MUS 242
Monk and the Bebop Revolution Fall 2009
Division I
Cross-listed MUS 242 / AFR 245
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Pianist, Thelonious Monk, called the “high priest of BeBop,” is one of the key figures in this movement that is the basis of all modern jazz. His music is rooted in earlier jazz styles but his genius has given us music that is unique and meaningful to this day. In the early 1940’s he and Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach and a thriving community of young, innovative musicians in New York developed this new style in places like Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. They inspired a generation of musicians who continued their legacy and became iconic figures in the jazz world including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. “Cool Jazz,” “Hard Bop,” and even “Free Jazz” and the Avante Garde of the 1960’s emerged from the creative landscape that BeBop nurtured. This immense influence reached beyond music and into poetry and the arts. The Beat poet Jack Kerouac idealized “Bird” and African-American poetry has been influenced by jazz from Langston Hughes to Amiri Baraka until today. BeBop and its offshoots developed alongside the post-war Civil Rights movement. The give and take between the cultural and political development of Black America is an important theme of this course–Jim Crow, integration, Civil Rights, Black Power, self-expression, improvisation, artistic, and political freedom. Readings include essays and poetry that illustrate these influences as well as biographies of the major artists. With the introduction of any innovative art form, there can be an expected backlash from the previous generation. We will read critical writings and reviews from the period that give us a better idea of the impact of this movement including essays by Ralph Ellison.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1073
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: paper for a creative project (i.e., musical composition, transcriptions and/or performance or recording); evaluation will also be based upon attendance and class participation
Extra Info: listening includes jazz: weekly listening and reading assignments--a written journal, two short papers and one end of semester 8-to 10-page research paper, midterm listening/short answer exam
Extra Info 2: musicians may choose to substitute the research music from the 1930's until the present
Prerequisites: permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division I
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under MUS
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 242 Division I AFR 245 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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