MUS 217 The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead, arguably the greatest live improvisational rock band ever, were one of the most unique phenomena in American music history, both culturally and musically. Culturally, they were an icon of the 1960’s counterculture, and the band and its music represented a spirit of freedom and experimentation that has influenced generations of obsessive fans known as “Dead Heads” to this day. The band’s musical innovations were no less unique - combining rock and roll, folk music, jazz, classical, world music traditions and various other experimental and traditional musics. This class will explore the various strands that made this band so unique and successful. No musical experience is required.