This course encompasses the study of musicians who lived in Laurel Canyon, in Los Angeles, California, between the years 1964--1970, including Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Mama Cass; Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison; and many others. Students explore the evolution of popular music in this particular place and time. Students also examine the ways that the events and culture of the time contributed to this musical evolution, and the ways that the musical response affected culture. By exploring these connections, students come to see how songwriters engage with their environment as they attempt to write music that reaches and influences a large audience. The class emphasizes the importance of artists considering the world around them, and their place in it, as they create work that feels fulfilling to them, and also inspirational to others.