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study questions - Study Questions from Oxford's Companion...

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Study Questions from Oxford’s Companion Website to the Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader ( PART ONE: Before 1950 1. Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley How do Irving Berlin’s early songs (in the words of Charles Hamm) “encode or reflect or perpetuate or shape or empower . .. the culture and values of [the] complex community” to which Berlin belonged? Provide some examples. What are some examples of Berlin’s songwriting collaborations? What is the significance of these collaborations? What is the importance of performance to Berlin’s apparently standardized songs? 2. Technology, the Dawn of Modern Popular Music, and the “King of Jazz” According to Whiteman, what were some of the difficulties created by early sound recording technology? What role did different dance steps play in the transformation of Whiteman’s music? 3. Big Band Swing Music: Race and Power in the Music Business How does Marvin Freedman characterize the musical differences between black and white musicians? How does he evaluate these differences? What does Irving Kolodin see as significant differences between black and white bands in terms of their working conditions and opportunities? What opportunities are particularly important in whether a band is successful or not? 4. Solo Pop Singers and New Forms of Fandom What factors does Bing Crosby see as particularly important to his success? Based on Martha Weinman Lear’s account, how would you describe the role played by Frank Sinatra in the formation of identity of his young female fans? Why does Neil McCaffrey prefer Benny Goodman’s band to Frank Sinatra? How does McCaffrey describe the differences between fans of swing bands and solo singers? 5. Hillbilly and Race Music How does Kyle Crichton explain the musical industry’s attitude toward race and hillbilly music? What is significant about these musics’ popularity? 6. Blues People and the Classic Blues According to Leroi Jones, why were classic blues singers women? What was the relationship between minstrelsy, vaudeville, and the classic blues? 7. The Empress of the Blues What is the overriding impression of Bessie Smith created by those who knew her? 8. At the Crossroads with Robert Johnson, as Told by Johnny Shines What does Johnny Shines think was most striking about Robert Johnson’s music? What were the conditions under which they played?
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9. From Race Music to Rhythm and Blues: T-Bone Walker Why do other musicians admire T-Bone Walker? Which song is his most famous? 10. Jumpin’ the Blues with Louis Jordan How did Louis Jordan’s early career as a minstrel carry over into his performance style as a bandleader? ( Down Beat ) Louis Jordan wanted to be connected to the black audience for vitality in his music, but he also wanted to appeal to white audiences for greater commercial success. What did he do to appeal to both black and white audiences? (Shaw)
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2010 for the course ARTS muar 392 taught by Professor Simonot during the Spring '10 term at McGill.

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study questions - Study Questions from Oxford's Companion...

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