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Another New Course Idea

I need to mock up a reading/listening list for this (just for my files) relatively soon, before I forget.

I was thinking of the kind of job a singing acquaintance of mine recently got. I think his degree is in music theory, but he's a dedicated shape-note singer and teacher, and has a distinctly ethnomusicological frame of mind. He ended up getting a position at a small college out East that has no ethno classes or ethno professors. He is, technically, teaching music history and theory. But, he told me, he intends to make his classes Stealth Ethnomusicology™, introducing ethnomusicological methods of inquiry to his history/theory students.

So I was thinking . . . how cool would it be to teach a course on Early American music? A major text would be Richard Cullen Rath's How Early America Sounded, and I think I have an older book on revival music floating around somewhere. I could teach about the banjo, about church bells, about parody music from the Revolution, the revivals. This could be the course where I teach all about Supply Belcher, who was known in his day as "the Handel of Maine," a phrase that has always made me want to get into a conversation about Handel just so I can refer to him as "the Belcher of London."

Gotta note that down.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 26th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
I found that I taught very little of what I thought (hoped) I'd teach when I was in grad school. I definitely ended up sneaking in the stuff that really interested me. The students seems to like it. My colleagues...not always so much. Academic freedom is not always a well understood concept. Sigh.
Aug. 27th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
Well, a girl can dream. I guess I just have to find the right kind of job (i.e. not at Berkeley).
Aug. 27th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Supply Belcher. Another fine New England name.
Aug. 27th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I need to find out if it was his family that gave their name to Belchertown, Massachusetts.
Aug. 29th, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
THAT is really exciting. When I was a kid, my parents had a habit of not really letting me into modern music, but buying me odd things, like collections of historic American music. I still have the albums somewhere I think...

Anyway...having grown up listening to things like 'The Green Mountaineer', and 'The Ballad of Donald Monroe' (not to mention 'Barbara Allen') I think that would be really fascinating.

Oh and hello! And big hugs and hope the summer was good. :)

Aug. 29th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
I bet there's a lot of music majors who would at least be curious enough to take it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


by Illsaysheis

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