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Timeline project offers visual guide to music, social movements of the 1960s and 1970s

The project, now on display, is from a Winter Term class that examined the music of the two decades, fromThe Beatles to the Bee Gees, and hippies to Nixon.   

"Woodstock, Hippies and other Enduring Legacies: The Music of the 60’s and 70’s," a Winter Term class taught by Professor Jim Roberts, engaged students to consider this question — Did the times influence the music or did the music influence the times?

Class timeline and peace signs

The first of three major projects begins to the answer the question with research into both the music and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The result of the student’s research is featured on the timeline exhibit.  The public is invited to view the timeline and student comments from Monday, Jan. 30 to Monday, Feb. 7 in the hallway in front of the office in the Center for the Arts building.    

The timeline consists of two lines of time — music events and social movement events. The exhibit is color-coded to provide information for events and music that are crossed referenced from top to bottom.  Around the edges of the timeline are prominent albums, quotations and artwork from most major genres of the era. Each group has a color that represents both music genres and social movements.  The groups/colors are listed on both sides of the timeline.

Music genres are located on the bottom timeline. The timeline consists of a cross between important musical genres, artists, release dates, deaths and other significant dates. They include The British Invasion, Doo Wop, R & B, Folk, Folk Rock, Pop Rock, Soul, Funk, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Chicago Blues, Jazz & Jazz Fusion, Progressive Rock, Southern Rock, Glam Rock, Disco, New Wave, Experimental Music and more. 

Social movements are represented on the top timeline. Movements include Civil Rights, Vietnam/Peace Movement, Counterculture (Hippies, Student Movements and the New Left), Politics, The Native American Movement, The Women’s Movement, The Gay Rights Movement, Literature, Art and Fashion.

The course also covered major influential festivals including the Monterey International Pop Festival, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, Altamont Speedway Free Festival and The Isle of Wright Festival 1970. All major artists of each genre are discussed including The Beatles, James Brown, The Who, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Supremes, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles and many more. Each genre and its artists are discussed in relationship to what was happening during the time of its popularity.

Student comments

In this class I learned so much more than just songs and the people who played them. It was amazing how people my age went about taking a stand and giving themselves a voice. It changed the way I listen to music from this era. It is more than just words I can put into meaning; I can understand what a 20-year-old felt when that song came out.

- Gabrielle Bijou

Learning about something I’m actually interested in was a refreshing change of pace. The things I learned in this class will be relevant for the rest of my life.  

-Brandon Kelly


Jim Roberts,
1/31/2017 10:20 AM