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Intro to Black MusicMUSC 148: Intro to Black Music

Instructor | Aldwyn Hogg Jr. (he/him/his)
Summer Session 1| May 5 – June 18 | Monday-Friday 11:30AM – 1:00PM

What is black music? What are some of its histories and the histories it can tell? And how has it influenced American culture, politics, and society? MUSC 148 is a historical survey of black music in North America that seeks to address these questions and the multiple issues they raise. Black music, the musical traditions of North America inaugurated and carried through time by black people, is a significant cultural phenomenon that has served many purposes and been intertwined with many domains of (black) life in America since the time of slavery. This course–through surveying black music traditions such as minstrelsy, the blues, jazz, pop music (disco, funk, house, soul), hip hop, and classical music–will examine many of these purposes and domains. Some of these include: black music and radical politics during the Black Power era, black music during the so-called Negro Renaissance during the 1920s and 30s in New York, the blues and the banjo in twenty-first century America, and hip hop and queerness.

This course will begin with music during the time of slavery in the nineteenth century and conclude by studying hip hop as a global phenomenon in the twenty-first century. Students in this course can expect to gain hands-on experience with engaging critically with a variety of primary sources and develop skills for critical listening. Class-sessions will be a mix between traditional lecture formats and in-class discussion.

There are no prerequisites for MUSC 148. And no prior musical experience is necessary! This 3-credit satisfies both the VP and US general education requirement.

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