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This course will explore the elements of current popular music and the way they have developed over throughout history. A central issue will be tracing the development of the expression of individual experience as the main concern of music both as an art and as a commercial product. The class will draw on literature, art, and philosophy as well as writings specifically on music in the exploration of these issues. The course will begin with students making a critical evaluation of the musical culture in which they have grown up. From that evaluation we will derive the key expressive elements and musical genres that will serve as the focus of the class.