CC 300 EX - Music of America's Wars

3 Credits
TR 11:50-1:05 pm - Professor Ferguson
Cross-listed with MUS 390AX
Fulfills fine arts requirement.

This seminar explores the roles music has played in America’s wars and the responses of musicians to those wars. Public, political, and personal aspects of the war experience expressed musically will be considered. Perspectives include: music in the life of soldiers and music of those back home; music as an ideological force (rallying songs and songs in protest of war); and music as expressive of conflict, victory and loss. In addition to traditional, popular, and commercial music from the eras studied, the seminar also treats artistic works composed to interpret the experience of wars. Examples of the latter include George Crumb's Black Angels, Steve Reich’s Different Trains, Ned Rorem’s War Scenes, and John Adams’ opera Doctor Atomic. The course emphasizes music of the Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War eras. Some attention will also be given to the Revolutionary War, World War I, the Cold War of the 1950s, the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001, and the current war in Iraq. Musicians are encouraged to enroll, but musical training is not required for success in this seminar. Students interested in American history and in socio-cultural approaches to music are encouraged to register.

In addition to songs and larger musical works, texts will include reading selections from the following:

• Cleveland, Les. Dark Laughter; War in Song and Popular Culture. Praeger Publishers, 1994.
• Hamm, Charles, Yesterdays; Popular Song in America. Norton 1983.
• Jones, John Bush. The Songs that fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945. Brandeis Univ. Press, 2006.
• Kelley, Bruce C. and Mark A. Snell, editors. Bugle Resounding; Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era. University of Missouri Press, 2004.
• Pieslak, Jonathan. Sound Targets; American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War. Indiana Univ. Press, 2009.
• Von Eschen, Penny M. Satchmo Blows Up the World; Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War. Harvard Univ. Press, 2004.
• Watkins, Glenn. Proof through the Night; Music and the Great War. University of California Press, 2003