MUS 119
Popular Music: Revolutions in the History of Rock
Last Offered Spring 2017
Division I
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

This course will trace the history of rock music from the 1950s to the present, focusing on those musicians who revolutionized the genre in various periods. Such “revolutions” are discovered in the use of new sounds and musical forms, in the relationship between lyrics and musical setting, and in the conception of rock’s role in society. Three objectives will underpin our studies: to develop listening skills with music that one often hears, but perhaps rarely listens to intently; to determine in what ways popular music can be interpreted as reflecting its cultural context; and to encounter the work of several of the more innovative musicians in the history of rock. Finally we will interrogate our own activities by asking why the study of the “merely popular” should be pursued in a liberal arts education, whether new approaches can be developed for this endeavor, and what makes music “popular.”
The Class: Format: lecture; discussion
Limit: 80
Expected: 80
Class#: 3718
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on two tests, two papers, and a final exam
Prerequisites: no musical background assumed
Enrollment Preferences: random selection
Distributions: Division I

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