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Music 101: Music Appreciation
Major essay: Popular music in the New World
Worth: 20%
Our music survey has covered several centuries of popular music studies. Our popular music is based on a syncretism of three predominant cultural heritages: Western African, Western European, and Iberian. In an artistic survey such as ours music appreciation class, your essay needs to touch upon issues critical to the art and the culture it reflects and describes.
Topic of Essay (Thesis)
Your essay must address some aspect of this creative amalgamation. You have two choices in selecting a topic:
1) choose a pre-selected topic from the next page, adapting the thesis sentence only slightly to suit your research, and submit for approval; or,
2) choose your topic freely, formulate a thesis sentence, and submit it for approval.
In either case, you will need to narrow your choice somewhat more than you might expect. Be flexible, consider your options, own your scholarly work. It is a critical statement of who you are.
Formal requirements and details
 Minimum of 4 pages, plus a cover page and a list of sources
 Times New Roman font, double spaced, 12 point font size, 1 inch margins
 Left justification only
 Minimum of 6 sources, 4 of them must be from published or academic sites
 Use a variety of sources: books, journals, websites
 APA formatting, demonstrating footnotes or endnotes
Pre-selected topics (Option 1)
The music of slave cultures in the Caribbean and the US
Popular music of Central America
Popular music of South America
Popular music of the Caribbean
Popular music of rural US cultures
Popular music of urban US cultures
The evolution of popular dance in the US
The music of protest in US culture: Anti-war music
The music of protest in US culture: Civil Rights
The music of protest in US culture: Equal Rights
The effect of sound recording on popular music
The effect of the computer on popular music
The evolution of spoken word, hip hop and rap
The use of popular music as music therapy in autism
The use of popular music as music therapy in dementia
Radio and music in the US
Film and music in the US
The evolution of music for video and computer games
Independently chosen topics (option 2)
Here are some previously approved topics in similar classes (2013-2016) to stimulate your thinking:
Music therapy for children with learning disabilities The affect of the internet and digital downloading on the music industry
Music piracy
How does music influence someone’s driving performance The rise of grunge and punk rock in the 90s The effect of music on people with autism
The Influence of Music Technology on Hallyu K-Pop
Pop Music’s Nationalistic Representations and Clichés
Musical Inspiration in African American Slave Communities
Mainstream Hip Hop Music in the 2000s
Music in the War in Iraq
Audio Data Compression and its Musical Affects
Digital Audio Workstations
Social Injustice in Hip Hop
Music Structures Within Animal Calls and Songs
Rap Music in the Christian Church (Katrinka W)
Riot Grrrl Bands in the 90s

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