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Not All is Cold in Iceland

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Student
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Emerson...

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school essay
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  1. Introduction
  2. The essence of music
  3. The integrity of music
  4. Establishing authenticity in a foreign country
  5. The Sapir Whorf Hypothesis
  6. Sonata Arctica's choice of language
  7. Progressive metal
  8. The exercise in character development and the authenticity
  9. Conclusion
  10. Bibliography

Humanity is nostalgic. There is no other way in which to explain the strips of antique malls in the Midwest or the string of collector shows on the shop-at-home networks. Like the sightseers searching for the Grand Canyon pictured on the poster in a local travel agency, humans are such experts on past experiences and expectations that they cannot help but attribute perfection to recreation of the old (Percy 589). Therefore, the easiest route to fame for a musician is to remind the audience of a musician who already found his or her route to fame. But where there is an easy route, there is also a hard route, a route that many bands, like Sonata Arctica, choose to follow. And when it comes to establishing sovereignty through authenticity, this band succeeds where others fail. Nothing modern can ever perfectly replicate something old. Sonata Arctica does not try to attain authenticity by imitating the bands that have come before them; instead, the band produces a voice that remains authentic to itself, a voice that generates its own sovereignty instead of borrowing from the past. A voice is only truly authentic when it seeks its authenticity through creation instead of through emulation.

[...] Some may claim that the overuse of instrumentation detracts from the songs, creates interference, but Percy questions whether or not purpose is seen better in the absence of distraction (590). Strings and opera may better suit the serious overtones of progressive metal on the surface, but when it comes to breathing life into characters, Sonata Arctica succeeds tenfold. Their characters are their voice, their children, and by creating the musical world in which they exist in such a shocking manner, they truly make their characters their own. [...]


[...] Humans do have a certain undeniable attachment to all things in the past, but to seek authenticity through mimicking someone else's authenticity is not authenticity at all; it is merely a futile effort to benefit from the work of others. There is a reason that every Beatles' cover is analyzed so particularly; their voice is authentic to the point of being embedded in the memories of an entire generation. But it is understandable why so many musicians rely on genres, rely on the past; with so many established voices in existence, it is an endeavor to not sound like someone else. [...]


[...] Bands fall prey to these labels; all one has to do is survey an aisle at his or her local music store to see how often bands are defined as latest pop sensation? or next big metal giant.? If these descriptions did not exist, music would not be described in such a manner, and a song would be simply a song instead of a pop song or a metal song (Frith 292). But what if a band does not fit nicely into these little categories? [...]

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