Historical overview of rock and roll with emphasis on listening skills, musical analysis, the artists, and the industry. This course will examine Rock music as a musical tradition and social, political, and economic phenomenon and will study the roots of Rock and Roll from the perspectives of cultural history and musical structure. In addition, it will trace the history of Rock music through analyses of its musical content and form, lyrics, major trends and styles, significant composers, compositions, performers, and impact on American and world culture. Like other American musics, Rock and Roll is a dynamic syncretic tradition, synthesizing elements of Western European musics with those of West Africa. In our ports of call, students will explore where, how, and why local musicians adopted the defining characteristics of Rock and Roll in shaping their own musics. The class will also address issues of globalization, authenticity, the music industry, technology, gender, and politics. Using the tools, techniques, and methodologies of the ethnomusicologist, faculty and students will listen to, evaluate, and perform music and dance; observe, document and participate in musical events during field experience; and keep a research journal documenting their fieldwork, thoughts, observations, and conclusions. Method of evaluation based on exams, participant observation projects, and class and field participation.
Field WorkCountry: South Africa
Date: October 7, 2018
Students and faculty will tour a South African Township, with an evening visit to township shebeen to dance and listen to a shebeen band.
1. Using participant observation technique and methodology, students will investigate and attempt to learn the value and meaning of South African music and dance–the use and function of those arts for its performers, audience and parent society.
2. Students will experience and analyze the role of the township shebeen in the development of an urban popular music tradition in South Africa.
3. Students will be able to compare and contrast South African popular dance styles with those of other countries including the United States.