29 April 2009


The internet was down at school yesterday, & so I had about a half hour to figure out how I’d illustrate the entire history of American music to my 3º de ESO on their handout. This is the map that I drew.

UPDATE: Track lists for my two-volume History of American Music.

History of American Music Vo: 1 – Folk

1. “No Headstone on My Grave,” Esther Phillips
2. “I Was Born,” Natalie Merchant
3. “Comin’ Round the Mountain” [sung]
4. “Run on for a Long Time,” The Blind Boys of Alabama
5. “Old Brown’s Daughter,” Great Big Sea
6. “Free & Easy,” Muireann NicAmhlaoibit
7. “Goin’ Down Slow,” Howlin’ Wolf
8. “Travellin’ Riverside Blues,” Robert Johnson
9.  “My Home Is the Delta,” Muddy Waters
10. “High On a Mountain,” Loretta Lynn
11. “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” Duke Ellington & Ivie Anderson
12. “Move,” Miles Davis
13. “You’ve Got to Move,” Two Gospel Keys

History of American Music Vo: 2 – Pop


1. “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” Big Joe Turner
2. “Hit the Road Jack,” Ray Charles
3. “I’m Gonna Hold On As Long As I Can,” The Marvelettes
4. “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself,” The Dells
5. “Rag Mama Rag,” The Band
6. “Shelter From the Storm,” Bob Dylan
7. “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix
8. “Soul Power,” Derek Martin
9. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” The Beach Boys
10. “Search & Destroy,” Iggy Pop & the Stooges
11. “Don’t Feel Right,” The Roots
12. “Girl Wants Rock & Roll,” Christina Aguilera & The Velvet Underground [mash-up]

4 Responses to “Mapping”

  1. Buster Says:

    I actually imagine that this map made more of a mental impression than whatever you would have found otherwise.

    But I see you caved in on Rick Perry’s secessionist demands!

    (On a nitpicking note–I try to suppress these, I swear–is “synchopation” an accepted variant of “syncopation?” I only mention it because of the whole language instruction context.)

  2. Jim Sligh Says:

    Oh, jeez! You’re right about syncopation. A google search reveals multiple citations with the alternate spelling in context, but nothing that I would call a reliable source. Did I know this? Maybe I’ll just claim it was a typographical error.

    Re: Rick Perry: Tejano music is an historically important cultural fusion between Latin & Western folk traditions whose absence from the map is not just unfortunate, but an ellision both deliberate & telling, etc etc etc . . .

    Also, on reflection, I made my home state of Michigan loom hilariously large to account for Detroit & Chicago.

    I could happily criticize my own choices in this map for hours. Why is there no distinction between bebop & swing? Between country & Appalachian folk? Where are African-American spirituals positioned in relation to the Delta blues? Why aren’t Irish ballads arriving through Ellis Island? Hamfisted generalizations, all.

    But I did find making this by hand, getting marker stains on my fingers, much more satisfying than trying to cobble together clip art graphics on powerpoint.

    I would have loved a full-size blowup of the Dave Muller installation “As Below, So Above,” which includes a full wall-size version of, among other things, the awesome genres chart from Garofolo & Chapple’s Rock n’ Roll Is Here to Pay.

  3. Rita Says:

    also, New Orleans seems to have landed squarely in the middle of Texas, while New York looks to be defecting for Canada. (Don’t get me wrong, I think this map is awesome…. I just felt the need to participate in pointing out the (entirely effective) caricaturization of our country.)

    Incidentally, I would probably scoot “Country” into the Old West, and leave “Folk” over yonder in the Appalachians.

    Regardless, I sort of want to hang this on my wall.

  4. […] is yet another version of my History of American Music mix, made for the music teacher at my school. I taught a […]

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