4 questions each answered separately within their own paragraph. The book we are using is an introduction to America 3rd edition.
1. Compare and contrast sacred and secular music in America. (Some ideas about how to approach that are below, but feel free to explore the topic in other ways. -Why did the founding fathers separate church and state in the first amendment to the Constitution?
-Is it sometimes unclear whether a particular piece of music is sacred or secular?
-Is all holiday (holy day) music sacred?
-In multi-cultural and multi-religious America, how should a person deal with the sacred music from a belief system other than their own?
Definitions: Sacred music is about a deity and/or service to or belief in a transcendent power or purpose.
Secular music pertains to ordinary, worldly concerns, such as personal relationships, economic conditions, social situations, etc.
Background information: The separation of church and state is a foundational concept in modern America, with America having no official religion. That is reflected in American music by its separation into sacred and secular categories. However, the groups that we’ve been studying (native Americans, European colonists, and African slaves) frequently came from cultures that did not separate church and state.
2. From the Revolutionary War through World War I, America grew from 13 states to 48, and from a small, weak country into a world power. What did you learn in Parts One and Two that you didn’t already know about American history, American culture, and American music? Give at least three examples.
3. identify two pieces of music that share a cultural heritage. A piece of music is a song, a symphony, a hymn, a jazz suite, a piano rag, a march, a Christmas carol, any identifiable musical selection.
-One historical piece from our American Music text
-One piece that is not from the text and is more current (from within the last 50 years)
(What cultural heritage(s) do these two pieces share? English, African, Catholic, Protestant, Working Class, Aristocracy, Southern, Northern, etc.
What do these pieces have in common, musically or otherwise?
How are these pieces different from each other, musically or otherwise?
Are there additional cultural influences in the newer piece that are not present in the older piece?
Is the older piece more “authentic” or “real” than the newer piece?)
4. As a young country, America lacked a cohesive cultural identity. Between about 1870 and 1970, that changed significantly. From where did this identity emerge? What is the cultural identity of America today? Give examples from the music and history that we have studied in this course to support your statements.