Rockin' Roots, Global Reach: Telling the Story of Jersey's Popular Music
Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, and Bruce Springsteen are just a few of the artists who have called Jersey home, but for centuries this state has been fertile ground for musical creativity. In this course we will work with Rutgers’ incredible, rare, and unique New Jersey sheet music collection, making the materials freely accessible and comprehensible around the globe. Students will learn about the popular music culture in the 1800s and early 1900s, as well as the meaning of and ideas behind open access. Each student will choose a piece of sheet music, digitize it, and create a finding aid that includes an explanatory essay, which will place the item in its social, historical, and cultural context. The finding aids will be edited and published online, providing students a clear outcome and showing them that their research can have real world implications. The class will include a field trip to the largest jazz archive in the world, the Institute for Jazz Studies in Newark.