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Course Offerings and Schedule


Course Offerings and Schedule

Fall 2014 Course Schedule

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

MUS 78200: Studies in World Music Analysis.
Professor Peter Manuel

This seminar will examine a variety of world musics (i.e., primarily non-Western) with an emphasis on their formal features, emphasizing sound structure rather than socio-musical dimensions.  The course will fulfill a number of objectives.  It will help students—and perhaps especially ethnomusicology students preparing for the second exam—to develop analytical skills, including transcription and notation of a wide variety of types of music.  It will help prepare students to teach world music survey classes, such as are often in demand at colleges.  It will, in its way, cover a breadth of world music genres, some of which—such as Indonesian gamelan music—are not addressed in our current ethnomusicology offerings.   It may interest several DMA and musicology students who seek familiarity with world music styles as sound systems rather than as subjects of social theory.  The course would also familiarize students with software programs used for analysis.  The areas and genres covered would consist primarily of those not covered in other ethnomusicology offerings, and would include, for instance, traditional musics of Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Hawai’i, Portugal, Indonesia, and assorted African regions, perhaps with some excursions into jazz and diverse pop styles.  For students at dramatically different levels of analytical skills, parts of certain seminar meetings might be devoted to special *remedial* sessions.

MUS 83900: Research Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Cross-cultural Studies of Music Theory
Professor Stephen Blum

The seminar considers some of the ways ethnomusicologists are engaged in research on music theory, broadly defined (on the assumption that theorizing is inevitably implicated in music-making). The specific topics treated will depend in part on the interests of the seminar participants and may deal with music theory of any time and place. It is a "writing intensive" seminar, with exercises in analyzing and summarizing theoretical treatises as well as accounts of orally-transmitted theories, rather than a term paper. Students should have a reading knowledge of at least one language other than English. Open only to doctoral students (in any program); not open to auditors.

MUS 74500: Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis
Professor Eric Wen

This course will aim to develop an understanding of large-scale musical coherence through a study of the voice-leading and tonal organization of selected compositions. Through the analytic techniques learned in this course, students will gain a deeper understanding of how the principles of harmony and counterpoint operate in tandem, and determine the criteria for structural coherence in music of the common-practice period. In the process of doing so, students will be introduced to the analytic system of graphic notation developed by Heinrich Schenker. Beginning with short extracts and themes, by the end of the semester, complete works will analyzed. There is no textbook for the course, but all the musical works studied will be made available as photocopies.

MUS 82500: History of Music Theory I
Professor Chadwick Jenkins

This course explores the history of music theory from Antiquity to the end of the Renaissance (roughly Pythagoras to Artusi). We will read both primary and secondary sources in an attempt to understand the ways in which the history of theory participates in the history and development of ideas. In our effort, we will be concerned with the following issues: the ontology of music (including questions concerning the definition of its elements and its manner of being); the epistemology of music; sense psychology with respect to music; notions of consonance and dissonance; tuning systems and scale formations (including the genera, divisions of the whole tone, transposition, etc.); theories of mode; theories concerning rhythm and the rhythmic modes; and counterpoint theory. There will be an emphasis placed on the interactions between music theory and philosophy in the broader sense. The class is open to doctoral students only.

MUS 88500: Composers’ Seminar
Professor Douglas Geers

This seminar will introduce students to a wide range of methods for using algorithms, implemented on computers, as tools for the organization and creation of thematic materials for music composition.  Topics will include introductions to algorithmic techniques themselves, realization of them in software, study of successful works that have employed these techniques, and creation of a series of compositional studies by students.
Most of the instruction will focus on using the software PWGL and OpenMusic, although students will be allowed to complete some assignments with other platforms by permission (Max/MSP, Pd, Supercollider, Csound, etc.)
Students will complete a final project as approved by the instructor, which would likely be a composition that uses techniques studied, a research/analysis paper on music created using one or more of the techniques, or an analytical paper that uses some of these techniques to analyze music not known to have been written with them in mind.
MUS 86600/ASCP XXXX Seminar in Music History: The 1920s:  Music and Culture in New York
Professor Jeffrey Taylor

Fridays 10am-1pm   Room 3491   3 credits
In 1920s New York, music and musicians served as both causes and effects in social history.  Seen in the larger context of the aftermath of World War 1, the technology boom (especially in recording, radio, and film), Prohibition, the emergence of organized crime, the Harlem Renaissance, the early history of jazz, and many literary and artistic movements (including Modernism), music becomes a lens through which to examine radical shifts in America’s views on gender, race, class, and a host of other issues. Emphasis will be on discussion of primary and secondary written texts, films and artworks, and listening, rather than score analysis—though students are welcome to pursue analytical work in their final projects. The course will explore work by and reception of musicians and composers as diverse as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Bessie Smith, Henry Cowell, Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, Dane Rudhyar, Ruth Crawford, George Antheil and Edgard Varèse. Assignments will consist of weekly written responses to reading and listening, discussion-leading, a midterm writing assignment, and a final project that will incorporate a class presentation and final paper.
MUS 84600: Musical Modernism
Professor Joseph Straus

This course will study the historical, social, cultural, and musical forces that shaped modernist music in the period before and after the First World War.  The readings will be drawn from a variety of sources inside and outside of music, and the works we focus on will include Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire and Variations for Orchestra; Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring and Oedipus Rex; Bartok, Bluebeard’s Castle and String Quartet No. 3; Berg, Wozzeck; Varese, Hyperprism; Crawford-Seeger, String Quartet; and Ives, String Quartet No. 2 and Symphony No. 4.
MUS 86800: Seminar in Music History - Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Late Medieval Lyric

Professor Anne Stone
The rise of vernacular poetry in Romance languages that took place between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries has been the subject of a wealth of interdisciplinary scholarship in the past couple of decades by historians of art, music and literature.  Inspired by new cross-disciplinary areas of inquiry—gender studies, New Philology, sound studies, among others—scholars have transformed the way we think about the late medieval lyric, its social context, its compositional process, its transmission and reception. This seminar will survey recent writings across these disciplines that treat lyrics with and without music produced in late medieval Occitania, France and Italy from roughly the 12th-15th centuries: troubadour song; the French motet; the formes fixes lyrics of Guillaume de Machaut; the Italian lyric compilations of the fourteenth century.  Students will engage in close readings of individual lyrics in a variety of Romance languages (translations will be available, though familiarity with at least one modern Romance language or with Latin will be helpful), and also in close readings of manuscripts from the level of the page to the level of the codex. We will take advantage of the new availability of medieval lyric collections online, through sites like the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s Gallica site, the British Library, and the consortial Digital Scriptorium, as well as color print facsimiles such as that of the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the late trecento Squarcialupi codex. We will also visit the Morgan Library to examine their illuminated troubadour manuscript, M.819.
Requirements: weekly readings and short writing assignments; one 5-page paper due mid-semester and one final project, read in class as a 20-minute conference-style paper, and then submitted as a 10-15 page research paper. All primary and secondary readings will be available in English translation. Students may choose to research lyrics in languages other than those treated in the seminar.
Note: this two-hour, three-credit seminar will be extended by one hour and one credit (required of music students and optional for others) to deal specifically with the musical notation of late medieval lyrics: learning how to read it, and considering how its presence participated in making meaning in the context of the song as a whole.

MUS 71200: Research Techniques in Ethnomusicology
Prof. Jane Sugarman
An examination of classic and contemporary writings in ethnomusicology, with a focus on the theoretical paradigms and research methodologies that they illustrate.  Assignments will include a series of short methodological exercises and a final paper that critically assesses research on music related to one world area or cross-cultural  topic.  Required of students concentrating in ethnomusicology, but also recommended for other music students as an introduction to the field.  Instructor permission required.

MUS 7000: Introduction to Musicology
Prof. Janette Tilley

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the discipline of musicology: its history, methodologies, resources, and debates. It is also intended to introduce you to the skills and habits of mind necessary for graduate work in musicology, including research and writing skills. In the language of objectives, you should, by the end of this course, be able to:  Explain the historical trajectory of musicology over the past 150 years; identify and assess the influence of major writers and their central arguments and methodologies; be conversant with the major methodologies used in musicology; locate, assess and integrate appropriate research resources, both secondary and primary, to answer research questions;  assess and present different types of musical evidence in support of theses;  write effectively and persuasively at a professional level; and develop the necessary strategies and habits of mind for editing professional prose in a variety of genres pertinent to music