MUSC 174: History of Rock and Roll

Class Program
Degree Code
Humanities Lecture
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
This course presents the history of rock music from its origins to the present day. Students will study all major genres, as well as the social, political, technological, and economic forces that shaped the music. The class will include detailed listening assignments and an introduction to rock music vocabulary and concepts.
Quarters Offered
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Apply substantive rock and roll music listening skills through guided listening activities and journaling.
  2. Define and describe rock vocabulary for discussion of music in the role of an active listener through presentations/examinations.
  3. Identify and articulate the historical background of rock and roll, and the social/political/economic environment of a society that influences musical creation and performance through cooperative learning activities.
  4. Explain and interpret various writers, performers, songs, genres, and styles of each time period through research projects and presentations.
Course Content Outline
  1. Prehistory of Rock and Roll
    1. Influences of Rock and Roll
    2. Music Styles and New technologies that Prefigured Rock and Roll
    3. Crossover Hits that Paved the Way
  2. The Birth of Rock and Roll (1951-1955)
    1. Where Rock and Roll Came From
    2. How Rock and Roll emerged in the United States
  3. The Establishment Strikes Back (1954-1960)
    1. How Rock and Roll Divided the Generations
    2. Scandals and Attacks in Rock and Roll
  4. American Bandstand, Teen Idols, and Race Lines (1957-1961)
    1. White Cover Artists “Hijack” Records by African American Artists
    2. The Impact of Teen Idols, Surf Music, and Motown
  5. Changing Times (1962-1966)
    1. Folk Music’s Influence
    2. Emerging Rock and Roll Genres
  6. The British Invasion (1964-1966)
    1. British Bands Influence and American Reaction
    2. British Invasion’s End
  7. The Summer of Love and Psychedelic Rock (1967-1969)
    1. The Hippie Movement and Music Festivals
    2. Studio Craft Changing Music
  8. Sirens, Soul Singers, and Sellouts (1967-1975)
    1. Social Crises of the Late 1960s
    2. Soul Revival
    3. Glam Rock, Heavy Metal, and Progressive Rock
  9. Disco, Punk, and New Wave (1973-1979)
    1. How Disco Changed the Scene
    2. Origins of the Punk Movement in America
    3. New Age Emerges from the Death of Punk
  10. New Wave and Synth Pop (1977-1987)
    1. Britain’s Role in Crafting the New Wave Sound
    2. Dance Music’s Place in Postpunk and New Wave
    3. MTV
  11. Alternative Rock (1982-1987)
    1. Rock Underground Influence
    2. Alternative Rock Tries to Change the World
  12. American Punk: The Second Wave (1987-1994)
    1. Grunge
    2. The Seattle Scene
  13. Hip-Hop and Rap (1973- )
    1. Origin of Hip Hop
    2. Hip Hop’s Mainstream Recognition
    3. Branches of Hip Hop and Rap
  14. Pop Music, Hyphenated Rock, Exploration of the Post Modern Self (1994- )
    1. Girl Groups and Boy Bands
    2. New Generation Update of Rock
    3. Remix Culture, Digital Sampling, and Digital Distribution
Department Guidelines
  • This class is offered as a lecture class.
  • Feedback on presentations must be delivered to students in a timely manner.
  • All students must take part in classroom discussions and classroom demonstrations.
  • Utilize video examples while discussing the elements of Rock and Roll. Class participation is required.

PO4 should be assessed: Students will be able to recognize or articulate personal/interpersonal aspects of, or connections between, diverse cultural, social, or political contexts.

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.