Survey of Music in America
Term: Spring 2021 - Full Term (02/01/2021 - 05/11/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|2/1/2021||5/11/2021||TR||3:40pm - 5:00pm||ONLINE|
This course explores the rich and diverse history of musicking in the United States from the colonial era to the present, with attention to the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of a variety of musics and musical practices. Looking at the various layers of musical cultures, from Native Americans, Puritans, Spanish and French Jesuits, Moravians, Shakers, African Americans, and the various immigrant communities of the 19th century and beyond, we will cover a range of material as we think about the notion of a distinct “American” musical identity and its various manifestations. Over the course of the semester, we will experience and explore the multiplicity of that “identity”: the idea of “American” music is, in fact, as varied and diverse as the many peoples who make up the population of the U.S.
We will cover music drawn from the “classical,” “popular,” and “traditional” spheres—terms drawn from Richard Crawford’s (our textbook author) categories of American music as we explore the interactions between music, politics, history, social life, and the creation of identity across time. Students are responsible for all of the assigned reading and listening; assignments will include listening and reading, and sometimes, viewing of video excerpts (some of which we will watch in class). From time to time, I will supplement the textbook with additional reading, posted as pdf files or JSTOR links on Canvas.
Required Textbook: ebook version: Richard Crawford and Larry Hamberlin, An Introduction to America's Music, Third Edition (New York; London: W W Norton, 2018)
Ebook includes access to audio materials as well as the book and listening guides.