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Course Offerings and Schedule

Spring 2018 Course Schedule

Spring 2018 Course Descriptions


MUS 83000: Studies in World Music: Music of India – Professor Peter Manuel

This seminar explores diverse musics of India, engaging with music both in its formal aspects and as a socio-musical phenomenon.  Exploration of North and South Indian classical and light-classical music will cover treatment of râg and tâl and other analytical aspects, and selected historical themes, including factors conditioning râg evolution, ancient and classical treatises, the transition from feudal to bourgeois patronage, Hindu-Muslim dynamics, and changing roles of women and hereditary performing castes. Students will learn to listen to classical musics in an informed way, encompassing recognition of several basic râg and tâls.  Selected folk traditions and genres will then be covered, followed by the development of modern commercial popular musics, and musics of the Panjabi and Bhojpuri diasporas (especially in the Caribbean). Grades will be based on a short analysis assignment, a class report on a reading, class notes, and a take-home set of essay assignments. While many readings will be on reserve, we will also be reading much of Neuman’s The Life of Music in North India, Bakhle’s Two Men and Music, and Manuel’s Cassette Culture.
 

MUS 84500: Seminar in Theory/Analysis: Intermediate Schenkerian Analysis (Schenker II) – Professor Poundie Burstein
 

This course focuses on the practice and theory of Schenkerian analysis. Intensive work in analysis of selections from the tonal literature will be supplemented by close readings of Schenker's theoretical and analytical writings as well as readings from the secondary
literature.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis (Music 74500) or equivalent.
 

MUS 84600: Seminar in Theory: Analyzing Atonal and Twelve-Tone Music – Professor Joseph Straus
 
We will look closely at selected works from the modernist, post-tonal canon (works by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Stravinsky, Bartok, Crawford, Dallapiccola), roughly one work per class meeting. We will read in the extensive secondary analytical literature on these works, both to master the analytical methodologies and to evaluate the theoretical controversies. 
Prerequisite: a course in basic post-tonal theory or the equivalent.
 

MUS 84100: Seminar in Theory/Analysis: The Beatles [open to doctoral students in Music only] – Professor Mark Spicer
 
This seminar will offer an in-depth study of the music of the Beatles. Using Walter Everett’s The Beatles as Musicians as our central reference, we will trace the group’s stylistic development, song by song and album by album, from their earliest days as the Quarrymen through their swan song Abbey Road. Our primary focus will be on analyzing the substance of the recordings themselves—that is, we will explore issues of form, harmony and voice leading, rhythm and groove, performance practice, text-music relations, recording technology, and so on—and yet we will also take time to consider the profound influence that the Beatles have had, and continue to have, in shaping not only the landscape of pop and rock music, but our postmodern world itself. (Enrollment limited to doctoral students in music, or by permission of the instructor.)  


MUS 81502: Performance Practice: Classic-Romantic 1750-1900 – Professor Raymond Erickson
 
This course, intended for DMA performance majors, is designed to be a practical introduction to historical performance practices in the period ca. 1750-1900. It will provide historical information through lectures, class reports, and book summaries and practical experience in implementing historical performing practices through in-class coachings and consideration of appropriate improvisation techniques. Each student will provide a personal synthesis of the materials and experiences of the class in a term paper.​
 

MUS 71500: D.M.A. Topics (Spring) – Professor Sylvia Kahan
 
The second semester DMA Topics course will focus on the various types of scholarly writing encountered by performers in doctoral work and beyond.  In addition to reading and analysis/discussion of writing on music from multiple genres by both scholars and performers, weekly writing assignments will include in-class writing, evaluation of classmates’ work, and ongoing work on longer assignments. These will include samples of: program notes, encyclopedia articles, pre-concert talks, and mock dissertation proposals, among other writing assignments. The course also serves as a continuing review of bibliography and research techniques as needed.
 

MUS 89200: Composers Forum – Professor Jeff Nichols
 
The Composers Forum is a series of meetings on topics of interest to composers. There will be guest composers and performers; presentations by students on their own work and discussions of technical, musical and professional issues in contemporary composition. 
 

MUS 84300: Seminar in Theory/Analysis: Analyzing Opera: Mozart to Verdi – Professor William Rothstein
 
We will study the musical and poetic structures of at least five operas: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Rossini’s Semiramide, Bellini’s Norma, Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Wagner’s Die Walküre. If time permits, Verdi's Aida will also be studied. Short assignments and a term paper will be required. Students who are interested will attend performances of Semiramide (Rossini) and Luisa Miller (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera.
Prerequisite: Schenker I (Introduction to Schenker) or equivalent experience (as judged by the instructor). Limit 15
 

MUS 83200: Field Methods in Ethnomusicology and Sound Studies – Professor Eliot Bates
 
This seminar provides practical training for fieldworkers in the practice of ethnographic research, especially for projects that entail a music-sonic-cultural component. Topics that may be covered include: understanding and defining the “sites” of research; taking ethnographic field notes; the basics of audio, still photo, and video documentation of ethnographic observations (including elements of both capture and editing/processing); managing digital data; the design and implementation of interviews; the elements of IRB proposals; online ethnography; and issues of ethics and risk as they relate to fieldwork.
Limit 12 – Instruction permission required
 

MUS 81504: Performance Practice: 20th – 21st Century – Professor Ursula Oppens
 
Performance Practice of the 20th and 21st centuries is primarily a course for performers and composers, although students in other areas (i.e. musicology) who wish to perform and compose are welcome. There are weekly readings, presentations by students, and also performances in class. Everyone will be expected to do a certain amount of composing and also to play in the pieces written for him/her by other members of the class. There will be a final concert on May (Date TBD) in which participation is mandatory. Feel free to contact uoppens@gmail.com if you have questions


MUS 86500: Critical Approaches: Music Aesthetics – Professor Scott Burnham
 
The course will focus on several predominant aesthetic issues at play in contemporary musical thought. Chief among these will be the contested role of Beauty in music. After a quick survey of music aesthetics starting with Hanslick’s On the Beautiful in Music, we will examine recent treatments of beauty by philosophers Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just) and Alexander Nehamas (Only a Promise of Happiness:  The Place of Beauty in a World of Art), as well as musicologist Karol Berger (Theory of Art). Other themes in the seminar will include Presence (Gumbrecht, Production of Presence and Steiner, Real Presences) and Materiality. Whenever possible, we will take up specific musical works in conjunction with each of these themes.​
 

MUS 71000: Proseminar: Teaching Music – Professor Eliot Bates
 
In this course we will explore teaching strategies and discuss prominent pedagogical issues across the range of disciplinary areas in music, with an emphasis on teaching courses in music appreciation, musicianship, Western music theory and history, world music cultures, music in specific world areas, and performance. The course is team-taught by faculty members in the musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, and performance programs, joined by current and recent teaching fellows who have taught in the CUNY system. It is required of all first-year Graduate Center Fellows; however, all students in the Music Programs are welcome to register.
 

MUS 82950: Seminar in Dissertation and Proposal Writing in (Ethno)musicology – Professor Jane Sugarman
 
This seminar will be run as a workshop that provides advanced students with a structured environment in which to draft and refine their dissertation proposal, as well as to prepare applications for fellowships for field research or dissertation writing.  It is open to students in the ethnomusicology and musicology programs, as well as DMA students who are writing a historical or ethnographic (rather than music analytical) dissertation. Students beginning to write their dissertations are also welcome.  Participants will refine their skills in drafting and revising academic prose for an interdisciplinary and cross-regional readership, as well as in oral presentation of their arguments and findings.  We will also discuss a variety of issues that arise in (ethno)musicological research and writing, such as developing an authorial voice, identifying appropriate literature within which to situate one's study, research design, and use of specific research methodologies.  The class will focus on peer review, in which students evaluate and critique each others' drafts.  Level II students should enroll as a for-credit course, and Level III students as auditors. Permission of instructor required for enrollment. 
  

MUS 86400: Musicology Seminar: Medievalism and the Modernist Musical Imagination – Professor Anne Stone
 
The list of composers who have engaged in some way with medieval music reads like a who’s who of musical modernism in Europe and the United States: Benjamin, Berio, Birtwistle, Britten, Hindemith, Maxwell Davies, Messiaen, Pärt, Perle, Saariaho, Stravinsky, Tavener, Webern, and Wuorinen, just to name a few.
 
This seminar will explore the intersections between selected modernist composers and the specter of the Middle Ages. Is the relationship merely one of numerous isolated references, a collection of case studies, or is there a deeper affinity between the project of modernist music and the collective notion of the medieval? What do modernist composers think they are doing when they allude to medieval musical processes or literary themes? Is there a coherent "medievalism" discernible in modern music akin to that of neoclassicism or exoticism?
 
We will start by considering two recent operas that take troubadours as their subject: Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin (2000) and George Benjamin'sWritten on Skin (2012). Later topics will include Paul Hindemith’s direction of the Yale Collegium Musicum, George Perle’s analysis of Machaut, Luciano Berio’s collaboration with the medievalist Edoardo Sanguineti, and medieval-ish works by Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle.
 
Requirements: weekly reading and written response, posted to Dropbox the Wednesday before each class; a short presentation and 5-page paper early in the semester; and a longer presentation and paper (15 pages) at the end; the longer paper may be an elaboration of the earlier paper, or on a different topic.
 
Readings will include two recent books from art history and English respectively: Alexander Nagel, Medieval Modern: Art out of Time (London: Thames and Hudson, 2012); Bruce Holsinger, The Premodern Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); other reading will include articles and essays by Walter Benjamin, Luciano Berio, Bertold Brecht, Umberto Eco, Paul Hindemith, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Ezra Pound, George Perle, and Kirsten Yri.

 
 
 

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