Note: Course details for Summer 2019 will be available on December 15. The courses below were offered in Summer 2018 and can serve as a guide to what is typically offered.
Special Topic for 2018: R&B, Motown, and Classic Funk: Soundtracks of Empowerment and Civil Rights
CFA MH 433
Rhythm and Blues, the classic Motown sound, and Funk are seminal influences in the development of rap, hip hop, fusion, and contemporary urban and R&B styles. But even more, these styles provided the soundtrack of African-American empowerment and community, and were central to the civil rights movement, the relationship between music and politics, and the larger development of popular music in the 20th century. This course follows the trajectory of funk from its roots in rhythm and blues and the highly influential Motown sound through its classic formulation in the 1970s, and concludes with a discussion of the urban transformation and revival of funk over the last two decades. We will place these styles within their cultural and social contexts, as well as examine their evolving musical characteristics in some detail through works by Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, George Clinton, and many others. This course is intended for the general university student and neither assumes nor requires previous training in music. 4 cr.