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Introduction to Rock

Fall 2014
Instructor: Dr. John Brackett (brackett@email.unc.edu)
Office Hours: T/TH 2:00-3:00 or by appointment, Hill Hall 210
Graders:

Jamie Blake (jamie_blake@unc.edu)


Office Hours: Monday, 9:00-10:00, Hill Hall 224
Megan Eagen (galileo@email.unc.edu)
Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:30-3:20, Hill Hall 223
Gina Bombola (bombola@live.unc.edu)
Office Hours: Wednesday, 1:30-2:30, Hill Hall 223
Erin Maher (emaher@email.unc.edu)
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:00-2:00, Hill Hall 223

Meeting Times and Places: T/Th, 3:30-4:45, Hanes Art Center 121
Course Description:
Rock is a far-reaching and deeply meaningful musical and cultural phenomenon. In this
course we will seek to understand this phenomenon by exploring rocks stylistic traits,
historical context, and social significance. An initial unit will focus on the sounds,
forms, and technologies characteristic of rock. The course will then proceed
chronologically, with class sessions devoted to various trends and styles from the 1950s
to today.
Two points to note:
This course is an introduction to rock. It is not intended to exhaust the subject but
rather to provide the knowledge and skills that can lead to further study. As with any
survey it is impossible to cover everything, so please dont take it personally if your
favorite artist or rock subgenre does not appear on the syllabus!
Note, too, that this is a music course, which means that we will often focus on the
sound and structure of particular songs. You will thus need to listen to each song on
the syllabus actively and repeatedly. Invest in a good pair of headphones and give your
full attention to the music. Nowadays we tend to listen to music while doing
something else, so this kind of active listening may be foreign to you. But the effort
will be worth it.
Listening:
The pieces for study are listed on the schedule and are available online via the Sakai
course site (https://www.unc.edu/sakai/). The course listening list with links to
streaming audio is found under the Resources link on the Sakai course page in the
folder MUSC143.001.FA14 Resources. To access the streaming audio files, you are
required to provide the following Login/Password information:
Login: music143
Password: rockclass
To get to the website from off campus, go to
https://auth.lib.unc.edu/ezproxy_auth.php?url=http://www.unc.edu/music/courses/mu
sic143-brackett/ First, login with your Onyen and personal password. Then, for the
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course:
login: music143
password: rockclass
Note:
Access to the Music Department listening website is restricted by password to students
enrolled in the course and limited to on-campus computers registered to a unc.edu
domain. Off-campus access is available with a high-speed connection (cable or DSL is
necessary to listen to the recordings) through use of the Cisco VPN Client (available
from http://shareware.unc.edu) or the UNC Proxy Server
(http://www.unc.edu.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/music/courses/music143-brackett/). Login
with your ONYEN and personal password; then login with the course login and
password). The listening examples require an MP3 player such as the free RealPlayer
for your web browser. Alternative players such as VLC
(http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) or Mplayer
(http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/news.html) also work and are, in many ways,
preferable to RealPlayer (and are also free).
Computer labs outside of the music department do not supply headphones; you should
take a pair of regular mini-stereo jack headphones into those labs for listening
assignments. Technical questions pertaining to the course website might be answered
here: http://help.unc.edu/6550. If you can't find the answers you are looking for,
technical problems should be directed to the lab assistant in the computer facility
where you are working. If they cannot be resolved there, please contact the teaching
assistants by email.
Tests and Assignments:
Short Paper 1: 150 points (September 4)
Test 1: 200 points (September 23)
Test 2: 200 points (October 28)
Concert Report: 100 points (November 6)
Short Paper 2: 150 points (November 18)
Final Exam: 200 points (December 11)
Total possible points: 1000
In addition to the required graded exams and papers, students have the option of
completing at most two concert reports for extra credit. Each extra credit concert
report is worth 10 points (for a maximum of 20 points). If you choose to do an extra
credit report of reports, it/they must follow the same guidelines described below
regarding the graded concert report.
All written assignments are to be submitted through the courses Sakai site. Complete
descriptions and guidelines appear below.

Late Assignments and Make-up Tests


No late assignments will be accepted and no make-up tests will be offered. Rare
exceptions may be granted for documented personal emergencies, religious
observance, or extended illness, and other extenuating circumstances. These
exceptions must be requested well in advance of the day in question, unless doing so
would be impossible (e.g., youre struck down by lightning on the way to a test, though
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in that case you probably did something to deserve it.)

Academic Integrity
Students are expected to abide by the Universitys Honor Code
(http://honor.unc.edu/honor/) at all times. All assignments and exams must include a
signed honor statement. No form of plagiarism, cheating, or compromising the work
of another student will be tolerated. All graded work is to be completed individually.
Grading:
The following will be used to assign letter grades:
A
940+
B800-829
D
A900-939
C+
780-799
F
B+
880-899
C
730-779
B
830-879
C700-729

600-699
0-599

Attendance:
Attendance will not be taken. Good attendance in general, however, is crucial to your
success in this course. There is no mystery to this. And as you can see, there are no
textbooks listed.
Moreover, if you forget to show up on a test day you will simply be out of luck. So if
you want to do well, come to class.
Classroom Etiquette:
Rule of thumb: if you wouldnt do it in a small seminar, dont do it in this class. So save
the chit-chat, the phone calls and texting, the e-mail and messaging, the Facebooking,
Tweeting, and stock checking for before or after class. Moreover, please do not start
packing up earlythe collective noise will drown out the poor instructor. Even in a big
class such as this, your behavior can distract those who are trying to learn (or teach),
so please be considerate.
Also, this is a music class music will be played. Not to be a smart-@ss,
but, music playing is not a signal to open your mouth. The music is loud
and, if you want to talk, you need to scream and that means people
nearby can hear you. And they dont want to hear you. And I dont want
to hear you. I want to hear music.
Phones: silence them. Students with ringing phones may be asked to offer a brief song
or interpretive dance of contrition to the class.
Laptops: dont bring them if you dont have to. In class they are more of a distraction
than anything else. If you can use a pen, pencil, crayon, or quill, you dont need a
laptop in this class. If you feel you absolutely must use a laptop to take notes, see me
at the beginning of the semester. I will allow a limited number of people to use laptops
in class; anyone using a laptop must sit in one of the first two rows.

Schedule (subject to revision):


Aug
Course Introduction: What Does Music Mean?
Tue
19
For 9/21, read John Covach, Form in Rock Music (Under Resources in
Sakai) Also refer to listening examples discussed in this article in folder
Songs Discussed in Covach Article.
Thu
Theory and Practice: Musical Meaning, Musical Rudiments
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(Instrumentation and Form)
Listening: Chuck Berry: "Too Much Monkey Business" (1956); Bruce
Springsteen: Born in the USA (1984); The Rolling Stones: Satisfaction
(1965); Deep Purple: Smoke on the Water (1972)
Tue
Cont. from 8/22
26
Thu
28

Sept
Tue
2
Thu
4

Tue
9
Thu
11

Tue
16

Thu
18
Tue
23
Thu
25

Theory and Practice: Musical Rudiments (cont.), Covers


Listening: Neko Case: "Look for Me (I'll Be Around)" (2002); Led Zeppelin:
"Whole Lotta Love" (1969); Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road (1975); I
Heard it Through the Grapevine by Gladys Knight and the Pips (1967) and
Marvin Gaye (1968)
Cont. from 8/28
The World Before Rock
Listening: Les Paul and Mary Ford: "I'm Sitting on Top of the World"
(1953); Hank Williams: "A Mansion on the Hill" (1947); Big Joe Turner:
Shake, Rattle and Roll (1954); Bill Haley: Shake, Rattle and Roll (1954)
SHORT PAPER 1 DUE BY 2 P.M.
The 1950s: Rock and Rolls Early Golden Age
Listening: Fats Domino: Blueberry Hill (1956); Chuck Berry: Johnny B.
Goode (1958); Little Richard: Long Tall Sally (1956)
The 1950s: Elvis, Influences and Influence
Listening: Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky (1947); Elvis Presley:
Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954); Arthur Big Boy Crudup: Thats All Right
Mama (1946); Elvis Presley: Thats All Right (Mama) (1954); Johnny
Cash: Folsom Prison Blues (1956); Buddy Holly: Peggy Sue (1957)
The 1960s: The Dance and Surf Crazes; The Brill Building
Listening: Chubby Checker: The Twist (1960); The Chantays: Pipeline
(1963); The Beach Boys: Surfin U.S.A. (1963); The Drifters: There Goes
My Baby (1959); The Shirelles: Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (1960);
The Ronettes: Be My Baby (1963)
The 1960s: The British Invasion, pt. 1
Listening: The Beatles: I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963), A Hard Days
Night (1964), and Eleanor Rigby (1966)
TEST 1
(Covers material on the syllabus up to and including 9/18)
The 1960s: The British Invasion, pt. 2
Listening: The Who: My Generation (1965); The Rolling Stones: The
Last Time (1965); The Yardbirds: Heart Full of Soul (1965); The Kinks:
You Really Got Me (1964)

Tue
30
Oct
Thu
2
Tue
7

Thu
9
Tue
14
Thu
16
Tue
21

Thu
23

Tue
28
Thu
30
Nov.
Tue
4

The 1960s: R&B, Motown, and Soul


Listening: Ray Charles: Whatd I Say (1959); The Temptations: My Girl
(1965); The Supremes: Baby Love (1964); Wilson Pickett: In the Midnight
Hour (1965); Aretha Franklin: Respect (1967)
The 1960s: Folk/Folk Rock
Listening: The Kingston Trio: Tom Dooley (1958); Bob Dylan: Blowin
in the Wind (1963) and Like a Rolling Stone (1965); The Byrds: Mr.
Tambourine Man (1965); Simon and Garfunkel: The Sounds of Silence
(1965)
The 1960s: Musical Responses to Vietnam; Psychedelia
Listening: Tom Paxton: Lyndon Johnson Told a Nation (1965); Johnnie
Wright: Hello Vietnam (1965); Barry Sadler: Ballad of the Green Berets
(1966); Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit (1967); The Grateful Dead:
That's It For The Other One (1968); The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations
(1966)
Psychedelia, cont. (London) and The 1970s: Hard Rock and Heavy Metal
Listening: The Beatles: Tomorrow Never Knows (1966); Jimi Hendrix:
Purple Haze (1967); Pink Floyd: Bike (1967); Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta
Love (1969); Black Sabbath: Paranoid (1970)
The 1970s: Prog Rock
Listening: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Lucky Man (1970); Yes:
Roundabout (1972); Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb (1979)
No Class Fall Break
The 1970s: Singer-Songwriters; Country and Southern Rock
Listening: James Taylor: Fire and Rain (1970); Joni Mitchell: Big Yellow
Taxi (1970); Neil Young: Heart of Gold (1972); The Band: The Night They
Drove Old Dixie Down (1969); The Allman Brothers Band: Whipping Post
(1969); The Eagles: Take It Easy (1972); Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home
Alabama (1974)
The 1970s: Motown (again), R & B, Soul, and Funk
Listening: James Brown: Papas Got a Brand New Bag (1965); Marvin
Gaye: Whats Going On (1971); Sly and the Family Stone: Thank You
(Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (1970); Stevie Wonder: Superstition
(1972); Parliament: Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)
(1976)
TEST 2
(Covers material on the syllabus between 9/25 and 10/23
inclusive)
The 1970s: Disco; Early Hip-Hop
Listening: Chic: Good Times (1979); Sugar Hill Gang: Rappers Delight
(1979); Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: The Message (1982); The
Bee Gees: Stayin Alive (1977); Donna Summer: Bad Girls (1979)
The 1970s: Glam and Punk
Listening: T. Rex: Hot Love (1971); David Bowie: Suffragette City
(1972); The Ramones: Blitzkrieg Bop (1976); Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the
UK (1977); The Clash: Know Your Rights (1982)

Thu
6
Tue
11

Thu
13
Tue
18

Thu
20

Tue
25
Thu
27
Dec
Tue
2
Dec
Thu
11

The 1970s into the 1980s: Punk, Post-Punk and New Wave
Listening: Elvis Costello: Radio, Radio (1978); Joy Division: Love Will
Tear Us Apart (1980); The Smiths: This Charming Man (1983)
Concert Report Due by 2 P.M.
The 1980s: The Dominance of Pop
Listening: Michael Jackson: Billie Jean (1982); Madonna: Like a Virgin
(1984); Prince: 1999 (1982) Tina Turner: Whats Love Got to Do with It
(1984)
The 1980s: The Rock Spectrum
Listening: Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (1984); Paul Simon
Graceland (1986); Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer (1986)
The 1980s: The Rock Spectrum, cont., The Return of Metal and the Rise of
Alternative Rock
Listening: U2: I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For (1987); The
Police: Dont Stand So Close to Me (1980); Metallica: One (1989)
SHORT PAPER 2 DUE BY 2 P.M.
The 1990s: The Chapel Hill Scene
Reading: Early 1990s news feature on the Chapel Hill scene:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4224570554380069679#; Ben
Folds on Brick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ibp4-cT89Q
Listening: Superchunk: Slack Motherfucker (1990); Archers of Loaf:
Web in Front (1993); Polvo: Thermal Treasure (1993); Squirrel Nut
Zippers: Hell (1997); Ben Folds Five: Brick (1997) Plus Special
Guests!!!
The 1990s: Grunge and Alternative; Feminist Rock Aesthetic
Listening: Mudhoney: Touch Me Im Sick (1988); Nirvana: Smells Like
Teen Spirit (1991); Bikini Kill: Rebel Girl (1993); Ani DiFranco: Not a
Pretty Girl (1995)
No Class Thanksgiving Break
The 1990s: Britpop and the New Traditionalists
Listening: Oasis: Supersonic (1994); Phish: Stash (1992); Radiohead:
Paranoid Android (1997); Wilco: Ashes of American Flags (2002)
TEST 3 (Final): 4:00 6:00
(Covers material on the syllabus between 10/30 and 12/02
inclusive)

Assignments
Short Paper 1: Song Comparison
Due September 4 by 2:00 pm
150 points
The purpose of this assignment is to engage in close musical listening by comparing
two versions of a song. Pick one of the pairs of songs listed below. In a typed, doublespaced essay of about 1250 words, do the following:
Discuss the musical characteristics of the original song
Discuss the musical characteristics of the cover song
Discuss similarities and differences in the music
Discuss differences in lyrics
Discuss differences in meaning; explain how the music of each song illuminates,
obscures, or otherwise affects possible meanings of the text
In discussing music, offer specific observations about instrumentation, timbre, rhythm,
melody, harmony, form, and so on. Be as specific as possible, and cite timings to
reference your observations (e.g., At 2:01 in the original the tubas re-enter)
The only materials you should consult for this assignment are the songs themselves.
You do not need to provide historical information on the songs or artists, and please,
please do not quote Wikipedia entries or other outside sources, or worse yet plagiarize
from them. Just use your ears.
Song choices (available in the Resources page of Sakai). PICK ONE SONG PAIR:
Raining Blood by Slayer (1986) and Tori Amos (2001)
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel (1970) and Aretha Franklin
(1971)
(I Cant Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones (1965) and Devo (1977)
Walk This Way by Aerosmith (1975) and Run-D.M.C. (1986)
Submit assignments as a Word document through the Assignments section of Sakai
by 2 p.m. on September 4. (Dont be late!) Label attachments as follows: first initial,
last name, shortened title [no spaces], e.g: jbrackettrainsblood.doc, or
jbrackettputaspellonyou.doc, or jbracketttroubled.doc, or jbrackettwalksthisway.doc,
or jbrackettcantgetnosatisfaction.doc.
Note: submit assignments in .doc or.docx format.
Grading Rubric:
Discussion of original: 30
Discussion of cover: 30
Discussion of musical differences: 30
Discussion of lyrical differences: 10
Discussion of overall differences in meaning: 25
Clarity, conciseness of writing: 25

ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DUE DATE

Test 1
Given in class September 23
200 points
The test will have four sections. The first section will provide several terms or names
for you to explain; you will also have to identify one song that we have discussed in
class that is associated with the name or term. The second section will be the listening
component. You will be played several recorded excerpts, all of which come from the
songs discussed in class. For each excerpt you will be asked to identify the name,
performer, and date of the song and identify musical characteristics drawn from a list
provided terms. In the third section you will be provided excerpts from the lyrics of
songs discussed in class. You will be asked to identify the name, performer, and date of
the song and answer questions about the excerpts. The fourth section will ask you to
write one or two short essays on a topic, issue, or reading discussed in class. The test
will cover material on the syllabus up to and including September 18.
MAKE-UP TESTS WILL BE OFFERED ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES AND BY PRIOR
ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PROFESSOR
Test 2
Given in class October 28
200 points
The test will have four sections. The first section will provide several terms or names
for you to explain; you will also have to identify one song that we have discussed in
class that is associated with the name or term. The second section will be the listening
component. You will be played several recorded excerpts, all of which come from the
songs discussed in class. For each excerpt you will be asked to identify the name,
performer, and date of the song and identify musical characteristics drawn from a list
provided terms. In the third section you will be provided excerpts from the lyrics of
songs discussed in class. You will be asked to identify the name, performer, and date of
the song and answer questions about the excerpts. The fourth section will ask you to
write one or two short essays on a topic, issue, or reading discussed in class. The test
will cover material on the syllabus between September 25 and October 23 inclusive.
MAKE-UP TESTS WILL BE OFFERED ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES AND BY PRIOR
ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PROFESSOR
Concert Report
Due November 6 by 2 pm
100 points
The purpose of this assignment is to report on a concert of rock music, broadly defined.
In a typed, double-spaced paper of about 1000 words, describe and discuss the musical
and social aspects of the concert. In terms of music, describe characteristic aspects of
the instrumentation, timbre, melody, rhythm, form, etc. For the social characteristics,
assume the stance of a detached, but open-minded observer (you may imagine yourself
as, say, an English-speaking anthropologist from another planet), and describe the
appearance and behavior of the performers and audience.

The concert must be chosen from the following:


DATE/TIME
09/08
10/25

BAND
VENUE
Spider Bags/Liquor Store/Bummers Eve Nightlight
Paint Fumes
Local 506

*Other Perform ances W ill Be Added As Local Clubs Update Their Calendars*

Please realize that the Cave, Local 506, and Nightlight will charge a membership fee (if
you are not already a member) on top of the ticket price. Memberships are required for
certain clubs by North Carolina law so please dont complain to the owner, bartender,
or door person about this. Write your representative. That being said, once you have a
membership, it is good for life yours or the clubs. Also, realize that it is often cheaper
to purchase tickets in advance as ticket prices typically increase on the day of the show.
You must attend the whole concert, but if there are multiple bands, you may focus on
just one, though you should briefly discuss the others.
Submit with your report proof of your attendance, such as a program, ticket stub,
dated photo of yourself with the musicians. Submit photo or scan of a ticket stub, etc.
as a digital file with your paper.
Submit assignments as a Word document (.doc format or .docx format) through
Assignments section of Sakai by 2 pm on November 6. Label attachments as follows:
last name, first initial, report [no spaces], e.g: brackettjreport.doc
A bit of advice: even if you are 21 or older do yourself (and the graders) a favor by
avoiding alcohol before and during the show.
Do not ask to see a different show for your concert report other than
those listed above. I will say no. Seriously, Im serious. Somebody (or
somebodies) will inevitably ask me before or after class and I will say
look at the syllabus. Im not being cranky or snarky. It says it right here.
No.
Grading rubric:
Discussion of the music: 50
Discussion of the performers: 15
Discussion of the venue and audience: 15
Clarity, conciseness of writing: 20
ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DUE DATE

Short Paper 2
Write Your Own Rock Song!
Due November 18 by 2 pm
150 points
For this assignment you are to compose an original rock song. Well, sort of.
Specifically, write two (or more) verses of lyrics on the subject of your choice. The
verses may be in any pattern or form. You may look at the song lyrics weve discussed
in class as models, though you must compose original lyrics (Google will find you out if
you dont!), and must do so for the purpose of this assignment (nothing from your
back catalog, please). In a paper of 1250 or fewer words (the lyrics are not part of the
word count) you are to do the following:
Explain the lyrics
Explain, in detail, the sound of your song (in terms of genre, instrumentation, melody,
timbre, texture, possible studio effects, etc.)
Explain how the lyrics and music relate to one another. How does the mood of the
music match (or possibly at times not match) that of the lyrics? Provide specific
correspondences between words and music.
Discuss the meanings of the song: what does the song mean to you?, what kinds of
social and cultural meanings, whether connected with (for example) gender, race,
ethnicity, class, politics, morality might it have?
As always, be clear and specific (especially in terms of the music).
Submit assignments as a Word document (.doc format or .docx format) through the
Assignments section of Sakai by 2 pm on November 18. Label attachments as follows:
last name, first initial, song [no spaces], e.g: brackettjsong.doc
Grading rubric:
Presence and discussion of the lyrics: 40
Discussion of the music and its connection to the lyrics: 50
Discussion of the songs meanings: 35
Clarity, conciseness of writing: 25
ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DUE DATE
Final Exam
Thursday, December 11, 4:00-6:00 pm (in Hanes Art Center 121)
200 points
The test will have four sections. The first section will provide several terms or names
for you to explain; you will also have to identify one song that we have discussed in
class that is associated with the name or term. The second section will be the listening
component. You will be played several recorded excerpts, all of which come from the
songs discussed in class. For each excerpt you will be asked to identify the name,
performer, and date of the song and identify musical characteristics drawn from a list
provided terms. In the third section you will be provided excerpts from the lyrics of
songs discussed in class. You will be asked to identify the name, performer, and date of
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the song and answer questions about the excerpts. The fourth section will ask you to
write one or two short essays on a topic, issue, or reading discussed in class. The test
will cover material on the syllabus from October 30 and December 2, inclusive. Strictly
speaking, the exam will not be cumulative, in that you will not be tested on songs
covered before October 30. However, in the listening section you will be expected to
remember basic terms that you had learned previously, and in the essays you may be
asked to compare recent trends in rock to earlier trends.
MAKE-UP TESTS WILL BE OFFERED ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES AND BY PRIOR
ARRANGEMENT WITH ME

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