Compare and contrast two popular music recordings This course examines selected aspects of the history of North American popular music from roughly WWII to the present day. Beginning with a discussion of 1940s country and western, rhythm and blues, and mainstream pop, the course will follow these traditions as they combine and influence one another to form rock and roll and its derivatives beginning in the 1950s. We will go on to discuss a variety of musical genres and styles including surf rock, the British invasion, the American folk music revival, soul, funk, punk, stadium rock, heavy metal, grunge, and hip hop. The course will emphasize both the changing nature of the music, and the changing social, historical, and cultural circumstances in which various styles were created and appreciated. In addition to considering the work and influence of key musical performers, we will discuss the broader social and cultural contexts that inform?and are informed by?popular music trends. Thus, we will consider such issues as the impact of changing technologies on popular music, the relationship between popular music and the mass media, as well as issues of class, gender, sexuality, and race as they relate to the history of popular music and culture in North America.