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From the Blues to Hip Hop (HI3S7)



Office Hours:

Seminar Times:

Dr Roger Fagge
FAB3.05, third floor, Faculty of Art Building
+44 (0)24 76523395 (internal extension 23395) 

Autumn Term: Mon 1-2pm, Thurs 1-2 pm

NB This module begins week two: Monday 9 October 2023

Group One: Monday 9-11 S1.69

Group Two: Monday 11-1 Temp Room 6: Council Chamber. (Due to problems with the Humanities building)

Group Three: Monday 2-4 Fab 4.79

Module Moodle Page:

Library Talis Aspire:


During the early C20th various musical forms, which drew on local musical cultures, many of which were African-American, came together to remake popular music as a dynamic and vibrant force. As the century progressed popular music became an important factor in popular culture more generally, influencing, among other things, politics, media, leisure and fashion. Popular music’s importance has long been the subject of debate with criticism from commentators and intellectuals, including the Frankfurt School’s Kulturindustrie’ critique which saw it as commodified entertainment, whereas others, notably Eric Hobsbawm, saw popular music as more complex and at times both hegemonic and counter-hegemonic.

These debates have continued and become part of a lively historiography which this 30 CATS undergraduate final-year Advanced Option module draws upon as it explores the main developments in popular music. It uses, but takes a critical approach to genre, explores popular music’s role within mass culture, the impact of technology, the relationship between popular and art music, the debate over ‘authenticity’, the link to other arts movements, the impact of race, gender and class, and music’s role in reflecting and changing politics and identity.