This course will give students the necessary skills and knowledge to analyze music’s ability to enact change at a sociopolitical level and identify music’s larger impact on society as a whole. Music is so much more than just aesthetically pleasing sound! It more often than not comes from a much deeper and more intellectual place, which is what we want to stress as we discuss artists and their creative processes. We will take each week to dissect one prominent, impactful album to understand its social, political and/or cultural implications and use class time as a forum to discuss student ideas and findings. We hope that students will develop tools to be able to listen to and appreciate music and musical artists that they are exposed to through a critical lens. We would also like to encourage acceptance and consideration of different genres, cultures, and voices within the process of musical creation.
This will be a discussion-heavy course. Students will be assigned relevant readings, videos, or listening assignments of selected musical pieces to be completed at home. In class, we will continue analyzing and discussing and these pieces and also introduce the relevant impacts of the music. We may also listen to additional accompanying pieces of audio and/or video clips according to the topics we talk about.
By the end of this course, we hope to be able to impart a deeper appreciation for the unbounded aesthetic, personal, and sociopolitical impacts of music, and how they function together to tell a larger story. We also hope to highlight the creative talents of different artists and the nuances of their life’s works. Additionally, we would like to promote open-mindedness and receptivity towards different musical genres and cultures. Last but not least, we want to provide a fun forum for music enthusiasts to come together and share their musical passions!
We hope to adhere to the goals of the music department by encouraging students who take this course to think more critically about music and consider it from varying academic, sociopolitical and cultural perspectives.