with realistic world.

2.The difference between oil painting and publicity is their final purpose. Oil painting is a media that the owners show their wealth and their real lives. The objects in those oil paintings are what they already have. The oil paintings picture their present lives. “Oil painting, before anything else, was a celebration of private property. As an art-form it derived from the principle that you are what you have.” Berger said. On the contrary, advertising-image we see on the street is to encourage us to buy something what we don’t have or what we desire. So the publicity is a kind of image or word to present our future life after we buy the products.

3.Berger says that publicity images always depict one of three dreams. First, the dream of later tonight. You are part of the good life they smile at and they are part of the good life you smile at. Everyone is surrounded by what brings pleasure, but it is you who will bring the greatest pleasure of all and next morning you will feel the same about it. Second, the skin dream. The surface you can touch without a biography. Third, the dream of a faraway place: Is to lie down on the bed alone, to allow one’s thoughts to pass through the light of the window and to travel elsewhere, conjuring images. When we buy a bottle of orange juice in the supermarket, we can see the image of a smiling farmer who lives in Brazil. He stands in front of the orange tree holding a freshly picked orange. Through this image we can imagine a beautiful orange plantation in the distance which produce the fresh juice and sell it to our market.



Blog #3

  1. Briefly answer these questions.
  • Is the purpose of the essay to educate, announce, entertain, or persuade?

In my view, the purpose of an essay is to educate the readers by your persuasive statements and proofs.

  • Who might be interested in the topic of the essay?

Professors, students and any other potential readers.

  • Who would be impacted by the essay or the information within it?

Students whose major is relevant to your topic.

  • What does the reader know about this topic?

This topic is useful, and how this topic decides the arrangement of the whole essay.

  • What does the reader need to know in order to understand the essay’s points?

The meaning of topic sentence, the statement of every single reasons and evidence.

  • What kind of hook is necessary to engage the readers and their interest?

The general idea and thesis statements.

  • What level of language is required? Words that are too subject-specific may make the writing difficult to grasp for readers unfamiliar with the topic.

The level of language requires is the Academic one and it should be clear with words which are not difficult to be understood. Every chosen words should have its sense to the context.

  • What is an appropriate tone for the topic? A humorous tone that is suitable for an autobiographical, narrative essay may not work for a more serious, persuasive essay.

The appropriate tone for an essay depends on its content. No matter what you write, your tone must be confident and firm.

2.As we all know, the US is the most developed country in the fast food industry. Moreover, fast food even becomes a kind of representative symbol of its cultural. Nowadays, as life goes faster and faster, more and more people especially the working people and teenagers tend to eat fast food as their meals due to its fantastic taste and convenience. There is no doubt that fast food is delicious and allows customers spend less money on feeding themselves. However, when we enjoy the pleasure of eating fast food, we should acknowledge the fact that fast food is unhealthy.


Discussion #3


1.According to this episode, John Berger explains that to be naked is to be oneself and to be nude is to be seen naked by others which is not recogonized for oneself.  In Berger’s view of it, he emphasizes the initiative of being naked and being nude totally depends on other people. His opinion about the difference between nakedness and nude is kind of different from Kenneth Clark which makes us have deeper understanding of those old European oil paintings.

2.In this video, we can see the majority of male roles in those paintings are dressed. On the contrary, almost all of them are naked or forced to be naked. Men get huge pleasure from those beautiful and sexy women’s bodies. For those male viewers, women are a kind of attractive artwork but not the real individuals. The criteria for a man to judge a woman is pretty face and good figure. I think that is so superficial. However, this outdated view on women still influence people deeply. Nowadays, some people still hold the view that the value of women is to please men rather than realize their own value in life. So hundreds and thousands women can’t get the equal rights with men. They are restricted from going out to work. Even some of them get jobs due to their excellent abilities, they are still discriminated against at work.

3.According to Berger, the significance of the mirror in those paintings is to show the women’s vanity. All of those paintings convey the same concept to us that the beauty of women is defined by male. The female characters in paintings need to cater men’s tastes. So the gaze of them is out of the frame and towards those male viewers which seems that they are seducing them. Except for their gaze, there is anohter important point we should notice is that all of those nudes don’t draw the hair on women’s bodies. Because hair will reduce the sexuality of male sepectators. As I said in question #2, all of these arrangement is to please male. Additional, a female interviewee appeared in the second half of the video mentions that women lose their dynamism as well as their own activities. They are always waiting for the reactions from men.

Blog #2

The first image is the picture of a famous bronze ware in China. This bronze ware named “Copper Flying Horse”in English was from the Eastern Han Dynasty which is about 1800 years from now. It was found in a grave of a general lived in that period. This artwork shows us there is a running horse whose one foot rests on a flying swallow. It seems that this horse is flying on the sky. And this picture of it was taken in Gansu Provincial Museum. Through this picture, its metallic luster shows me the honor of that great general. The muscle of this horse indicates us that it is a warhorse. Maybe 1800 years ago, it accompanied its ower to fight for their kingdom to agasint enemy. It is impossible for a horse to fly in the sky in the real life. But in the imaginary world, it can. Its flying pose shows the best wishes of the ancients at that time—-people’s intense curiousity to the sky. They wish they could be a flying horse to explore the unknow in outer space. Take advantage of the invention of camera, I could see such an outstanding artwork on my screen. By watching the introduction video of it, I could follow the lead of camera to appreciate its detail and know so many backgrouds and story of it.

The second image is the symbol of Chinese tourism inspired by this extraordinary artwork. Chinese National Tourism Administration use the image of “Copper Flying Horse” as our symbol for three reasons. First, it symbolizes that Chinese tourism is full of glory, with bright futuer. Secondly, horses have played a very important role in China from ancient times to the present. With the meaning of endeavor, tourists can enjoy travelling in China. Thirdly, its peerless status in broze also symbolizes Chinese splendid cultural history for thousands of year. And this logo gives “Copper Flying Horse” a new meaning. Its a kind of reproduction of this artwork, it not only conveys the ancients best wishes for human’s exploration, but also expresses the desire for the better future of Chinese tourism.

Discussion #2

1.  John Berger mentions that what we see is conditioned by habits and conventions in the beginning of the video. When people appreciate a painting in the gallery, different people will have different views at the same painting. There is an old saying goes “There are a thousand  Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes” said by Shakespeare. This well-known saying indicates us that the same artwork might be totally different in different viewers’ eyes. Habits, conventions, cultural backgrounds, experience, personalities, even your mood will change the way you appreciate the artwork. Take “Mona Lisa” as an typical example, what children will think is that she is a beautiful women with curly hair. For adults, most of them will consider the meaning of her mysterious smile. In the eyes of those in bad mood, they might think that Mona Lisa diguises her sadness with fake smile. So it is significant for viewers to appreciate the artwork in different ways.

2. Thanks to the invention of camera which makes those valuable and meaningful artwork accessible to almost everyone. With the help of this useful device, we can see so many antique artwork in our daily life, especially for those people who have no chance to go to the museum in order to appreciate the artwork closely. Although we take lots of advantages of camera, this little device has its own defects. Because of the silence and stillness of the artwork, we should make our eyeballs move. The common way we appreciate them at first is from the whole then is the details. But the camera could control our eyes. If you see a painting on a screen, you must follow the shot of camera. You can’t see the part of that painting out of the camera. And the arrangement of the camera shooting will change the view you look at it into the way the video producer want you to look at it. Those silent and still artwork becomes the story the video producers tell us rather than the original meanings what the authors intended to convey.

3. The artwork can only be in one place at a time, so it’s impossible for all the people to appreciate it personally. The most convenient and easiest way for us is to look at the reproductions. As I mentioned before, the reproductions like videos are a kind of recreation of the original artwork which contain the strong emotions of the authors as well as reproducers. The authors created these excellent artwork to show their own thoughts, and the reproducers combine their own ideas with the original meanings. So when we appreciate an reproduction of an artwork, we should consider both of their notions to get deeper understanding of that artwork.