Tragically Hip Assignment - Due WED 25

Gr. 11/12 Inquiry & Communication Assignment:

Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip


When we hear music, on some level we also hear the musical identify of a specific, geographic place. For example: we attribute Grunge music to a Seattle sound; Philly Soul is from Philadelphia; Chicago has its sound as does New York; East coast vs. West coast Rap have a different sound as well. When we hear samba, we hear Brazil. When we hear Mambo, we hear Cuba. Reggae, Jamaica; The Tarantella, Italy; The Waltz, Austria.


Here is a question for us, Canadians: What is Canadian music, and what makes its sound specifically Canadian?


On Tuesday night we lost one of the most influential and beloved musicians this country has ever produced: Gord Downie. His band, The Tragically Hip is considered, “Canada’s band” and when he announced his battle with cancer, Canadian television stopped all syndicated programming, including the Olympics, in order to broadcast a farewell concert live from Kingston, without commercial interruption. Justin Trudeau was there along with tributes from all over the music world including Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam.


Today the nation is in mourning as we lose someone who we considered not only one of ours, but someone who contributed to our Canadian music identity.


Your assignment is to research the following questions with a minimum of 10 sources which you will cite at the end of your 4 page, 12 point, New Times Roman, double-spaced, written assignment.



1. What do you think makes Canadian music sound Canadian? Give examples and explain with specifics why that is.


 2. What is it about The Tragically Hip’s music and lyrics that make it “Canadian”?


3. A review of the impact of Gord Downie’s contribution both as musician, performer, and activist.



DUE WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 at the beginning of class.


Have fun, and enjoy the music!