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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Survey of American Music
Course: MHL155

First Term: 2014 Spring
Lecture   3.0 Credit(s)   3.0 Period(s)   3.0 Load  
Subject Type: Academic
Load Formula: S

Description: History of the music of North America from the earliest American Indian music to the present. Introduction to the musical trends, composers, socioeconomic developments and trends, musical forms and styles that influence our modern American musical sense.

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Identify musical examples from American folk, popular, and classical styles of various historical periods (I-VI).
2. Identify examples of American Indian music and explain its role in traditional culture (I).
3. Classify musical examples according to major jazz styles and performers (IV).
4. Identify and describe stylistic traits of several major American classical composers (VI).
5. Describe examples of African American cultural and musical contributions to jazz and American popular music (I, III, IV, V).
6. Describe the culturally diverse nature of American music, using specific supporting examples from folk, popular, and classical styles (I, II, V, VI).
7. Contrast the development and role of classical music in America with that of Europe (V, VI).
8. List major jazz styles in chronological order and explain social and cultural context for each (IV).
9. Trace the history of American religious music from colonial times to the present, using examples of religious and cultural diversity to explain connections with folk and popular music (I, II, III).
10. Contrast musical theater of the "Golden Age" with productions of the last thirty years, providing supporting examples of shows and composers (V).
11. Explain the role of folk music in cultural identity and American social justice movements (I, III).
12. Describe the development of rock and country music, including cultural factors and significant musicians (III).
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. Folk and Ethnic Music
   A. North American Indian
      1. Musical characteristics
      2. Ritual and ceremonial traditions and purposes
      3. Contemporary trends and acculturated styles
   B. British/Celtic
      1. Musical and textual characteristics
      2. Ballads and instrumental folk traditions
   C. African American
      1. Musical characteristics and influences
      2. Spirituals and work songs
   D. Latino
      1. Mexican religious and secular music
      2. Caribbean and South American popular music
   A. Clave rhythm and other musical characteristics
   B. Influences on American popular music and dance
   E. French (Cajun and zydeco)
II. Religious Music
   A. Psalmody and tune books
   B. Singing-school movement
   C. Southern shape-note hymnody
   D. Spirituals
   E. Revivalism and gospel music
III. Secular and Popular Music
   A. Colonial period to twentieth century
      1. Popular dance and song
      2. Military and concert band music (John Philip Sousa)
      3. Early musical theater
   B. Country Music
      1. Early styles and characteristics (Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers)
      2. Commercialization and dissemination through radio and recordings
      3. Western swing, honky tonk and other styles after 1940
      4. Bluegrass
      5. Neotraditionalism vs. contemporary popular styles
   C. Urban Folk Music (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan)
   D. Rock
      1. Early rock and roll characteristics
      2. Rhythm and blues and 1950s racial attitudes
      3. 1960s styles and connections to social movements
      4. Fragmentation and subgenres after 1970
   E. Hip-hop and Rap
      1. Origins and socio-cultural contexts
      2. Musical characteristics
      3. Relationship to mainstream musical culture
IV. Jazz
   A. Influence of minstrelsy, blues, ragtime, brass bands
   B. Musical characteristics
      1. Improvisation
      2. Structure and form
      3. Instrumentation and roles
   C. Styles and cultural context
      1. New Orleans multicultural roots (Louis Armstrong)
      2. Swing bands and jazz as popular dance music (Basie, Ellington)
      3. Bebop and jazz as complex listening music (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie)
      4. Avant-garde and connections with 1960s social movements (John Coltrane)
      5. Rock/funk fusion and electronic instruments in jazz (Miles Davis)
      6. Neotraditionalism and jazz as ?America?s classical music? (Wynton Marsalis)
   V. Theater and Film Music
   A. Musical theater
      1. Variety shows and vaudeville
      2. Early 20th century musical theater
   A. Black musicians on Broadway
   B. Yiddish theater and Jewish composers
   C. Musical comedies
      3. Folk opera: George Gershwin Porgy and Bess
      4. Mid-twentieth century Golden Age
   A. Integration of music and drama
   B. Show Boat and West Side Story (Kern, Bernstein, Sondheim)
   C. Rodgers and Hammerstein and other significant composers
      5. After 1960
   A. Expansion of source material
   B. Multimedia and special effects
   B. Film music
      1. Influence of European romantic symphonic style
      2. Classical film score specialists
   A. Bernard Hermann (Psycho)
   B. John Williams (Star Wars)
      3. Trends after mid-twentieth century
   A. Original songs or instrumental themes written for film
   B. Collections of popular songs instead of integrated film scores
   C. Electronic instruments and effects
   D. Wide range of musical styles (e.g., rock, jazz, country, ethnic)
VI. Classical/Concert Music
   A. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century
      1. Professional orchestras and concert halls
      2. Universities and conservatories
      3. Second New England composer school
   B. American nationalistic style
      1. Nationalism vs. universality
      2. Role of folk music
      3. Aaron Copland and other significant composers
   C. Twentieth-century innovations
      1. Collages of sound (Charles Ives)
      2. Electronic and serial music (Milton Babbitt)
      3. Chance music (John Cage)
      4. Minimalism (Philip Glass, Steve Reich)
      5. Multimedia and concept music (Pauline Ontiveros)
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date: March 26, 2013

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.