This course celebrates the rich history of music in the United States from the earliest times to the present. We will look at cultivated, vernacular, and folk traditions as reflections of the American musical landscape. We will also ask questions about the idea of American music. Can we talk about “American music” as a useful category? What can we identify as distinctive about the experience and development of music in America?
In this class, students will:
• Have a broader understanding of a representative selection of American music within a rich historical, social and political context
• Learn the significance of the music repertory, traditions, and artists we are studying
• Develop analytical tools, critical thinking, and effective means of writing about music and culture
• Engage with fundamental questions arising from the study of music and culture
• Learn to engage in scholarly dialogue and debate with academic colleagues
Required text and listening media:
Crawford, Richard, ed. 2013. An Introduction to America's Music (Second
Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN-13: 978-0393935318
Crawford, Richard, ed. 2013. Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music
(Second Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN-13: 978-0393921403
Note: The recordings are available via CD, online, or online streaming. See textbook or website for details.