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Cover Letter

This is my Ethnography about the musician discourse community. I wrote about how
musicians work as a discourse community. I included my observations of a band and the
individual members of that band. I feel as if my topic and my observations are strong. However,
my writing technique and the way I word things may be weak. I would like for the reader to pay
special attention to the way I write my ideas. I feel like this is the area I may need the most help
on along with the order of my paper.

Lindsay Hall
RHE 101
16 October 2014

In order for songs to be harmonized, musicians will play individual instruments to make
a song come together. Musicians will practice certain notes and communicate with one another
to understand what the other one is practicing in order for the song to sound good. Each member
of a band practices his/her own music while still listening to the other parts of the band.
Different sections communicate in their own way to make a piece come together. A band is more
than a group of people making music, it is a family of individuals that have the same goals,
language, and understanding of music as a whole.
How is it a Discourse Community?
Musicians all play with the intentions of making music. Every musician may play a
different way or have a different style, however they all want to play music that is pleasant to the
ear. Musicians interact with each other differently. Most, if not all, musicians read music. They
use words like forte, clef, and legato that others may not know. Musicians feel the music from

the heart when they play said Nathan Smith. Nathan plays bass guitar in a Praise Band at PG
Baptist Church. It all comes from the heart, not the head. As my brother-in-law, Nathan and I
spend a lot of time together. One way we really connect is through music. Me, my sister, and
Nathan like to play music just to spend time together doing what we love. Jessica has taught
piano and been the leader of a youth praise band and a part of a band by the name of Broken.
Nathan is also a part of a youth praise band and plays guitar as a hobby. Both Nathan and Jessica
were in the high school marching band at McDowell High School.
Observing a band as a whole isnt very complicated. The band plays each song well and
bows at the end while the audience applauds and cheers. Now, try observing each member play
their own part. Each instrument plays different notes at different times in a different way. While
the drums play the rhythm and keep the beat, the flutes are playing sixteenth notes to keep the
melody. Alto saxophones keep harmony while the tuba fills out the bass. Every section
depended on the rest of the band. If one section was off, the whole band is off. As I observed
Nathan and Jessica Smith play at their house Monday night, I saw them communicate constantly
while playing their own part. Jessica was playing the keyboard while Nathan played his bass
guitar. The instruments were completely different but they sounded so good together. Jessicas
music looked nothing like Nathans. The instruments and the notes they played werent anything

alike. Musicians rely on communication to make everything come together. This is an important
role in every discourse community.
Musicians play from the heart which means they more than just a group of people
pressing piano keys or strumming guitar strings. Musicians make up a discourse community
based on their similar goals, interconnections, and language.