Welcome to the Dirty South

Justin D Burton


This article incorporates R. Murray Schafer's concept of soundscape analysis into "Welcome to the Dirty South," a class offered in Spring 2016 at Rider University. Thinking through ecomusicology as a discipline that can prompt questions about the sounds that shape and are shaped by built environments, I highlight three case studies from the course that span New Orleans bounce, Miami bass, Atlanta trap, and the car-oriented sub-bass of Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. In each case study, I demonstrate how my students and I used earwitness accounts of urban and rural spaces to better understand the music that emanates from these regions, coupling popular music analysis with socio-political approaches to regional histories. I include a sample syllabus from the class, as well.


hip hop, dirty south, rap, trap, bounce, bass, ecomusicology, soundscapes

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ISSN 2155-109X