History 490T (101) Music and Politics in the United States




Course Level



The contributions of music to American political life can be easy to observe but hard to assess. What is the point of a presidential campaign song? How can we measure the impact of a protest song? And what does a larger history of music and politics tell us about the American political experience? This course provides a foundation for thinking through the political implications of American music and a framework for considering how and why connections between music and politics may have changed over time. Beginning in the colonial period and continuing through to present day we explore how Americans of all kinds have approached the politicization of music and ask what light a musical perspective can shed on the connections between American art, culture, society, and power.