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Rebel Music

Daniel Felsenfeld's "Rebel Music" was originally published in the Opinionator in March of 2010. n this essay! Felsenfeld's goal is to show his readers that e"en though he was born #usically inclined! he was not brought up with the classical #usic that he would later co#pose. "Many co#posers! whether traditional or e$peri#ental! ha"e been steeped in %estern classical #usic fro# the cradle. &hat was not the case with #e." 'e uses (thos in his article by telling the audience about his life as a co#poser in his later years. 'e shows the# that he is )nowlegable in the sub*ect of #usic! e"en though he was not brought up in it. Felsenfeld also utili+es a good bit of ,athos by being so passionate about his #usic. 'e is able to draw the audience in and #a)e the# feel *ust as he felt the day he disco"ered his passion. Felsenfeld uses personal anecdotes and description! along with a good bit of hu#or to con"ey his opinion on -lassical #usic in his essay. (arly on! Felsenfeld uses personal anecdotes to enlighten his audience about his deep need to find so#ething to inspire hi#. 'e says! ".ow reali+e/ e"en though we had enough water to )eep the #anicured lawns *ust so! was e$periencing #y own personal drought! an arid lac) of culture of all )inds! especially #usic." 0sing this techni1ue! he is able to bring his readers in by #a)ing the# feel his co#plete lac) of enthusias# for his life at the ti#e ! and his desperate need to find so#ething to inspire hi#! as #ost readers can relate to at so#e point in their li"es. ("eryone has that need to feel inspired. n this respect! his approach is brilliant! and can #a)e the reader sy#pathetic to his plight! whether they ha"e any interest in #usic or not. 2hortly after his opening! Felsenfeld throws in a little hu#or to )eep the reader entertained. 'e spea)s of his fa#ily's co#plete lac) of #usical ability. " was! by no #eans! un#usical! though any talent ha"e re#ains a #ystery! co#ing fro# perhaps the least #usical of fa#ilies 3who would be the first to ad#it this4. 'e does this! also! to support his opening state#ent! that he was not i##ersed in #usic! but rather flourished in spite of it. Felsenfeld then goes on to use a good bit of description when spea)ing about his piano lessons! that his #other allowed hi# to ha"e. 'e tal)s about how #undane he found the pieces he perfor#ed and practiced. 'e says! "&he #usic was dull! or at least had a dulling effect on #e 5 it didn't spar)le! or as) 1uestions." ($plaining this #a)es the reader e"en #ore sy#pathetic! wanting hi# to find so#ething to set his soul abla+e. t touches on so#ething that the reader feels within the#sel"es! or at least! has felt at so#e point. Felsenfeld infor#s the reader! that e"en though he was not inspired by the #usic! he did go on to play piano bars and the li)e! as so#ething to pass the ti#e! but he was bored by it. 6ater in the essay! he finally gi"es the reader what they are loo)ing for7 so#ething to spar) a fire within hi#. %hile "hanging out" with is friend Mi)e! Felsenfeld is introduced to 8eetho"en's .inth 2y#phony. &he power of description is nowhere near as hea"y as Felsenfeld's thoughts on the first ti#e he heard 8eetho"en's .inth 2y#phony. " t

unrolled fro# the s#all spea)ers! this big! gorgeous! unruly! beast of a thing! conte#porary! horrifying! a *uggernaut that #o"ed fro# the dar) to unbearable brightness! soaring and spitting! #alingering! and dancing wildly! the Most 8eautiful &hing ("er 'eard." n this state#ent! he has grabbed the reader and screa#ed to the# that he's no longer *ust drifting along. 'e's found so#ething that #a)es sense to hi#7 so#ething that gi"es his life purpose. 'e's descripti"e with this line! in order to #a)e the reader feel as if they! too! ha"e finally found that purpose. Felsenfeld de"eloped a cra"ing fro# that #o#ent on. 'e "dubbed" Mi)e's cassetts and listended this new5found delight non5stop. 'e listened to it "in secret" on his way to school! changing to a radio station as he pulled into the par)ing lot. 'e felt as if he was a rebel! which his 19 year old self yearned for. 'e said he wanted to feel #isunderstood. 'e soon reali+ed what hard wor) his new passion was! studying scores! reading biographies! and getting a real piano teacher. 'e incorporates this into his essay as a way to show the reader that it was not so#ething that *ust ca#e easy! regardless of his passion for it. 'e went to .ew :or)! and studied at Fullerton. 'e #et li"e co#posers! and learned that he was not such the "rebel" he thought he was. 'e li"es far fro# his ho#e5town now! but allows hi#self to drift bac) to those first #o#ents that he heard greatness. "%hen a# co#posing! try to return to that ti#e and place of ine$perience when was )noc)ed sideways by dangerous sounds. %hy else write; %hy else listen;" <ll in all! Felsenfeld deli"ers an ispiring essay! causing the reader to allow the#sel"es to be enthralled by his own enthusias#. &he only faults with his essay! could be the fact that he did not e#ploy 6ogos. &hough he is )nowlegable on the sub*ect of #usic! he has absolutely no facts to support his essay. 'e uses a lot of (thos and ,athos to co#pel the audience! but has no substantial facts to bac) it up.