Reading and take-home quiz: 4/18 [plus blues links]

READING: Susan McClary –  Feminine Endings (introduction) (1991)


TAKE-HOME QUIZ: Write one-to-two paragraphs on the following two subjects. This will be your final assignment outside of the final music project. Bring your printed essays to class next week.

Short essay #1: What is “double-consciousness” as first theorized by W.E.B. DuBois? List and briefly describe several ways that doubleness and contradiction are expressed in the musical practice of the blues.

Hint: Consult the first half of the Nick Bromell article—look for references to “mediat[ing] between two traditions and two worlds,” and “series of interlocking and mutually reinforcing traditions”—and consult your notes from class.

Short essay #2: Susan McClary argue that seemingly neutral musical parameters such as tonality, form, rhythm, etc. have been used to express, and perpetuate, familiar gender/sexual roles and stereotypes. Briefly outline two of the primary supportive points/examples she gives to bolster her argument.

Bonus: For both essays, extra points may be rewarded if you give a reasoned explanation of why you agree or disagree with key points made by Bromell and McClary.


NRBQ “12-Bar Blues”

More 12-bar blues: Ray Charles “What’d I Say”

B.B. King “Three O’Clock Blues”

Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong’s hit recording of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” (1925)

Cee-Lo Green “Forget You” (note: While not a 12-bar blues, this is a I-IV-V progression if you hear the II major chord as a “secondary dominant”–that is, a V of V chord)


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