#1: For my history of Rock and Roll Course (or perhaps music appreciation)
Take a look at popular music today. The variety that exists, the ways in which we disseminate the music we listen to. It might also help to discuss the history of radio broadcasting a bit and the popularity of music that was associated with the radio.
Why do we have some many musical styles?
How has the internet affected the choices we have and the popularity of music?
How did the radio and sound recording affect and lead to music of today?
Have the students write 2 -3 pages about how the music of today might be different without the radio and sound recording moving rock and roll to the forefront. Would classical music dominate or the music of Tin Pan Alley? Would rock and roll have developed and attained the level of popularity it ultimately did?
Another aspect that could be looked at is how future generations will view us and the contribution that radio has made to that image. I could see a 2 -3 page assignment asking student to discuss if we will be viewed positively or negatively for the songs we have today. How did the radio influence this path? Was the radio ultimately a good thing or a bad thing for music?
#2: For American Politics and Government
I would like this lesson to focus on campaign music and how technology has changed the music of campaigns and the way we hear that music.
Listen to four or five campaign songs from between 1800 and 1900.
• What are the defining characteristics of those songs?
• How are they constructed?
• How are they delivered to the electorate?
Moving along in history:
• What happens to this music in the 1920s when radio appears?
• How are the songs different?
• In what ways are candidates using these songs?
• Does marketing become more of a factor?
• How about the use of television?
• Or the internet in modern times?
Now, write 2 -3 pages discussing how the music has changed in presidential elections as the technology has changed. Remember to talk about how songs were constructed early on as opposed to what candidates chose to use now. Are the current songs more or less effective? Would they have worked with the new medium of radio? Why or why not?