Choose one of the themes below and discuss how it has affected popular music from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Choose one of the themes below and discuss how it has affected popular music from the 1950s through the 1990s. You will need to provide multiple examples related to your chosen theme from each decade.

1- Critical Listening – Focus on stylistic elements of popular music genres and how these musical elements have evolved over time. How have musical genres borrowed different elements from each other? How have song forms, instrumentation, melodies/rhythms, timbre, and the lyrical content of popular music evolved throughout our course? You should cite and compare multiple audio examples from each unit to address this topic.

2- Music and Identity – How has popular music been shaped by individual and group identity throughout our course? How does music in turn reflect these ideas surrounding identity? Issues such as race, social structure, age, gender, fashion/trends, and politics should be addressed. How does music shape your personal identity?

3- Music and Technology – How has technology affected our popular music evolution? You may consider both the technology of creating/performing music as well as the technology for distributing, receiving, and consuming music.

4- The Music Business– What role has the music business played in affecting our popular music development? How has it changed, how has it stayed the same, what are some of the issues it has struggled with. Some ideas to consider are music genre creation, marketing, cross-promotion, copyright/licensing laws, and racial segregation.

5- Centers and Peripheries – This topic refers to the relationship between “mainstream” culture and its tendency to absorb cultural practices and styles that originate in minority communities. What are the primary centers of music production and why? Why do musical styles shift from the peripheries of society to the center or “mainstream” and what happens to the music when they do?

Your paper should be 7 pages (double-spaced, standard tabs) and include clearly organized paragraphs of content that move the reader chronologically through the decades with regards to your chosen thematic topic. You should only need to refer to the content from this course, but if you use any outside sources, please cite those sources at the end of your paper.

Choose one of the themes below and discuss how it has affected popular music from the 1950s through the 1990s.

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