Spring 2018 Courses

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

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 10100: Intro to Western Art Music

Martha Feldman: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, GOH 402
Tommaso Sabbatini: T/R 3:30 - 4:50, LC 703
Dan Wang: T/R 12:30 - 1:50, LC 901

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. 

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class.

MUSI 10200: Intro to World Music

Jessica Baker: M/W 1:30 - 2:50, GOH 402
Michael Allemana: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, LC 901
Joe Maurer: T/R 2:00 - 3:20, GOH 402

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. 

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class.

MUSI 10300: Intro to Music Materials/Design

Sam Pluta: T/R 9:30 - 10:50, GOH 402
Alican Camci: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, LC 703

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.

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class.

MUSI 10400: Intro to Music Analysis/Criticism

Anabel Maler: M/W/F 9:30 - 10:20, GOH 402
Brad Spiers: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, LC 901
Steve Rings: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, GOH 402

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.

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class.

MUSI 12200: Music in Western Civilization II

Bob Kendrick: MWF 10:30-11:20, Cobb 307

This two-quarter sequence explores musical works of broad cultural significance in Western civilization. We study pieces not only from the standpoint of musical style but also through the lenses of politics, intellectual history, economics, gender, cultural studies, and so on. Readings are taken both from our music textbook and from the writings of a number of figures such as St. Benedict of Nursia and Martin Luther. In addition to lectures, students discuss important issues in the readings and participate in music listening exercises in smaller sections.

Notes/Prerequisites: Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This two-quarter sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies; it does not meet the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

 

MUSI 14300: Music Theory Fundamentals

Julianne Grasso: T/Th 12:30 - 1:50, GOH 205

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level music course or consent of instructor.

MUSI 15300: Harmony and Voice Leading III

Olga Sanchez Kisielewska: MWF 10:30-11:20, GOH 402
Olga Sanchez Kisielewska: MWF 11:30-12:20, GOH 402

Separate keyboard labs will meet: MW 1:30-2:20 OR TR 10:00-10:50 OR TR 11:00-11:50.

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 20918: Listening to Movies

Berthold Hoeckner: MWF 11:30 - 12:20, Cobb 307

This course shifts our critical attention from watching movies to listening to them.  Amid a strong emphasis on cinema—ranging from musical accompaniment during the silent era to sound in experimental films; or from classical Hollywood underscoring to Bollywood musical numbers—we will consider the soundtrack of moving pictures within a growing variety of audiovisual media, including television, music videos, and computer games. Interactive lectures (Mondays and Wednesdays) and discussion sections (Fridays) combine a historical overview with transhistorical perspectives. Supplemented by screenings and readings, the course will address a variety issues and topics: aesthetic and psychological (such as representation, narration, affect); cultural and political (such as race, ethnicity, propaganda); social and economic (such as technology,  production, dissemination).

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

Katherine Brucher: T/R 12:30 - 1:50, GOH 402

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 23706/33706: The Singing Masses: Performance, Power, and the Collective Voice

Ameera Nimjee: TR 9:30 - 10:50, GOH 205

The course explores some of the music traditions that hail from South Asia—a region defined by the countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, and their diasporas. The course will study music and some of its inextricably linked forms of dance and theatre through the lens of ethnomusicology, where music is considered in its social and cultural contexts. Students will develop tools to listen, analyze, watch, and participate in South Asian forms of music-making, using case-study based inquiries as guides along the way.

MUSI 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty.
 

MUSI 23718/33718, LACS 25114/35114: Research and Performance: Latin American Baroque Music

M. Escudero: MW 1:30 - 2:50, LC 901

This course will examine the musical document as a source of musicological studies and its relationship to performance. We will look at various types of documents and assess specific problems of each age and geographical area. Topics include: major reservoirs of music documents in Latin America; the early music ensemble, Ars Longa, and the rescue of opera ominia; recording and performing Cuban and Latin American music in a historically informed way; the Sacred Music Collection from eighteenth century Cuba. There is a performance component to this course. Students are encouraged to have some background in music or Latin American history prior to entering the course.
 

MUSI 24317/34317, REES 24416/34416 Russian Literature in the Composer's Ear

Miriam Tripaldi: TR 12:30 – 1:50 JRL 264

The dialogue between author and composer in Russia is probably without parallel in other national traditions. This course will examine the musical transposition of literary works in Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Shchedrin. While Stravinsky makes use of oral tradition and folk culture, our other examples will be drawn from classic literary works, primarily from the 19th century. We will integrate close textual readings with focused analyses of the musical pieces, while devoting considerable attention to contexts of composition and reception. Throughout, we will be concerned with cultural and socio-political events from the mid-19th century to the fall of Soviet Union—events that colored the performance and interpretation of these works and often set the tone for their composition as well.

MUSI 24416/30716 PHIL 21102/31102: Opera As Idea and Performance

A. Freud, M. Nussbaum: T 3:00 - 6:00

Is opera an archaic and exotic pageant for fanciers of overweight canaries, or a relevant art form of great subtlety and complexity that has the power to be revelatory? In this course of eight sessions, jointly taught by Professor Martha Nussbaum and Anthony Freud, General Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, we explore the multi-disciplinary nature of this elusive and much-maligned art form, with its four hundred-year-old European roots, discussing both historic and philosophical contexts and the practicalities of interpretation and production in a very un-European, twenty-first century city. Anchoring each session around a different opera, we will be joined by a variety of guest experts, including a director, conductor, designer and singer, to enable us to explore different perspectives. The tentative list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Verdi's Don Carlos, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Wagner's Ring, Strauss's Elektra, and Britten's Billy Budd. (A) (I)

MUSI 24417: Making and Meaning in the American Musical

Thomas Christensen: T/Th 9:30 - 10:50, LC 901

The history of the American Musical in the 20th century is paradoxical.   While the genre is one often denigrated as  staging lyrical utopias of Romance and adventure allowing audiences to escape depressing quotidian realities, many musicals did seek to engage some of the most pressing social issues of their day.  In this course, we will look—and listen—closely to four differing musicals from the 20th century, studying their creative origins, while also  analyzing their complex social meanings revealed through the story, music, lyrics, staging, and dance. Among the musicals we will study are Showboat, South Pacific, and Sweeney Todd. The course will culminate with a planned class visit to the hit-musical Hamilton on May 16. Greatly subsidized tickets will be offered to each class member.

MUSI 25600: Jazz Theory and Improv

Mwata Bowden: T/Th 1:30 - 2:50 pm, LC 901

Notes/Prerequisite(s): Prior music course and ability to read music or consent of instructor.

MUSI 26818: History of Electronic Instruments

Theodore Gordon: TR 3:30 - 4:50, JRL 264

This class surveys the history of electronic music in the 20th century by examining its organs—musical and bodily—extended and expanded by the science and technology of electricity. It uses these instruments as conduits to explore tensions latent in electronic music: organic vs. synthetic, analogue vs. digital, and signal vs. noise. We will explore how these tensions manifest in the materials and ideologies of electronic music, contributing to concepts of modernity, sound, and embodiment.

MUSI 27300: Topics: History of Western Music II

Seth Brodsky: M/W 3:00 - 4:20 pm, GOH 402

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.

CATA 27917/37917, MUSI 27918/37918: Catalan Multipart Singing in Modern and Contemporary History

J. Ayats: TR 2:00 - 3:20

To sing together “a veus” (multipart) has historically been an experiential way to build social groups. The aim of this course is to present this activity across Catalonia from the 16th to the 21st century, paying special attention to how multipart singing has articulated a large part of association and shared community life since the middle 19th century. The Catalan example will be placed among multipart singing in Mediterranean Latin countries, where the phenomenon is shared with great intensity.

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills​

Dan Wang F 1:30 - 2:20pm, GOH 402

3-quarter sequence.

MUSI 29500: BA Honors Seminar

Seth Brodsky: W 9:30 am - 12:20 pm, GOH 205


MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

PHIL 21102/31102, MUSI 24416/30716: Opera As Idea and Performance

A. Freud, M. Nussbaum: T 3:00 - 6:00 

Is opera an archaic and exotic pageant for fanciers of overweight canaries, or a relevant art form of great subtlety and complexity that has the power to be revelatory? In this course of eight sessions, jointly taught by Professor Martha Nussbaum and Anthony Freud, General Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, we explore the multi-disciplinary nature of this elusive and much-maligned art form, with its four hundred-year-old European roots, discussing both historic and philosophical contexts and the practicalities of interpretation and production in a very un-European, twenty-first century city. Anchoring each session around a different opera, we will be joined by a variety of guest experts, including a director, conductor, designer and singer, to enable us to explore different perspectives. The tentative list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Verdi's Don Carlos, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Wagner's Ring, Strauss's Elektra, and Britten's Billy Budd. (A) (I)

MUSI 31200: Tonal Analysis II

Steve Rings: W 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This course is a continuation of Music 31100, a study of advanced techniques in tonal analysis. Much of our work will center on Schenkerian theory, but we will also place Schenkerian approaches in dialogue with other methods, including recent approaches to Formenlebre, schema theory, and neo-Riemannian theory. We will be interested in exploring the intersections (and frictions) between these diverse analytical methods, seeking at once to develop analytical fluency in each of them and to heighten our sensitivity to the methodological issues involved in a pluralist approach to tonal analysis.

MUSI 22318/32318: Music and Disability Studies

Jennifer Iverson: TR 11:00 - 12:20, GOH 205

This course studies the ways that attitudes toward disability are constructed within a cultural sphere. From the perspective of disability studies, bodies and minds have many kinds of differences, but what is considered “disability” is determined by culture, not given by nature. Music, as well as film, literature, visual art, theatre, and so on, participate in the complex process of constructing and modulating attitudes toward disability. In this course, we will examine the interaction of disability and music in several ways: composers and performers whose creative production is shaped by bodily difference and disability; opera and film characters who embody and stage disability for our consumption; and more abstractly, music whose formal, sonic unfolding seems to engage issues of disability, even in purely instrumental art-pour-l’art works. We will read from the disability studies literature that critiques and theorizes disability themes in literature, film, and visual art, as well as musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology literature that shows how disability themes are crucial in music. In this interdisciplinary class, students will gain a much more intimate understanding of the ways that attitudes toward abilities and bodies are constructed in art works, as well as be able to think, analyze, critique, write, and create with this understanding in mind. It is not necessary to read music notation for this course; for guidance, inquire with the instructor.

MUSI 33614: Seminar: American Musics

Travis Jackson: T 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This course is a selective survey of musical styles in the United States and a range of issues that accompany them. As we explore individual styles, we focus repeatedly on the positioning of musicians and musics with questions of musical practice, adaptation and appropriation, power, definition, race, geography, gender and sexuality, media, economy, politics and inequality, among others, animating our inquiry and discussions. Although we will not attempt to arrive at a coherent understanding or definition of American musics, our aim is to develop a clearer sense of the questions one has to address in making sense of them. The success of the seminar, in many ways, depends on our having fewer clear answers by its end.

MUSI 23706/33706: Music of South Asia

Ameera Nimjee: TR 9:30 - 10:50, GOH 205

The course explores some of the music traditions that hail from South Asia—a region defined by the countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, and their diasporas. The course will study music and some of its inextricably linked forms of dance and theatre through the lens of ethnomusicology, where music is considered in its social and cultural contexts. Students will develop tools to listen, analyze, watch, and participate in South Asian forms of music-making, using case-study based inquiries as guides along the way.

MUSI 24317/34317, REES 24416/34416 Russian Literature in the Composer's Ear

Miriam Tripaldi: TR 12:30 – 1:50 JRL 264

The dialogue between author and composer in Russia is probably without parallel in other national traditions. This course will examine the musical transposition of literary works in Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Shchedrin. While Stravinsky makes use of oral tradition and folk culture, our other examples will be drawn from classic literary works, primarily from the 19th century. We will integrate close textual readings with focused analyses of the musical pieces, while devoting considerable attention to contexts of composition and reception. Throughout, we will be concerned with cultural and socio-political events from the mid-19th century to the fall of Soviet Union—events that colored the performance and interpretation of these works and often set the tone for their composition as well.

 

LACS 25114/35114, MUSI 23718/33718: Research and Performance: Latin American Baroque Music

M. Escudero: MW 1:30 - 2:50

This course will examine the musical document as a source of musicological studies and its relationship to performance. We will look at various types of documents and assess specific problems of each age and geographical area. Topics include: major reservoirs of music documents in Latin America; the early music ensemble, Ars Longa, and the rescue of opera ominia; recording and performing Cuban and Latin American music in a historically informed way; the Sacred Music Collection from eighteenth century Cuba. There is a performance component to this course. Students are encouraged to have some background in music or Latin American history prior to entering the course.

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

Anthony Cheung: T 5:00 - 6:20, LC 901

MUSI 26918/36918: The Jazz Orchestra and Orchestral Approaches to Jazz

Anthony Cheung:  W 1:30 - 4:20, JRL 264

This course offers several views of what it has meant to write for the “jazz orchestra.” In the history of jazz, which has largely been defined by solo improvisation, valued individualism of language and technique, and has since the advent of bebop been primarily associated with small combos, what does it mean for composers who have ambitions that extend beyond typical expectations of instrumental forces, duration, and form? Instead of offering a comprehensive overview of large ensemble jazz writing, we will focus on specific examples that have challenged conventions and redefined idioms. From the innovations in orchestration and scale of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the classic Gil Evans/Miles Davis albums, to the “progressive” experiments of Stan Kenton (and later Don Ellis), to the intergalactic theater of the Sun Ra Arkestra, we will examine complex issues of tradition, community, and race that have accompanied these collaborations, and the compatibility (or not) of musical challenges regarding improvisation, notation, and pedagogy.  An important though less emphasized component of our discussion will be the response of primarily orchestral composers who incorporate elements of jazz scoring and improvisation, and the impact of movements such as Third Stream on such confluences of tradition. The term "orchestra" has taken on different connotations throughout jazz history, from being used interchangeably with “big band” during the swing era – a tradition that still carries forward today (e.g. the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) – to the actual symphony orchestral writing of Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, and Henry Threadgill, which incorporate selective elements of improvisation, to concert-length works like Charles Mingus’ “Epitaph” that in its proportions and ambitions can only be felt as “orchestral.”

CATA 27917/37917, MUSI 27918/37918: Catalan Multipart Singing in Modern and Contemporary History

J. Ayats: TR 2:00 - 3:20

To sing together “a veus” (multipart) has historically been an experiential way to build social groups. The aim of this course is to present this activity across Catalonia from the 16th to the 21st century, paying special attention to how multipart singing has articulated a large part of association and shared community life since the middle 19th century. The Catalan example will be placed among multipart singing in Mediterranean Latin countries, where the phenomenon is shared with great intensity.

MUSI 38000: Graduate Conducting

Barbara Schubert: R 2:00 - 4:00, GOH 205

This year-long course will provide a conceptual and practical introduction to the art, the craft, and the practice of orchestral conducting. The course is targeted particularly toward graduate students in Music Composition, but it is open to advanced musicians with orchestral performance experience as well. Ideally, students enrolled in the course should have had some experience playing or singing in a performance ensemble, and/or have a basic familiarity with orchestral instruments and traditional repertoire. Proficiency in sightreading, ear-training, and basic keyboard skills are prerequisites for the course, but will not be specifically included in the curriculum.

Through a combination of classroom work and extra ensemble sessions, the student will gain significant practical experience in conducting. Weekly classroom sessions will incorporate singing, keyboard work, and instrumental participation by class members and guest musicians. Important technical exercises will be assigned every week, along with moderate-length reading selections. Periodic ensemble sessions will involve small groups of eight to twelve players, and occasionally as many as twenty or thirty players. Several short papers and classroom presentations will be assigned each quarter, in conjunction with the assigned background readings and classroom work. In all, the goal is for each student to develop an understanding and appreciation of the serious responsibilities and the creative possibilities linked to the conductor’s role, as well as to promote a basic proficiency in the craft of conducting.

Autumn quarter work will focus on the practical and conceptual foundations of conducting: beating patterns, notation, conventions, and facility, as well as artistry, interpretation, and creativity on the podium. Winter quarter topics will include recitative, mixed meters, and rehearsal approach, as well as actual performance opportunities for each conductor. Spring quarter focus will extend to the challenges presented by 20th and 21st century repertoire, as well as historical perspective on the evolving role and responsibilities of both composer and conductor in musical performance.

The overall work load of the course is commensurate with a one-third course load per quarter. Class attendance and class participation are a crucial part of the work load, and of the final grade. Students receive course credit only upon completion of the entire year’s work. Students should register for the course in all three quarters; they will receive an 'R' in autumn and winter, and a final grade in the spring. Note: this course is required for all graduate students in Music Composition.

MUSI 41500: Dissertation Proposal Seminar

Robert Kendrick: W 3:00 - 5:50, GOH 315

MUSI 43318: Music and Feminist Postcolonialism

Jessica Baker: R 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This graduate seminar draws on Feminist Postcolonial Theory and Ethnomusicology to investigate the intersections of music and feminism in the postcolonial world. Moving thematically across topics such as respectability, sexuality, race, and visibility, participants in this course will engage with texts and sounds that emerge out of and in resistance to the legacy of colonization and colonialism and the particularly gendered struggles of post-colonial nationalism and patriarchy. Where feminism and postcolonialism are both aimed toward a theorization of the marginalized subject, this course considers music as a key site for both expressing postcolonial/feminist consciousness and for discursive regulation of women’s bodies. Deploying a necessarily intersectional feminist lens, we will focus on a variety of postcolonial feminisms and music performance practices including (but not limited to) soca and Caribbean feminisms, Punk Rock and Chicana Feminism, and Karnatic music and South Asian Feminisms.

MUSI 44718: Technologies for Music Making

Jennifer Iverson: F 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

Iverson’s seminar, Technologies for Music Making, MUSI 44718, Spring 2018 begins with a series of theoretical readings from scholars associated with science and technology studies (STS) and actor-network theory (ANT), which will help us explore issues of agency, laboratory structure, and technological determinism throughout the quarter. Case studies in the second unit of spring quarter will focus on several electronic instruments (including the Theremin, the MixturTrautonium, and the DX-7), and the third unit will return to questions of the voice and its technological mediations, including the Vocoder and auto-tune.

Feldman and Iverson’s courses should be viewed as complementary, and students are encouraged to take both parts and to discuss options for a combined project with Feldman and Iverson. It is also fine to take either seminar as a stand-alone course. We welcome students coming from music or related disciplines such as art history or practice, cinema and media studies, sociology, cultural history, sound studies, languages and literatures, theater and performance studies, etc. These seminars will engage deeply with musical sound and technology (to the extent we are able), but it is not necessary to read musical notation.

MUSI 43418: Musical Afrofuturism

Gabriel Solis: M 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This course explores the place of speculative culture across a range of African American musical genres and, reciprocally, the significance of music in Afrofuturist film, literature, and graphic art. We will read Afrofuturist theory, alongside more canonical Black aesthetic philosophy, and consider its implications for music. There will be a focus on work from the 1970s to the present, much of which was created in explicit dialogue with science fiction, fantasy, and other genres of speculative literature and film, but we will attend to the ways Afrofuturism’s ideals may have developed in part as a response to a longer history of African American music in particular. At key points we will look at the ways Afrofuturism—and Black speculative art at large—encourages a transnational and intersectional perspective.