Spring 2017  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)

Jazz History to 1945: Emergence, Early Development, and Innovation

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-234  |  Music, as MUSI-226

Formerly listed as: BLST-14  |  MUSI-24

Moodle site: Course


Jason L. Robinson (Section 01)


(Offered as MUSI 226 and BLST 234 [US].)  One of two courses that trace the development of jazz from its emergence in early 20th-century New Orleans to its profound impact on American culture. Jazz History to 1945 examines its early roots in late 19th-century American popular culture and its role as American popular music in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. Using themes that connect the evolution of jazz practices to social and racial politics in American popular culture, we will look closely at the work of well-known historical figures (Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and several others) as well as the vibrant communities that nurtured and prompted their innovative musical practices. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Robinson.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Writing, Fine Arts for Non-majors


2016-17: Offered in Spring 2017
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2014