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MUS1040 - American Music and Popular Culture

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Craig De Wilde


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2007 (Day)


The musical, sociopolitical and commercial aspects of popular music and its development in the United States including British-American folk music, African-American folk music, blues, jazz, country, and rock music. How these styles have influenced each other and relate to the surrounding culture. The ways the 'business' of music affects musical style is a central issue in analysing cultural trends: from the 'beats' of the 50s and the 'hippies' of the 60s to the 'punks' of the 70s and the 'rappers' of today.


By the end of the semester, students who complete this unit successfully should have:

  1. A basic knowledge of primary musical terminology and its function in describing popular music development.
  2. A general knowledge of the major styles and stylistic trends in popular music, with an emphasis on the specific musical characteristics which define each tradition.
  3. A framework to identify, categorise and assess popular music styles and selected works from folk, blues, country, jazz and rock music repertoires.
  4. An understanding of how to write about music through critical observation and analysis.


Subject to approval, assessment will be: Concert Review 1 (750 words): 20%
Concert Review 2 (750 words): 20%
Listening test 1 (1/2 an hour): 10%
Listening test 2 (1/2 an hour): 10%
final examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

4 hours (1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 2 hour library session) per week