AMST 202RA: The Arts in America
This class will study American culture through three styles of music: hip hop, country, and jazz. Our main perspective will be from ethnomusicology, the main method of inquiry will be ethnography, and a significant part of the class will be dedicated to online discussion. Students will conduct their own ethnographic research projects during the course of the semester and present their findings to the class. While culture will be the main focus, the class will also explore the music itself. Certain cultural areas of interest will include identity, ideology, gender issues, capitalism, and power.
This course fulfills the MSU Core 2.0 RA requirement or 3 credits of the fine arts or humanities requirement in Liberal Studies.
Meeting Place and Times
David Charles teaches in the School of Music, the College of Letters and Science, the American Studies Program, and the Liberal Studies Program at Montana State University. He has also taught in the Wunderlust Program. He had his first professional experience as an organist, choir director, and freelance pianist in South Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition and theory from the University of South Carolina, where he studied jazz piano and composition with Bert Ligon, composition with Dick Goodwin, and piano with John Williams. He earned a Master of Music degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied under Stephen Slawek (who is an acknowledged disciple of Ravi Shankar) and Gerard Béhague. While at UT, he also studied composition with Donald Grantham and was the keyboardist for the Afropop band Easy Motion Tourist. He taught piano privately to young people and adults for many years, first in Austin and then in Bozeman. In and around Bozeman, he has performed a variety of styles of American popular music with Nathan Anderson, Luke Flansburg, Jake Fleming, Haley Ford, Mike Gillan, Adam Greenberg, Jerrad Highman, Sean Lehmann, Weston Lewis, Isaiah Morales, Scott Morales, Kelly Roberti, Leif Routman, Eddie Tsuru, Lenny Woodward, and many others. His primary interests are African-American music and culture as well as the music and culture of North India.
Tuition and Fees
If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table.
If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.
Textbooks are available from most online retailers or the MSU bookstore.
For More Information
For course information, please contact David Charles.
How to Register
You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.
Learn how to apply.
After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.
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Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.