Fall 2020

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

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-334  |  Music, as MUSI-226

Formerly listed as: BLST-14  |  MUSI-24

Moodle site: Course


Jason Robinson (Section 01)


(Offered as MUSI 226 and BLST 334 [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. This course 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. As an exception for fall semester of 2020, students may petition to have the course fulfill a departmental seminar requirement for the Music major. Students wishing to do this will be required to complete an additional research project.

Fall semester. Professor Robinson. Synchronous and asynchronous course components will be conducted via Zoom and the course website.  There will be options for face to face group and individual meetings for students on campus.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to music majors, then to seniors and 1st-year students


Artistic Practice, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Writing, Fine Arts for Non-majors, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020