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Popular Music in American Society Syllabus by pFxUz5


									                               Popular Music in American Society
                                       Fall Semester 2013
Eric B. Graham, Instructor
Class Description
Popular Music in American Society is a one-semester course that provides an overview of
popular music since 1950. The course explores popular music as a cultural phenomenon and
investigates important artists and various stylistic developments.
This course fulfills Minnesota Transfer Curriculum goals 6 & 7.
Required Materials
Text: Rockin' Out, fourth edition by Reebee Garofalo
NOTE: Be sure you have the 4th edition of the text, for each chapter has questions and
assignments that are based on this specific edition.
Course Requirements
For the semester there are 12 assignments; each assignment has 2 parts: a chapter quiz (10
true/false questions) and a discussion about about each chapter. Each quiz is worth 10 points and
the discussion is worth 10 points; thus, each assignment is worth a total of 20 points. The chapter
questions are based on objective facts; the discussion is more subjective (personal reflections and
opinions welcomed) but with some factual research questions as well. NOTE: The discussion
questions do not always directly pertain to the chapter reading, but the discussion is relevant to
music, American culture, or the course mission.

A student can check his or her grades in the "Grades" menu: grades for chapter quizzes are
labeled 'Q' and grades for discussion assignments are labeled 'D'.

Once a quiz has been completed by the student, the assignment will automatically load the grade
in the grading area - THE STUDENT NEEDS TO DO NOTHING. Students are also required to
participate weekly in an ongoing discussion board. The responses must be posted on the
designated topic board. The instructor will also use this board to direct students to additional
internet research and readings. Students are encouraged to actively participate in the discussion
by posting their own experiences, reactions, opinions, and questions on the topics presented.
Students are also encouraged to post any other relevant web materials or websites they encounter
during the course.

The course is called Popular Music in American Society. In effect we look at music as a
sociological phenomena; or, in other words, we explore how popular music reflects and shapes
our culture. As such, certain topics which might seem both offensive and irrelevant to the course,
such as pornography and gayness, which appear again and again in the history of popular music,
will thus, be a topic of discussion in the class. I don't wish to offend anyone with these issues
(which frankly, I find more boring than offensive), but, they're an inseparable part of the

Given all this, discussion posts have been generally very civil and thoughtful. Please try to keep
it that way. Let's respect the collective viewpoint of everyone.


ACCEPTED. This is to encourage timely submission of assignments and discussion
The instructor will use the course homepage, the discussion board, and email to communicate
with students. Students are encouraged to regularly check their college webmail. Students with
questions or comments may contact the instructor by email. Written assignments will be graded
and returned to students each week with comments. The instructor will regularly monitor the
discussion board to help guide topics, address questions, and stimulate further discussion.

Grading Policy
Chapter True/False Questions - 50%
Discussions – 50%
Class Schedule (Subject to modification)

Assignment One: Due by September 10
Read: Chapter 1 (Mass Technology and Popular Taste)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 1
Discussion: Ethel Merman
Assignment Two: Due by September 17
Read: Chapter 2 (Blues and Country Music)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 2
Discussion: Robert Johnson
Assignment Three: Due by September 24
Read: Chapter 3 (Good Rockin' Tonight)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 3
Discussion: Hank Williams
Assignment Four: Due by October 1
Read: Chapter 4 (Crossing Cultures)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 4
Discussion: Little Richard
Assignment Five: Due by October 15
Read: Chapter 5 (The Empire Strikes Back)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 5
Discussion: Phonies
Assignment Six: Due by October 22
Read: Chapter 6 (Popular Music and Political Culture)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 6
Discussion: Drugs
Assignment Seven: Due by October 29
Read: Chapter 7 (Music Versus Markets)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter
Discussion: The Aftermath of Woodstock
Assignment Eight: Due by November 5
Read: Chapter 8 (Punk and Disco)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 8
Discussion: Get Your Groove On
Assignment Nine: Due by November 19
Read: Chapter 9 (Music Videos, Superstars, and Mega-Events)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 9
Discussion: Madonna
Assignment Ten: Due by November 26
Read: Chapter 10 (Rap and Metal)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 10
Discussion: Phony Rappers
Assignment Eleven: Due by December 3
Read: Chapter 11 (Mainstreaming Alternatives)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 11
Discussion: Pornographic Lyrics
Assignment Twelve: Due by December 10
Read: Chapter 13 (Music in the New Millennium)
Quiz: Questions for Chapter 13
Discussion: Stealing Music
All Assignments and Discussion Postings are due on time. Late work will not be accepted.

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