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Our first discussion assignment will be due by Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM. To begin, click on the Classic Blues and Country Blues Discussion link below. Links for the two songs that you will be listening to critically may be found in the Playlist section of the website under Chapter 2.
The class has been divided into 4 randomly created discussion groups; you will automatically be taken to your group. Click on the post from me (which will be at the top), and then click on the Reply button.
DO NOT CLICK ON THE "ADD A NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC" BUTTON.
Make sure to answer each question, and give some depth and detail in your responses; you will be graded on how well and how thoroughly you respond to the questions. Your response should be about 400-500 words in length, but you may certainly write more! You will also be graded on organization and clarity, i.e. your initial post should follow the format in which the questions are presented, however it is unnecessary to repeat the questions posted by the instructor. The goal is to have a post that is clear and easily readable; remember, other students have to read and reply to your post. When you are finished, click on the Post to forum button. After submitting your initial post you will have 30 minutes in which to edit it if you wish.
The second part of the assignment is to read some of your fellow students' initial posts and reply substantively to one of them. (Wait until after Monday, June 13 to do this part of the assignment in order to see all of the initial posts). You don't have to agree with the particular post that you reply to, but you need to give more than just "I really love that band too" or "yeah, I totally agree with you." Generally a few articulate sentences will be fine for this reply. To do this part of the assignment, read through the initial posts and find one that interests you. Again, click on the Reply button, enter your text, and when you are finished, click on the Post to forum button. As with the initial post, after submitting the substantive reply you will have 30 minutes in which to edit it. The substantive reply is due by Friday, June 17 at 11:59 PM.
Discussion Questions for Classic Blues and Country Blues:
"St. Louis Blues": music and lyrics by W.C. Handy, recorded by Bessie Smith, 1925
"That Black Snake Moan": written and recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson, 1926
1. Both of these recordings are in the blues genre and were recorded within a year of each other, yet they are very different. They also have many similarities; compare and contrast them.
2. What do hear as the musical, lyrical, and/or emotional high point of each recording? Be specific both about the point in the song (pinpointing lyrics or using track timing) and why it is the high point for you.
3. In your opinion, which of these two songs is a more "authentic" recording of the blues?
4. Which of the two do you prefer listening to, and for what reasons?