Winter 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

Seth Brodsky: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, LC 703
Mari Jo Velasco:  M/W 4:30 - 5:50, GOH 402

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, GOH 402
Laura Shearing: 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. 

MUSI 10300: Intro to Music Materials/Design

Marta Ptaszynska: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, GOH 402
Clay Mettens: T/R 3:30 - 4:50, 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.

MUSI 10400: Intro to Music Analysis/Criticism

Lawrence Zbikowski: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, GOH 402
Jennifer Iverson: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, LC 901

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 12100: Music in Western Civilization I

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.

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 15200: Harmony and Voice Leading II

Olga Sanchez Kisielewska: MWF 10:30-11:20
Olga Sanchez Kisielewska: MWF 11:30-12:20

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 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty.

MUSI 25300: 20th Century Music Analysis

Jennifer Iverson: MW 1:30 - 2:50, LC 901

This course introduces theoretical and analytical approaches to 20th-century art music.

MUSI 26618/36618: Electronic Music I: Composing With Sound

Sam Pluta: MW 1:30 - 2:50, GOH 205

Electronic Music I presents an open environment for creativity and expression through composition in the electronic music studio. The course provides students with a background in the fundamentals of sound and acoustics, covers the theory and practice of digital signal processing for audio, and introduces the recording studio as a powerful compositional tool. The course culminates in a concert of original student works presented in multi-channel surround sound. Enrollment gives students access to the Electronic Music Studio in the Department of Music. No prior knowledge of electronic music is necessary.

MUSI 27200: Topics: History of Western Music II

Mari Jo Velasco: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, GOH 205

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 28000: Undergraduate Conducting

James Kallembach: T/R 2:00 - 3:20, LC 703

2-quarter sequence.

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills​

Dan Wang F 1:30 - 2:20pm, GOH 402 (Time Tentative)

3-quarter sequence.


MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 31100: Tonal Analysis

Lawrence Zbikowski: TR 3:30 - 4:50, GOH 402

This course introduces fundamental tools of tonal analysis, applied to music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, accomplished through a focus on Heinrich Schenker’s influential theory of linear analysis. A portion of the course will be given over to exploring the historical and cultural context of Schenker’s theory, its critical reception, and the ways it has been applied. This will be complemented by an introduction to Schenkerian techniques and the analytical resources they offer. Note: Music 31100 is conceived as a preparation and foundation for Music 31200, which will build directly upon the analytic models and repertoire introduced in Music 31100.

MUSI 32700: Proseminar 1800-1900

Berthold Hoeckner: R 9:30 - 12:20 JRL 264

This proseminar approaches nineteenth-century European music from an evolving perspective that gained momentum during the 1990s, when American musicology became more interested in the historical context. Amid this new orientation and the exploration of new areas of research, many methods and topics have remained remarkably stable. There have been only few attempts to conceive music history and historiography in a way that reflects these new perspectives and the new themes in a more comprehensive framework. This proseminar will try to make some steps in the direction of rethinking our approach to the history and historiography of music—this time with a focus on the 19th century. We will touch on a number of important topics, but no attempt can be made to be comprehensive with respect to both repertory and scholarly literature.

MUSI 33618: Music and Dance of the Black Atlantic

Jessica Baker:  W 9:30 - 12:20, LC  901

Deploying the notion of the Black Atlantic as a theoretical apparatus for understanding and historicizing the emergence and mobility of Black music and dance styles, this course is a critical and historical examination of music and its attendant dance practices within African and Afro-descendant communities of the Americas, Europe, and West Africa from the 19th century through the contemporary moment. In this interdisciplinary course, participants will move chronologically and thematically from music and dance practices of enslaved Africans in the Americas to early African and Afro-American Dance Anthropology of scholars such as Zora Neale Hurston, and Katherine Dunham, and through postcolonial styles such as Jamaican Dancehall. In addition to texts and audiovisual materials, this course will be augmented by dance instruction and exploration lead by community practitioners of black dance forms. Participants will engage with notions of embodiment, improvisation, choreography, and dance ethnography through the acts of reading, listening, watching, and dancing.

MUSI 33800: Ethnographic Methods

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

This proseminar is designed to equip graduate students with methodological and epistemological tools for doing ethnographic fieldwork in expressive cultural contexts. Topics are divided into three stages, beginning with a prefield introduction to research design, politics, and ethics, followed by an infield focus on skill sets and media for participating in, observing, and documenting art worlds in everyday life, and ending with a postfield emphasis on relationships, rights, responsibilities, and representational strategies. In class wediscuss readings from anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, and folklore along with individual work in progress. In addition to clarifying concepts and methods related to ethnographic inquiry, we also reflect on the kind of knowledge we craft, the people whom this knowledge concerns and serves, the protocols for its use, and how our individual subject locations—our differences of gender, sexual orientation, class, race, ethnicity, faith, generation, and nationality—shape the interpretive process.

MUSI 34000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with Composition Faculty.

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

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

MUSI 26618/36618: Electronic Music I: Composing With Sound

Sam Pluta:  MW 1:30 - 2:50, GOH 205

Electronic Music I presents an open environment for creativity and expression through composition in the electronic music studio. The course provides students with a background in the fundamentals of sound and acoustics, covers the theory and practice of digital signal processing for audio, and introduces the recording studio as a powerful compositional tool. The course culminates in a concert of original student works presented in multi-channel surround sound. Enrollment gives students access to the Electronic Music Studio in the Department of Music. No prior knowledge of electronic music is necessary.

MUSI 38000: Graduate Conducting

Barbara Schubert: R 12:30 – 2:30, 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 43600: “Music–Repetition–Psychoanalysis” 

 Seth Brodsky: T 9:30 – 12:20, GOH 205 

This seminar will explore homologies and intersections between two theoretical-practical worlds—music and psychoanalysis—for which repetition holds a defining place. Or, to risk being repetitive: this seminar will explore the theoretical-practical worlds of repetition through the homologies and intersections of music and psychoanalysis. 

Repetition is arguably music’s definitional category, its triangulating line: where there is repeated sound, there is music; where there is musical sound, there is repetition; and yet music is also often defined as resistance to repetition—difference, profusion, surplus, eros. Repetition is also foundational to psychoanalysis, and similarly double-sided: a clinical imperative to free the analysand from the grips of unconscious repetition leads to an emancipation—of the drives’ repetitive nature. This double-sided repetition can sometimes suggest uncannily musical metanarratives, theoretically fruitful if historically irresponsible. For instance: musical modernism, “working through” repetition on every level, “gives way” to postwar popular musical forms as an efflorescence of provocatively repetitive musics. Exploring and testing such thought- models will be a basic labor of the course. 

The seminar will approach the wonderful, inexhaustible problem of repetition via a discursive criss-crossing between theory and philosophy (Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Snead, Moten, et al.), music theory (Zuckerkandl, Pitt, Marguiles, Butler, et al.) and canonic and newer work in clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis (Freud, Klein, Lacan, Dolar, Zupančič, et al.). Musically speaking, students’ knowledge and interests will drive the course (with a few exceptions: a deep dive into Neue Musik and EDM in contemporary Berlin, etc.). 

MUSI 44618: Techne, Body, Memory

Martha Feldman: W 1:30 - 4:20, JRL 264

Body, techne, memory is the first quarter of a two-quarter seminar taught by Martha Feldman and Jennifer Iverson, focusing on the interrelationships of music, technologies, and bodies. Feldman’s seminar MUSI 44618, Winter 2018 begins by introducing general theoretical vocabulary and concepts that delineate or suggest relationships among the key concepts of techne, body, and memory, considering how these different domains are interlaced in theory and practice. Readings and case studies in winter quarter will focus on three primary areas, early modernity, voice, and race, thinking about how each has engaged music and sound.

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.