united states (“ black ” america vs H u m a n i t i e s

united states (“ black ” america vs H u m a n i t i e s

The major research paper will be required of every student in MUSC 120 and will be written on a course appropriate topic. Sample topics could be taken from any jazz period or any major jazz figure discussed in the course such as; discuss playing styles and/or compositions that contribute to the jazz legacy and why this particular performer is considered to be a major figure in jazz history.

The length of this paper should be 6-8 pages, not including the bibliography.

Topics chosen will adhere to the goals specific to Area S GE courses. Sample general topics include: the different ways in which early African-American and European-American jazz musicians were viewed (LO-1); reasons behind the increased opportunities afforded white jazz musicians in the early recording industry of the 1920s (LO-2); the influence of the Middle East and south-Indian Carnatic music on the free jazz movement of the 1960s and its association to the United States civil rights movement (LO-3); and the increased musical interactions between United States jazz musicians and diverse groups of immigrant musicians in the post-modern jazz movement of the 1980s and 90s (LO-4).

The following is an example of a specific research paper topic: Miles Davis, a leader in the fields of bop, cool and modal jazz styles, alienated many fans and critics when he ceased activity in previous styles to pioneer jazz-rock fusion in the late 1960s. Many saw this move as a commercial sell-out, but behind this problem lurked a larger debate about the “blackness” of jazz, the “whiteness” of rock and race in general. What was Davis trying to achieve and why the reaction to it? This essay pertains to Area S GE LO-1 in being about the perceived identities of diverse groups within the society of the United States (“Black” America vs. “White” America and their respective musical aesthetics); and LO-4 in demonstrating interactions and collaborations Davis was creating between a traditionally “black” music and musicians (jazz) and a traditionally “white” music and musicians (rock).

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