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1. Tin Pan Ally Notes

1. Tin Pan Ally Notes - MUSIC Notes Tin Pan Alley UNIT ONE...

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MUSIC Notes Tin Pan Alley UNIT ONE Lesson 01: The Milestones of History Welcome Aboard! to an opportunity to challenge our most basic assumptions about what we "know" to be true . . . . through an irreverent exploration of the "who, what, where, when, and why" related to Popular Music in American Culture. Although its ways and means will be subtle, a large measure of our adventure will be devoted to cultural misconceptions, and to how our prejudices (some bad, but some necessary for survival) are formed and perpetuated.Some things – although perhaps relatively few – we DO learn from personal experience: stovetops really can be hot, barking dogs really do bite, red-headed girls named Donna really are psycho, and your parents were right . . . . about everything.Most of our beliefs, however, were fed to us by small groups of individuals, by this or that religious group (with a specific agenda), by the advertising industry (with no agenda beyond profiting off of the agendas of other groups), by the entertainment industry, by the Democratic Party (same thing), etc. – leading us, often in subtle ways, to think "this way" or "that way."We'll also discuss how governments and religious sects have used music and art – particularly cartoons, with such creatures as Popeye the Sailor and Daffy Duck – to convince little children that it's perfectly acceptable to kill Krauts, Japs, gooks, pencil-necked geeks, towel-heads, camel-jockeys, Muslims, Jews, and both Native Americans and American Infidels . . . . at the "politically correct" = "politically expedient" moment in history.On the B side, we'll talk about how our society has become so obsessed with political correctness that we now cater to the dumbest of the dumb, and how each new day demands yet another apology from a politician or the firing of a teacher for saying something that is fundamentally true (because every prejudice begins with a degree of truth) . . . . because it "hurt someone's feelings." Throughout this course, we will continually ask "why?" Why, for example, do some people like Country music and some people like show tunes . . . . and why do we assume that the former are rednecks and the latter are a "little light in the loafers"?
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Why, for example, are you wearing overpriced Tommy Hilfiger jeans . . . . when you can buy those same jeans at Sears for 12 dollars? Why do you normally sit with someone from your own race (choose any demographic) rather than that much more interesting white guy, black girl, Hispanic . . . or that Chinese guy with the laptop but who can't drive a car to save his life? Think of the most boring subject you can imagine . . . . and I'll do you one better. I was hired at the University of North Texas as the Medieval scholar in the "History of Music Theory" (philosophy and mathematics). Theorists are the "geeks" of music. When "we" complain about the photocopy machine or the lack of available parking slots after 9 a.m., we do it in Latin or Greek.
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1. Tin Pan Ally Notes - MUSIC Notes Tin Pan Alley UNIT ONE...

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