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Amherst College Music for 2010-11

03 Sacred Sound

Sacred Sound examines the relationship between music and religion in broad comparative perspective. In the context of major world religions, new religious movements, and traditional spiritual practices, we will address fundamental issues concerning sacred sound: How does music enable and enhance the ritual process? How is sound sacred and what are its affects? What happens as sacred sound circulates globally among diverse communities of listeners and in secular spaces? Listening, reading, and discussion will include Sufi music from Pakistan, Haitian Vodou, the songs of Ugandan Jews, Orthodox Christian hymns from Estonia, Islamic popular music from Malaysia, Chinese Buddhist chant, spirit possession music from Bali, and the music of Korean Shamans. We will also benefit from visiting performers and the sacred sounds of religious communities in and around Amherst. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Engelhardt.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016

04 Global Sound

(Offered as MUSI 04 and FAMS 54.)  This course explores the global scale of much music-making and musical consumption today. Migration, diaspora, war, tourism, postsocialist and postcolonial change, commerce, and digital technology have all profoundly reshaped the way musics are created, circulated, and consumed. These forces have also illuminated important ethical, legal, and aesthetic issues concerning intellectual property rights and the nature of musical authorship, the appropriation of "traditional" musics by elites in the global North, and local musical responses to transnational music industries, for instance. Through a series of case studies that will include performances and workshops by visiting musicians, Global Sound will examine how musics animate processes of globalization and how globalization affects musics by establishing new social, cultural, and economic formations. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester. Professor Engelhardt.

 

 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013

06 Master Musicians of Africa I:  West Africa

(Offered as BLST 26 [A] and MUSI 06.) This course concentrates on the lives and music of selected West African musicians. Departing from ethnographic approaches that mask the identity of individual musicians and treat African societies as collectives, this course emphasizes the contributions of individual West African musicians whose stature as master musicians is undisputed within their respective communities. It examines the contributions of individual musicians to the ever continuous process of negotiating the boundaries of African musical practice. Individuals covered this semester include Babatunde Olatunji (Nigerian drummer), Youssou N’Dour (Senegalese singer), Kandia Kouyate (Malian jelimuso) and Ephraim Amu (Ghanaian composer). The variety of artistic expressions of selected musicians also provides a basis for examining the interrelatedness of different African musical idioms, and the receptivity of African music to non-African styles. 

Omitted 2010-11.  Five College Professor Omojola.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

07 Music, Human Rights, and Cultural Rights

While music is commonly thought of as a human universal, questions concerning the universality of human rights and the relativity of cultural forms are becoming more urgent because of global interaction and conflict. Music gives voice to human dignity and makes claims about social justice. Music is a register of power and domination, as is its silencing. The specific cultural contexts that give music its meaning may not translate into global arenas, thus highlighting the dilemmas of universality. In this course, we will examine musical censorship in Senegal, Afghanistan, and Mexico, music and the indigenous rights of the Naxi in China and the Suyá in Brazil, the use of music as an instrument of torture by the United States military, music and HIV/AIDS activism in Uganda, popular music and minority language protection in the Russian Federation, and the place of music in the study of trauma, disabilities, and human ecology. The course will feature visiting performers and will pay particular attention to the discretely musical aspects of human and cultural rights. Our work will be oriented towards activism beyond the classroom. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Engelhardt.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2014

08 The Blues Muse: African American Music in American Culture

(Offered as MUSI 08 and BLST 53 [US].  This course examines the relationship between blues music and American culture. Using Amiri Baraka's influential 1963 book of music criticism Blues People as a central text, we will explore ways in which the "blues impulse" has been fundamental to conceptions of African-American identity. At the same time, we will trace the development of African-American music through its connection to West African musical traditions and through its emergence during slavery and the Jim Crow South. Our investigation will survey a number of precursors to the blues work songs, spirituals, and minstrels and see how these impacted early blues styles, including delta blues, classic blues, and early blues-oriented gospel practices. The blues played a fundamental role in the emergence of new popular musics in the 1940s and 1950s, most notably rock and roll. Embedded within these new musical practices were ideas about African American modernism, urbanity, and self-representation. Culminating in an examination of hip-hop culture, we will analyze the connection between African-American musical practices and larger debates about race, class, gender, and ethnicity. We will see how the blues serves as a mode of activism, how blues musicians engage questions about racial and ethnic identity through music making. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Robinson.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010

09, 09H Performance and Analysis I

Members of the class will be assigned to chamber ensembles, representing a range of repertoire from the past and present. Ensembles will include both student and artist musicians, who will prepare works for performance in class sessions and private coachings. Intensive class analysis will serve as the basis of musical expression and interpretation. This course is open to singers and instrumentalists. Music 09 may be elected either as a full credit or half credit and may be repeated.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

10, 10H Performance and Analysis II

Members of the class will be assigned to chamber ensembles, representing a range of repertoire from the past and present. Ensembles will include both student and artist musicians, who will prepare works for performance in class sessions and private coachings. Intensive class analysis will serve as the basis of musical expression and interpretation. This course is open to singers and instrumentalists. Music 10 may be elected either as a full credit or half credit and may be repeated.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

11 Introduction to Music

FALL SEMESTER DESCRIPTION:

This course is intended for students with little or no background in music who would like to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of how music works. Students will be introduced to different kinds of musical notation, melodic systems, harmonies, meters, and rhythmic techniques with the goal of attaining basic competence in the performance and creation of music. The music we analyze and perform will be drawn from the Western tonal tradition as well as a variety of other musical traditions. Assignments will include notational exercises, short papers, and the preparation of music for classroom performance. This course serves as a prerequisite for many other Music Department offerings. Three class meetings and one lab section per week.

Students with some musical experience contemplating Music 11 are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf). Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.

Limited to 30 students. Fall semester.  Professor Engelhardt.

 

 

SPRING SEMESTER DESCRIPTION:

This course is intended for students with little or no background in music who would like to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of how music works. Students will be introduced into the technical details of music such as musical notation, intervals, basic harmony, meter and rhythm. Familiarity with basic music theory will enable students to read and perform at sight as well as to compose melodies with chordal accompaniment. The music we analyze and perform will draw from folk, popular, and concert traditions from around the world, including the Western tonal tradition. Assignments will include notational exercises, short papers and preparation of music for classroom performance. This course serves as a requisite for many of the music department offerings. Three class meetings and one lab section per week.

Students with some musical experience contemplating Music 11 are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf). Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.

Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Professor Robinson.

 

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

12 Exploring Music

Through composition and performance of our own works and through the analysis of popular masterworks from Bach to Broadway, we will build a solid working understanding of the basic principles of melody and harmony in the Western tradition. Creative assignments will include writing melodies and accompaniments as well as brief exercises solving specific musical problems. We will use our instruments and voices to bring musical examples to life in the classroom. Three hours of classroom instruction plus a one-hour lab session for ear- and musicianship-training per week. Students who have not previously taken a course in music theory at Amherst College are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf ). Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.

Requisite: Music 11, or equivalent ability gained by playing an instrument or singing. Fall and spring semesters. Valentine Professor Wubbels.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

14 Writing Through Popular Music

This course will introduce students to important concepts in effective academic writing by thinking about and thinking "through" popular music. Our complex relationships to popular music provide a rich theoretical landscape of social, cultural, and political issues. How do we use music to construct, maintain, or challenge private and public identities? How have race, gender, class, sexuality, and nationalism been activated through popular music? What is the role of music in our everyday lives? How do commercial interests influence the music that we listen to? These questions, among others, will generate a series of assignments designed to encourage students to develop clear and persuasive writing styles. As a writing intensive course, we will focus on fundamentals of writing style, grammatical accuracy, thesis development, and research methodologies crucial to successful written communication. We will use weekly reading assignments drawn from the field of popular music studies to frame and debate important issues emanating from global popular music cultures and to provide models of successful written scholarship. Peer review and a strong focus on editing and revising will be central to the course. Students will be encouraged to utilize the resources of the Writing Center.

Students admitted in consultation with the Dean of students' Office and/or their academic adviser. Preference given to first-year students.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Robinson.

 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

18 Creating Musical Drama

Students enrolled in this course will join together as the creative team for a fully staged production of George Bizet's Carmen, the quintessential music drama of love and jealousy that unfolds in the colorful Andalusian landscape of bull fights, matadors, soldiers, gypsies, and thieves. A cast of professional singers will perform for this fully staged production with members of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Lane Swanson. Professional directors, designers, and performers will be class guests on a regular basis. Each member of the class will have the opportunity to make creative decisions in a class bounded together by collaboration. Singers will become part of the collaboration later in the semester and will share their perspective with class members.

Offered only occasionally when resources are available, this course is open to students with no prerequisite. The collaborative creative experience shapes the course requirement: all class members must commit themselves to the experience, including the preparatory phase of background reading, relevant research, and guided close listening. Celebrated in the professional opera world as an ideal way for newcomers and those experienced with music and theatre, this course is a special opportunity to learn by doing.

 Admission with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010

19 Pioneer Valley Soundscapes

(Offered as MUSI 19 and FAMS 42.)  This course is about exploring, participating in, and documenting the musical communities and acoustic terrain of the Pioneer Valley. The first part of the course will focus on local histories and music scenes, ethnographic methods and technologies, and different techniques of representation. The second part of the course will involve intensive, sustained engagement with musicians and sounds in the Pioneer Valley. Course participants will give weekly updates about their fieldwork projects and are expected to become well-versed in the musics they are studying. There will be a significant amount of work and travel outside of class meetings. The course will culminate in contributions to a web-based documentary archive of Pioneer Valley soundscapes. We will also benefit from visits and interaction with local musicians. Two class meetings per week.

 Requisite: Music 11, 12, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Engelhardt.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

21 Music and Culture I

(Offered as MUSI 21 and EUST 37.) One of three courses in which music is studied in relation to issues of history, theory, culture, and performance, with the focus of the course changing from year to year. This course is an introduction to European music in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. We will begin by singing Gregorian chant and will go on to cover such topics as the music of the Troubadours, the polyphonic style associated with Notre Dame, the development of musical notation, Renaissance sacred polyphony, madrigals, court dances, and the birth of opera. Throughout the course we will seek to bring the music we study alive by singing and/or playing. We will also host several professional performers of “early music” who will help us understand how this music is likely to have sounded at the time of its creation.

Requisite: Music 12 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Valentine Professor Moricz.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

22 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 22 and EUST 39.)  One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. As practical, in-class performance and attendance at public concerts in Amherst and elsewhere will be crucial to our work. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Musorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect detailed musical analysis with historical-cultural interpretation. A variety of readings will include music-historical-aesthetic documents as well as selected critical and analytical studies. Class presentations will contribute to a seminar-style class environment. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (Music 21 and 23). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11, 12, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019

23 Music and Culture III

(Offered as MUSI 23 and EUST 41.)  The third of three courses in the Music and Culture series, this course focuses on the experimental and revolutionary musical repertoire of the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Some of the featured repertoire in 2009-10 includes 1) string quartets by Béla Bartók (1881-1945) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975); 2) songs by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Charles Ives (1874-1954), and Bob Dylan (1941-); 3) ballet, film, and music theatre music by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Bernard Hermann (1911-1975), Leonard Bernstein (1920-1989), John Adams (1947-), Stephen Sondheim (1930-), Michael Giacchino (1967-). Assignments will include close listening, background readings, short essays, midterms, and a culminating presentation. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (Music 21 and 22). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Reading knowledge of music and background in music fundamentals or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

24 Jazz History to 1945: Emergence, Early Development, and Innovation

(Offered as MUSI 24 and BLST 14 [US].)  One of two courses that trace the development of jazz from its emergence in early 20th-century New Orleans to its profound impact on American culture. Jazz History to 1945 examines its early roots in late 19th-century American popular culture and its role as American popular music in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. Using themes that connect the evolution of jazz practices to social and racial politics in American popular culture, we will look closely at the work of well-known historical figures (Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and several others) as well as the vibrant communities that nurtured and prompted their innovative musical practices. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Robinson.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2019

28H Performance Ensemble

Fall and spring semesters. This course entails the study of music from the perspective of ensemble or combo participation. Repertoire will include those compositions programmed by the director of a particular group in each semester. Work for the course will include thorough preparation of one’s individual part, intensive listening preparation, and short analytical and historical projects. This course will culminate with a public performance. This course may be repeated. Students who wish to elect performance ensemble credit must meet the following criteria:

1. An instrumental or vocal proficiency of at least intermediate level as determined by the Department.

2. Enrollment in one Music Department course, except Music 01, concurrently with the first enrollment of performance ensemble.

Music 28H may be elected only with the written consent of the ensemble directors and the Department Coordinator. This course may be repeated. The following arrangements pertain to the study of performance ensemble at Amherst College:

a. All performance ensemble courses will be elected as a half course.

b. Two half courses in performance may be counted as the equivalent of one full course for fulfilling degree requirements. These two half courses must be in the same instrument (or in voice); though not strictly required, the Department urges that the two semesters be consecutive.

c. A student electing a performance ensemble course may carry four and one-half courses each semester, or four and one-half courses the first semester and three and one-half courses the second semester.

d. Only with special permission of the Department may students elect more than one performance ensemble in a semester.

 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009

29H, 30H Performance Instruction

Instruction in performance is available on a credit or non-credit basis. A fee is charged in either case to cover the expense for this special type of instruction. For 2010-11 the fee for each semester course will be $625, for which the student is fully committed following the 14-day add/drop period. Those students who elect performance for credit and are receiving need-based scholarship assistance from Amherst College will be given additional scholarship grants in the full amount of these fees. Students who wish to elect performance for credit must meet the following criteria:

1. An instrumental or vocal proficiency of at least intermediate level as determined by the Department.

2. Enrollment in one Music Department course, except Music 01, concurrently with the first semester’s enrollment in performance instruction.

Music 29H and 30H may be elected only with the consent of the Music Department Coordinator. This course may be repeated. First and second semesters. The following arrangements pertain to the study of performance at Amherst College:

a. All performance courses will be elected as a half course. Only senior Music Majors preparing a recital may take performance as a full course.

b. Fifty minutes of private instruction (12 lessons per semester) will be given and regular practice is expected.

c. Two half courses in performance may be counted as the equivalent of one full course for fulfilling degree requirements. These two half courses must be in the same instrument (or in voice); though not strictly required, the Department urges that the two semesters be consecutive.

d. A student electing a performance course may carry four and a half courses each semester, or four and a half courses the first semester and three and a half courses the second semester.

e. Only with special permission of the Department may students elect more than one performance course in a semester.

Students should consult with the Music Department Coordinator to arrange for teachers and auditions. Instruction in performance is also available through the Five Colleges with all of the above conditions pertaining; a student wishing to study under this arrangement must enroll through Five College Interchange.

 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010

31 Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint

Basic principles of harmonic and contrapuntal technique. Emphasis will be on the acquisition of writing skills. This course is the first of the required music theory sequence for majors. Three hours of lecture and two ear-training sections per week.

Students who have not previously taken a course in music theory at Amherst College are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (<www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf ). > Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.

Requisite: Music 12 or consent of the instructor.  Fall semester: Professor Schneider.  Spring semester: Valentine Professor Wubbels. 

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

32 Form in Tonal Music

A continuation of Music 31 and the second of the required music theory sequence for majors. This course will focus on the understanding of musical form in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Topics to be covered will include sonata form, the romantic character piece and eighteenth-century counterpoint. There will be analyses and writing exercises, as well as model compositions and analytic papers. Three hours of lecture and two ear-training sections per week.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Valentine Professor Moricz.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

33 Repertoire and Analysis

A continuation of Music 32. In this course we will study music by a wide variety of nineteenth-century composers, including Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Musorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Works will be considered from a number of different analytical perspectives including methods current in the nineteenth century and those developed more recently. Comparing analytical methods of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will enable students to gain a critical perspective on each and to learn about the limits of analysis and interpretation in general. Work will consist of short weekly assignments, papers, and class presentations. Two class meetings and two ear-training sections per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 and 32, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2010-11. Valentine Professor Móricz.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2016, Fall 2017

34 Twentieth-Century Analysis

In this seminar we explore stylistic characteristics of compositions that demonstrate the most important tendencies in twentieth-century music. Instead of applying one analytical method, we try out various approaches to twentieth-century music, taking into consideration the composers’ different educational and cultural backgrounds. The repertory of focus will consist of compositions written in the first half of the twentieth century in Europe, Russia and America (including words by Debussy, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Bartok, Copland), but will also sample music by late twentieth-century composers. Two class meetings and two ear-training sections per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 and 32, or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester. Valentine Professor Móricz.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2018

35 Jazz Theory and Improvisation I

A course designed to explore jazz harmonic and improvisational practice from both the theoretical and applied standpoint. Students will study common harmonic practice of the jazz idiom, modes and scales, rhythmic practices, and consider their stylistic interpretation. An end-of-semester performance of material(s) studied during the semester will be required of the class. A jazz-based ear-training section will be scheduled outside of the regular class times. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11 or 12, or equivalent, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 16 students. Students who have not previously taken a course in music theory at Amherst College are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf).  Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.  Fall semester. Lecturer Diehl.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

36 Jazz Theory and Improvisation II

A continuation of Music 35, this course is designed to acquaint students with the theory and application of advanced techniques used in jazz improvisation. Work on a solo transcription will be a main focus throughout the semester. An end-of-semester performance of material(s) studied during the semester will be required of the class. A jazz-based ear-training section will be scheduled outside of the regular class times. Two class meetings per semester.

Requisite: Music 35 and/or performance experience in the jazz idiom strongly suggested. Musical literacy sufficient to follow a score. Limited to 16 students. Omitted 2010-11. Lecturer Diehl.

 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2018

37 Advanced Topics in Jazz

In this class we will explore jazz through transcription, composition, arranging and improvisation. Materials for transcription will range from the classic renditions of jazz standards by Gershwin and Kern to highly complex works by such greats as Wayne Shorter and Charles Mingus. Advanced approaches to improvisation will include the exploration of new source materials including the Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns by Nicolas Slonimsky as used by John Coltrane. Using members of the class as a laboratory band we will seek to develop our own unique compositional voices that draw on jazz traditions.

Requisite: Music 35, 36 and/or performance experience in the jazz idiom strongly suggested. Musical literacy sufficient to follow a score. Admission with consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Lecturer Diehl.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019

39 Improvised Music: Spectrum, Theory, and Practice

Functioning as a combined seminar and performance workshop, this course explores the theory and practice of musical improvisation. Rather than focus on one specific musical style, we will define “improvised music” in an inclusive way that draws equally from American and European experimental musics, various approaches to post-1965 jazz improvisation, and several musical traditions from around the world that prominently use improvisation. Students will be encouraged to develop new performance practices drawn from and in dialogue with these diverse musical traditions. Reading, listening, and video assignments will help familiarize students with the burgeoning field of improvised music studies and will serve to guide class discussions. Students with any musical/stylistic background are encouraged to enroll. Two class meetings per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Basic instrumental or vocal proficiency and consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Robinson.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

40 Mozart and the Classical Style

(Offered as MUSI 40 and EUST 40.)  As one of the most popular composers of all time, Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) has come to be taken as the paradigm for the creative genius who produces beautiful art with seemingly no effort--a child of nature, to use a popular eighteenth-century trope, unencumbered by the struggles of adulthood. In this seminar we will examine the cultural-historical context that produced Mozart, his music, and, even before his untimely death, the "Mozart myth." The main texts for the class will be scores of Mozart's mature compositions--symphonies, chamber music, concertos, and most important, operas--as well as selected works by his contemporaries and predecessors. We will interpret these works with the help of primary documents relating to Mozart's life, and with the help of analytic methods developed by scholars such as Wye J. Allanbrook, William Caplan, Daniel Heartz, Robert Levin, and Leonard Ratner. Our studies will be integrated into attending performances of Mozart's work in New York or Boston. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2011

42 Music and Revolution: The Symphonies of Mahler and Shostakovich

(Offered as MUSI 42 and EUST 42.)  Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) are arguably the two greatest symphonic composers after Beethoven. In this course we will compare and contrast their highly charged music and explore the eras in which they worked--for Mahler, imperial Vienna on the eve of World War I, and for Shostakovich, revolutionary Russia under the tyrannical reign of Joseph Stalin. The class will attend Mahler and Shostakovich performances in New York and Boston, particularly as the musical world marks Mahler's 150th birthday in 2010 and the 100th anniversary of his death in 2011. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Kallick.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Spring 2014

48 Seminar in Popular Music: Popular Music and Cultural Identity

Music often serves as one of the primary ways that we create and maintain identities. Our social groups--peers, colleagues, acquaintances--are often determined by shared affinities for specific musical styles, artists, and the world views they come to represent. Yet music is also frequently used to catalyze various forms of social and political activism, challenge our relationship to society and structures of power, and initiate change. This seminar explores the nature of popular music and its relationship to culture, politics, and identity. The first part of the course surveys the discourse of popular music studies and the various trends in cultural studies that have prompted new ways of examining the relationship between popular music and social and cultural identities. We will use this theoretical landscape to analyze an array of popular music cultures in and beyond the United States. The second part of the course focuses on developing multifaceted research projects that put these theories to use. Students will be encouraged to combine ethnographic research (interviews, location-based research) with historical and critical analysis to generate a unique, personal project exploring the relationship between music and identity. Two class meetings per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 11 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students.  Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Robinson.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2016

49 Seminar in the Anthropology of Music: Listening, Hearing, Audition

What happens when you think about music from the perspective of listening, hearing, and audition? How does the way people listen vary over time and across distances? What knowledge of musical experience, musical values, and the social and cultural significance of music-making does this approach generate? This seminar engages these questions by examining listening and audition as culturally specific practices, as forms of performance in their own right, as forms of consumption and exchange, and as relationships to technologies. Drawing on a wide variety of musics, media, and scholarly work, we will think comparatively about the difference between listening and hearing, sound and hierarchies of the senses, representations of listening in various media, the relationship of sound and audition in various religious traditions, and the relationship of listening to musical analysis, structure, and meaning. The seminar will culminate with ethnographic, historical, creative, or performance projects. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Professor Engelhardt.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011

65 Electroacoustic Composition

This course provides instruction in the use of electronic equipment for composition of music. Topics to be considered include approaches to sound synthesis, signal editing and processing, hard disk recording techniques, sequencing audio and MIDI material, and the use of software for interaction between electronics and live performers. The course will also survey the aesthetics and repertory of electroacoustic music. Assignments in the use of equipment and software as well as required listening will prepare students for a final composition project to be performed in a class concert.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2010-11.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2019

67 Song Writing

The writing of songs based upon a study of the works of past masters in a variety of styles, including rock, blues, American folksong, “shape note” music and more. A composition course with much individual attention. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Students should have some background in music performance, chords, or writing. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester.  Professor Robinson.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Fall 2016

69 Composition I

This course will explore compositional techniques that grow out of the various traditions of Western art music. Innovations of twentieth-century composers in generating new approaches to melody and scale, rhythm and meter, harmony, instrumentation, and musical structure will be examined. The course will include improvisation as a source of ideas for written compositions and as a primary compositional mode. Instrumental or vocal competence and good music reading ability are desirable. Assignments will include compositions of various lengths and related analytical projects. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11 or 12, and consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Professor Emeritus Spratlan.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

71 Composition Seminar I

Composition according to the needs and experience of the individual student. One class meeting per week and private conferences. This course may be repeated.

Requisite: Music 69 or the equivalent, and consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Valentine Professor Wubbels.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2018

72 Composition Seminar II

A continuation of Music 71. One class meeting per week and private conferences. This course may be repeated.

Requisite: Music 71 or the equivalent and consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Macchia.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

77D, 77, 78, 78D Senior Departmental Honors

Advanced work for Honors candidates in music history and criticism, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, or performance. A thesis, a major composition project or a full-length recital will be required. No student shall elect more than one semester as a double course. A double course.

Fall semester.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

97, 97H, 98, 98H Special Topics

Independent Reading Course. A full course.

Fall semester.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019