California in the 60's

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2020

Kate van Orden (Department of Music)
Freshman Seminar 30M    4 credits (fall term)  Enrollment:  Limited to 15

 

This seminar examines American youth culture in the "long" 1960s through the lens of music in California. A range of popular and art music will be considered, from San Francisco psychedelia, L.A. rock-n-roll, surf rock, outlaw country, funk, and the ballads of singer-songwriters to the early minimalism of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and John Adams. Much of our attention will be concentrated on a few spectacularly influential albums: The Doors (the group’s debut album, 1967), Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow (1967), an album definitive of the Summer of Love, Sly & the Family Stone’s Stand! (1969), and the self-titled Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969), an album that turned the tide of pop music away from blues-based rock-n-roll toward acoustic guitars, folk elements, and singing in harmony. Our musical “texts” for the class will be sound recordings, so you will not have to read scores. Come with open ears, an open mind, and a desire to learn from listening. In addition to studying musical genres, performance styles, and the effects of technology (radio, recording, electric instruments), the class will delve into the social movements in which music played a crucial role: the Civil Rights Movement, protests against the Vietnam War, the ecology movement, gay liberation, and feminism.

See also: Fall 2020