House Bill 2504

Spring 2011 Course Syllabus

MUSI-1310-01 (American Popular Music)

Faculty Information
SemesterSpring 2011
InstructorJudy, Michael Alan
Phone(713) 931-4361
Commercial Music Program
Chair:Kristel Kemmerer
Telephone:(409) 984-6520
Hours:1/2 Hour Before and After Class
Building:Performing Arts & Theatre (PATB)
Room #:135D
Course Information
Course ID #10426
Course Subject-Number-SectionMUSI-1310-01
Course TitleAmerican Popular Music
Course Description A survey of commercial music industry trends and developments through historical analysis. Topics include the evolution of the music industry with emphasis on the development of popular musical styles and the impact of culture and technology on industry growth. The birth and evolution of Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Country, R&B, Swing, and Rock and Roll will be examined in context of each style’s connection to subsequent iterations, resulting in the popular music of today, along with a historical examination of how those music styles both reflect and influence American society and culture at large.
Course Prerequisites None

Required Textbooks No textbook; however, a 3-ring binder with lined notebook paper is required to accommodate handouts and class notes.
Learning Objectives Summarize the history and development of popular musical styles as related to social, technological, and cultural trends. Value diverse popular music styles with an appreciation for the impact of earlier historical developments on current musical trends and performance styles.

Major Assignments American Popular Music is all about listening to the music presented and played in class, and discussing it in context of the goals and descriptions above. Class-time presents the only opportunity to hear the music we are studying. During class, you will engage in critical listening of music, lively discussion, and good note taking. For this reason, your success directly correlates to your attendance and your ability to engage with the subject matter.

FIRST EXAM - A multiple choice test will be given during the 4th week of class. Please remain seated after the exam, as class will continue.

MIDTERM EXAM - a multiple choice midterm exam will be given Tuesday, March 22nd covering all subject matter presented to date in class. You may leave upon completion.

THIRD EXAM - A multiple choice test will be given on April 19th covering subject matter presented from March 24th - April 14th. Please remain seated after the exam, as class will continue.

FINAL EXAM (date below) - Final exam will be a comprehensive multiple choice exam with 150-200 questions. You may leave upon completion.

Discussion Topics Beginning with early song and the songs of slavery, each lecture will highlight an important aspect of American popular music that has influenced and changed our culture. Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Country, Gospel, R&B, Swing, and Rock and Roll, and music from American Theater will be examined from their beginnings through their development. Cross-connections and pollintions of styles will be examined as well as the ways in which these styles both reflect and impact American cultural events. Legendary songwriters, musicians, and singers will be discussed according to the ways in which they influenced or changed the American scene.
Attendance Policy Research has shown a cause and effect relationship between attendance and college success. A student with three absences may be dropped from class. You get one ‘free’ absence before your late /absences start to count against your grade in the attendance category. After that, each absence deducts 7.5% of your grade for a TTh class. Three lates/early departures equal one absence. No exceptions. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class, a record will be kept, and you will be updated at midterm regarding your progress in this area.

1 absence = 100%

2 absences = 92.5%

3 absences = 85%

Determination of Final Grade QUIZ AND EXAM POLICY

•        MINI-QUIZZES:

1)        There will be from 12-16 unannounced mini-quizzes on subject-matter discussed in the previous class.

2)        If you miss the class, you will receive a 0% on the quiz without a makeup.

3)        If you are late, you will not be permitted to take the quiz until the completion of class. An automatic 20% deduction will be assessed.

•        EXAMS:

1)        Exams, as well as quizzes, cannot be ‘made up’ at a later time or date*.

2)        All tests are multiple choice. Please come prepared with Scantron 50/50.

*In cases of verifiable emergencies or unavoidable sickness, you may take a ‘completion version’ of the test, which will require you to write in the answers in the blanks, rather than choosing from multiple choices.


Final grade will be determined by:

•        20%        Mini quizzes and assignments

•        30%        Two exams (15% each) (Option of first exam and project term paper is given)

•        18%        Midterm Exam

•        22%        Final exam – 150-200 questions

•        10%        Attendance

•        Extra credit will be given for attendance at approved concerts directly related to subject matter of this course.

•        Extra credit will be given for an attractive ‘class notebook’ with neatly taken         notes, a complete discography, and daily ‘handouts’; turned in after the last scheduled class (before the final exam).


As mentioned above, you may receive extra credit (bonus points) toward your final grade by attending approved concerts. 2% points will be added to your final percentage for each concert attended. In order to receive credit, you must:

1)        Bring back a signed program or ticket from the event, signed by any performer or person working for the event, stapled or clipped to a written report. I will not accept unattached tickets that are easy to misplace.

2)        Write a short report regarding the concert (no less than 150 words). The report must include the following:

a)        A description of the style of music presented

b)        How this music or the artist was influenced by earlier music or artists

c)        Your favorite song and why.         

Final Exam Date May 17, 2011 - 8:00 AM
Campus Policies
Lamar State College - Port Arthur

Mission Statement

Lamar State College-Port Arthur is an open-access, comprehensive public two-year college offering quality instruction leading to associate degrees and a variety of certificates. The college, a member of The Texas State University System, has provided affordable, quality educational opportunities to residents of the Southeast Texas area since 1909.Lamar State College-Port Arthur embraces the premise that education is an ongoing process that enhances career potential, broadens intellectual horizons, and enriches life. The faculty, staff, and administration share a commitment to a mission characterized by student learning, diversity, and community service. The foundations for student success include compensatory education programs designed to fulfill our commitment to accommodate students with diverse goals and backgrounds, technical education programs that provide for the acquisition of the skills and demeanor necessary for initial and continued employment, and a core curriculum that develops the values and concepts that allow the student to make a meaningful contribution in the workplace or community. Student achievement is measured by the completion of courses and programs of study, successful performance following transfer to a baccalaureate program, and the attainment of individual goals.

Lamar State College-Port Arthur operates in the belief that all individuals should be:

* Treated with dignity and respect;

* Afforded equal opportunity to acquire a complete educational experience;

* Given an opportunity to discover and develop their special aptitudes and insights;

* Provided and opportunity to equip themselves for a fulfilling life and responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

 College Grading Scale

Below 59F

(Some specialized programs may have different grading scales)


 Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated.  Please consult the student handbook for consequences of academic dishonesty.  These policies will be strictly enforced.


 Facility  Policies

        No food, drinks, or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

        Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom.

        Cell phones and/or pagers are allowed ONLY on vibrate mode. Leaving the classroom to answer a page or phone call may constitute an absence or a tardy.


 Special Considerations

         The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Special Populations Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.

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