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The American Musical Melting Pot

This course will be a combination of listening to music, lecture, and participation. We will trace the beginnings of American music in Africa and Europe. We will follow the African influence on American music studying work songs, African rhythms musical instruments, and the purpose of music in African culture.
We will study European folk music, especially Irish, Scottish and English folk music. The rest of the course will explore the fascinating ways that African and European music interwove to
make American music. We will learn the distinctive rhythms that make American music unique and study blue notes and the pentatonic scale that make the blues, blues. This course will cover American music from 1750 to 1950, sampling folk music, spirituals, the blues, jazz, country and rock and roll. We'll also have time for participants to bring in samples of their favorite music to play for the class.

Barbara Martin has been a performing songwriter for over 30 years, touring in the Mid Atlantic Area in the United States and also in Ireland. She has created nine recordings which are a combination of her original music and blues and jazz music. One of her recordings, From Ragtime to Rock and Roll, is a children's CD based on the history of American music. She's had the joy of learning and writing in several genres: folk, blues and jazz. Learning about these forms of American music has broadened her writing and allowed her to express different themes and emotions in different musical styles. She's also fascinated with American music history and has presented programs on the topic to all ages from kindergarten to Elderhostels. She has taught courses at LLI for over 10 years.

Please contact our office regarding availability of this course: