Popular Music Culture in America
This course serves as an introduction to some of the great works of popular music in the United States, from the songs of colonial America to the present. The course will cover the major periods/styles in popular American music history including but not limited to music of the Westward movement, ragtime and blues, the roots and growth of jazz, country music, folk music, music of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley, the roots and development of rock music and late 20th century developments in popular music, as well as historical, political and sociological background of the United States as pertinent to music history. A background in music is not required.
(A requirement that must be completed before taking this course.)
Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- Identify the elements of music (rhythm, melody, timbre, form, harmony, texture and dynamics).
- Identify the major periods in American popular music history.
- Identify the genres and music styles in American popular music.
- Differentiate the genres and music styles in American popular music.
- Examine works of American popular music on an artistic, musical and formal level.
- Identify the names, composers, performers, music groups and styles of major works of American popular music.
- Examine the styles and philosophies of the major composers, lyricists and performers in American popular music history.
- Explain the historical, political and cultural background at the time of the major performers, composers and groups.
- Compare information about forms, genre and styles of certain American popular music works to unknown works not studied.
- Formulate an aesthetic base from which to further listen and study American popular music.
- Explain the extent to which the music studied in this course intersects and connects with the musical and cultural traditions of the student's personal life.
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