About MU 1147 A

Examines the interrelationships between styles of music in New Orleans and the cultures that support them; includes a trip to New Orleans during spring break.


Class meets in person on 1/16, 2/6, 2/27, 3/19, 4/9, 4/30 Meets in Lafayette L311 in person Open to degree and PACE students

Section Description

Course Description This course looks at the musical and cultural “gumbo” of New Orleans. Beginning with the history of its founding and development and natural history, the city’s African-American, Franco-American and Anglo-American cultural traditions and the musics that developed from them will be examined, as well as how they function and are expressed in present day New Orleans. Styles covered will include traditional jazz, brass band, r&b/funk, Bounce, cajun, zydeco, and Mardi Gras Indian music. The effects of Hurricane Katrina on the culture and music of New Orleans will also be considered, as well as issues of community service, race, racism, and diversity. Unfortunately, there will be no trip to New Orleans this year! Academic Objectives By the end of this course, students will: • Become familiar with the geography and natural history of New Orleans • Become familiar with the settlement history of New Orleans • Become familiar with the cultural/ethnic mix in New Orleans • Develop a working knowledge of the musical elements and structure of various styles of New Orleans music • Be able to make connections between various styles of New Orleans music • Become familiar with the connections between music and culture in New Orleans • Understand the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the connection between music and culture in New Orleans • Sharpen their ability to listen closely and analytically to music in general • Become aware of differing perspectives regarding community service • Increase their awareness and understanding of issues related to diversity and multiculturalism, race and racism, and power and privilege, and confront and reflect on their own prejudices and feelings regarding these issues (see “Diversity Objectives” below). “Pedagogical” Objectives • Encouraging Critical Thinking – Students will be continually challenged to move beyond “the facts” and to engage in higher order critical thinking skills involving reflection, critical analysis, evaluation, making connections, and personalizing the course material. This will be accomplished during online and in-class discussions and through such assignments as discussion questions, listening exercises, comparisons of musical styles/cultures, and a final project related to the music and/or culture of New Orleans (see “Assignments” below). • Service Component – Although there will not be a community service project in New Orleans this year, through readings, discussions, and a presentation by a New Orleans community service provider, I hope to foster reflection and a sense of empathy in students around issues relating to community service in general and a more in depth sense of connection to New Orleans in particular. Diversity Objectives By the end of the course, students will: • Increase their understanding of issues of race and racism in the U.S. through online content and required discussion questions, and through online presentations and discussions with New Orleans historians, musicians, and community service providers. • Increase their understanding of the meaning of power and privilege through online content, required discussion questions, an online “plantation tour,” and discussion/presentation by a New Orleans community service provider. • Increase their understanding of the importance and impact of diversity and multiculturalism in U.S. society through online discussion promoting the “salad bowl/gumbo” rather than the “melting pot” view of U.S. society and the use of music as a lens through which to experience multiculturalism, as well as an online presentation/concert with a local New Orleans musician. • Reflect on their own prejudices in a manner observable by the instructor through an online discussion question on students’ prior experiences providing or receiving service, other discussion questions, readings on community service, and online interactions with New Orleans presenters.

Section Expectation

Assignments • Weekly online discussion questions emphasizing and encouraging reflection and critical thinking connected to course content • Weekly listening exercises identifying typical musical elements of various styles of New Orleans music. • Comparison of musical styles/cultures; 3 pages • Final project of students’ own choosing relating to the music, people, and culture of New Orleans Participation Guidelines: Students are expected to fully participate in the course by performing these tasks on a weekly basis, which will likely lead to greater academic success • Engage in the online component of the course multiple times from beginning to end of the week • Practice good time management and don’t wait until the end of the week to complete learning activities • Complete all required readings and review content materials prior to attending class and completing assignments and discussions • Show respect for others in all communications • Contribute comments based on thoughtful consideration • Raise relevant points that add to the conversation • Respond both to instructor and fellow students’ questions and comments • Reference assigned readings to support comments or differing opinions • Ask relevant questions


Grading Online discussion - 35% Listening exercises - 15% Musical styles/cultures essay - 20% Final project - 30%

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


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Interest Form

MU 1147 A is closed to new enrollment.

But we can remind you a few days before the next term opens. You can also see what terms are enrolling currently.