American Sounds: Ballads, Blues, & Roots Music (ENG 031, Mu 095)Mark GreenbergSummer, 2013 – on-line
American Sounds is a survey of American folk music, focusing on music of European andAfrican ancestry (including ballads, blues, old-time, bluegrass). It explores the relationship between folk and popular culture and the process of cultural interaction in the United States with particular emphasis on the relationship between African and Anglo/Celtic cultural elements andcontributions. The course Blackboard (Web) site contains many of audio and video materials.The main text is Leroi Jones'
(along with articles and portions of other books).There will be several short papers and a term paper/project.
1. Book: Jones, Leroi.
. Perennial/Harper Collins. 2002. (earlier edition is ok too)2. DVD:
The Unbroken Circle: VT Music—Tradition & Change.
Multicultural Media DVDMCM 10013. CD:
The Alan Lomax Popular Songbook
4. Other, short readings are available on UVM Library e-reserve and will be linked directly fromthe course Blackboard site.5. RECOMMENDED CD:
The Smithsonian Folkways American Roots Collection
WEEK I:IntroductionsTerms and Concepts: Vernacular, Folk, Traditional, Popular The "Folk Process"WEEK II:Anglo/Celtic Roots & Branches: Ballads & Old Time MusicWEEK III:African Roots & Branches: From Field Hollers to the BluesWEEK IV:Next Steps: The Emergence of Bluegrass and Chicago BluesWEEK V:Topical Songs & the Folk RevivalWEEK VI:Your Turn: Final Projects
1. To increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of a variety of American music genresand styles and to see connections and relationships among them;2. To increase understanding of American culture and history (the music's contexts);3. To explore relationships between music, ethnic/cultural communities, American history, andsociety;