“Music in Athens” course takes students on deep dive into Classic City’s musical history

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UGA students will have a chance this fall to dig into the musical roots of the city that incubated countless bands and musicians—from R.E.M. to Danger Mouse to Vic Chesnutt—with the “Music in Athens” course.

MUSI 2300 and its honors counterpart, MUSI 2300H, are introductory-level, general studies courses taught by, respectively, Christian Lopez, head of the Russell Library Oral History Program, and Dr. Susan Thomas, professor of music and women’s studies at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. 

“This course draws from Athens’ diverse musical communities, exploring the rock, hip hop, and indie popular music scenes along with the city’s African-American musical traditions, folk and traditional musics, and the emergent Latinx music scene,” said Thomas. 

“We consider the multiple factors that have made Athens a vibrant site for artistic production and look at how the Classic City has figured into both national and international musical trends.”

Both courses are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. in the Special Collections Library, allowing the classes to make use of UGA's archive of recordings and musical ephemera and the Athens Music Project's growing archive of oral histories from and about important figures in Athens' music history, some of whom will visit the classes as guest lecturers.

“This course is a great opportunity for students new to UGA to learn more about the community that surrounds them,” said Thomas. “Even those who follow certain aspects of music scene may be surprised to learn of its variety and depth. 

“We hope that students will not only learn more about Athens' music and why the city has gained an international reputation for its artistic production but also think more broadly about what makes creative economies work and how understanding music cultures can help us understand the society in which we live.”

Spots are available in both classes for the upcoming fall 2017 semester.