MUS 3C – Fall 2021 – Week 4

Big Goals for Today

  • Introduce Agbekor
    • Be able to name instruments
    • Polyrhythms
    • Composite rhythm
  • Practice listening to additive rhythms

Agbekor — Ghana

  • Ghana is in West Africa.
  • Agbekor is thought of as a war dance.
  • Made up of seven instruments:
    • gankogui (pronounced gahn-KOHG-way): two-tone iron bell
    • axatse (pronounced ah-HAHT-say): African gourd rattle
    • kagan drum (pronounced kah-GAHN): high-pitched accompaniment drum
    • kidi drum (pronounced kee-DEE): medium-pitched accompaniment drum
    • kroboto drum (pronounced kro-boh-TOH): medium/low-pitched accompaniment drum
    • totodzi drum (pronounced toh-toh-JEE): low-pitched accompaniment drum
    • atsimevu drum (pronounced aht-CHIM-ay-voo): lead/master drum
Image taken from This World Music (
  • Polyrhythm: Usually a feel of 2:3 or 4:6
  • Composite rhythm: The overall big beat picture
  • Micro- versus macrostructure: rhythm in relationship to self, in relationship to other instruments.

Composite Polyrhythm.

Duets + Composite

MUS114 – Summer 2021 – Session B – Week 1

  1. Reading response one!
    1. About 30 of you have completed it, it was due on Thursday!
    2. Get it in as soon as possible. 🙂
  2. Questions about the syllabus?
  3. Drop something you’ve been listening to in the chat!

  1. Shuker
    1. Page 9. What does Shuker mean by “media literacy” and “critical distance”?
    2. Page 13-14. Everyone has “cultural capital” based on their own “social position,” according to French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.
    3. Explain who Adorno was, his thoughts, and his impact. Same for Gramsci 🙂
    4. What is high culture? What is low culture? Name some examples for each.
    5. Page 20-21. A sense of “economic determinism” emerges out of the industrial/political economy view of popular music. What does it mean? What do you think is the relationship between consumption and production? Who is in control – the consumer or the industry?
  2. Feld
    1. One of the central case studies in this reading is the 1986 Paul Simon album called Graceland. Follow Feld’s description of Graceland. On page 242, he makes an important move in his argument by calling the collaborating musicians “wage laborers.” Then, Feld comes to the important concept of ownership within musical appropriation.Why does he call ownership a “boundary line” between the melody and countermelody of appropriation?
    2. Page 246. Here is the crux of the article. Feld writes that James Brown is allowed to appropriate African rhythms into American funk and soul, and that Nigerian Fela Kuti can appropriate American music (through James Brown) into Nigerian Afro-Beat without receiving backlash and social critique. However, when the Talking Heads—a white, American rock band—appropriate musical styles from James Brown and Fela Kuti, they are critiqued harshly for negatively appropriating or even stealing their music. What is the central issue here, according to Feld?
  3. PBS Blackface Minstrelsy Discussion
    1. What were some key takeaways you got out of this material?
    2. How did this relate back to what you read in Roediger?
  4. Roediger
    1. Pages 118-19. What does it mean that blackface provided a stage for lower-class whites (and especially immigrants) to deal with urban anxiety and remember “preindustrial joys”?
    2. Pages 120-22. How did blackface show provide a stage for white male and female sexuality? How were black bodies sexualized through white fascination and exoticism?
      1. We’ll get more into the question of gender with folks like Angela Davis and bell hooks.
    3. Pages 122-27. “…blackface entertainment was not merely about race relations but also about social relations among whites” (pg 123). Describe two specific social uses of blackface for white people, other than its use for overt racism.

  1. Writing Workshop
    1. How do I choose a topic? Where do I start? Why am I crying? Why did I wait so long to start this paper??? Help???

Music 114 — Fall 2020 — Week 2 Section


  1. Quiz this Friday, you’ll have until 11:59 on Friday to complete it.
  2. What have you been listening to lately? Anything that you think relates to the class?

Content — Readings

  1. Davis — I Used to be Your Sweet Mama
    1. Blues Femininity
      1. How does Davis complicate our notion of what blues is?
        1. What are some identity categories we might ascribe to blues artists?
      2. Name the 3 types of blues.
        1. What are the characteristics of each?
  2. Malone — Folk Origins of Southern Music
    1. Cultural Mixture
      1. Someone define cultural purity?
        1. Why might this be a myth?
      2. What do I mean when I say circulation?

Music 114 — Fall 2020 — Week 3 Section


Graded quizzes

Reading responses still due. Keep those up.

Quiz two is next week, start preparing for that; for those of you who didn’t do as well as you hoped, schedule office hours with me to go over what you can do to improve.


  1. Raeburn, Bruce
    1. Into the Between
      1. What does this title, in and of itself, tell us about what jazz represents in the mythology of American popular music?
    2. Can someone define interstiial?
    3. Lets name 3 ways that Raeburn demonstrates this in-between-ness.
    4. Are you convinced by his larger argument?
      1. How can we incorporate aspects of, for example, power in this in-between-ness?
      2. Is this a convincing way to think about jazz given what you know?
  2. Byrd, Jodi
    1. Space rather than temporality… What does it mean?
      1. How does place map on to power?
        1. We always want to be aware of who yeilds power in these scenarios.
    2. If we understand place as being the modus operandi of modes of relationships for Native Americans and Black Americans, does it help or hurt our understandings of power?

Alternative Assignment

  1. Connect the above questions to these musical examples:
    1. Raeburn, Bruce
      1. Second Line Parade in Memory of Trumpeter Abram Wilson
    2. Byrd, Jodi
      1. No assignment for the Byrd; just make sure you’ve read and understood the main arguments about space as a theoretical framework and how it differs from place and time.