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Course Details

Spring 2014-2015
* AAS 210 / MUS 253 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Introduction to African-American Music

Courtney L. Bryan

What is African-American music? Is it a set of genres, sound characteristics, or musical approaches? Is it based on who creates, or who receives the music? How has an African-American musical tradition undergone continual re-definition, and how might we understand these developments within historical context? This course will address these questions by studying African-American music from a variety of perspectives, drawing from historical and critical readings, and sound and visual media.

Sample reading list:
Eileen Southern, The Music of Black Americans: A History (3rd Ed.)
LeRoi Jones, Blues People: Negro Music in White America
George Lewis, Improvised Music after 1950: Afrological and Eurological
Robert G. O'Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, Farah Jasmine, Uptown Conversations: The New Jazz Studies
Eric Porter, What Is This Thing Called Jazz? African American Musicians
Imani Perry, Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly assignments of listening and reading (50-100 pages per week) will be assigned. Students are responsible for weekly written responses to the assignments, 200-400 words, and for participating in class discussions.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other information:
Each student will develop a midterm and a final project. The midterm project will include a paper topic and detailed outline, based on a topic discussed during the course.The final project will consist of a written paper of 15-20 pages, and a brief presentation to be shared in class during last two weeks of the semester.


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42936 S01 03:00:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T Th   Bobst Hall   105   Enrolled:10 Limit:15