1. Reading Response
(on Malone, Davis, and Troutman)
Please answer each of the following questions, drawing from the readings where applicable. Responses to each question should be a minimum of 100 words.
- Davis and Malone are each presenting a history of popular music in the United States, but Malone’s is more of a broad overview while Davis gives a much more focused analytical account of a particular genre of popular music, and of a particular identity-group within that genre. They also try to accomplish different things in their writing. How does the story of “color-blind” hymnal books and class-conscious music cultures that Malone presents compare to Davis’ discussion of black female blues singers in the wake of emancipation and northern migration?
- What are the main themes that informed early blues music aesthetics and lyricism, according to Davis? How do these themes relate to the gender dynamics of early blues performances?
- Thinking about this week’s readings in the context of last week’s readings, how has music functioned in the construction of race in the United States? How does “popular music” as a broad category display and produce these constructions of race? And what are some of the social-economic outcomes of these racialized musical relationships?
2.write a short forum post regarding the song; this is not about judging whether the song is “good” or “bad” but rather reflecting on how it demonstrates or exemplifies our lecture/reading material and how it relates to your own life experiences.
In addition to making a post, you will be expected to make a peer review to other students’ posts. Again, these responses are not about judging goodness or badness or rightness or wrongness, but about exploring the relationships between concepts (course themes), media objects (songs) and life experiences.
In these posts and responses will be graded both for:
-your understanding of the course concepts and how they relate
to this song
-your ability to engage constructively and respectfully with your fellow students.
– just write a paragraph on both post, nothing too long.
- the song link: https://youtu.be/YhrJ8qITUUs (This song represents a Gospel rendition of the Spiritual that we listened to in Monday’s lecture. It is also clearly a performance of a popular music in a concert hall. What does this demonstrate about the circulation of musical practices between religious and secular spaces, and between cultural forms and economic commodity forms? Have you heard this song before? In what context? These are just a couple questions to get you started, but any reflections are welcome!)
- Peer review: I really enjoyed this song. I know I’ve heard it before but I’m not sure where. It’s really interesting to me how many different types of religious music there is. It is a lot more up beat than the original religious music choirs would sing, but it’s cool how more styles emerged over time. Out of personal preference, I think prefer this style because of how much fun everyone seems to be having and the energy it brings.
Example for the peer review:
Hi Sarah! I also really enjoyed the song and found the upbeat tempo captivating as I watched. The style that Clara Ward sings in is definitely very entertaining and brings good energy to her band and backup singers/dancers and the entire audience. I’ve listened to almost no religious music because I assumed it would all be kinda boring but after watching this video and watching the lecture I’m definitely more motivated to look for different kinds of religious music knowing that some might fit the styles of music I usually like to listen to.
I think the different kinds of religious styles of music that emerged over time just shows the results of different people bringing new things to the table but also the results of missionaries converting people to Christianity in new places with different styles of music.