This course explores aspects of the origins, style development, aesthetic philosophies, historiography, and contemporary conventions of African-American musical traditions. Topics covered include: the music of West and Central Africa, the music of colonial America, 19th century church and dance music, minstrelsy, music of the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, blues, gospel, hip-hop, and film music. Special attention is given to the ways that black music produces "meaning" and to how the social energy circulating within black music articulates myriad issues about American identity at specific histroical moments. The course will also engage other expressive art forms from visual and literary sources in order to better position music making into the larger framework of African American aesthetics. (Formerly Music 146).
In a two-part post, the Penn Gazette Arts and Culture blog features music listening suggestions from various staff and faculty at the Music Department. Both Part 1 and Part 2 highlight some new and interesting summer listening suggestions.