Through centuries, societies produced their music as a fundamental part of their culture. Music, as any other cultural artifact is, therefore, a historical product: it is the outcome of social, political, economic, and cultural circumstances in a given moment in history. Through music, then, we can explore the society and the circumstances that have produced it. In this course, we explore music in the United States. We also explore how American history has shaped its musical expression, culture, and society. What do the ghost dances, Aaron Coplands’ Fanfare for the Common Man, Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin tell us about American history and society? In what ways do these songs reflect class, race, ethnic, and gender relations in country and its diversity? What is actually American music? This course investigates America’s fundamental principles of politics, its primary social issues, and its wealth of aesthetic musical initiatives from the colonial period to the present through an exploration of its musical history. Starting from the point that there has never been a single answer to that question, we will examine the unity, diversity, originality, and adaptability of significant political, social, and musical institutions in America.
- Teacher: Leandro Benmergui