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Three Musical Masterpieces that Changed America

Anna Celenza – Georgetown University

Music permeates our lives. Thanks to technology, it is always with us … via the radio, our smart phones, TV commercials, film music, even the streamed music at our local malls and favorite restaurants. Technology has made it easy for us to put music in the background. The goal of this lecture is to bring it front and center again.

As Professor Celenza will demonstrate, music does not simply reflect culture…it changes it. To demonstrate just how such changes come about, she will highlight three musical masterpieces that changed America. These include: a bawdy 18th-century drinking tune that eventually defined American patriotism, a 1930s ballad that fueled the need for the Civil Rights movement, and a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy.