MUSC 2290 History of American Popular Music

This is a survey history of American popular music from pre-Civil War Minstrelsy to MTV. The course is intended for the general student body, with no musical prerequisites required. Lectures integrate an in-depth discussion of the music itself, generously illustrated by recordings, with a solid presentation of the musics historical and cultural context. Major topics include the multicultural roots of American popular musics, the parallel development of four separate streams of popular music (an urban mainstream and three rural sub streams), the increasing tendency of these separate streams to interact to create new popular styles, and the function of the music industry in the dissemination of popular musical styles.