AMCULT 204 - Themes in American Culture
Section: 002 American Musical Soundscapes: Roots, Routes, and Scenes
Term: WN 2010
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

  • What would “A Day in the Life of Music in the United States” sound like in 2007?
  • What might it have sounded like in 1907 or 1807?
  • Why do some musics remain rooted within their communities, while others find broader audiences and routes of circulation?
  • How does music operate as sonic markers of inclusion or exclusion?
  • How can music contribute to our thinking about citizenship?

This course will examine relationships between music and place throughout the United States. We will examine a range of musical genres, from placed-based traditions to musics belonging to everyone and no one at the same time. We will also examine a range of book, recording and film/video packaging of “American music/s.” We shall weigh tensions between notions of a “musical mainstream” and “musical subcultures,” and consider how music production and consumption promotes social bonding or marginalization. In conceptualizing relationships between music and place, we will scrutinize the discursive dimensions underlying what musics get heard, where that happens, and who and what is not heard.

Required reading will include Music in America by Adelaida Reyes (Oxford 2005) and Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century by Charles Hiroshi Garrett (U California Press, 2008). Students will be responsible for an average of three hours of required listening weekly. Access to a high-speed internet connection will be necessary for much of the assigned listening. There will be writing assignments, including a term project. There will be two objective quizzes, an objective midterm exam, and a final exam.

AMCULT 204 - Themes in American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Note: Students will be auto-enrolled in section 009 when they elect a discussion section (sections 010-012).
003 (DIS)
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
004 (DIS)
Th 2:00PM - 3:00PM
005 (DIS)
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780195146677
Music in America experiencing music, expressing culture, Author: Adelaida Reyes, Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press
ISBN: 9780520254879
Struggling to define a nation : American music and the twentieth century, Author: Charles Hiroshi Garrett., Publisher: University of California Press 2008
ISBN: 9780520244245
Audiotopia : music, race, and America, Author: Josh Kun., Publisher: University of California Press 2005
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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