RockPop Spring 16

Rock & Popular Music Spring 2016

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


4/20 Last Update

Today you have a short assignment due about a song from a musical. We’ll spend some time today in class talking about the songs you selected. We’ll also do a retake of the Musicals quiz near the end of class. I will also pass out a questionnaire for your thoughts about this class to help me improve for future semesters.

A few things to remember in the last few days we have left.

  • All makeups etc are due by Monday (4/25).
  • Presentations start on Monday (4/25) and go through our final exam time on Tuesday 5/3 (starting at 3pm). Please make sure you attend both classes. These presentations are for all of us. Please ask your colleagues questions.
  • There is no need to dress up for your presentation.
  • See below (posts on 4/4 & 4/8) for your presentation day and time as well as guidelines for your project and presentation.
Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck on all your finals and the end of the semester. It’s been a pleasure to talk about music with you all.
See you today, Monday, and the last Tuesday of finals week!

4/18 Musicals Assignment for Wednesday and Makeup Due Date

Today is our first class day on Musicals. We’ll take our last listening quiz (with opportunity to take again at the end of class on Wednesday). There is also one final short writing assignment.

The final firm due date for project revisions, quiz retakes, and assignment makeups is next Monday (4/25).

Musicals Assignment

  • Due Wednesday 4/20
  • Write a short 100-200 word essay about one song from a musical.
  • You choose the song. It can be from our listening list or another song from any musical.
  • The goal of your essay is discuss the purpose and effect of the song in the musical. Some example questions you might want to answer.
    • Which character(s) is (are) singing this song?
    • What kind of song is it? (Solo? Chorus? Ensemble?)
    • Where is it in the musical? (Does it end Act I?)
    • Does this song advance the plot? Does it explore a specific emotion?
    • What does this song tell us about who is singing?
    • Is the song effectively place in the story?
    • Does the character know they are singing?
  • An example essay for “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” from  Oklahoma! might discuss that the song opens the musical and describes the sunrise. Curly, the main male character, is also being heard singing about the gorgeous landscape by Aunt Eller, who interjects some questions between the verses of the song. It also explores Curly’s general affable mood, which will later be contrasted with the angry, brooding Jud.
See you in class today and on Wednesday!

4/13 Final Listening List: Musicals

Today in class we dance. Next week we discuss our final topic: Musicals.

Musicals Listening List

For our last quiz, remember the composer (team) last names, musical title, and song title.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Cole Porter, Anything Goes (1934)
    • “I Get a Kick Out of You”
  • Richard Rodgers (music)  and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics), Oklahoma! (1943)
    • “People Will Say We’re in Love”
  • Frederick Loewe (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics), My Fair Lady (1956)
    • “I Could Have Danced All Night”
  • Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics), Fiddler on the Roof (1964)
    • “To Life”
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics), Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)
    • “Superstar”
  • Alan Menken (music) and Howard Ashman (lyrics), Little Shop of Horrors (1982)
    • “Dentist!”
  • Stephen Sondhiem, Into the Woods (1986)
    • “Agony”
  • Jonathan Larson, Rent (1996)
    • “La Vie Bohème A”
  • Stephen Schwartz, Wicked (2003)
    • “Defying Gravity”
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (2015)
    • “My Shot”
See you on Monday!

4/12 Music for Dancing continued and Presentations

I hope our look at early dance crazes from the 60s gave you context for current ones. Next time in class we will be dancing ourselves! Come to class with some specific dances you would like to do or learn. Be prepared to teach them to your colleagues. We can watch videos. Wear comfortable shoes. If you would prefer not to dance, you can watch. We will spend some class time discussing. It should be fun.


Yesterday in class we signed up for presentation days and times. If you have yet to sign up, let me know when you would like to present your final project in the times available.

Monday 4/25 (Last Day of Class)

  • 3:30 Kiera
  • 3:40 Danielle
  • 3:50 Khiyuana
  • 4:00 Shakira
  • 4:10 Melanie
  • 4:20 Kimberly
  • 4:30 Shaira

Tuesday 5/3 (Final Exam Time)

  • 3:00 DeeJay
  • 3:10 Aaron
  • 3:20 Samira
  • 3:30 Kenyin
  • 3:40 Delanie
  • 3:50 Nia
  • 4:00 Joseph
  • 4:10 Veronica
  • 4:20 Dylan
  • 4:30 Bertha
  • 4:40 Christaszyah
  • 4:50 Kayla
  • 5:00 Andrew
Yet to sign up: Christaszyah, Veronica, Andrew.
See you on Wednesday!

4/8 Music for Dancing

Now that we’ve talked about record companies and the music business, we have two more weeks of topics and listening lists. Remember that you will sign up for presentation days and times on Monday.

Music for Dancing Listening List

Again remember the artist, song title, and year for the quiz.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Chubby Checker, “Let’s Twist Again” (1961)
  • The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (1962)
  • Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony, “The Hustle” (1975)
  • Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (1978)
  • Martha Marcia Griffiths, “Electric Boogie” (1982)
  • Billy Ray Cyrus, “Achy Breaky Heart” (1992)
  • Los del Río, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” (1996)
  • Terror Squad ft. Fat Joe and Remy, “Lean Back” (2004)
  • Psy, “Gagnam Style” (2012)
  • Silentó, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” (2015)
See you on Monday!

4/4 Record Companies Reading and Prepping for Final Presentation

I hope my lecture today on record companies was informative. Here’s the documentary I mentionedwith the interview of Vanilla Ice. If you would like to retake any quizzes on Wednesday, there is time near the end of class.

Record Companies Reading for Wednesday

Please read the following article on the major record labels for class on Wednesday. It’s three webpages long.

Final Project with Presentation

As I’ve said in class, the final project with presentation is coming up soon. So here is some info for you.

  • Similar to earlier project: a paper, art project, video, etc. but more involved or longer.
  • Topic of your choice.
  • Required 5 minutes maximum presentation. You will not be able to present everything you learned.
  • 30 second of music total during presentation.
    • Exception: a music performance in class. Let me know if you plan on doing this so I can plan accordingly.
  • Presentation needs to include a visual element: a powerpoint or handout, for example.
  • An example project would be:
    • a 2-3 page paper, with works cited.
    • Presenting information from your paper in class, with a powerpoint for visual aid.
  • If you have previously done a powerpoint and plan to do another, you need to add a paper or some other kind of project to your powerpoint to complete the final project.
  • If you have any questions or have an idea that I didn’t address, let me know and we can discuss it to make sure it will work.
  • Next Monday (4/11) you will sign up for presentation times. 13 of you will present during our final (Tues 5/3) and 7 of you will present on the last day of class (Mon 4/25).
  • The project is due during the final (Tues 5/3) even if you present on 4/25.
See you on Wednesday!

3/29 Male Vocal Groups continued

I hope you enjoyed our discussion of NSYNC yesterday. We’ll continue discussing older and new groups tomorrow. I will grading your projects today. You’ll have them back tomorrow.

See you on Wednesday!


3/24 Male Vocal Groups Listening and Reading for Monday

I hope you enjoyed our week on the history of Rhythm and Blues. I mentioned videos on the state of R&B. If you’re interested, they are here and here. I hope to have your projects graded to give back to you on Monday. If you haven’t gotten yours to me yet, get it to me ASAP. Now on to Male Vocal Groups!

Male Vocal Groups Listening List

For this quiz, remember the artist, song title, and year again.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • The Mills Brothers, “You Always Hurt the One You Love” (1944)
  • The Chords, “Sh-Boom” (1954)
  • The Four Seasons, “Sherry” (1961)
  • The Drifters, “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
  • The Temptations, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” (1971)
  • The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (1974)
  • New Edition, “Cool It Now” (1984)
  • Color Me Badd, “All 4 Love” (1991)
  • Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way” (1999)
  • One Direction, “Best Song Ever” (2013)

Reading for Monday

Please read the following article to discuss on Monday. I recommend you print it, if you want it for reference in class.

See you on Monday!

3/21 Project 2 due Wednesday

I hope you enjoyed our tour through early Rhythm and Blues music today. On Wednesday, we’ll take the listening quiz first, and then talk about more recent R&B.

If you are interested, my friend Nate May and his collaborator Andrew Robert Munn are performing a concert in Barnes Recital Hall on Wednesday at 7:30pm. The concert is free and is a cultural event. For more info, go here.

See you on Wednesday!


3/18 R&B Listening List and Calendar

I hope everyone is having a good spring break. I have made our listening list for our next topic, which we will begin on Monday (3/21). That topic is R&B.

R&B Listening List

Here’s our list. Remember the artist, song title, and year for each song for the quiz.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Ruth Brown, “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (1953)
  • Percy Sledge, “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966)
  • Bill Withers, “Lean on Me” (1972)
  • Michael Jackson, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1979)
  • Janet Jackson, “What Have You Done for Me Lately” (1986)
  • Mariah Carey ft. Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day” (1995)
  • Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” (1998)
  • Usher, “Burn” (2004)
  • Alicia Keys, “No One” (2007)
  • John Legend, “All of Me” (2013)

Updated Calendar through the End of the Semester

  • Week 10 R&B
    • 3/21
    • 3/23 Project 2 Due
  • Week 11 Male Vocal Groups
    • 3/28
    • 3/30
  • Week 12 Record Companies
    • 4/4
    • 4/6
  • Week 13 Music for Dancing
    • 4/11
    • 4/13
  • Week 14 Musicals
    • 4/18
    • 4/20
  • Week 15
    • 4/25 Project Presentations begin
  • Final
    • Tuesday 5/3 3pm-5:30pm Project Presentations continue; Final Project Due

See you on Monday!


3/10 Reminders for Project 2

I hope you enjoyed our second day on new artists yesterday. I hope you all have a good spring break, but I wanted to make sure I wrote this info down here about the the project.

Project 2 is due the Wednesday we come back (3/23). Make sure that your project includes information about where you got the facts you are using (a works cited page is an example).

Also, please make sure you address two basic things in relation to your topic: information and insight. Information is the facts you want your audience to know about your topic. Insight is your own personal thoughts and opinions that make your topic worth discussing. So, please don’t just include only facts or only opinions. Use a mixture of both. Facts ground your insights in reality and give examples. Insights give a human context to your work and give your audience a reason to care about you’re telling them.

Have a good spring break!

See you a week from Monday!


3/7 New Artists Assignment due Wednesday

I enjoyed our look at new artists today. We will continue with this on Wednesday. Also, note if you want to make revisions on your first project, let me know. Remember that Project 2 is due the Wednesday after spring break (3/23). And finally make sure you are in class on Wednesday to help decide what our next few topics will be.

New Artists Assignment

Please write 100-200 words comparing a newer artists with an older one (due this Wed 3/9). You decide how to decide these terms. Consider how you think the older artist influenced the younger. The example I gave in class was looking at how Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, or Michael Jackson influenced Tori Kelly. Either email it to me before class or bring it to class on Wednesday. The goal of this assignment to think about how influence happens across musical generations.

See you on Wednesday!


3/4 Listening List for New Artists

I hope you enjoyed Chris O’Neill’s tour of punk music and his stories on Wednesday. Now on to New Artists.

New Artists Listening List

This list is a mix of artists suggested by some of you and me attempting to find some others. I’ve stuck to artists who have made their first album in the past few years. For the quiz, remember the artist(s), song title, and album title.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Tori Kelly, “Should’ve Been Us” Unbreakable Smile
  • Troye Sivan, “WILD” Blue Neighborhood
  • Shamir, “In for the Kill” Ratchet
  • Lil Dicky ft. Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan, “$ave Dat Money” Professional Rapper
  • Angel Haze ft. Sia, “Battle Cry” Dirty Gold
  • Marin Morris, “My Church” Marin Morris
  • Surfs, “Teardrop Explodes” Day Hang
  • NAO, “Zillionaire” February 15
  • Samm Henshaw, “Autonomy (Slave)” The Sound Experiment
  • REZZ ft. Delanie Jane, “Lost” The Silence Is Deafening
Come to class with other new artists and song examples you would like to discuss.
See you on Monday!

2/24 No Class on Monday and Punk Music Listening for Wednesday

I hope my muddled presentation of chord progressions in rock and popular music was informative to the kinds of things some musicians and music scholars think about. Do with this information as you please.

No Class Monday 3/1

Remember that I am out of town on Monday 3/1, so we are not having class. Please use this time to think about your next project due the week after spring break (Wed 3/23).

YouTube Playlist to Watch for Wednesday 3/3

Also, Chris O’Neill will be our guest for discussing Punk Music on Wednesday (3/3). Chris is an encyclopedia about lots of music and I look forward to having him in class. Please watch the videos for the listening list he made for us.

See you on Wednesday!


2/22 Read about Harmony for Wednesday

I hope you enjoyed charting your way through a few 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.

If you have a portable musical instrument you play, you can bring it to class. We’ll be singing and playing the piano. I usually have you all play the piano some, but since there are 21 of you, this is less feasible. I’m going to look into us being in a different room on Wednesday. I will email you if I do. Otherwise, assume that we will be in our normal classroom.

See you on Wednesday!


2/17 Moving to Musical Ideas for Next Week, Project 1 due Today

I’m sending this out before class to make sure I do it today. A bunch of you wanted to present your projects, so we will have a few presentations and spend the rest of the class talking more about indie music.

I had to change to our upcoming schedule for the next few weeks, because I will be out of town on Monday 2/29. So here is our updated schedule.

  • Week 7 Musical Ideas
    • 2/22 Song Forms (Strophic, AABA, Verse/Chorus, etc.)
    • 2/24 Harmony in Rock & Popular Music
  • Week 8 A Day on Punk
    • 2/29 NO CLASS Kulma Out of Town in NYC filming a “web-series opera” pilot
    • 3/2 Punk Music with guest Chris O’Neill
  • Week 9 Topic 5: New Artists
    • 3/7
    • 3/9
  • Spring Break (3/14-18) No Classes
  • Week 10 Topic 6
    • 3/21
    • 3/23 Project 2 Due
Since we are putting off New Artists for a couple of weeks, please email me soon with names of new artists and bands you would like to talk about.

Form in Music

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. We will not have any new listening quizzes for a couple of weeks.

Let me know if you have any questions or problems.

See you on Monday!


2/15 Continuing with Indie Music, Project 1 Due

I hope you enjoyed our look at discussion of indie rock today. On Wednesday, come with any songs in any underground genre of music you would like to share and we can discuss them.

Also remember that your first project is due this Wednesday. You can either bring it to class or email it to me by class time.

See you on Wednesday!


2/11 On to Indie Music

I hope you enjoyed our look at cover songs this week. I enjoyed the songs you choose yesterday. Now on to Indie Music. I struggled making this list, but here it is. We’ll talk about what indie music is and can be. I’ve selected mostly music that is indie rock, but we can look at way more varied music in class if you like.

Indie Music Listening List

This time remember artist, the song title, and the year again.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • 1988 Sonic Youth, “Silver Rocket”
  • 1991 The Pixies, “Letter to Memphis”
  • 1994 Pavement, “Cut Your Hair”
  • 1997 Yo La Tengo, “Sugarcube”
  • 2000 Death Cab for Cutie, “Soul Meets Body”
  • 2003 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Date with the Night”
  • 2006 Cat Power, “The Greatest”
  • 2009 Sunset Rubdown, “Paper Lace”
  • 2012 Japandroids, “Younger Us”
  • 2015 Sufjan Stevens, “Carrie & Lowell”

Indie Music Reading

Please read the following essay on Pitchfork about indie music for class on Monday.

See you on Monday!


2/8 More Cover Songs

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of our conversation on cover songs today. We will continue on Wednesday. I will be asking you for examples of cover songs in class for us to discuss, so come with an example that we might listen to. We won’t get to all of them, maybe four or five. And remember to think about some of the aspects of songs we talked about today as you compare the cover version.

Also last Wednesday, Nia mentioned in class a panel on colorism called “Fifty Shades of Black” that will occur tomorrow night (2/9) on campus at 7:30pm. Here’s a link to info if you would like to attend.

Make sure you begin working on your project, which is due next Wednesday (2/17).
See you in class on Wednesday!

2/4 Cover Songs Listening

Thank you so much for our great discussion yesterday. Next week our topic is Cover Songs. Here’s the listening list.

Cover Songs Listening List

This time I will give you 5 songs: the original and a cover version for each, so 10 tracks. Your job this time is to remember the song title, the artist, and whether or not it is the original or the cover.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • “Hurt”
    • Original: Nine Inch Nails (1995)
    • Cover: Johnny Cash (2003)
  • “All Along the Watchtower”
    • Original: Bob Dylan (1967)
    • Cover: Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
  • “Take Me to the River”
    • Original: Al Green (1974)
    • Cover: Talking Heads (1978)
  • “I Will Always Love You”
    • Original: Dolly Parton (1974)
    • Cover: Whitney Houston (1992)
  • ” Raining Blood”
    • Original: Slayer (1986)
    • Cover: Tori Amos (2001)
We’ll spend some time in class on Monday comparing the different versions of the songs among other things. Also, make sure you are starting to work on your first project due in two weeks.
See you on Monday!

2/2 Readings for Wednesday

Thanks for a great small group discussion class of your songs reviews. I hope you enjoyed talking with your colleagues.

Now for Wednesday, I gave you a packet of two readings in class yesterday. We will discuss the two readings in class next time in addition to the makeup quiz for anyone who wants to retake it. Here are links to websites of the readings.

Make sure you are thinking about your first project due in a couple of weeks.

See you on Wednesday!


1/28 Female Groups Listening and Assignment

I hope you enjoyed our look at popular music across seven decades. I forgot about two people on Wednesday, so we’ll talk about their three-year time periods in class on Monday. If there is time, we also may revisit the article about Ester Dean. Anyway, here’s the stuff you need for Monday.

Female Groups Listening List

For the quiz on Monday you again need to remember the artist, song title, and year for each song.

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (1941)
  • The Supremes, “Baby Love” (1964)
  • Labelle, “Lady Marmalade” (1974)
  • The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976)
  • The Go-Go’s, ‘We Got the Beat” (1982)
  • The Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian” (1986)
  • Salt-n-Pepa, “Shoop” (1993)
  • TLC, “No Scrubs” (1999)
  • Dixie Chicks, “Long Time Gone” (2002)
  • Sleater-Kinney, “Jumpers” (2005)

Female Groups Review Assignment

  • Due Monday 2/1.
  • Write a short review (try for about 250 words) of one of our listening list songs above.
  • I recommend you use the reviews we read about Bowie’s Blackstar as examples for your own writing. You can also find other reviews online as guides. Of course, you can use a different shape, if you prefer.
  • You will be sharing your writing will your colleagues in small groups on Monday. I will collect them at the end of class, and read through them myself as well.

I will find a reading on Monday about girl groups and/or all-female bands for us to read and discuss on Wednesday.

Project 1

Your first project is due in about three weeks (Wednesday 2/17). Read the syllabus about what the project entails. We can discuss what to do for the projects in class on Monday.

See you on Monday!


1/25 Continuing with Pop Music

Make sure you do the reading for Wednesday: “The Song Machine” by John Seabrook from The New Yorker, March 26, 2012. And if you weren’t in class today, make sure you complete your assignment that was due today. We will finish up going over your assignments in class on Wednesday. We will also have a retake of the first quiz at the end of class next time.

See you on Wednesday!


1/21 Pop Music Listening, Reading, and Assignment

I hope you enjoyed our conversation relating to David Bowie’s final album yesterday. Now for a lot of info and things for you to do for our first topic: Pop Music. We have a listening list for a quiz on Monday, an assignment due Monday and a long reading for Wednesday.

Pop Music Listening List

I have chosen 10 songs, with at least one from each decade going back to the 1940s. Your job for the quiz is to know the artist, the song title, and the year for each song. We will take the quiz at the beginning of class on Monday and have a retake at the end of class on Wednesday.

[Lists corrected by DK 1/26]

Spotify playlist | YouTube playlist

  • Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters, “Don’t Fence Me In” (1944)
  • Bill Haley & His Comets, “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
  • The Beatles, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964)
  • Aretha Franklin, “Respect” (1967)
  • Carole King, “It’s Too Late” (1971)
  • Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (1975)
  • Wham! ft. George Michael, “Careless Whisper” (1984)
  • Gloria Estefan, “Coming Out of the Dark” (1991)
  • Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z, “Drunk in Love” (2004) “Crazy in Love” (2003)
  • Rihanna, “Diamonds” (2012)

Pop Assignment

We have all chosen three year periods for your to discover hit songs and artists and make a one-page handout to share what you find out with everyone.

  • Due Thursday 1/21. [Clearly I meant Monday 1/25. DK 1/26]
  • Here are the assigned years for everyone.
    • 1950-52 Bertha
    • 53-55 David
    • 56-58 Veronica
    • 59-61 Andrew
    • 62-64 Kenyin
    • 65-67 Aaron
    • 68-70 Nia
    • 71-73 Chrissy
    • 74-76 Dylan
    • 77-79 Delanie
    • 80-82 Kiera
    • 83-85 Kimberly
    • 86-88 Danielle
    • 89-91 Shaira
    • 92-94 Shakira
    • 95-97 Jonathan
    • 98-2000 DeeJay
    • 01-03 Joseph
    • 04-06 Samira
    • 07-09 Kayla
    • 10-12 Khiyuana
    • 13-15 (16) Melanie
  • Now go to this Wikipedia page and look up the Number One Billboard Hits for your time period. Use this page as a starting point for what artists and/or songs you want to make a handout about.
  • 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.
  • If you want to step outside the Billboard Hits list, you can, but make sure you stick to your three year period.
  • Make your handout, and either email it to me by 3pm on Monday 1/26 1/25 [Corrected DK 1/26] or make 22 copies and bring them to class.
  •  We will discuss your topics in small groups and as a class on Monday, and maybe on Wednesday as well.

Pop Reading for Wendesday

We will discuss a longer magazine article in class about how pop music is currently written and created in class on Wednesday (1/28 1/27 [Wrong info again. DK 1/26]). So, I will give this to you now so that you can make sure you have time to read it. It’s about the top-liner Esther Dean and the producers known as Stargate.

See you on Tuesday!


1/13 Listening and Reading for Next Week and Calendar

I hope you all enjoyed our discussion that began with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” yesterday. I’m really looking forward to our semester together. We also chose our first five topics: Pop in General, Female Groups, Cover Songs, Indie Music, and New Artists.

But before we begin our first topic, we have an extra day next week. So, to prepare for our class next Wednesday, here’s your listening and reading.

Bowie for Wednesday

We will spend next class discussing the music, videos, and the reviews. Please also think about how the reviews are written as you consider how to write about music for this class.


Here’s a calendar with our topics plugged in.

  • Week 2
    • Mon 1/18 MLK Jr. Day! No Class
    • Wed 1/20 Discuss Bowie’s Blackstar
  • Week 3 Topic 1: Pop in General (1/25, 1/27)
  • Week 4 Topic 2: Female Groups (2/1, 2/3)
  • Week 5 Topic 3: Cover Songs (2/8, 2/10)
  • Week 6 Topic 4: Indie Music (2/15, 2/17) Project 1 due 2/17
  • Week 7 Topic 5: New Artists (2/22, 2/24)
  • Week 8 Musical Ideas (2/29, 3/2)
  • Week 9 Musical Ideas continued (3/7, 3/9)
  • Spring Break (3/14-18) No Classes
Have a good holiday, and I will see you all on Wednesday!

1/11 Syllabus and First Day Survey

Welcome to Rock & Popular Music! I hope we will have a fun semester together. In the meantime, you have three things to do before Thursday.

  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.

See you on Thursday!