America’s Music and Media: Musical Artifact Final Project

Welcome to the final project website for the spring 2018 MUS 122: America’s Music and Media!

 Course Description:

This course is a topically based survey of media and technological innovations that have facilitated the creation and distribution of diverse American musical forms from the late-19th century through the early 21st. Students in this course investigate changes in the production and consumption of American music from the circulation of sheet music, wax cylinders, and player pianos that dominated the turn of the 20th century to the MP4 files and Digital Audio Workstations (D.A.W.) we enjoy today. This course discusses how changes in technology have not only changed how Americans record and distribute their music, but also how they have facilitated an evolution in musical styles and forms.

Project Description and Goals:

Students have partnered to create a web page detailing their research on a representative piece of American music that has or was impacted by the technology on which it was created, disseminated, or recorded. These projects integrate a variety of primary and secondary sources with analytical skills learned in class to describe the musical, technological, social, and cultural implications of their chosen artifact. Images, audio, and video links further enhance each project’s attention to historical and musical inquiry.

This project meets a variety of course goals including:

  • Identifying technologies that have facilitated the creation, dissemination, and consumption of American music.
  • Analyzing musical performances using correct terminology and rudimentary analytical skills.
  • Identifying moments in American history that have impacted and been impacted by musical activities.
  • Interacting productively in class discussions by asking and answering critical questions.
  • Locating, describing, and analyzing primary and secondary sources.
  • Creating a project that describes, examines, and interprets a piece of American music and situates it within its cultural and historical moment and the media that made it possible.

Photo by Javier Kohen