RockPop Fall 15

Rock & Popular Music Fall 2015

Announcements, links, and information. As I add new posts, the old posts will move down the page.


12/3/15 Presentations Next Friday and Tell Me What You Think

I am looking forward to our last class today. Remember that your final project/presentation is due during our final exam time, when you will give your presentation to the class and turn in your paper (or whatever you did). Our final exam time is on Friday 12/11 from 3:00pm to 5:30pm. See previous posts for specifics.

I’ve really enjoyed our semester together, and I hope you did too. If you have any thoughts you would like to share with me about your experience with this class (positive, negative, neutral), please follow this link to a google form. You can submit anonymously, if you like.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck on your exams.

See you today and next Friday!


12/1/15 Some Reminders

I hope you enjoyed our tour through different versions of “Landslide” as we discuss covers and YouTube musicians this week. Please come to class next time with some cover songs and/or songs by YouTube musicians you would like to discuss.

  • Remember that every kind of makeup/revisions/retakes for previous assignments and quizzes are due on Thursday, 12/3. Let me know if you need an exception to this.
  • Your final project/presentation is during our final exam time on Friday 12/11 from 3pm until 5:30pm. Note that it starts will start at 3pm rather than our usual class time of 3:30.
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Thursday!

11/17/15 More Music Videos! and more

Thank you for our music video discussion today in class. Next time we will discuss the videos you decide you want to watch and talk about. So come up with one or two yourself, if you like. Know that we probably won’t get to all of them, and those we do watch will probably only be a couple of minutes at most. So, we can’t watch the entire Thriller video, unless you want to spend half the class on it.

A list of information for you as our semester together winds down.

  • Quizzes
    • Today was our last quiz. Everyone who took it goes 100%.
    • I gave you your current grade in the class. If you would like to retake any previous quiz, you have until 12/3 to retake any of the quizzes.
    • For your final grade, I will drop the lowest quiz.
  • Small Assignments
    • If you have any zeros for any of these assignments, I am still willing to accept them or give you something to complete, if it was an in-class activity.
    • You have until 12/3 to do these makeups.
  • Large Assignments
    • If you are planning on revising either large assignment, I am willing to accept these revisions until 12/3.
    • I am also happy to meet with you individually if you want concrete revision feedback.
  • Final Project/Presentation
    • If you decide to play music or a video during your 5-minute presentation, this can only be 1 minute of your time, the rest should be you talking.
    • As I’ve written before and said in class, this project has to be bigger than the two previous large assignments.
      • Generally this means that you write something longer and then also make a 5 minute presentation over some or all of your topic with a visual aid (powerpoint or handout or something else).
      • But if you want to organize it in reverse (a presentation with something else), some of the things you could do include
        • A longer presentation (10 minutes), but this would need to occur during class on Thursday 12/3 so that you have enough time in class.
        • Or write an essay to accompany your presentation that goes farther in-depth than you can in person.
        • There are other possibilities. Just talk to me about what your thinking and I can let know if that will work.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
See you on Thursday!

11/14/15 Music Videos!

I enjoyed our discussion on jazz vocalists on Thursday. Next week is all about music videos, and will included our last listening quiz. This time our listening list will be a viewing list. I am assigning you 5 music videos. Please watch all of them a bunch of times. The quiz on Tuesday (11/17) will ask you to describe what happens in each video (a basic short description of the whole video, or describing a couple of memorable moments, for example).

Music Video Viewing List

YouTube Playlist

We’ll talk about these and other videos in class on Tuesday.
See you on Tuesday!

11/10/15 Continuing with Jazz and the Final Project/Presentation

I hope our varied tour through jazz and discussion were helpful. Here’s a link to the playlist I made for today’s class, if you would like to listen to more possibilities.

Remember to listen to Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife before class on Thursday.

We’ll talk about jazz vocalists next time.
Check the syllabus about the final project presentation. It is the equivalent of a paper plus a 5-minute presentation. Please make sure you also have a visual aid of some kind, whether that is a powerpoint or a handout for your fellow students. The paper is due the same day as the presentation, which is our final exam time (Friday 12/11 3pm-5:30pm). If you would like to do a longer presentation, let me know, and you can do one on the last day of class (Thursday 12/3). Remember that you can do something other than paper, like the large assignments (blog essay, song, etc.).
See you on Thursday!

11/9/15 Jazz Listening for Tomorrow

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this info to you. I’ve been racking my brain for days on how to tackle discussing Jazz in two classes. Anyway, I finally have a way for us to do this.


I am assigning you two albums to listen to. Listen to the first before class tomorrow, and listen to the second before class on Thursday. I am telling you both of them now.

  1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (1959) Spotify | YouTube (Listen for class on Tuesday)
  2. Ella Fitzgerald, Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife (1960) Spotify | YouTube (Listen for class on Thursday)

Since it took me so long to figure something out, we’ll either not have a quiz, or I’ll do another participation quiz to prepare for our discussion on Tuesday.

I’ll have your second large assignments graded for class tomorrow as well.

See you tomorrow!


11/3/15 Radio Reading

I hope our discussion of radio and its relation to music was helpful today. Remember that any one who wants to retake the quiz, will be able to at the end of class on Thursday. Also, I handed out a reading which I will link to below. Please read this before class on Thursday.

During class on Thursday, you will get into small groups and work to program your own imaginary radio show/station. We will spend some time at the end of class talking about what you came up with, etc.

We also chose our final three topics in class today, which we will do in the following order. Here’s a schedule for our last few weeks together.

  • 11/10, 11/12 – Jazz
  • 11/17, 11/19 – Music Videos
  • 11/24 – Extra class for something; 11/26 – No class for Thanksgiving break
  • 12/1, 12/3 – Covers and YouTube Musicians
  • Friday 12/11 3:00pm-5:30pm – Your Final Project Presentations
Our last day of class before the final (Thursday 12/3) will be the last day you will be able to retake any quizzes, makeup any assignments, or revise either of our large assignments.
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Thursday!

10/31/15 Radio Listening and Reading

Thank you so much for our important discussions on Tuesday and Thursday. These conversations can be difficult, but I believe they are necessary to understand how music interacts with our lives and society in multifarious ways.

The lyrics you shared in class and the ones I have in my email are great. I know most of you aren’t used to or comfortable sharing such personal thoughts in artistic form, but know that I am pleased with ALL of them. The goal was to attempt connecting your life to musical creation through lyrics, not whether or not you feel you succeeded at making something “good.” Good art is made through a practice; inspiration is for the lazy.

I have replied to all the emails I got with your second large assignment. If you didn’t give me a hardcopy in class or get an email reply, please (re)send your assignment or hand it to me on Tuesday.

Listening List and Reading

Now for next week. We are talking about “The Death of Radio,” whatever that means. On Thursday, you will work in small groups to program your own radio shows in whatever format you like. On Tuesday, we will discuss different radio formats over the last century and the ones that are successful now.

The following list is the 10 #1 songs for 12 different radio format charts from Mediabase for the week of 11/2 (this week). Your job for the quiz on Tuesday (11/3) is to remember the artist, song title, and at least one chart name for each song. This quiz will be in the useful format.

Spotify playlist (missing the Taylor Swift song)

YouTube playlist (I chose every “official” music video)

  • Top 40 AND Hot AC (Adult Contemporary) – Taylor Swift, “Wildest Dreams”
  • Alternative – Cold War Kids, “First”
  • Rhythmic AND Urban – Drake, “Hotline Bling”
  • Active Rock – Breaking Benjamin, “Angels Fall”
  • Adult Rock (Adult Album Alternative, AAA) – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, “S.O.B”
  • Rock – Shinedown,  “Cut The Cord”
  • Urban AC (Adult Contemporary) – Tyrese, “Shame”
  • AC (Adult Contemporary) – Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”
  • Country – Old Dominion, “Break Up With Him”
  • Christian – MercyMe, “Flawless”
Also in preparation for Tuesday, please read this set of pages on radio formats on Radio Station World. They are various pages with short descriptions of lots of radio formats. Please read through all of them, even the nonmusic ones. This will give us a context for the activities I have planned for Tuesday and Thursday.
See you on Tuesday!

10/22/15 N.W.A Listening and Small Assignment

Today in class we are going to a grab bag of things, but I wanted to give you the upcoming work before class as I’m thinking about it.

We are going to spend next week on one of the hip-hop’s most influential groups, N.W.A. Since their recorded catalog is quite small, I think it would useful to actually listen to a whole album rather than just a selection. Also, I wanted to let you know about our small assignment that I would like talk about in class next Thursday, but since your next large assignment is due that day, I wanted to give you some time to work on it.


  • N.W.A, Straight Outta Compton (1988) Spotify | YouTube
    • Listen to the original album, which has 13 tracks. I have linked to the original on both spotify and a single YouTube video of the whole album.
    • If you want to listen to one of the remastered album with bonus tracks, know that the original ends with “Somthing 2 Dance 2.”
  • If you have time, please listen to the album through at least twice. And also read along and study the lyrics on Genius.
  • Rather than have one of our usual quizzes, I will give some kind of short participation quiz that will ask you some factual questions about the songs and their lyrics. This quiz will help aid our discussion of N.W.A and Straight Outta Compton on Tuesday.

Small Assignment

  • Due Thursday (10/29).
  • N.W.A used hip-hop to both criticize and celebrate the culture they grew up in (some of which is very controversial). With that in mind, please write your own song lyrics (can be hip-hop or any other genre) that criticize and/or celebrate our culture, society, etc.
  • We will share our lyrics in class on Thursday (10/29).
  • I want you to focus on your large assignment, which is due the same day. So this does not need to be long at all.

Large Assignment 2

  • Remember that Large Assignment 2 is due next Thursday (10/29) as well.
See you today in class and on Tuesday!

10/15/15 Start Working on Large Assignment 2

I really enjoyed our conversation in class today. Although we strayed pretty far from Bob Marley and Reggae, we had a good, exciting conversation. This is a good thing. In my mind, our topics are meant to be jumping off points.

Remember that we don’t have class on Tuesday because of fall break. So the retake for the ska/reggae quiz will be on Thursday (10/22).

Please also note that your second large assignment is due two weeks from today (Thursday 10/29). So please start working on that soon.

Have a good fall break.

See you on Thursday!

10/13/15 Jamaican Popular Music Listening List and Reading

Sorry, this update took me so long. I didn’t expect to be so busy while I was out of town that I wouldn’t have time to prepare for this week until last night.

I will turn back your first large assignment today. Please let me know if you would like to revise yours for a better grade.

We’ll be talking about Jamaican Popular Music, mostly ska, rocksteady, and reggae, as they have gone international over the decades.


Anyway, we’ll have our first quiz on this list on Thursday (10/15), and then the retake will be the following Thursday (10/22). For this quiz, you will need to know the artist, the song title, and the genre.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Mento – “Jamaica Farewell” Harry Belafonte (1957)
  • Ska – “Man in the Street” Don Drummond and the Skatalites (1964)
  • Rocksteady – “Rock Steady” Alton Ellis (1967)
  • Reggae – “Do the Reggay” Toots and the Maytals (1968)
  • Reggae – “Vietnam” Jimmy Cliff (1970)
  • Reggae – “Slave Driver” Bob Marley and the Wailers (1973)
  • 2 Tone – “Too Much Too Young” The Specials (1980)
  • Ska Punk/Skacore – “The Impression That I Get” The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (1997)
  • Reggae/Hip-Hop – “No Guns Allowed” Snoop Lion, ft. Drake and Cory B. (2013)
  • Ska Punk – “The Hands That Thieve” Streetlight Manifesto (2013)

Reading for Thursday

Please reading the following article on Bob Marley and Reggae from 1976. You will get a hardcopy in class today.

See you in class today and on Thursday!

10/1/15 Large Assignment Due Today and Next Few Weeks

Make sure you get me your first large assignment, if you haven’t already. Also, please send me a list of your sources, if you did not include them already.

I hope you liked our second day on parody music, focusing on “Weird Al” Yankovic. Here is the playlist I made, and also the feminist parody of “Blurred Lines” that we watched in class.

Remember that I will be out of town next week, and you will have guest lecturer Chris O’Neill for two days (10/6, 10/8). Chris is a musical encyclopedia and has lots of stories from his years doing technical work for rock shows. I’ve given him the liberty to talk about whatever he wants and it should be a lot of fun. I wish I could be here for it.

Since there will be no quizzes or work for you during this next week, please start thinking about your second large assignment, which is due 10/29.

Also, we decided our next three topics in class today. So here in a schedule for the next few weeks.

  • 10/6, 10/8: Guest Chris O’Neill does something awesome for two days
  • 10/13, 10/15: Ska and Reggae (Music styles originating in Jamaica)
  • 10/20: No Class Fall Break!
  • 10/22: Extra Day for something fun or extend a topic to 3 days
  • 10/27, 10/29: N.W.A (Classic Hip-hop group from the late 80s and early 90s; in theaters now)
    • Large Assignment 2 due 10/29
  • 11/3, 11/5: Death of Radio (The history of and changes in music on the radio)

I will create a listening list sometime next week for Ska/Reggae, so you can be prepared for our next quiz which is on 10/13.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

See you in two weeks!

9/29/15 Parody Music Day 1; LA 1 due Next Class

Remember that your first large assignment is due next class (Thursday 10/1).

I hope today’s on class on parody music was informative and made you laugh. Here is a link to a playlist of most of the videos we watched portions of today in class.

(Please note that the humor in the last few videos, especially the ones made directly for YouTube and have millions of views, are meant to be very offensive and my inclusion of them in today’s class does not mean I condone their content. How you feel about them and whether you think they are funny or appropriate, is a discussion we should have at some point. I want you to be aware of how parody music has changed in the digital age. I showed you them on purpose, but know that are people making parodies on YouTube that are not offensive and crude or are criticisms of this aspect of our culture. If I have time, I will look for a few to show you on Thursday or link to.)

We will spend most of next class talking about, watching, and listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

See you on Thursday!


9/22/15 Billboard Assignment due 9/24, LA 1 due 10/1

I hope you enjoyed our tour through old popular bits and Billboard Magazine. Here’s a link to the doc I was using, you want to see the specific issues I was showing you. Old issues of Billboard are available on Google Books.

Remember that your small assignment on your 5 years of Number One Hits is due next class, 9/24. Make sure you are also working on your first Large Assignment due 10/1, a week from Thursday. I will be out of town the following week, so you will not get them back until 10/13.

If you are interested in starting to listen to metal, JT sent me an email with a list of songs that are a good place to start. Thanks, JT!

  • Judas Priest, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)”
  • Iron Maiden, “The Trooper”
  • Metallica, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
  • Black Sabbath, “A National Acrobat”
Also in class, I mentioned some of the strange things I do. My friend Dorian Wallace (the one who called me) and I are Trystero [link to our website]. We perform an avant-garde opera called Perfect Lives and also do a dark covers song cycle we call Macheath and Other Stories [link to our bandcamp]. By myself, I make silly short videos on YouTube. Here’s how I got my haircut. And the first of something called Floor Friday.
See you on Thursday!

9/17/15 Billboard Assignment, Listening List, and Large Assignment 1

Thank you again for our great discussion about rock music. I look forward to our continued work together this semester. Now for next week and Billboard Hits.

Billboard Small Assignment

We have all chosen five year periods for your to discover hit songs and artists and make another one sheet of paper write-up. Here is the info you need.

  • Due Thursday 9/24. We will spend class that day discussing like we did today. I will probably have you start in small groups by decades.
  • Here are the assigned years for everyone.
    • 1940-44: Erica
    • 1945-49: Sydney
    • 1950-54: Maddie
    • 1955-59: Jonathan K.
    • 1960-64: Jon D.
    • 1965-69: Tori
    • 1970-74: Will
    • 1975-79: Jonathan T.
    • 1980-84: JT
    • 1985-89: Michael
    • 1990-94: Danielle
    • 1995-99: DaChe
    • 2000-04: Emily
    • 2005-15: David (me)
  • Now go to this Wikipedia page and look up the Number One Billboard Hits for your five-year period.
  • Decide what songs and artists you would like to talk about, and can fit on one side of one printed page. You could also discuss larger trends among the songs, if you want. How you decide to sift this information into a manageable amount is up to you.
  • Make your handout, and either email it to me by 3pm on Thursday 9/24 or make 15 copies and bring them to class.
  • Good luck!

Billboard Hits Listening List

I have chosen 8 songs, one from each zero year from that massive multi-page list of Number One Billboard Hits. Your job is to know the artist the song title and the year for each song. As usual we will take the quiz at the beginning of class on Tuesday and a retake at the end of class on Thursday.

Note: The Spotify playlist contains a live version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” because the studio version is unavailable on Spotify.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, “Frenesi” (1940)
  • Patti Page, “The Tennessee Waltz” (1950)
  • Chubby Checker, “The Twist” (1960)
  • Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1970)
  • Kenny Rogers, “Lady” (1980)
  • Sinéad O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
  • Santana ft. Rob Thomas, “Smooth” (2000)
  • Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls” (2010)

Large Assignment 1

Please go reread the syllabus (top of the page!) to get an idea what the large assignment is all about. It is an opportunity for you to research something about music in more depth and maybe even be creative. Note that these things are not huge or lengthy, just bigger than the small assignments.

  • I have pushed the due date for this work back to Thursday October 1, two weeks from today.
  • Here is the rubric for the large assignments, which will also be used for the final project/presentation.
  • You can choose any topic you want, but you can choose to focus it on something relating to something we have talked about in class.
  • We will discuss this more in class on Tuesday.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
See you on Tuesday!

9/15/15 Continue with Rock Discussion on Thursday

Thank you for our great discussion today. We will continue with the rest of your Rock topics on Thursday. There will also be a retake of today’s quiz at the end of class.

See you on Thursday!


9/10/15 Rock Assignment due Tuesday

Thank for your a great discussion today on your song reviews and the Bob Dylan profile. A lot of great thoughts today from you all.

Remember that if you want to retake the quiz from this week, just let me know and we can do it sometime outside of class.

Here’s a link to Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” we heard in class. Also, Will shared a Bo Burnam song with me that’s very funny called “Repeat Stuff.” It does a very good job making fun of pop music love song conventions.

To give you what I hope is a better sense of Alex Ross’s writing skills, here is an article called “Listen To This.” It’s a long essay, so this is just if you are interested. I mentioned in class that I liked Alex Ross’s writing so much that I typed out one of his books. The award-winning book is a cultural history of twentieth-century classical music called The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. It is in Dacus library.

(By the way, an old learning method for musicians who were learning how to write music was to copy out the musical score of a master’s work note by note. Visual artists still do this with paintings. I did it with Ross’s book, because I wanted to write better and had a lot of free time while I was unemployed during the recession. In the end, if you want to get good at something, you have to do things other people think are strange.)

Now to prepare for our week on Rock Music you have an assignment.

Rock Assignment

  • Due Tuesday (9/10)
  • Please research your chosen topic, and create a one-page handout covering that information. Try to stay on one side of the page if you can, but you can go onto the back if needed.
  • Email me your handout by 3pm, so that I can make copies. If you can’t do this, you will need to make 15 copies of your handout.
  • If you have a single artist or band topic, please make sure you give us some context for your band or artist.
  • Here are the topics as you chose them today in class. If you want to change your topic, just let me know.
    • Coldplay – Sydney
    • Eric Clapton – Will
    • The Mamas and the Papas – Jonathan T.
    • Rock and Rap – Erica
    • Elton John – Emily
    • Music and an event TBD – Maddie
    • New Wave of British Heavy Metal – Michael
    • Grateful Dead – JT
    • Chuck Berry – Jonathan K.
    • Alternative Rock – Danielle
    • Vietnam Protest Music – Tori
    • Female Faces of Rock – Jon D.
  • We will discuss your topics in small groups and as a class on Tuesday.

Listening List

Update on 9/11. Our listening list now exists! Sorry that it has 11 songs instead of 10, but it’s really hard to whittle 60 years of music down this far. Anyway, you need to know the artist, the song title, and the date of release for the quiz on Tuesday. Make sure you follow the links to my playlists below to start with, so you don’t go out and find the wrong music.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Fats Domino, “Blueberry Hill” (1956)
  • The Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
  • Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody to Love” (1967)
  • Genesis, “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” (1971)
  • Patti Smith Group, “Ask the Angels” (1976)
  • Queen, “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980)
  • Metallica, “Master of Puppets” (1986)
  • U2, “One” (1991)
  • Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know” (1995)
  • Coldplay, “Clocks” (2002)
  • Arcade Fire, “Ready to Start” (2010)

Good luck on your assignments and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

See you on Tuesday!

9/8/15 Review Assignment and Reading for Thursday

I hope our discussion about different ways to approach writing about music was helpful today. Also, I will leave time at the end of class on Thursday (9/10) for a retake of this week’s quiz.

Write Your Own Review Assignment

  • Due Thursday (9/10): Write a short review (a couple hundred words) of one of our listening list songs.
  • If you like, you can use the reviews we read as examples of how to go about this assignment.
  • I haven’t decided how yet, but we will be sharing them with each other in class somehow on Thursday.

Reading for Thursday

See you on Thursday!

9/3/15 Reading and Listening for “Writing About Music” Week

I hope you enjoyed today’s class where we played music together, and our short discussion about Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video. I have three readings and a listening list for you. Here are the specifics.

Readings for Tuesday

Please read the following two positive album reviews on Pitchfork before class on Tuesday (9/8).

Optional: Read a classic negative review of a now highly regarded album.

Longer Reading for Thursday

We will discuss a longer musician profile in class on Thursday (9/10). So, I will give this to you now so that you can make sure you have time to read it. It’s about Bob Dylan.

Listening List

Our second listening quiz will be at the beginning of class on Tuesday, and will be over the following listening list. For the quiz, you’ll need to know the artist name, the album title, and the song title.

Spotify playlistYouTube playlist

  • Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, Beyoncé, “Drunk in Love”
  • D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah, “Another Life”
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin, “Dazed and Confused”
  • Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, “Tangled Up in Blue”
  • Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
  • The B-52’s, Cosmic Thing, “Love Shack”
  • LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out, “Around the Way Girl”
  • Patsy Cline, Patsy Cline Showcase, “Crazy”

In Class

On Tuesday, after the quiz, we will discuss the reviews and talk about writing our own. I will give you some time in class to start an assignment due on Thursday: writing your own short review of one song on our listening list. On Thursday, we will discuss the longer reading and your own reviews. I will collect your reviews at the end of class on Thursday.

See you on Tuesday!

9/1/15 Harmony Reading for Wednesday and First 3 Topics

I hope you enjoyed charting your way through a couple of songs today in class to figure out their forms. We will explore a more detailed aspect of music on Wednesday: harmony. So please read the following page on my website before class on Wednesday. We will play music together huddled around the piano and a keyboard.

We also chose three topics through a mildly confusing process today (I’m sorry about that!). And they are:

  • Rock Music (Week 4: 9/15 & 9/17)
    • Generally a history and its various subgenres
  • Billboard Hits (Week 5: 9/22 & 9/24)
    • Also generally a history and looking at the most popular songs through the decades
  • Parody Music (Week 6: 9/29 & 10/1)
    • We’ll look at artists like “Weird Al” Yankovic and Lonely Island among others.

Also, I’ve decided to take next week and do Writing about Music (Week 3: 9/8 & 9/10), which should make the rest of the semester easier as I ask you to write yourself. We’ll talk about reviews, articles, interviews, blogs, listicles, etc. And hopefully write some.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

See you on Thursday!

8/27/15 Form in Music Reading and Listening for Tuesday

Thanks so much for a great discussion today in class. I’m really looking forward to this semester. Make sure you think about what topics you want to cover. We spend some time at the beginning of class making a few decisions.

We’ll spend next week talking about musicianly stuff. On Tuesday, we will talk about analyzing song forms. We will get our hands dirty trying to figure out how to break songs down into parts. So make sure you come prepared by doing the reading and listening actively so you know what is happening in each song, even if you are having trouble labeling them.


Read the following page on my music theory resource, Flippin’ Theory!, before class on Tuesday.

This page will give you a basic understanding of three song types and has four musical examples. I recommend that you listen to each song all the way through first, and then see if you hear any sections yourself, and then compare you findings with my analysis. Once you have a clear idea, listen again all the way through to see if you can follow the form as you listen.


Here are five songs. Four are the musical examples from the reading. The fifth is a song with a form you should be able to figure out from the information provided on your own. So, if you have time, try to figure out the form of the fifth song before class on Monday.

I will have a couple more problematic or complex songs to try in class together. We’ll do a nongraded practice quiz with these five songs on Tuesday, so you know what to expect with future quizzes. Let me know if you have any questions or problems.

See you on Tuesday!

8/25/15 Syllabus and First Day Survey

Welcome to Rock & Popular Music! I hope we will have a fun semester together. We’ll find out tomorrow whether the class will make and we get to do it. In the meantime, you have three things to do.

  1. Please read the Syllabus linked to at the top of the page. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about it.
  2. Fill out this online First Day Survey to tell my a little about yourself and the music you listen to.
  3. Be prepared to discuss what topics you would like to cover over the next few weeks on Thursday.

Hopefully, I’ll see you on Thursday!