CAN325 - Canadian Popular Music

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Jul 9, 2019 8:43:20 AM
Last review date Jul 24, 2019 8:18:35 AM

Subject Title
Canadian Popular Music

Subject Description
Sarah McLachlan, Bruce Cockburn, Ashley MacIsaac. These are just a few contemporary musicians on the current pop-music scene who form part of a distinguished tradition in Canadian roots and folk-rock culture that can be traced back to the popular music explosion of the 1960s. This mid-twentieth century renaissance witnessed the beginning of such international folk legends as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and James Taylor. But what remains largely unknown is the contribution of Canadian musicians to this popular folk movement: The Tysons (Four Strong Winds); Gordon Lightfoot (For Lovin? Me, Early Morning Rain); Leonard Cohen (Suzanne, Bird on a Wire); Joni Mitchell (Big Yellow Taxi, Both Sides Now); Neil Young (Helpless, Heart of Gold); Robbie Robertson (The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down). We will trace this Canadian legacy from its 1960s roots to its various present incarnations and hybrids, focussing particularly on song lyrics and the historical contexts within which the songs and musicians enjoy(ed) popularity. 

Credit Status
One general education elective in the Arts & Humanities category

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

CAN 325 aims to foster the following outcomes for its students:
·      To enrich an understanding Canadian culture in general and Canada’s roots music tradition in particular
·      To broaden the knowledge of Canadian history through the study of Canadian music and artists in their historical contexts
·      To discover links between past and contemporary styles, forms, and themes
·      To gain an appreciation of the poetic techniques of musical lyrics, thereby deepening an understanding of the artistic dynamics of  
·      To become familiar with, or otherwise broaden the knowledge of, general terms and elements of music, such as instrumentation,
        genres, and styles, with specific reference to folk music
·      To hone written, oral, and critical skills through various assignments, including critiques, essays, and presentations

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.