The required and supplementary readings for Week 1 offer a variety of perspectives on the nature of popular music in our increasingly interconnected world. The readings center on several key questions, of which you will choose TWO to answer: 1) How do we distinguish between “local” and “global” music and to what extent is it a meaningful distinction? 2) To what extent is globalization intensifying musical homogeneity and/or promoting greater musical diversity? 3) How is the musical world today a product of Western “cultural imperialism” and/or the result of competing local, regional, and global influences? 4) How has the growth of mass media affected the production and consumption of music today? 5) How has the growth of urban spaces/cities shaped popular music around the world? 6) In what ways is popular music used to reinforce or transcend social boundaries and identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, and gender)? 7) What is musical “authenticity,” why is it problematic, and why are people still invested in this idea? 8) What is the difference between cultural exchange/collaboration and cultural appropriation/exploitation? 9) In what ways is popular music complicit in the status quo and/or a form of resistance/protest against it?
For each question, you must: a) summarize the relevant authors’ perspectives on the issue; b) make an argument for the perspective(s) that you find most compelling; c) support your argument with evidence from the text. Your paper must reference all four of the required and supplementary readings from Week 1. No outside sources are necessary. The paper should be five (5) pages (1250 words), and should be formatted in Times New Roman, 12pt., double-spaced, with 1” margins. Chicago style.
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