Autumn 2016

For up-to-date room assignments, visit classes.uchicago.edu

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 10100: Intro to Western Art Music

Seth Brodksy: M,W 3:00 - 4:20 pm

This one-quarter course is designed to enrich the listening experience of students, particularly with respect to the art music of the Western European and American concert tradition. Students are introduced to the basic elements of music and the ways that they are integrated to create works in various styles. Particular emphasis is placed on musical form and on the potential for music to refer to and interact with aspects of the world outside. 

MUSI 10200: Intro to World Music

Travis Jackson: M,W 1:30 - 2:50 pm
Ameera Nimjee: T,R 1:30 - 2:50 pm
Laura Shearing: T,R 9:00 - 10:20 am

This course is a selected survey of classical, popular, and folk music traditions from around the world. The goals are not only to expand our skills as listeners but also to redefine what we consider music to be and, in the process, stimulate a fresh approach to our own diverse musical traditions. In addition, the role of music as ritual, aesthetic experience, mode of communication, and artistic expression is explored.

MUSI 10300: Intro to Music Materials/Design

Sam Pluta: T,R 10:30 - 11:50 am
Timothy Page: T,R 3:00 - 4:20 pm

This introductory course in music is intended for students who are interested in exploring the language, interpretation, and meaning of music through coordinated listening, analysis, and creative work. By listening to and comprehending the structural and aesthetic considerations behind significant written and improvised works, from the earliest examples of notated Western music to the music of living composers and performers, students will be prepared to undertake analytical and ultimately creative projects. The relationship between cultural and historical practices and the creation and reception of music will also be considered. The course is taught by a practicing composer, whose experience will guide and inform the works studied. No prior background in music is required.

MUSI 10400: Introduction to Music Analysis/Criticism

Steven Rings: M,W 1:30 - 2:50 pm

This course aims to develop students’ analytical and critical tools by focusing on a select group of works drawn from the Western European and American concert tradition. The texts for the course are recordings. Through listening, written assignments, and class discussion, we explore topics such as compositional strategy, conditions of musical performance, interactions between music and text, and the relationship between music and ideology as they are manifested in complete compositions.

MUSI 15100: Harmony and Voice Leading I

Nancy Murphy: M,W,F 10:30 - 11:20 am
Nancy Murphy: M,W,F 11:30 - 12:20 pm

Separate keyboard labs will meet: M,W 1:30-2:20 pm or T,R 9:30-10:20 am or T,R 10:30-11:20 am.

This three-quarter sequence serves as an introduction to the materials and structure of Western tonal music. The first quarter focuses on fundamentals: scale types, keys, basic harmonic structures, voice-leading and two-voice counterpoint. The second quarter explores extensions of harmonic syntax, the basics of classical form, further work with counterpoint, and nondiatonic seventh chords. The third quarter undertakes the study of modulation, sequences, and additional analysis of classical forms. Musicianship labs in ear training and keyboard skills required.

MUSI 23100: Jazz

Travis Jackson: T,R 9:00 - 10:20 am

This survey charts the history and development of jazz from its earliest origins to the present. Representative recordings in various styles are selected for intensive analysis and connected to other musics, currents in American and world cultures, and the contexts and processes of performance. The Chicago Jazz Archive in Regenstein Library provides primary source materials.

MUSI 23300: Introduction to the Social and Cultural Study of Music

Philip Bohlman: T, R 10:30 - 11:50 am

This course provides an introduction to ethnomusicology and related disciplines with an emphasis on the methods and contemporary practice of social and cultural analysis. The course reviews a broad selection of writing on non-Western, popular, vernacular, and "world-music" genres from a historical and theoretical perspective, clarifying key analytical terms (i.e., "culture," "subculture," "style," "ritual," "globalization") and methods (i.e., ethnography, semiotics, psychoanalysis, Marxism). In the last part of the course, students learn and develop component skills of fieldwork documentation and ethnographic writing. 

MUSI 23817: History in Practice: Musical Multiculturalism in Brazil

Sergio Assad: T,R 1:30 - 2:50 pm

Brazil is a country uniquely identified with its musical history. This course is designed to describe how Indigenous, African and European influences merged over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries to create Brazil’s rich and complex musical tradition. We will focus especially on the interaction of erudite and popular influences, and on the musical and social processes that gave birth to distinctly Brazilian genres such as Samba, Choro, Maracatu, and Frevo. Taught by a renowned Brazilian composer and guitarist, this course will explore Brazil’s musical history through live musical performance as well as lectures, readings, recordings, and discussion.

MUSI 27100: Topics: History of Western Music I

Martha Feldman: M,W 3:00 - 4:20 pm

This sequence is a three-quarter investigation into Western art music, with primary emphasis on the vocal and instrumental repertories of Western Europe and the United States.

MUSI 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty

 

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills

Phillip Kloeckner: F 1:30 - 2:20 pm

 


MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 31300: Post-Tonal Analysis of the 20th Century

Jennifer Iverson: M 9:30 - 12:20 pm

This course introduces theoretical and analytical approaches to twentieth-century music. The core of the course involves learning a new theoretical apparatus--often called "set theory"--and exploring how best to apply that apparatus analytically to pieces by composers such as Schoenberg, Bartok, and Stravinsky. We also explore the relevance of the theoretical models to music outside of the high-modernist canon, including some jazz. The course provides an opportunity to confront some foundational questions regarding what it means to "theorize about music."

MUSI 33000: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology: History/Ethnography/Sound​

Philip Bohlman: M 1:30 - 4:20 pm

The sea change through which musical scholarship has passed at the beginning of the twenty-first century would be unthinkable without the sweeping influences of ethnomusicology. Once thought to concern itself with the music of the Other, whether the cultures outside Europe or the social conditions of the rural and disadvantaged in Western society, ethnomusicology is now a comprehensive discipline at the center of music scholarship. Ethnomusicological research enjoys a global reach, and it generates methods and theories that serve both the humanities and the social sciences. Ethnomusicology courses have also moved from the margins to the center of university music programs, where those courses are increasingly critical for all students, undergraduate and graduate. This dramatic rerouting of the intellectual history of music scholarship will provide the road map that we follow through the “Proseminar in Ethnomusicology.”

Ethnomusicology in the twenty-first century also claims an historical longue durée that stretches across continents and cultures, providing us with the point of departure in the early weeks of the proseminar. In the first sessions we consider the history and historiography of ethnomusicology. Beginning with concepts of ontology and origins in music—the shaping of music’s multiple and culturally situated identities—we explore the ways in which encounter, collection, and analysis developed in such ways that music could have multiple forms as an object. The formation of repertories and genres that lent themselves to ethnomusicological study and theoretical formulation (e.g., Johann Gottfried Herder’s Volkslieder, “folk songs,” in the late eighteenth century, and the transnational appropriation of world music through the mass media in the twenty-first century) provide a common thread unifying the first part of the proseminar.

With the sessions in the second part of the course we navigate the present and move toward the future, where we explore the complex disciplinarity of ethnomusicology. The critical methodological presence of fieldwork and ethnography guide us into the themes of the second part. In the final weeks we turn toward the disciplinary directions of the new ethnomusicology at the turn of the present century, when ethnomusicological interest global popular music and sound studies led to further expansion of ethnomusicology as a field, which nonetheless meant that ethnomusicologists would different aesthetic and ethical questions as they entered new domains of the human sciences. Graduate students in all subdisciplines of the Music Department are welcome to take this proseminar. Students from across the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Divinity, especially those whose studies involve area studies and the affective and expressive presence of the arts in culture, are similarly welcome to take the Proseminar in Ethnomusicology.

MUSI 33100: Jazz​

Travis Jackson: T,R 9:00​ - 10:20 am

This survey charts the history and development of jazz from its earliest origins to the present. Representative recordings in various styles are selected for intensive analysis and connected to other musics, currents in American and world cultures, and the contexts and processes of performance. The Chicago Jazz Archive in Regenstein Library provides primary source materials.

MUSI 33817: History in Practice: Musical Multiculturalism in Brazil​

Sergio Assad​: T,R 1:30 - 2:50 pm

Brazil is a country uniquely identified with its musical history. This course is designed to describe how Indigenous, African and European influences merged over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries to create Brazil’s rich and complex musical tradition. We will focus especially on the interaction of erudite and popular influences, and on the musical and social processes that gave birth to distinctly Brazilian genres such as Samba, Choro, Maracatu, and Frevo. Taught by a renowned Brazilian composer and guitarist, this course will explore Brazil’s musical history through live musical performance as well as lectures, readings, recordings, and discussion.

MUSI 34000: Composition Lessons​

Arranged with composition faculty

 

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

Augusta Read Th​omas: T 4:30 - 5:50 pm

 

MUSI 37100: History of Music Theory I

Calvin Bower: W 1:30 - 4:20 pm

The pro-seminar will attempt both to introduce students to the broad trends of the history of music theory between approximately 500-1600 and to challenge students to dig deeper into several areas that will be chosen in discussions between the class and the professor.  The following six topics reflect the broad divisions that will be used in approaching the topic:  the mathematical and mythological foundations of Greek and Roman antiquity; the synthesis of ancient theory and the contemporary practise of chant in the ninth and tenth centuries; the ‘theorizing’ of Guido and Hermannus in the eleventh century – notes and their functions; the development and refinement of a theory and notation for rhythm in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; theory as pedagogy in the later Middle Ages; the rise of language to describe and control counterpoint.  Students will have the choice of writing a research paper or taking a take-home final examination.

MUSI 41000: Colloquium

More info on the Music Colloquium Series here

 

MUSI 41500: Seminar: Dissertation Proposal

Martha Feldman: R 1:30-4:20 pm

The goal of this seminar is to help doctoral students who have taken their Comprehensive Exams produce a dissertation proposal over the course of this academic year. The seminar meets every other week in Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. We will proceed from selecting and formulating a topic to planning and writing a proposal. Participants will regularly present abstracts, drafts, and versions of their proposal. Peer review will be an important part of the process.

MUSI 42217: Seminar: Sounding the Archipelago

Jessica Baker: F 9:30 - 12:20 pm

The word archipelago [ἄρχι- —arkhi- (“chief”)—and πέλαγος—pélagos (“sea”)] was used in medieval Italy to refer to the Aegean Sea, and later referred to the Aegean islands. Currently, it refers to any island group or, in some instances, to a sea containing a large number of scattered islands.

By considering archipelagic global spaces such as the Caribbean basin, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, “Sounding the Archipelago” is concerned with discursive and material networks of islands, oceans, and continents as they pertain to processes of music-making. Drawing from an interdisciplinary body of scholarship including texts in ethnomusicology, philosophy, geography, island studies, postcolonial studies, and comparative literature, this seminar examines the theoretical and thematic possibilities of an archipelagic framework of relation. Considering the material and theoretical tension between land and water, and between island and mainland (continental) relations, participants will investigate the types of connections that become visible and audible when island groups are regarded not exclusively as sites of cultural and musical production and circulation, but rather, as models. Specifically, what does it mean to think with a place instead of exclusively about it? How do we think and write about networks, connections, and mobility in ways that foreground in-between spaces and sounds alongside the discourses and epistemologies that constitute them? Where “sounding” refers to measuring the depth of a body of water, to preliminary steps before further action and, of course, to the presence of resonant sound, participants in “Sounding the Archipelago” will critically engage with the archipelagic as a new intellectual field and question its efficacy and suitability to the study of music.

MUSI 44817: Seminar: Words and Fifteenth Century Sacred Music

Anne R​obertson: T 9:00 - 12:00 pm

Scholars have studied the development of sacred music in the fifteenth century from the viewpoints of institutions, musicians, art, architecture, repertories, rituals, archival documents, styles, sources, culture, and other perspectives. This evolution can also be captured in another way: in the basic idea that the ancient medieval bond between music and number loosens during this period, and that a new alliance between music and words emerges. Words tell the history of musical institutions, words form the books that musicians read, words make up the texts of musical repertories, words delineate rituals, words comprise archival documents, words inspire musical styles, words fill musical sources, words shape culture.

Our seminar will examine words along with the verbal/discursive aspects of the arts that help define musical meaning in the fifteenth century. Words emphasized in sacred books often behave similarly in musical settings. Vernacular words provide new models for religious beliefs in music, enhancing its meaning. Words that explain philosophical concepts teach religious precepts in music. Words that inscribe new rituals share their novel configurations in these rites with the structures of musical compositions. Words that fetishize sacred objects sometimes inspire similarly obsessive techniques in music.

 Many fifteenth-century motets and masses illustrate these points, signaling the multi-faceted connections between music and words, along with a richer understanding of the well-known concept of music-as-rhetoric in the late middle ages. Readings on music, rhetoric, and the arts, along with final papers will focus on these interactions.