To introduce students to the
history of African American Blues and Jazz music and to the
musicians who were innovative in creating and maintaining the
tradition. Emphasis is on the emotional content and rhythmic
elements of blues and jazz as well as the instrumentation
The lecture series is based on six essays by
Joan Cartwright, M.A.:
(Click here to read abstracts)
1. The Sign of the Blues
2. Jazz: The Unmasked Rhetoric
3. The Cultural Politics of Commercial Jazz
4. Women in Jazz
6. So, You Want To Be A Singer: Music Business
- Discussion of the
history of the Blues as a product of the West African culture of
the slaves brought to America in the 17th Century including
Socialization into European culture and the ban
placed on the use of drums resulting in the use of hands and feet
|Religious conversion to
Christianity and the practice of using spirituals for revolutionary
purposes, e.g., the Underground Railroad, and for social comment
about oppression, dislocation, poverty, despair and hope.
- Exposure to the musicians who
created and performed Blues and Jazz music through audio
cassettes, CDs, videotapes and photographs. The acceptance of
Blues and Jazz abroad is also discussed.
- Introduction to the art of
scatting derived from "Dixieland", "Swing"
- Discussion of the Business of
Music, including discipline, promotion, publicity, performance
and recording. Also includes a discussion of the responsibility
of musicians as messengers.