Music and Downtown New York|
Fall 2020 not offered
AMST 267, AFAM 265|
This course will explore the history and simultaneous flourishing of four distinct music communities that inhabited and shaped downtown New York City during two especially rich decades (the 1950s and 60s): urban blues and folk revivalists; an African American jazz-based avant-garde; Euro-American experimentalists; and Lower East Side rock groups. These four vanguard musical movements--at the heart of dramatic cultural shifts at the time, with reverberations and legacies that remain relevant up to the present day--are an essential part of American history. Much of the course will be devoted to discovering their points of convergence and divergence, especially in conversation with broader contemporaneous currents, including the Civil Rights Movement and related notions of freedom, shifting youth cultures, music and politics, and avant-garde aesthetics.
Drawing from primary sources, we will read about and listen to recordings of a wide variety of musicians, view a broad cross-section of film from the era, identify aesthetic and cultural trends, and study the local industry that supported them, including record labels, coffee houses, clubs, and concert spaces. Projects throughout the semester include written papers, individual and group presentations, and adding content to an interactive collaborative Google map of the neighborhood.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(MUSC)
Hajdu, David. POSITIVELY FOURTH STREET, 2001, North Point Press
Charry, Eric, FOUR CULTURAL VANGUARDS: MUSIC AND DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, 1950-1970 (unpublished manuscript)
Articles and chapters:
Banes, Sally, GREENWICH VILLAGE 1963: AVANT-GARDE PERFORMANCE AND THE EFFERVESCENT BODY, 1993, Durham: Duke University Press
Baraka, Amiri, BLACK MUSIC, 1968, New York: William Morrow.
Beard, Rick and Cohen Berlowitz, Leslie, (eds.) GREENWICH VILLAGE: CULTURE AND COUNTERCULTURE, 1993, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press
Dylan, Bob, CHRONICLES, VOL. 1, 2004, New York: Simon and Schuster
Heylin, Clinton, FROM THE VELVETS TO THE VOIDOIDS: A PRE-PUNK HISTORY FOR A POST-PUNK WORLD, 1993, New York: Penguin
Johnson, Steven (ed.), THE NEW YORK SCHOOLS OF MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS, 2002, New York: Routledge
Kelley, Robin D. G., THELONIOUS MONK: T! HE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL, 2009, New York: Free Press
Szwed, John, SPACE IS THE PLACE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SUN RA, 1998, New York: Da Capo
|Examinations and Assignments: |
One project on each of the four musical genres covered, for a total of four. Projects can be a paper (5-7 pages), content for google map entries, or other creative endeavor in the spirit of the topic. Weekly responses to the readings
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