Analytical Unit 2: Music as Culture Reasoning: From
Enslavement to Freedom, a Productive
Music as Culture
Music has played a central role in the culture and sociopoliOcal strivings of African‐Americans. Using
the coded messages
of slave songs (field hollers, work songs and spirituals) as a background, discuss the contemporary
messages of hiphop
and the overarching development of jazz. How has commercializaOon impacted pop art and culture in
society? How has this commercializaOon been exported to the world?
Music adds the spice to life, since it directly and indirectly affects language, fashion, educaOon,
and many other elements of human disOncOon. Students will consider the obvious and not‐so
connecOons between music and culture. In addiOon, students will explore the connecOons of
to slave songs and Jazz and consider the affects of commercializaOon on music around the
Storytelling is the link, which Oes the American
Slave to the African. In West African culture the
Griot is an esteemed member of the community
who is charged with preserving the history of
the tribe or village. The Griot uses humor, drama
Oc narraOves, poetry, song and dance not
only to entertain but to glorify and extol the virtues
of the community at important cultural
events. This tradiOon of poetry, dance, and storytelling
combined and crossed the
waters with the enslaved African. The tradiOon
was carried forward by the field hollers, the
blues, jazz, and rap musics of the twenty first
century. Music is ohen labeled as a common
denominator, one of the greatest avenues of
unity among human groups around the planet.
The response to the death of music icon Michael Jackson would be a prime example of how
music can unite
those who seem worlds apart. Almost everyone connects with others via some type of music. So,
results from culture, and culture directly results from music. What beIer way to look at historical
and connecOons than through the evoluOon of music itself. In this unit’s research tasks, students
wonderful opportuniOes to explore the connecOons between music and culture and the current
with which they idenOfy (hip‐hop) and its historical connecOons to slave songs and Jazz. They
also have the
opportunity to research the commercializaOon elements that affect music and, thereby, affect
A. Faculty IntroducOon
B. Class Goals
C. Review of Unit Syllabus
D. Class Guidelines and RegulaOons
E. Blog Intro and instrucOons
Bell, Ed; Lennon, Thomas, “Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave NarraOves”, HBO
A. YouTube examples to correlate with the Omeline
B. Excerpts maybe from the HBO series, or from the movie Love Jones
Conyers, James L. ed., “African American Jazz and Rap”, McFarland and Co., 2001.
YouTube Video examples
A. You Tube/ Video
1. Rap/Hip Hop
3. Rap and Jazz
B. Blogging assignment 1 (Instructor’s choice of topic)
Daulatzai, Sohail; Dyson, Michel Eric, “Born to Use Mics:Reading’s Nas IllamOc”, Basic
Civitas Books, New York,
Als, Hilton, “The Next Music Mogul, The New Negro”, The New Yorker, 1997.
Oral Discussion ‐ show clip for Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which looks at misogyny and the
A. Ideas, impression, criOcal discourse
B. Blogging assignment 2 (Instructor’s choice of topic)
Roots of Rap /Hip Hop
A. PresentaOon on African influences
B. Modern Influences ‐ guest speaker
Wastrous, Peter, “Review/Jazz; Rap Group Releases Album That Includes Disputed Song”, New
Brody, Richard, ”MILES TO GO”, The New Yorker, 2010.
Frere‐Jones, Sasha, “Doom’s Day, Madvillain redeems the pretensions of independent hip‐hop”,
A. Slave narraOves, audio and visual
B. Work songs/field hollers, audio and visual
C. Modern comedy shows, audio and visual
Pilgrim, David, “The Coon Caricature”, Oct. 2000.
A. Oral presentaOon by groups
B. Individual wriIen documentaOon
Gang Starr‐ “Jazz thing”
Miles Davis‐ “Fusion”
Tribe called Quest‐ “Jazz (We’ve Got)”
GURU‐“Hood Dreamin h. Solar”
Public Enemy‐ “Fight The Power”
• Bernard, Shane K., Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues, University Press of
Jackson, Mississippi, 1996. (MenOons black Creole music, but not Creole folk songs.)
• Borders, Florence E., "Researching Creole and Cajun Musics in New Orleans," Black Music
Journal, vol. 8, no. 1 (1988) 15‐31.
• Cable, George W., "The Dance in Place Congo," Century Magazine, vol. 31, Feb., 1886, pp.
• McGinty, Doris E. and Nickerson, Camille, "The Louisiana Lady," The Black Perspec5ve in
vo. 7, no. 1 (Spring, 1979) 81‐94.
• Nickerson, Camille, Africo‐Creole Music in Louisiana; a thesis on the planta5on songs
the Creole negroes of Louisiana, Oberlin College, 1932.
• Perone, James E., Louis Moreau GoOschalk, a Bio‐Bibliography, Greenwood Press,
• Scarborough, Dorothy, On the Trail of Negro Folk‐Songs, Harvard University Press, 1925.
• Starr, S. Frederick, Bamboula! The Life and Times of Louis Moreau GoOschalk, Oxford
• Tiersot, Julien, "Notes d'ethnographie musicale: La Musique chez les peuples indigenes de
l'Amerique du Nord," Sammelbande der Interna5onalen MusikgesellschaS 11 (1910); 141‐231.
Melodies only, with musicological notes.
• Tiersot, Julien, Chansons Negres, Heugel, Paris, 1933.
• Veillon, Ching, Creole Music Man: Bois Sec Ardoin, Xlibris, 2003