RockPop Spring 15

Rock & Popular Music Spring 2015

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

Syllabus          Calendar          Listening

4/22/15 Anime Stuff and Last Website Update

I have finally compiled an Anime listening list and scenes we will view today in class. That is, Braylee, Cat, and Stephen emailed me lots of music and clips, and I put them in one place for us. Thank you so much for your help!

Anime Listening List on YouTube
Anime Scenes on YouTube


  • If you are planning on doing any quiz makeups or revisions to large assignments, Monday 4/27 is the last day I will accept them.
  • Our final exam time (when we will do presentations and you will turn in your final project) is Tuesday, 5/5 from 3pm to 5:30. Note that our start time is a half-hour earlier than usual.
  • Make sure you have some kind of visual aid for your presentation. If you are making a handout, you can email it to me and I will make copies.
  • Let me know if you have any ideas for things you would like to do for our last class day on Monday.
Good luck on the rest of your semester!

4/15/15 Prep for Anime Music and the Last Day of Class

I hope you enjoyed watching clips from various musicals today in class. As discussed today, there will be no quiz for Anime Music. I will make a listening list at some point for you to peruse, but I need your help selecting music and scenes for us to watch and listen to next week. I know very little about this stuff, so please email me songs for a listening list, and clips of specific scenes you would like us to watch in class. I was thinking that we would watch a full episode of a specific show on Monday, such as Cowboy Bebop.

Also, we have some time in class on the final Monday 4/27 to talk about or look at something that you are interested. Email me if you have any ideas for this class day. We will have at least one student presentation of their final project during that class.

See you on Monday!

4/13/15 Final Presentation

Today we will look at the history of musicals, watch some clips, and discuss them. In class on Wednesday, we will discuss specific musical chunks, which I will add to the website tonight. We have 5 class days left, including today before our finals week meeting, where you will present your final project. Here some updated info on the project for you.

Final Presentation with Project

  • As laid out in the syllabus, this final assignment is basically a large assignment with a presentation added.
  • Again, you can choose your topic and medium like the large assignments.
  • So write a paper, a blog essay, make a video, make some art, the same way you did for the large assignments. Then you talk in class about what you found, made, think, etc.
  • Please make some kind of handout separate of your paper or a powerpoint presentation, etc. Really just some kind of visual aid for your presentation. I can make photocopies, if you send it to me in advance. You can use the podium computer for your powerpoint presentation, if you choose this option. Talk to me if your idea would need some other form of visual, or if  using one doesn’t make any sense.
  • You can play music, but no more than a minute total. So choose your musical examples carefully.
  • Our Final Time is Tuesday 5/5 from 3pm to 5:30pm. You will present your project then, and your project is due during this time.
  • Each of you have 10 minutes to present, including time for some questions. I would plan on doing a 5 minute presentation with 5 minutes for questions and the the time needed for switching between people.
  • If you would like more time to present your project, you may do so on Monday 4/27, our last class, but note this is a whole week earlier. Please speak to me if you would like to do this.
  • You will be graded using the large assignment rubric on your project and completing your presentation including answering questions.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
See you on Wednesday!

4/8/15 Broadway Musicals for next week

Here’s the listening list for the next week’s quiz on Broadway Musicals. Please learn the composer (team) names, the musical title, and the song title.

Spotify playlist Note: “Ease on Down the Road” is NOT on this playlist.
YouTube playlist

  • Cole Porter, Anything Goes, “I Get a Kick Out of You” (1934)
  • Richard Rodgers (music)  and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics), Oklahoma!, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” (1943)
  • Meredith Willson, The Music Man, “Seventy-Six Trombones” (1957)
  • Galt MacDermot (music), James Rado and Gerome Ragni (lyrics), Hair, “Aquarius” (1967)
  • Stephen Sondheim, Company, “The Ladies Who Lunch” (1970)
  • Charlie Smalls, The Wiz, “Ease on Down the Road” (1974)
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera, “The Music of the Night” (1986)
  • Jonathan Larson, Rent, “Seasons of Love” (1996)
  • Stephen Schwartz, Wicked, “Defying Gravity” (2003)
  • Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots, “Sex Is in the Heel” (2012)
See you on Monday!

4/6/15 More Video Games Stuff

I hope you enjoyed our discussion of the various video games and their music today. For those of you who want to bring in a game system or a laptop, so we can play a specific game you own in class, please do. I’ll have a small television that will hopefully connect with your game system cables, and I’ll have cables to connect your laptop to the podium video/sound system.

Also, I wanted to share with you a video a music scholar I know made. There is a new subspeciality of music scholars who study video games now. They call themselves ludomusicologists. He presented an academic paper at the first video game music conference, and then made a youtube video version of it. It’s around 20 minutes long and looks at music in Bioshock Infinite. If you are interested, here is a link.

Make sure you are starting to work on your final project and, those of you who want to, do revisions on your large assignments.

See you on Wednesday!

4/3/15 Video Games Listening List and the Final Project

Here is our listening list for our video game music quiz that will be at the beginning of class on Monday. Please remember the composer’s last name, video game title, and the title of the specific song.

YouTube playlist
I’m not going to try making a Spotify playlist.

  • Jeremy Soule, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, “Dragonborn”
  • Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy X, “To Zanarkand”
  • Richard Jacques, Sonic R, “Can You Feel the Sunshine?”
  • Inon Zur, Fallout 3, “Main Title”
  • Junichi Masuda, Pokémon X and Y, “Boutique”
  • Koji Kondo, The Legend of Zelda, “Title Theme”
  • Takashi Tateishi, Mega Man 2, “Dr. Wily’s Castle”
  • Koji Kondo, Super Mario Bros. 2, “Overworld Theme”
  • Yoko Shimomura, Kingdom Hearts, “Dearly Beloved”
  • Ari Pulkkinen, Angry Birds, “Main Theme”
I would like to spend a good portion of Monday’s class discussing this music and the video games they come from. I’ve take half of this list from music sent to me by some of you, be ready to talk about why you chose this music for us.
Also, I hope to have us play a game during class on Wednesday. Multiple people sent me music from Skyrim. Does anyone own this game?
See you on Monday!

3/30/15 Moving on to Video Games and Last Two Topics

I hope you enjoyed watching and analyzing Looney Tunes cartoons in class today. Here’s a link to a document where you find the links to the particular cartoons we watched.

We also chose our last two topics, and they will be Broadway Musicals and Anime Music. We will do these two after we do three days on video game music.

Your second large assignment is due on Wednesday. I hope to have them graded to get back to you on Monday. If anyone is interested in presenting for a few minutes on your assignment, there is time at the beginning of class on Wednesday.

Finally, there is nothing extra to prepare for class on Wednesday. Please spent tomorrow finishing your large assignment. I will give you the listening list next class, and our quiz on video game music will be at the beginning of class on Monday. Email me information and/or links if you would like to give me ideas for specific games, music, etc.

See you on Wednesday!

3/25/15 More Movies and Large Assignment 2

I hope you enjoyed discussing the movie scenes today. I had a lot of fun. As we discussed, we will do a third day on movie music on Monday and start video game music next Wednesday. Also on Monday, we will choose future topics at the beginning of class and do the retake of today’s quiz at the end. We will watch some Looney Tunes cartoons and other scenes, if you have any specific ideas, email me.

Large Assignment 2

Large Assignment 2 is due next Wednesday April 1st. I hope you have been working on it already. I won’t assign any outside of class work besides quiz prep before then so you have time to focus on it. Follow the same procedures we did for the first large assignment. Also, if any of you are doing revisions of the first large assignment, please get those to me soon.


As I stated in an email earlier today, I am making some posters to put up around campus to advertise this class for the summer and fall semesters. I would like some student endorsements to include on the posters to hopefully get other students interested. So, if you have some time and are interested, please email me a short sentence about what you like about this class. This will help me get this class to become a permanent part of the nonmajor music curriculum. Thanks for your help!

See you on Monday!

3/23-24/15 Movie Music

I hope you all had a restful spring break. We will spend this week talking about movie music. We will take the quiz at the beginning of class on Wednesday (3/25), and anyone who wants to do a retake can take it at the end of class on Monday next week (3/30). Below are the listening for this week, and some videos for you to watch for class on Wednesday.


This week you will want to know three pieces of information for the quiz, as listed for each track: 1. composer, 2. movie title, and 3. section title.

Spotify playlist
YouTube playlist

  • Max Steiner, Gone with the Wind, “Tara’s Theme” (1939)
  • Bernard Herrmann, Psycho, “Prelude” (1960)
  • Elmer Bernstein, The Magnificent Seven, “Main Titles and Calvera’s Visit” (1960)
  • Maurice Jarre, Lawrence of Arabia, “This Is the Desert” (1962)
  • Henri Mancini, The Pink Panther, “The Pink Panther Theme” (1963)
  • Nino Rota, The Godfather, “Main Title (The Godfather Waltz)” (1972)
  • Jerry Goldsmith, Alien, “The Alien Planet” (1979)
  • John Williams, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, “Flying Theme” (1982)
  • Tan Dun, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, “Farewell” (2000)
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch, The Social Network, “Hand Covers Bruise” (2010)


Please watch the following videos from these five movies before class next time. We will discuss them in class on Wednesday.

See you on Wednesday!

3/9/15 Next Two Topics Chosen and Songs to Listen to for Wed

I hope today’s lecture on instruments in rock music was interesting. If you are interested in a longer, more insightful look at this topic, we have access to an online version of Walter Everett’s The Foundations of Rock from the library.

Today in class we chose the next two topics: Movie Music and Video Game Music. Some of you mentioned specific games or specific movie clips you were interested in discussing. Please email me these ideas, so I can include them in my planning. We will return to our regular listening quizzes and these topics after next week’s Spring Break.

On Wednesday, we will discuss lyrics in class. I will bring a packet for each of you with the lyrics to each of the following five songs. So please listen to these songs before class on Wednesday.

I will also give a makeup Quiz 5 (vocal groups) at the end of class for anyone who is interested.

See you on Wednesday!

3/2/15 Harmony! Reading for Wednesday

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, and if you have a musical instrument you can play that is portable, bring it will you, so we can play music together on Wednesday. The rest of us will be huddled around the piano and a keyboard.

If anyone wants to retake Quiz 3 (Protest music) at the end of class, we can do that as well.
See you on Wednesday!

2/27/15 Form! Reading and Listening for Monday

I have graded the large assignments and in general I am very pleased. I have given you all a few comments, if you would like to make revisions. I have more specific feedback available, if you would like to speak to me individually. I look forward to the second one due on Wednesday 4/1. Start thinking now.

In the meantime, we are moving forward with our exploration of musicianly stuff for the next four classes. We will begin on Monday 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 Monday.

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 the 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 on Monday. Remember that we will not have any new listening quizzes for a couple of weeks. There will be a makeup quiz no. 2 (History) at the end of class on Monday. Let me know if you have any questions or problems.
See you on Monday!

2/19/15 Vocal Groups Listening List, and Large Assignment 1 Due

Thank you all for your obituaries yesterday. I learned a lot. As we discussed at the end of class, after this coming week, we will spend two weeks working with more specifically musical ideas (form, harmony, instruments, etc.). There will be no listening quizzes during those two weeks, so that those of you who want to retake earlier quizzes can focus on that. Note that there will be a listening quiz for our week on vocal groups.

So now we will look at musical groups that focus on vocal harmony and use a back-up band rather than the singers playing instruments themselves. There is no reading for Monday’s class, since you should be working on your large assignment due on Monday (2/23).

Vocal Groups Listening List

Reading: None.
For this quiz, remember the song title, the artist, and the decade the song comes from (ex. 1960s).

Spotify playlist
YouTube playlist

  • The Chords, “Sh-Boom” (1954)
  • The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” (1958)
  • The Crystals, “Then He Kissed Me” (1963)
  • The Supremes, “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1965)
  • The Temptations, “Get Ready” (1966)
  • The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (1974)
  • New Edition, “Mr. Telephone Man” (1984)
  • Boyz II Men, “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)
  • Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (1996)
  • NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (2000)
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Monday!

2/16/15 Large Assignment Rubric and Obit for Wednesday

Sorry about the rubric building today, but I needed you to see what goes into to decided how to grade these kinds of things. (It’s hard!) This is something to consider as you are making your assignment. I hope you enjoyed the whirlwind tour through Michael Jackson.

So, here’s the rubric and make sure you read the syllabus for more information about the large assignment (due Mon 2/23).

Also, remember that the “obituary” is due on Wednesday, and we need to make copies for everyone. So if you email me yours before class, I will make them.

See you on Wednesday!

2/11/15 Stuff for Large Assignment 1 and our Next Topic

Thank you all for sharing your protest lyrics today and being willing to discuss all of those important topics. We had a wonderful conversation. So we need to prepare for the first large assignment and our next topic: Sudden Deaths of Famous Musicians.

Large Assignment 1

I have moved the due date for large assignment 1 (LA1) back until Monday 2/23 (about a week and half from now). Check our syllabus page for information on LA1. Remember that you can be creative if you like and go outside the examples or possibilities I came up with. If you want to step outside specific songs we’ve studied or topics we’ve talked about that’s fine. Just make sure you tell me about your idea before you turn it in. We will spend time in class on Monday talking about LA1 and set up a rubric for grading it.

New Listening List

This time you need to remember the artist, the song title, and how the specific musician died.

Spotify playlist NOTE: The Aaliyah song is not in the Spotify playlist!
YouTube playlist

  • Buddy Holly, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” (1959) Plane crash in 1959
  • Patsy Cline, “Sweet Dreams” (1963) Plane crash in 1963
  • Janis Joplin, “Me and Bobby McGee” (1971) Heroin overdose in 1970
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Free Bird” (1974) Ronnie Van Zant, Plane crash in 1977
  • John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” (1980) Assassinated in 1980
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Zion Train” (1980) Melanoma cancer in 1981
  • Nirvana, “Heart-Shaped Box” (1993) Kurt Cobain, Suicide by shotgun in 1994
  • Tupac, “2 of Americaz Most Wanted” (1996) Murdered in drive-by shooting in 1996
  • The Notorious B.I.G., “Somebody’s Gotta Die” (1997) Murdered by single assailant in 1997
  • Aaliyah, “Rock the Boat” (2002) Plane crash in 2001
  • Amy Winehouse, “Me & Mr Jones” (2006) Alcohol overdose in 2011
  • Jenni Rivera, “La Misma Gran Señora” (2012) Plane crash in 2012

Reading and Small Assignment for Wednesday (2/18)

Research a musician of your own choice who died unexpectedly. They can be on the listening list or not. Type “musician deaths” into Google if you are having trouble thinking of a person. Then write up a maximum 1-page obituary discussing the musician’s death, life, and music. Follow the same procedure we did for the history chapter summaries: email your obit to me so I can make copies or make 14 copies yourself and bring them to class on Wednesday (2/18). Note that this is not due on Monday. This is because I want you to use the next few days to work on your large assignment mentioned earlier.
Have a good rest of your week, and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
See you on Monday!

2/10/15 Your Genre Songs etc.

I asked you a couple of weeks ago for songs that were good examples of genres and ones that didn’t fit genre categories or blended genres.

Here are the genre songs that we heard in class.

Here are the songs that don’t fit a genre or blend genres that you emailed me.
See you on Wednesday!

2/9/15 Write Your Own Protest Lyrics

We talked about a lot of reasons the protest songs we studied were written. Now it’s your turn. Find something you want to protest and write some lyrics for a protest song protesting that very thing. How many lyrics you write is up to you. You will be sharing these songs with your colleagues in class next time. If you need some guidance, use one of the songs we’ve studied (or another protest song) as a guide. We will also talk about the first large assignment, which is due next week.

Also I mentioned in class today a protest I did in my classes last semester, you can read that if you like here.

I’ve also been meaning to share some things with you. Your songs you chose as examples of genreless or crossing genres and two videos that Dre’Sha wanted to share with you all about Chuck Berry. Look for that stuff here sometime tomorrow.

Let me know if you have any questions. I will give you the listening list and stuff to do for our Sudden Deaths topic for next week on Wednesday.

See you on Wednesday!

2/4/15 Reading and Listening for Topic 3: Protest Music

I am very pleased with your work today on creating your own outlines for music history books. You all came up with great book ideas, and hopefully some of you will write one someday. If you are interested the rest of Elijah Wald’s book is a great read for another way to look at the history of popular music that is different from our textbook or other traditional ways of considering rock music.

Now we move onto topics you all selected. Our first is Protest Music. I found a great book that goes into the history and other information about specific songs. So here are the listening and reading stuff to do before Monday.


For this week’s quiz, you will need to remember the artist name, song title, and what the song protests. (Don’t worry about the year.)

  • Pete Seeger, “We Shall Overcome” (1963)
  • Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” (1939)
  • Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land” (1951)
  • Bob Dylan, “Masters of War” (1963)
  • Nina Simone, “Mississippi Goddam” (1964)
  • Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1964)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Ohio” (1970)
  • Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On” (1971)
  • The Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen” (1977)
  • N. W. A., “Fuck tha Police” (1988)
  • Rage Against the Machine, “Killing in the Name” (1993)
  • Common and John Legend, “Glory” (2014)


You will be reading selections from Hardeep Phull’s Story behind the Protest Song, which surveys 50 songs protest songs from the 20th century. You need to read about at least 3 different songs.

Let me know if you have any questions. (Remember that you should be beginning work on the first large assignment.)
See you on Monday!

2/2/15 Continuing History

Thank you everyone for your work on making the chapter summaries. You all did a great job discussing our textbook together in small groups. Those summaries will be helpful to you as our semester progresses. Now for what to do before class on Wednesday.


Please read the introduction from Elijah Wald’s How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music. [The previous link is to the introduction itself as a PDF. We can access to the whole book online through library resources here, if you are interested.]

Questions for In-Class Writing

  • What did you think of the textbook? What did you like/dislike?
  • What was included in the book and what was left out? Why do think this was?
  • Compare the way Covach/Flory discuss music history versus Wald.
  • What do you think of Wald’s criticisms of the way popular music history is usually discussed?
  • If you were writing music history, what would you focus on?
  • Feel free to ask and answer your own questions.
We will spend 10 minutes at the beginning of class writing, and then discuss the reading and your writing for about 30 minutes.
We will also spend some time talking about writing about music and the various ways we can approach it. I will also give you information for our next topic: protest music. Also, I would like you to think of some things you would like to do in class outside of this discussion format we’ve been using. We will also do the retake quiz at the end of class. Let me know if have any questions.
See you on Wednesday!

1/26/15 Beginning Topic 2: History; Large Assignment 1

I hope you enjoyed our first topic on the slippery concept of genre in music. Please email me your two songs I had you choose for today’s class. I want to make a list of them.

Now to start preparing for our second topic on history. Remember that there is no class on Wednesday. I will be in New York, hopefully.


Each of you now has a chapter to read from our textbook, What’s That Sound?, before class on Monday (2/2).

  • After you read the chapter and listen to some of the music mentioned, please summarize and synthesize your chapter in one page (try to keep to the front, but you can use the back if you must).
  • When you finish your page, email me ( your document, or a link to where it is online. I will make photocopies of everyone’s summary so we can each have one for class on Monday. If you don’t do this, you need to bring 16 copies with you.
  • Your summary can look any way you want it to (narrative prose, bullet points, images, etc.), but make sure that it will be a useful tool for your colleagues.
  • If you get to the point where there is way too much stuff to include, use your own judgement about what to leave out. Everything in each chapter is not of equal importance, I trust you to sift the most important stuff from everything else.
  • Here the list of who is doing which chapters, in case you forget which one you are doing.
    1. Stephen
    2. Dre’Sha
    3. Masanobu
    4. Braylee
    5. Cruz
    6. Lauren
    7. Liz
    8. Anna
    9. Cat
    10. Joshua
    11. Roger
    12. Jeremy
    13. Nathan
    14. Darby

Listening List

In the future, I will keep the other lists at 12 songs as the maximum. But I wanted to include a song from each chapter. Our book has a listening guide for each song below. Make sure you read those as you listen to the music. The page numbers below are the pages for the listening guides for each song.

This week make sure you know the artist, the song title, and the year of the song for the quiz on Monday (2/2).

Spotify playlist NOTE: The Beatles song is not in the Spotify playlist!
YouTube playlist

  • Chapter 1: Big Joe Turner, “Shake Rattle and Roll” (1954) p. 69
  • Chapter 2: Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956) p. 14 [in the introduction]
  • Chapter 3: The Everly Brothers, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958) p. 141
  • Chapter 4: The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963) p. 171
  • Chapter 5: The Beach Boys, “California Girls” (1965) p. 204
  • Chapter 6: James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1” (1965) p. 249
  • Chapter 7: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (1967) p. 281
  • Chapter 8: Santana, “Evil Ways” (1970) p. 312
  • Chapter 9: Parliament, “Tear the Root Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)” (1976) p. 360
  • Chapter 10: Boston, “More Than a Feeling” (1976) p. 382
  • Chapter 11: Madonna, “Like a Virgin” (1985) p. 425
  • Chapter 12: Public Enemy, “Don’t Believe the Hype” (1988) p. 473
  • Chapter 13: Tori Amos, “Crucify” (1992) p. 506
  • Chapter 14: OutKast, “Hey Ya” (2003) p. 566

Large Assignment 1

Your first large assignment is due on Wednesday, 2/18. This is in three weeks. Please be thinking about what you would like to do for the assignment (your topic, song, etc. and whether a paper, video, blogpost, etc.). Let me know sometime next week what you are planning on doing. After you know what you will do, we will create a rubric for your assignments.

See you on Monday!

1/21/15 Continued Work on Genre

I hope you all enjoyed our conversation today on both the article we read and our listening list. I look forward to our continued conversations throughout the semester. So to prepare for class on Monday, I ask that you do two things.

  1. Think about the following questions as you prepare to write for about 10-15 minutes at the beginning of class next time (Monday 1/26). You can work on this outside of class if you like, or bring notes to help you. You can also show up and write, if you prefer. Make sure you have some paper to write with or a laptop. I am willing to collect anyone’s writing who would like comments.
    • What is genre in music? Do you think you can describe it? Why or why not?
    • How do songs in the same genre relate to one another? What do they have in common?
    • How might we determine boundaries between genres? What does it mean to crossover?
    • In what ways do you think genres are helpful? problematic?
    • Feel free to come up with your own questions or ways to discuss genre in music.
  2. Choose two songs you like to share in class on Monday.
    • One that is a great example of a specific genre.
    • The other is a song that either blurs genres or doesn’t fit well into any genre.
Make sure you have access to a copy of our textbook by next week. I will assign you each a chapter of our book for you to read and summarize in a handout for the rest of the class. We will choose chapters together at the end of class on Monday. Remember that we will not have class on Wednesday next week. Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Monday!

1/15/15 Listening List for Topic 1

Here is the promised first listening list to go with our topic on genres. Please listen to these songs for the next few days. Make sure you know each songs titles and artists as I list them below, as well as be able to identify the correct genre. We will have our first quiz on Wednesday over this list. Since it will be the first quiz, everyone who takes the quiz will get full credit. This way we can all figure out the process.

After the quiz, will discuss our reading on genre (linked to in the previous post) and these songs.

Spotify playlist
YouTube playlist

  • Mahalia Jackson, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”: Gospel
  • Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, “It’s Mighty Dark to Travel”: Bluegrass
  • The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody”: Blue-eyed soul
  • Toots & the Maytals, “Do the Reggay”: Reggae
  • The Turbans, “When You Dance”: Doo-wop
  • Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”: Hip-hop
  • Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, “Good Hearted Woman”: Outlaw country
  • Model 500 [Juan Atkins], “No UFOs (Vocal)”: Techno
  • The Raspberries, “Go All the Way”: Power-pop
  • Aretha Franklin, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”: Rhythm & Blues, Soul
  • Steppenwolf, “Born to Be Wild”: Heavy metal
  • ? and the Mysterians, “96 Tears”: Punk rock
  • Jimmie Rodgers, “The Soldier’s Sweetheart”: Hillbilly [Country]
  • D’Angelo, “Brown Sugar”: Neo-soul
  • Roy Brown, “Good Rockin’ Tonight”: Jump blues, (Rock ‘n’ Roll?)
Happy listening!

1/14/15 Updated Syllabus, Added Calendar, and Topic 1

I hope you enjoyed our process of selecting topics today. Also thank you again for your survey answers. They are helpful to me.


I have updated the wording of various parts and added other parts to our online syllabus, which I will transfer to the official syllabus tomorrow morning.

  • See especially the changes under “Required Work and Grading Policy,” which are mostly just rewordings and clarifications.
  • Also read the new section “Policies on Missed Work, Late Work and Makeups” which replaces the “Makeup Test and Exam Policy” that was designed for a class with tests rather than assignments.
  • Let me know if you have any concerns, questions, or corrections.


I have added a course calendar to the website to regularly update with due dates, topics as we decide on them, and other time sensitive information. See the calendar link above.

Our Topic Choices

As we selected and agreed in class, our first five topics in order will be

  • The Problem of Genre(s)
  • History and Its Discontents
  • Protest Music: Music and Politics
  • Sudden Deaths of Famous Musicians: Music and Celebrity
  • Girl Groups and Boy Bands: Vocal Groups through the Decades

Reading for Topic 1: The Problems of Genre(s)

Please follow the link below to our first reading for our topic on genre. We will discuss this article, as well as the music on our listening list during our next class, Wednesday, 1/21.

It’s late and I need to be thinking clearly to choose a good sampling of songs for this topic, so I will be making the listening list tomorrow morning. I will let you know when the list is ready.
Have a good night, and see you on Wednesday!

1/12/15 Syllabus and Survey

I hope you all enjoyed our first day of class listening to and talking about music. Now I need you to do two things.

  1. Read the syllabus. (Make you also check out the PDF version at the top of the page.)
  2. Take the survey either today or Tuesday. I will need time to read your responses on Wednesday in preparation for class.

In class on Wednesday, we will be talking about how we would like to structure our class together. You can email me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to our semester together.

Here are the songs we listened to in class:

See you on Wednesday!