2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BST 255 - Jazz: Music, Race, Politics, and American Culture

Jazz is sometimes referred to as “America’s original art form” because it was shaped by the disparate, and often opposing cultural forces in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Frequently viewed in the modern day as analogous to classical music, jazz has consistently straddled the blurry line between “high art” and “pop art” for over a century, with all of the artistic and societal baggage that such a balancing act entails. This course examines jazz from both a musical and societal lens. In particular, this course focus on jazz’s relationship to race, understanding jazz as a musical tradition rooted in Black American culture which has subsequently had a vast global impact on music and people of all backgrounds. Students will study jazz music, the musicians who create it, the politicians who react to it and/or influence artistic works, the educators who teach about it, and listeners who love, hate, praise, and deride it, all while trying to fully comprehend the answer to the deceptively complex question, “what is jazz?”
Credits: 3
Equivalent(s): FPA 255  
Offered in Spring Semester