American Popular Music

"Popular music" denotes a variety of idioms-including R&B, rock, soul, funk, and hip-hop-linked to the youth culture and social movements that developed in the United States after World War II. With a foundation in African American genres (especially blues and gospel), popular music has also absorbed strong influences from rural white Protestant communities, Latin America, and Europe, and its sounds are indelibly linked to twentieth-century technologies (the electric guitar, multitrack recording, turntables). With an emphasis on the 1940s to the 1970s, our historical survey of American popular music will bring us from the 1800s to the present day. Using close listening as a starting point, we will learn how to decode sounds to reveal their complex social histories as we assess popular music's role in America's tumultuous twentieth century.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Goldschmitt

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall