COOL CLASSES: “Popular Music in America”

COOL CLASSES: “Popular Music in America”

Class name: “Popular Music in America”

Taught by: Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Myron Gray

Here’s what Gray had to say about his class:

I wanted to teach a course that helps students think in new ways about music they already know and love while also introducing them to past forms of popular culture. We survey 200 years of U.S. history to find out when and where popular music originated, how it has evolved, how it has been defined, and what about it is—or has become—American. Topics range from musical print and theater in late 18th-century Philadelphia to opera, melodrama, minstrelsy, marching bands, and orchestral music in the 19th century, and finally to the consequences of the commercial revolution and transition to sound recording in the early 20th century, which gave us the blues, rock, and film music, among other things. Throughout we return to a set of four themes (cultural hierarchy, race, technology, and transnationalism) that students can apply—together with lessons from the past—to music in their daily lives.


See what other courses the Music Department is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience. 

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