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CEI 565 Music in Society

CEI 565 is a special topics course, the content of which varies each term. SOLAR only lists the broad description of CEI 565, so the specific descriptions are listed below in reverse chronological order by the term it was last offered.

CEI 565 Music and Society: History of the Piano

This course will trace the piano from its humble beginnings to show how it has developed into the concert grand piano that we know today. The piano writings of composers from different periods of time will be explored in relations to what pianos were available to them; sound recordings and videos of performers on these different instruments will illumine the connection between the historical piano and its contemporaneous piano music.
Term offered: Summer 2014.

CEI 565 Music in Society: Music in Film and Visual Media

Music plays an important role conveying ideas in film. Students in this course will be introduced to important film theory and scholarship, gain technical skills to assess music in films, and apply these concepts and approaches to discussions of both classical Hollywood (1940s) and 21st century films. This course requires no prior musical training – just an enthusiasm for movies and a good ear. For more information contact
Term offered: Summer 2014

CEI 565 Music in Society: Music/Dance in Pacific Islands

What do grass skirts, rugby games, and rising ocean waters have in common? All are important, in different ways, to contemporary dance in the Pacific Islands, and all will be featured in Music and Dance in the Pacific Island, CEI 565: Music In Society.
In addition to surveying some of the iconic imagery of Pacific Island dance, including athletic fire dancers and exotically beautiful women in shimmering grass skirts, this class will view a varied selection of examples of contemporary dance in the Pacific Islands, discussing ways in which they provide practictioners and audiences an avenue for expression and a way of relating to and commenting about the world.
Join us for Summer Session I, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5:30-8:55pm. We have a small, inexpensive textbook, and supplementary materials will be made available on Blackboard. This course fulfills an AH/LS requirement for MALS students..

Official Description: This class engages with a selective sampling of music and dance styles from the Pacific Islands with a particular, though not exclusive, focus on genres that are situated in Hawaii, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Tahiti. We will approach music in this class as an aspect of human culture and expression, identifying various uses and functions of specific styles of music and dance in contemporary and historical contexts. For example, we will examine intersections between music, ecology, and migration in Papua New Guinea, and consider the popularity of Maori warrior dances in mainstream athletics in the Pacific Islands and elsewhere. Students should come prepared to listen to and engage with an array of trends and themes in Pacific Island music and dance. The majority of the coursework will consist of careful reading, listening, and video-viewing, along with thoughtful discussion and written responses.

Questions? Contact the instructor, Alecia Barbour at
Term offered: Summer 2013

CEI 565 Music in Society: Trends in American Music

"I hate 'classical music': not the thing, but the name. It traps a tenaciously living art in a theme park of the past." These words, by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, succinctly articulate current concerns in concert music in the United States. Classical music's death has been decried for decades; what we're left with today is not the death of an art form but rather a musical art in the midst of major changes in how it is performed and consumed. This course will examine the changing trends in American concert music over the last century. Among the topics covered will be: the pop/classical divide, the classical music canon, entrepreneurship in classical music, profit models for classical music, experimentalism and audiences, "pops" series, child prodigies, music and genius, music and technology, and more. Course readings will include selections from major books, newspapers, magazines, and arts blogs; participants will be required to keep their own blogs for the duration of the course. No previous experience in classical music necessary (though welcomed); the only requirements are open ears and critical thinking skills.

Questions? Contact Anna Reguero, from the Stony Brook University Music Department at .
Term offered: Summer 2013

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