Fall 2019

Experiencing Music

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-116


Darryl Harper (Section 01)


Most of us listen to music by putting on our headphones and connecting to the internet, but not that long ago, such a feat was physically and technologically impossible. In the space of little more than a generation, there has been a sea change in how we listen to music. What are some of the implications of this transformation? If we are usually alone when we’re doing it, can listening to music still be considered a communal activity? Have we privatized the musical space? Have we democratized it? Has live music become a quaint vestige of the past?

In this course, we will closely examine what is at stake for performers and listeners in live music settings. Through attendance at rehearsals and performances, as well as lectures and panel discussions by guest speakers, we will engage the communities of musicians and listeners in the Pioneer Valley and familiarize ourselves with the rich heritages of music found here. Through reading and writing assignments, we will critically examine how the live music experience changes or stays the same across formats, styles, and cultures: a metal concert in a bar, a hip hop concert in a stadium, a singer-songwriter’s performance in a café, a symphony performance in a concert hall. We will also examine ideas about virtual music that bring into question the very notion of liveness. Coursework includes attendance at roughly one music event per week outside of class.

Limited to 30 students. Fall Semester. Professor Harper.

If Overenrolled: If over-enrolled, students will be randomly selected.


Fine Arts for Non-majors


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019