WebQuest: Music Recordings

If you're unfamiliar with WebQuests, read this introduction first.

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Nowadays, music is ubiquitous, as are the devices that play them.  Most people just play music off their computers or phones.  Many kids in school don't even know what CDs are, not to mention vinyl.  They'll encounter different music players through images and movies, and since everyone loves music, why not assign them the task of learning the history of music recordings.

The Basic Quest

Starting with records and ending with MP3s, students list at least 5 different formats for recording music (alternately, they can write about the players - e.g. gramophones instead of disc records - but the information they gather would be essentially the same).  With each, they need to learn the following:

  • what it was called

  • how much music it could hold (probably in terms of minutes)

  • how big it was

  • the decades in which it was popular

  • some of the music genres that are often associated with it

Bonus Quest 1

What were the limitations of each format/player, and why did they need improvement?  In what ways was each format better than the previous one?

Bonus Quest 2

Why do some people still enjoy buying and listening to vinyl records?  This will take more than simply looking at an information site; students will probably have to visit forums and ask around.

Bonus Quest 3

What do you think the next music player will be like?  Don't just think about what might be cool; consider how what we have now could be even better.

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