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AFRICAAM 180S: The Black Music 1980s: Turntables, Beat Machines and DJ Scholarship (CSRE 180S)

This course focuses on the regional rhythms and aesthetic trends of Black popular music of the Americas in the 1980s, a period of Black cultural production largely ignored by the academy. Students will investigate how technology, economic shifts, AIDS, and the War on Drugs impacted communities who produced, created, and danced to music in the face of hostile political terrain. Students will develop and employ careful listening practices that encompass the study of sampling, digging through crates of vinyl, analyzing album cover art, and closely reading liner notes. The musical forms we will cover range from New Jack Swing to Quiet Storm Music to Synthesizer Soul. Figures we will study include nontraditional scholars and practitioners, artists, activists, music journalists, and cultural critics. Finally, students will map the digital movement of music, people, and ideas through post-human platforms such as computer-based home recording studios, portable sound systems, beat-making equipment, keytars, turntables, and sampling machines.
Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Banks, A. (PI)
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