Overview:

For each week in our course, you will consider music as a cultural artifact and be

assigned either a piece of music or a specific musical artist to explore and analyze for

the week. This week, you will be listening to music by Black Pop artist, Michael

Jackson. Michael Jackson is a direct link between the Motown Music we listened to

previously, and 1980s pop music. He came from a musical background, and the vocal

group he was in, The Jackson 5, were considered Motown’s last great act.

We will also shift gears some, and listen to some of the neotraditional trends of the 80s

and 90s, such as the renewal of Rock and Roll, the Blues Revival and socially aware

female singer-songwriters.

Please be sure to read through the entire assignment, as there will be several parts to it

again.

In addition to your etextbook, you should expect to complete some research online to

respond to these questions. Be sure to use vetted resources—if you aren’t sure what a

reliable source is, remember, you can use the CRAP test to determine if your source is

reliable!

Instructions:

Part 1: Michael Jackson’s Thriller

 On the internet or your phone, look up the official music video for Michael

Jackson’s Thriller.

 After watching this music video, answer the following questions in a word

document:

o Describe this video and explain why you believe it became such a mega

hit.

o Share a brief biography of Michael Jackson.

o Thriller is considered characteristic of post-1980s pop music. Describe

what makes it characteristic. Be sure to include information about the

rhythm, use of electronic instruments and conventional instruments and

Jackson’s voice.

MUS 121 – Rhythm Blues and Hip Hop

Unit 7 – Black Pop and Neotraditional Trends of the 80s and 90s Music as a Cultural Artifact – Guided Listening Assignment

Part 2: The Renewal of Rock and the Resurgence of Blues Music

 On the internet or your phone, listen to ONE the following:

o The Traveling Wilburys, “Handle With Care”

o The Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up:

o Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “I Won’t Back Down”

o Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Voodoo Child”

o Robert Cray, “Strong Persuader”

 After listening to your selection, answer the following questions in a word

document:

o Is your choice representative of a resurgence of rock music or blues

music? Explain why you made this determination.

o Share a brief biography of each of the band/artists you chose.

o Name the members of each of these bands.

o Examine the lyrics and share the lines which are your favorite and/or

made an impression on you.

o What are the ideas being addressed in each of these songs?

o What is the date that the original music was written? What is the date that

this original recording was made/released ?

o Has anyone else recorded the song you have chosen? If so, find one

YouTube recording of a “cover” of the song you have chosen if it is

available. If nothing is available, please indicate that as well.

o List the instruments you hear in these recordings. Are each of these songs

the same or different instrumentation?

o What was your favorite thing about the performances/recordings?

o What emotions did the performances/recordings make you feel when you

heard it?

Part 3: Socially-conscious Female Singer-Songwriters

 On the internet or your phone, listen to ONE the following:

o Suzanne Vega, “The Queen and the Soldier”

o Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car”

 After listening to your selection, answer the following questions in a word

document:

o Share a brief biography of each of the artist you chose.

o Examine the lyrics and share the lines which are your favorite and/or

made an impression on you.

o What are the ideas being addressed in each of these songs? How does

the song you chose illustrate the artist’s social-consciousness?

o What is the date that the original music was written? What is the date that

this original recording was made/released ?

o Has anyone else recorded the song you have chosen? If so, find one

YouTube recording of a “cover” of the song you have chosen if it is

available. If nothing is available, please indicate that as well.

o List the instruments you hear in these recordings. Are each of these songs

the same or different instrumentation?

o What was your favorite thing about the performances/recordings?

o What emotions did the performances/recordings make you feel when you

heard it?

Requirements:

 Three to four pages in length, excluding the Reference page.

 APA format, including an in-text citation for referenced works.

 At least four resources.

Be sure to read the criteria by which your work will be evaluated before you write

and again after you write

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