INTR 165 Words and Music in the 60s and 70s (Not offered 2004-2005)

What are the sources of meaning and emotional power in song? To what extent do musical settings of text support meanings already inherent in the words? To what extent do the musical elements of song fix the meaning of otherwise ambiguous and lifeless lyrics? What is lost and what is gained when poetry is transformed into song? Finally, which comes first in the creative process, the tune or the text? In this course, we will investigate the intricate alliance between words and music in American and British popular song of the 1960s and 70s. Our focus will be on the songs of Bob Dylan, John Lennon/Paul McCartney, and Joni Mitchell. Albums receiving particular attention will include Dylan's Another Side of Bob Dylan and Blood on the Tracks, the Beatles Revolver and Sgt. Pepper, and Mitchell's Hejira and Court and Spark. In addition to training our analytic and interpretive skills on these paramount songwriters, we will also consider songs by those figures who influenced them and by those they, in turn, influenced. Our primary focus will be on the songs themselves-on how they were put together and on how we hear them-yet we will also consider the impact of social and artistic context on their creation. By studying these particular songs, we will develop and refine our abilities to read and hear all forms of words and music. Format: lecture. Evaluation will be based on a midterm exam, a 5- to 6-page paper, and a final exam. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 150 (expected 130-150). Preference given to Sophomores and Juniors.

R. BELL and T. SHEPPARD