Course Type: General

Survey of American Songs

This course offers an intriguing way for students to get access to the world of the culture and English language in the United States through studying some American popular songs. We will start with a brief introduction to nineteenth-century American folk songs, followed by an overview of popular American songs from the early twentieth-century, and culminating with thorough coverage of late twentieth-century American songs, with an emphasis on lyrics. It is intended to help students think creatively and critically about American society, culture and English language behind these songs. The course will enhance students’ enjoyment and understanding of the songs they might have already known, as well as introduce them to less familiar styles and musical genres. Meanwhile students can also upgrade their listening/speaking skills in English by figuring out how lyrics match melody and ways in which the vocals increase the impact of the story-telling in the song.