ENGL462 - Folksong and Ballad

English 462 is designed to provide non-specialist students with a broader awareness of and appreciation for America's diverse folksong heritage and its impact on world culture. Interdisciplinary, multicultural, and multimedia, the course explores such regional, ethnic, and popular music forms as ballad, country, bluegrass, blues, rock, gospel, soul, rap, and zydeco within their specific cultural contexts and as commercial products commodified by a voracious music industry. While we will consider the European and African roots of many of these musical traditions, our focus will be on American contributions in the twentieth century. The course makes maximum use of sound and video recordings to supplement lecture, discussion and readings. These will deal with genres such as blues or bluegrass, or particular artists like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Bill Monroe or Louis Jordan, as well as major figures in the recording industry or fieldworker collectors such as Alan Lomax.

Cross-listed with ENGL629.