Chapter one: themes and streams of music



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Review and Discussion Questions
1. Every aspect of popular music that is today regarded as American in character has sprung from three broad “streams.” What are the three streams? Describe each of them.
2. Describe the English ballad opera tradition.
3. What were the pleasure gardens and why were they important to the development of popular music?
4. What are some musical elements of African music that have influenced American popular music?
5. What is a ballad? Typically, what musical form does a ballad follow?
6. What is the relationship of the melody and lyrics in a typical ballad in strophic form?
7. Describe the relationship between the “center” and the “periphery” throughout the history of American popular music.
8. What has been the role of the musical “margins” in shaping mainstream popular taste?
9. What are some examples of the relationship between music and identity in American popular music?
10. How has American popular music reinforced certain stereotypes?
11. Why is traditional musicology often of little relevance in helping us understand popular music?


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