Reading Black Music: Key Texts on African American Music and other Afro-Diasporic Genres

Learning Objective
Deepening the knowledge of black music and relevant literature. Reading a number of important texts on black music. Understanding how texts are written, by whom and for whom. Learning to evaluate academic and non-academic literature.

Course Description
A large amount of publications appeared over the past decades that deal with the music of black Americans. Not only histories of early American music, jazz, soul, blues, religious music, and classical music, but also (auto)biographies of musicians, criticism, and texts on the cultural, economic and sociological meanings of black music. Furthermore, a number of authors wrote books, novels and poetry that strongly refer to black music, most notably jazz and blues. In this reading-class, each student will read an individual list of articles and (chapters from) books .

Course Details

teacher Walter van de Leur
term September-December 2023, Thursdays
method of instruction The group will meet by appointment about six times to present and discuss the works read.
requirements excellent reading, listening and speaking skills in English.
assignments Students will read articles, books and capita selecta from black music literature. They will present their findings to the group, based on short written reviews.
assessment oral paper for the group; collected reviews
credits 5
related electivesFreedom and Improvisation
  Music for an Inclusive Society
  New Methodologies for Music Research