Introduces different types of folk music practiced in the United States. Examines how pieces, genres, performers, and consumers fit into particular socio-historical contexts as well as issues including identity politics and the roles of the media.
This course is a general introduction to different types of folk music practiced in the United States. While we will not be able to cover every type of folk music that has been practiced in the U.S. (a worthy endeavor that would certainly take many lifetimes!), we will focus on several types of folk music as case studies. Through these case studies, we will discuss how pieces, types of music, artists, and consumers fit into particular socio-historical contexts. We will also explore a number of issues, such as the politics of identity (including race, ethnicity, class, and gender); the roles of the media, the market and technology; senses of history; and the expression of social and political commentary. We will examine genres of music chronologically, more or less, covering primarily the 19th and 20th centuries. We will, however, dip back into earlier times and also think about diverse folk scenes in the 21st century. Previous study of music is not necessary to take this course.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading