In the early 1960s, Detroit, Michigan became a landmark of soul music in the United States. The term "soul" was common among Afro-American musicians to emphasize their feelings about "being Black" in the United States. Highly inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, luminaries like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Al Green or Aretha Franklin, etc. shaped the spirit of their era and beyond. Rooted in traditional Afro-American gospel and rhythm and blues, soul music is a hybrid of its respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation. This course investigates Motown`s soul music classics and offers an overview of historical, cultural, and societal factors that gave rise to its distinctive aesthetic.
Readings/materials: A selection of relevant essays and book excerpts will be made available via Moodle. The course will include listening comprehension and music video screenings.
Course requirements: Completion of reading assignments, a short (oral) presentation, and an essay at the end of the course. Regular attendance and active participation in seminar discussions is expected.