Last update: Lee Bidgood (13.10.2018)
American Roots Music - Syllabus - Winter 2018
Lecturer: Lee Bidgood (Fulbright Scholar, on sabbatical from position at East Tennessee State University)
“American roots music” is a common phrase used in the United States to describe a variety of musics, businesses, and points of view. In this class we will examine music-cultures that bear this label, focusing on key individuals and groups who helped establish awareness of and affinity for “roots” sounds or practices. While we will pay attention to large-scale movements and patterns, this course will mainly focus on “locality” and “roots” at the level of the person. We will consider accounts from key revivalists, cases studies of historical situation, and theoretical writing on musical revivalism. We will also interact with present-day actors in “roots” scenes in the Czech Republic and compare and contrast US revivalism with Czech efforts.
NOTE: The course does not attempt to cover ALL “American Roots Musics”; rather, it is comprised of key case studies that emerge from the instructor’s research and experience, and which are accompanied by accessible, engaging scholarly literature.
Class topics: (1) Emergence of the concept of “folk” music, and values and motivations of the post-WWII folk revival, (2) the structure and texture of different named-systems revivals (blues, bluegrass, old-time, klezmer, etc.), (3) social structures that support or interfere with these musical structures, (4) the development of Czech American Roots music revivals, 5) socio-political implications of revivals of American musics outside of the United States.
Class Meetings: Tuesdays, from 17:00 to 18.20 - Jinonice Room 6022.
Office hours: Tuesdays 15:00 -1700 at Jinonice, room 5012. Email me one day earlier, if you plan to visit office hours. I can also meet elsewhere - email me to inquire.