Music of the African Diaspora in the United States

  1. Music in African American Community Life (Focus on Music Genre)
    Music plays a central role in African American community life. Please select a musical genre
    explored in course lectures or readings, such as the blues, spirituals, jazz, gospel, etc. Next
    consider the central role of your selected genre in African American community life and further
    elaborate upon salient musical features that define its (the genre’s) performance style. In your
    discussion of performance style, please address sound quality and notable aspects of delivery,
    as well as referencing at least five artists of the genre you have selected. Outline the historical
    circumstances of African American life during the time period of the genre you have selected.
  2. African Elements in African American Music (Focus on Musical Characteristics)
    African American music shares many foundational musical characteristics with sub-Saharan
    African music. Discuss the relationship between African and African American music from a
    critical perspective. Outline key historical events and/or trends that link African and African
    American music in your discussion of this relationship. Identify at least three musical
    characteristics shared between African and African American music, and describe the cultural
    contexts they exist within. List at least three African instruments that influenced the
    development of African American music, and describe the aesthetic principles that govern their
    use.
  3. Choose Your Own Topic (Self Directed)
    You may also choose your own research paper topic