Nonmajor Summer Classes 2024

GEN MUS 170-0-1

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Daniel Atwood
6-week session, June 17 – July 28
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

This course is designed to provide students with the foundational tools and vocabulary to critically engage with a variety of kinds of music. Surveying a diverse range of musical traditions ranging from classical to popular, we will consider music in its historic and present cultural contexts and develop a working familiarity with the stylistically appropriate terminology of musical description and analysis. Assignments include topical quizzes, short written assignments, and a final project/exam. No prior musical training is assumed or required.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be made available through CANVAS.

GEN_MUS 175-0-1

Special Topics: Popular Music and Society
Instructor: Jennifer Blackwell
6-week session, June 17 – July 28
TTh, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

How does music shape, enhance, and change our society? This course illustrates fundamental social institutions, theories, sociological concepts, and processes surrounding the place of popular music in society. Through explorations of popular music in a variety of contexts, including protest music in the Estonian singing revolution, hip-hop culture’s role in social change, and popular music and the socialization of children (among many others), students will develop enriched understandings of how music can enhance the study of social life. Students will be invited to connect popular music to their own interests or primary areas of study in assignments and discussion. No formal musical background is expected or required to participate in this course.

Class materials (required): Joseph A. Kotarba, Understanding Society Through Popular Music, 3rd edition. Routledge, 2018. ISBN: 9781138806528. Estimated retail price: $30.

GEN_MUS 175-0-2

Special Topics: Black Popular Music & Media
Instructor: Jeremy Rowland
6-week session, June 17 – July 28
TTh, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Are we, as consumer of music, truly understanding what Black artists have to communicate in contemporary genres of music? How has the expression of the Black lived experience in music changed as we move through the 21st century? With these central questions in mind, this course will provide context to explore the various frameworks for analyzing the social, political, and cultural references included in the media of Black Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B artists. Through exploring the music videos, visual albums, and interviews of various artists, we will consider how music can enhance the study of social life. In addition to the assigned artists (Kanye West, Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, Childish Gambino, and Falz) students will be invited to examine the work of a chosen artist that connects to their own interests or primary areas of study.

This course is designed as a combination of both lecture-based and discussion-based instruction. Students will first experience an instructor-led unit of analysis for selected material and later be asked to lead whole class analysis in small groups on a selected piece of media. Through use of short reflections, one longer critical essay, a short presentation and facilitation of whole-class discussion, students will create artifacts that highlights their emerging knowledge. No prerequisite or formal musical background is required to participate in this course.

Class materials: None required for purchase. Class texts and media will be provided by the instructor via CANVAS.

GEN_MUS 175-0-3

Special Topics: Hidden Women of Music
Instructor: Victoria Smith
6-week session, June 17 – July 28
TTh, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Women have a played a key role in the development and success of music, though their personal voices may not have been heard. Overshadowed by husbands and brothers or written out of musical history completely, the significant contributions of these women require that their places in history are revisited and restored. Through readings, weekly in-class and online discussions, and a final project, students will use critical thinking and listening skills to explore music of a variety of cultures and time frames. From Helen May Butler, the first female band director, to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the godmother of rock ‘n roll – and many other artists and genres in between – we will investigate the history of music and uncover some previously unrecognized contributors to music. The course is open to undergraduate non-music majors with all levels of musical experience and backgrounds.

Class materials (required): Julie C. Dunbar, Women, Music, Culture: An Introduction, 3rd edition. Routledge, 2021. ISBN: 9780367138127. Estimated retail price: $50.