Course Syllabus for
GEO 2426 (section #5709) -- Fall 2011
Pop Music and Culture: A Geographic Perspective
Instructor: Dr. Timothy J. Fik, Associate Professor,
Dept. of Geography, University of Florida
Lectures will take place in Building/Room: CSE--Room A101
Tuesday – Periods 5-6 (11:45AM-1:40PM); Thursday – Period 6 (12:50PM-1:40PM)
Please… Read this syllabus before asking questions!
GEO 2426 -- Pop Music & Culture: A Geographic Perspective
GEO 2426 is a course that highlights the geographic origins and diffusion of “pop music”,
focusing on the geo-historical underpinnings of American music in its various manifestations.
The course will provide an overview of American roots music and survey various and important
Emphasis is placed on analyzing music innovation, trends, and movements in
relation to location, culture, counter-culture, and the social/geo-political climate.
is the theory that music innovation and artistic expression are linked to the dynamics of the
counter-culture (in response to mainstream trends), with innovations occurring at locations,
places, and/or economies that can best be described as “marginalized” or socio-spatial remote.
Discussions and Power Point presentations will (a) trace the roots and lineage of various music
styles or genres; (b) identify pioneering artists, trend-setting regions and cities; and (c) describe
the diffusion of musical ideas across regions and geographic boundaries.
The course will
examine the importance of music and lyrics as modes of expression and the role of artists as
agents of change.
More importantly, the course will examine the broader social, economic, and
cultural implications of the evolution of pop music and alternative counter-culture music scenes.
Emphasis will also be placed on the evolution of popular music and the emergence and
proliferation of various hybrid forms of music (e.g., the influence of folk, rockabilly, bluegrass,
country and western swing, blues, boogie-woogie, and rhythm & blues/R&B in the creation of
“rock „n roll”).
The course will highlight the importance of the music of black Americans and
the contribution of black artists (with emphasis on Delta and Chicago blues, Piedmont and
country blues, R&B, gospel and soul, funk, jump blues, ska and reggae).
Discussions will also
focus on the punk and post-punk movements, cross-over artists, folk-rock, blues-rock, the
corporate rock, new wave, goth & glam, shock-rock, rap and hip-hop, techno, etc.
This course will also examine the restructuring and organization of the music industry in spatial
and economic terms.
Discussions will include an analysis of the impact of technology, the
effects of competition, the role of radio and television (and later video), Internet and digital
music (file-sharing, MP3s), the rise of independent artists and “indie” labels, and the
manufacturing and marketing of pop artists and music.
Within this context the course will
explore the influence of demographics, the growth of niche markets, the birth and evolution of