Fall 2018

Science Fiction, Music and Sound

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-121

Moodle site: Course


Yvette J. Jackson (Section 01)


How does a composer create music for a wedding set in 2048 or a designer invent sounds of life on an imaginary planet? How do science fiction authors describe the music and sounds of alternate universes? In this course, the cultural and historical practices that unite science fiction and music are examined through the survey and analysis of a variety of media: the 1950s radio dramas Dimension X and X Minus One; films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and TRON; the Star Trek television franchise and Stranger Things; and the aesthetics of Afrofuturism expressed through Sun Ra, Parliament-Funkadelic, Black Panther, and others. Readings from musicology, sound studies, and literature along with audio/visual examples and reflective writing help us discover how composers, sound designers, and performers create futuristic worlds for entertainment, education, and activism. Coursework will address the socio-political aspects related to the interaction between music, technology, and culture. Students will gain a critical understanding of how radio, film, television, and performance both influence and are influenced by science fiction and music.

Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Jackson.

If Overenrolled: Seniors and music majors get priority


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Fine Arts for Non-majors


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018