CMUS 213 Survey of Commercial Music Literature

A survey to popular and jazz music writers, influences, and trends. Emphasis is placed on a general overview of personalities and their unique influences within each of these genres.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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CMUS 213 is a survey of significant popular and jazz musicians, genres, and works. Students will observe how commercial music continues to be shaped by sounds and cultural principles that predate radio technology. Studying this information will facilitate effective interactions in personal, academic, and professional musical settings. Additionally, students will cultivate active listening skills and practice using vocabulary and analytical tools necessary to articulate their musical perceptions.


Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

No details available.

After reading the Course Syllabus, Student Expectations, and Introduction to Biblical Worldview training, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create threads addressing to demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the student’s thread post(s), he/she is required to reply to threads by his/her classmates. Each thread must be at least 250 words (Discussion: Research Presentation: Popular Musicians’ Approach to Christian Music only requires a video upload for the initial thread) and each reply must be at least 75 words. At least one academic source must be cited (Term Paper Sources and Ideas requires at least two sources).

For this discussion, the student will submit the same video file he/she submitted in Research Presentation: Popular Musicians Approach to Christian Music Assignment. The student must then post two (2) replies of at least 75 words each (150 words total). The student must cite at least one (1) academic source that supports his/her ideas.

The student will create a Spotify playlist that is intended to expand his/her listening and exposure to unfamiliar genres and subgenres of popular and jazz music. The student will add at least two new songs to his/her playlist every module: week of the semester, which he/she may add only after he/she has completed the required readings and listening. The songs the student adds must be related to or inspired by the music discussed in that week’s readings or presentation, but examples from musicians discussed in the current module do not count toward the two-song minimum.

The student will articulate their research in a 5-8 minute video presentation that compares and contrasts the works of one mainstream popular artist or band/group who released music with perceptible Christian themes after establishing their career with non-religious music. This assignment requires the use of PowerPoint or Keynote, the narration recorded as a video, and at least 4 sources.

The student will craft a term paper that discusses the characteristics of two different popular music songs that include significant crossover elements. This assignment requires a minimum of 1,000 words, at least 5 sources, and comprises two parts. Turabian format is required.

Quizzes are assessments of the information studied since the last quiz. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 2.5-hour time limit. The student may retake each quiz twice (i.e., three times total) to obtain the highest grade possible.


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