AC 337 WN 2011 - Required Readings: Nothing But the Blues -...

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Required Readings: Nothing But the Blues - Lawrence Cohn – 432 pages The Devil’s Music - Giles Oakley – 310 pages Readings on CTools: (177 pp) “Long Hot Summer Days” 10 pp. from The Story of the Blues by Paul Oliver “Beginnings” 25 pp. from Deep Blues by Robert Palmer “Rabbit Foot and Toby Time” 15 pp. from The Story of the Blues by Paul Oliver “Robert Johnson’s Satanic Verses” 10 pp. from The History of the Blues by Francis Davis “Ike Zimmerman: The X in Robert Johnson’s Crossroads” 16 pp Bruce Conforth “A Life Remembered” 21 pp. from Escaping the Delta by Elijah Wald “Home Truths: Muddy, B.B., and the Last Race Labels” 31 pp. from Davis “Chuck and Elvis, Hands-on Preservationists, and Soul in the Biblical Sense” 25 pp. from Davis “Blues Connotations / From Songsters to Soulsters” 25 pp. from Davis Course Description:
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This course is a general overview of the history of American Blues music. The blues are often defined as a musical and/or lyrical form, but they must also be considered based on their African origins and American social matrix. While the blues are known primarily as a musical influence on many other forms and styles: jazz, rock and roll, etc., few are aware of the great socio-cultural impact that the blues have had on American society. Blues is a prototypical American music, and as such must be regarded in its own right, not just as a precursor to jazz and rock and roll. The musical language of the blues expresses something profoundly important about the depth, vitality, and continuity of African American culture. To adequately understand the blues we will examine what and where blues came from, where and how it grew, how it changed, and in what sorts of ways it altered itself in order to adapt to changing conditions and to preserve its identity. In this course we will examine the history of the music and the postmodern mythology that has helped us create our “Bluesmen” precursors and their past. We will also look at how race relations have altered perceptions of blues music, for in order to gain an understanding of the music we need to understand the people who made and listened to blues, not just as Blacks or oppressed Americans, romantic archetypes, clever technicians, or successful entertainers, but as particular people who made particular and personal choices in a particular place and time. Through tracing the history of the blues we will uncover the history of America and the way(s) in which this music represents both the history of a people, and American socio- cultural relations in a variety of contexts and styles. Course Objectives: Broadly speaking, this course is designed with the following objectives in mind: 1. Identify and describe various genres of blues music 2. Identify and discuss blues artists from the 1880s to present day 3. Discuss the history of the blues - their history, social, cultural, political implications and current definitions 4. Explain the implications of race and gender within blues lyrics, musical production, and social
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2011 for the course AMCULT 337 taught by Professor Bruceconforth during the Winter '11 term at University of Michigan.

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AC 337 WN 2011 - Required Readings: Nothing But the Blues -...

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