“ potato head blues .” H u m a n i t i e s

“ potato head blues .” H u m a n i t i e s

Answer the following questions by reading the given materials and music. Everything you can find in the file ‘requirement’,including the internet link and which one you need find in handout or media or pdf file, some music there is no internet link, you can search online.

  1. Evaluate the recording of “Wade in the Water” in relation to our previous discussion of
    African diasporic musical features.

    1. What African features does this song/performance retain?
    2. What might be the political utility of these aesthetics in a mass meeting or protest
      context?
  2. Using “Oh Freedom” as an example, discuss the role of the song leader in the freedom
    song tradition.

    1. What musical and social functions does the song leader provide?
    2. What are two examples from the “Oh Freedom” recording that illustrate your
      point?

3.”We Shall Overcome” is one of the key anthems of the Civil Rights Era and was often used as a closing song at mass meetings. Using specific elements from the two versionsof the song, answer the following:

a.How does the story of this song’s evolution embody the spirit of the Civil Rights
movement?
b.How do the lyrics and music work together to express this sentiment?

4.Listen to “Koko” and compare Parker’s solo to Louis Armstrong’s in “Potato Head Blues.”

a.How would you describe the “voice” of each player?

b.How might Parker’s reflect–or be interpreted as–a sound specifically coming out
of the Civil Rights era?

5.Listen to Mingus’s “Freedom” and analyze it as an expression of Black Power and Black Nationalist politics.

a.What are two sonic elements (not lyrics) that might represent a certain political
ideal or gesture? Why? Don’t worry about being “right” – just think creatively
about how sound can push against conventions and what political statements this
might make.
6.Listen to “Psalm” from Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

a.Describe how the music and the text fit together.

b.What might be the purpose of having the text played? Why not have it sung?