Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Two response writings, each 2-3 pages
What is this piece?
Say something about its musical sound/structure
One essay on a topic of your choice, 7-9 pages
Point of course is to cultivate a critical view of music as a social, cultural, historical
phenomenon, not to develop your own opinion cite all sources in text and provide
bibliography at end with full bibliographic citations printed, double spaced
2 in-class listening/essay tests questions will be derived from the course lectures and listening
assignments, and will ask you to draw on the readings
To develop critical perspectives on North American popular music early 19 C origin of
Historical, Sociological etc.; Literary/Musicological (in terms of texts and musical sound)
Popular music: Beautiful organization of sounds (melodic, rhythmic, harmonic) – dictionary
Mass consumption; accessibility to audiences; mass-mediation (can be popular music
without being ‘popular’)
Folk-music vs. popular music: serves a different purpose (folk is generally more geared
toward traditional, oral, face-to-face transmission as opposed to mass mediation)
Classical music vs. popular music: Classical music as understood to be emphasizing
traditional music notation, literacy, etc.
Metaphor or allegory for our time?
Why should we care about music?
Music as a social power
No textbook, all readings online under Course Documents
First important step in developing critical understandings is to take a step away from one’s own
taste or choice in music – not about what you like or don’t like once you start to ‘dislike’
music, you begin to lose the ability to learn and appreciate why others would like it
Take a step away from: taste in (choices of) music as marker of individualism and identity
Paradox: our tastes are a marker of individualism/identity, yet it’s always in terms of others
Industrial cultivation of choice history of the love song’s slow rise to dominance
Example: Nickelback – How You Re