The Birth of the American Soundtrack,

Musical Touchstones in American Popular Music

From the troubling days of minstrelsy to the evolution of today's digital initiatives, America's favorite songs have a lasting impact. Join Amanda Wilde to discover the hidden history of American music and its political, economic and social resonance. 

Class size: 20 - 50

A Series of four lectures, Thursdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

April 19th, April 26th, May 3th, May 10th

Cost: $50 for four lectures

Location: 3555 West McGraw*

Music is in our bones. From our earliest days of lullabies, learning our ABCs and singing around the campfire, music shapes the way to relate to our world. Intensely personal and at the same time a shared experience, music is a way to process thought, express ourselves, and form community. Tracing the evolution of the American soundtrack from the mid-19th to mid-20th century, we uncover the role of music as a both reflection of cultural norms and as an agent of transformation. Beginning with the push and pull of minstrelsy – the first uniquely American entertainment craze – we take a close look at how and why certain songs are woven into American cultural fabric, and the ways that pop and classical music feed each other. The series culminates with an unforgettable version of “Name That Tune.”

Session 1: Minstrelsy in America
Session 2: Sounds Familiar – Song We Didn’t Know We Knew So Well
Session 3: Popping The Classics
Session 4: Name That Tune

*MAX (Magnolia Art Experience) meets at 3555 West McGraw St, Seattle, WA, 98199. A resource for the Magnolia community, Magnolia United Church of Christ is home to Magnolia Cooperative Preschool, MAX, and is a meeting place for many local organizations. MAX is an independent organization and is not affiliated with the church, its programs, or mission.

Radio host and producer Amanda Wilde is known for her innovative music
programs and eclectic interviews. She was a key figure in the development of
cutting-edge Seattle music station KEXP, where she hosted and produced its
afternoon drive-time show for 12 years. In 2003 Wilde joined KUOW where she
curated the acclaimed music program The Swing Years and Beyond. She
continues to produce award-winning radio series and documentaries highlighting
music and its role in popular culture.

Her work has been recognized with a number of awards, grants, and fellowships
for her interviews, documentaries and oral history works. In 2014, Seattle
Women in Jazz presented Wilde with the first annual Amanda Wilde Inspire
Award for outstanding contributions to the jazz community.