This music appreciation elective is an in depth study of the origins of popular music and culture in the 20th century and its impact on society. Students will learn about a wide range of musical genres and the visual imagery associated with them. In doing so, they will become familiar with the landmark groups, artists, and movements from different periods that shaped the music and aesthetics of the times. The course is largely discussion based and student driven, relying heavily on digital multimedia (weekly “listening labs,” videos, visual artwork, etc.) to bring the music and artists to life in order to provide a visual and aural context for what we study. The end goal of the course is to develop students’ ability to interpret artistic process through analysis of that media, which will culminate in the creation of several products that showcase musical and artistic understanding of the topics we cover.
Major Units of Study:
The course is divided into three units of study, approximately one every six weeks of the semester, covering roughly 20 musical genres from blues up through grunge. The following outline/web serves as a rough a guide for our whole class genre study of the history of rock ‘n’ roll. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive or hard and fast concrete listing of all musical genres and offshoots before, during, and/or after the birth of rock. It is, rather, a flexible, organic guide from which to begin our discussion and study of the roots of rock and popular music:
Rock History Links: