MUSC 120 The History of the Blues


This course traces the origins of blues from pre-colonial Africa to the present. Through repeated, active listening of blues recordings (1912-present), reading a wide selection of works from the foremost scholars of blues, and engaging with in-class discussion, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the blues—i.e., sounds, styles, people, places, compositional processes, traditions, recording and marketing practices, mythology, scholarship, and legacy. All aspects of the blues will be examined and analyze through the proper historical and socio-cultural context. In doing so, students will center the study of the blues around issues of identity, place, and race, although the main objective of this class is to gain a better understanding of blues as a musical product.


Degree Requirements