Course Details

Course offered Spring 2023

HONORS 242 B: Seattle Sounds (A&H, DIV, W)

HONORS 242 B: Seattle Sounds (A&H, DIV, W)

SLN 15320 (View UW registration info »)

John Vallier (Ethnomusicology; Libraries)
Office: Suzzallo Library 370A, Box 352900
Phone: 206 616-1210

Credits: 5
Limit: 35 students

Honors Credit Type

The topic of this class is Seattle music. Much of our time will be spent delving into its history, beginning with early accounts of Coast Salish and settler colonial musics and running up through the 2020s. While we celebrate Seattle’s unique musical heritage, we will also critically examine those policies and practices that disproportionately harmed BIPOC and other traditionally marginalized communities (e.g., exclusion laws, segregation, redlining, police corruption, Teen Dance Ordinance). 

The goals of this class include:

  • familiarize students with the history of Seattle music (i.e., not just grunge)
  • familiarize students with Seattle’s often turbulent social-cultural history and how this impacted local music production and consumption;
  • continue to build out the Seattle Sounds archive with input from students;
  • familiarize students with the functions of an institutional music archive;
  • continue to construct the Seattle Sounds local music map app with help from students

Learning Outcomes:

  • in-depth knowledge of Seattle’s past and present music scenes;
  • in-depth understanding of Seattle’s social-cultural histories;
  • familiarity with the functions of a large audiovisual archive;
  • more nuanced understanding of what we mean by the term “music”;
  • greater familiarity with Seattle’s physical geography;
  • introduction to digital humanities mapping software and tools.