Fall 2013 Music Department Seminars
SEMINAR IN MUSIC HISTORY: TBA
MUS 500 Proseminar in Musicology
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:30 pm, Music Library Seminar Room
Instructor: Mauro Calcagno
An introduction to the scholarly study of Western music. Topics may include: bibliographic tools for research; historical, theoretical, and analytical methodologies; textual scholarship; organology and iconography; performance practice; aesthetics and criticism; sociology of music; perception and cognition; gender and sexuality; musicology in today’s academia and society. Overview of the history of the field. Emphasis on recent trends in American musicology.
MUS 502 PROSEMINAR IN TONAL ANALYSIS
Mondays 1:00-4:00 pm, Staller Center, 2314
Instructor: Jamuna Samuel
An investigation of formal and expressive procedures in tonal music, using works and excerpts from Bach to Brahms as case studies. Units will include Classical phrase types and larger-scale forms used by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven; detailed analyses of selected Brahms intermezzos, Chopin preludes, and Schubert Lieder; the relationship between form and drama as exemplified in excerpts from Mozart and Verdi operas.
Class sessions will rely upon a rotation of student presentations. Each student will present several times over the course of the term, and each presentation will be followed by a written essay. The culmination of the course will consist of both a final presentation and a related 15-page paper. Attendance is strictly mandatory, as is the completion of weekly assignments consisting of readings and written analyses.
This course fulfills a music theory requirement for the MM/DMA programs
MUS 504 ANALYSIS OF MUSIC OF THE 20TH- AND 21ST-CENTURIES
THE 20TH CENTURY STRING QUARTET
Thursdays: 1:00-4:00 pm, Staller Center, 2314
Instructor: Daniel Weymouth
The course will involve an in-depth study of several pieces, all string quartets from the (just) past century: Bartok, Berg, Jolas, Ligeti, Crumb, Reich and others. We will also consider the nature of analysis and different analytical techniques and what they can (and cannot) tell us about the music.
Students should plan to spend 9 to 12 hours per week on this course outside of class. You will have to do a significant amount of analysis, and I will usually want to see the results, in charts or some similar form, especially a lot of writing. There will also be readings and research work. Weekly work will also involve short written responses to assigned readings. Grading will be based on these weekly assignments, along with two papers. The course is suitable for performance students as well as historians and composers, but do expect to do graduate-level work.
This course fulfills a music theory requirement for the MM/DMA programs.
MUS 507 STUDIES IN MUSIC HISTORY: TBA
This course fulfills a music history requirement in the MM/DMA programs.
MUS 536 AREA STUDIES IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
MUSIC AND BELIEF
Thursdays: 1:00-4:00 pm, Music Library Seminar Room (Melville Library W1531)
Instructor: Margarethe Adams
This introductory ethnomusicology course examines intersections of music and belief, including the major world religions as well as older belief systems (animism, shamanism), and religion/philosophy complexes like Confucianism and Taoism. Our study will take both musicological and anthropological approaches to these topics and students will gain an introductory look at important social theory scholarship along the way. A sample of topics covered include: Confucian and Taoist influences in the philosophy and performance of the Chinese zither (guqin); throat-singing and animism in Tuva (Siberia); Sufi influence in the sung poetry and zikr traditions of Central Asia; Christian rock and evangelism of the 1970s. Requirements include weekly readings, one article presentation, several short written assignments, and a final paper. Attendance and active participation in seminar discussion is mandatory.
This course fulfills a music history requirement for the MM/DMA programs.
MUSIC 555 TOPICS IN 20TH/21ST CENTURY MUSIC
Music and Modernism: Natural, Unnatural, Supernatural
Mondays, 1:00-4:00 pm, Music Library Seminar Room
Instructor: Stephen D. Smith
In his 1936 essay on Nikolai Leskov, Walter Benjamin describes the generation that saw the cataclysmic transformations of the world around World War I. After the war, he writes, a “generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar stood under the open sky in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds...” The experience of immense change that Benjamin describes remains in many ways recognizable for us today. And yet, in at least one important sense, Benjamin’s image has grown incomplete. Our own modernity confronts us ever more often with the face of a nature that grows unfamiliar, or even seems to vanish entirely. We, too, look upon a changed countryside; but we can no longer say that the clouds remain unchanged.
This seminar will study some of the many ways in which musical modernism has registered the changing status of nature across the twentieth century, reaching back into the late nineteenth century, and forward into the early twenty-first. In particular, it will focus on the ways that images of nature decompose into the unnatural (the machine), the too natural (the animal) or the supernatural (the angel). Class meetings will be divided into two lines of inquiry. On the one hand, some meetings will deal primarily with composers and musical works, including music by Wagner, Debussy, Ravel, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Varese, Cage, Carter, Babbitt and others. These sessions will examine the ways in which these works respond to, or are catalyzed by, a nature that is changed, changing, or vanishing. On the other hand, some meetings will deal with theoretical and philosophical literature—some pre-modern, some modern, some modernist, some contemporary—that seeks to conceptualize nature and its relationship with art in general, and music in particular.
Requirements will include in-class presentations on readings, and a final research paper. This course fulfills a music history requirement for the MM/DMA programs.
MUSIC 557 Topics in Music Theory
Current Research in Music Theory
Tuesdays, 1:00-4:00 pm, Music Library Seminar Room (Melville Library W1531)
Instructor: Judith Lochhead
Participants in this seminar will survey current research in music theory, with a special emphasis put on theories of music of the 20th/21st centuries. We will be reading work in these areas: associational theories, mathematical approaches to pitch and voice leading, transformational theories (including Neo-Riemannian theory), cognition-based theories, formal theories, and others as appropriate. Throughout the semester we will consider how the theoretical approaches address musical works or repertoires.
Our goals in the seminar are: 1) a review of current thought in the practice of music theory, and 2) meta-theoretical consideration of how theories are constructed and how they function in musical discourse generally.
Attendance at all class meetings
Weekly précis on reading assignments and occasional seminar presentations on the readings
Participation in seminar discussions
Final Project: a major seminar paper (15-20 pages)
In-class presentation on your final project at the end of the term.
This course fulfills a music theory requirement for MM/DMA programs.
MUS 559: Topics in Analysis
Analyzing Vernacular Music
Instructor: Peter Winkler
Mondays, 1-4 p.m. Music Library Seminar Room
How should we analyse popular music, folk music, or jazz? To what extent are analytical techniques developed for the study of Western Art music relevant? What aspects of the music do such techniques leave out or ignore? How can we address those aspects? In this course we will investigate various analytic approaches to vernacular music (primarily from the United States and England), including Jeff Todd Titon on blues, Alan Forte on pre-1950 American Popular song, Walter Everett on the Beatles, and the work of other scholars such as Robert Walser, David Brackett, and Philip Tagg. Most of the music we will study does not rely primarily on musical notation, so we will also need to consider the uses and pitfalls of musical transcription, with particular attention to Ruth Crawford Seeger's work on American Folk song.
There will be weekly readings and projects in analysis and transcription, and a term project. This course is intended for students with a firm foundation in music theory and analysis; at least one graduate-level theory course is a prerequisite.
This course fulfills a music theory requirement for MM/DMA programs.