Available to: Grade 12 students

By an amazing series of historical accidents, there grew in America a musical culture that provided the soundtrack for most of the world for most of the last century. This soundtrack ranges across a vast spectrum: blues, ragtime, jazz, country, rock, rhythm & blues, rap – all were born here. Each has its own more-focused spectrum of styles. Each was born of the multicultural stew that is American history and reflects its roots in historical immigration and migration, the painful facts of slavery, the eventful meeting of cultures and people in American cities and in the American countryside. This course will look at the roots of our music in our historical experience, and listen to a vast range of traditional, popular, formal, and experimental musical forms. It is as much about the music as it is about the history; students will be encouraged to bring their own musical experience to bear as we look at our rhythmic, harmonic, and lyrical past: guitars, harmonicas, flutes and kazoos are welcome.