Autumn 2015 Courses

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


MUSI 10100: Introduction to Western Art Music

MARTHA FELDMAN, DAN WANG

1. Feldman: M,W 1:30-2:50 pm
2. Wang: T,R 12:00-1:20 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 1​0200: Introduction to World Music

KALEY MASON, MELVIN BUTLER, WILLIAM BUCKINGHAM

1. Mason: T,R 9:00-10:20 am
2. Butler: M,W 1:30-2:50 pm
3. Buckingha​m: T,R 1:30-2:50 pm

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 103​00: Introduction to Materials and Design

IGOR D​E ARAUJO SANTOS, ANTHONY CHEUNG

1. Santos: M,W,F 9:30-10:20 am
2. Ch​eung: T,R 10:30-11:50 am

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 and Criticism

LAWREN​CE ZBIKOWSKI, STEVEN RINGS

1. Zbikowski: T,R 10:30-11:50 am
2. Rings: T,R 9:0​0-10:20 am

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 1

NANCY MURPHY

1. Murphy: M,W,F 10:30-11:20 am
2. Murphy: M,W,F 11:30-12:20 pm

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. 

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

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

ROBERT KENDRICK

T,R 9:00-10:20 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 237​06: Music of South Asia

KALEY ​MASON

M,W 1:30-2:50 pm

This course examines the music of South Asia as an aesthetic domain with both unity and particularity in the region. The unity of the North and South Indian classical traditions is treated historically and analytically, with special emphasis placed on correlating their musical and mythological aspects. The classical traditions are contrasted with regional, tribal, and folk music with respect to fundamental conceptualizations of music and the roles it plays in society. In addition, the repertories of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as states and nations bordering the region, are covered. Music is also considered as a component of myth, religion, popular culture, and the confrontation with modernity.

MUSI 2380​4: Rock

TRAVIS JACKSON

T,R 10:30-1​1:50 am

This course considers some critical accounts of the music industry, of subcultures, and of mass media aesthetics; some historical dimensions of rock (e.g., circum- Atlantic, global circulation of blues-derived popular forms); and some analytical approaches deriving from the main theoretical traditions of Western art music, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and ethnography—as applied to, for example, rhythm and meter, repetition, tonality, and voice. Students are also encouraged, through readings and listening, to contextualize rock within a broad field of popular/ vernacular music making in the twentieth century. 

MUSI 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty

 

MUSI 25801: The Analysis of Song

LAWRENCE ZBIKOWSKI

T,R 3:00-4:20 pm

This course focuses on the art song of the nineteenth century, with special attention to the relationship between tonal structure and song text. Both individual songs and song cycles are considered, with the main emphasis on works by Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. Student projects include comparative analyses of settings of the same text by different composers, analyses of a song and its later arrangement as an instrumental work, or the analysis and performance of a song. 

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills

PHILIP KL​OECKNER

F 1:30-2:20​ pm

 

MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 31801: The Analysis of Song

LAWRENCE ZBIKOWSKI

T,R 3:00-4:20 pm

This course focuses on the art song of the nineteenth century, with special attention to the relationship between tonal structure and song text. Both individual songs and song cycles are considered, with the main emphasis on works by Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. Student projects include comparative analyses of settings of the same text by different composers, analyses of a song and its later arrangement as an instrumental work, or the analysis and performance of a song. 

MUSI 33706: Music of South Asia

KALEY MASON

M,W 1:30-2:50 pm

This course examines the music of South Asia as an aesthetic domain with both unity and particularity in the region. The unity of the North and South Indian classical traditions is treated historically and analytically, with special emphasis placed on correlating their musical and mythological aspects. The classical traditions are contrasted with regional, tribal, and folk music with respect to fundamental conceptualizations of music and the roles it plays in society. In addition, the repertories of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as states and nations bordering the region, are covered. Music is also considered as a component of myth, religion, popular culture, and the confrontation with modernity.

MUSI 33804: Rock

TRAVIS JACKSON

T,R 10:30-11:50 am

This course considers some critical accounts of the music industry, of subcultures, and of mass media aesthetics; some historical dimensions of rock (e.g., circum- Atlantic, global circulation of blues-derived popular forms); and some analytical approaches deriving from the main theoretical traditions of Western art music, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and ethnography—as applied to, for example, rhythm and meter, repetition, tonality, and voice. Students are also encouraged, through readings and listening, to contextualize rock within a broad field of popular/ vernacular music making in the twentieth century.

MUSI 32700: Proseminar in Nineteenth-Century Music

BERTHOLD HOECKNER

F 9:00-11:50 am

This proseminar approaches nineteenth-century Western music from an evolving perspective that gained momentum during the 1990s, when musicologists became more interested in historical context. Amid this new orientation and the exploration of new areas of research, actual methods and topics have remained remarkably stable, though there have been few attempts to reconceive music history and historiography in a way that reflects these new perspectives and attending to their research areas within a more comprehensive theoretical framework. We will try to take some steps in this direction, using the nineteenth century as a case study. Although we will cover a range of topics, no attempt can be made to be comprehensive with respect to repertory and scholarship.

MUSI 33004: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology

MELVIN BUTLER

W 9:00-11:50 am

This proseminar is designed to acquaint graduate students with key issues and concepts pertinent to the field of ethnomusicology. We will begin by briefly examining the historical development of late 19th-century vergleichende Musikwissenschaft (comparative musicology) and its impact on present-day studies of people making music. Our readings and discussions will then center on some of the theoretical and methodological debates that have shaped ethnomusicological scholarship over the past half-century. Students will gain familiarity with a variety of approaches to music in/as culture, while learning to generate and critique the kinds of research questions ethnomusicologists pose. The course also seeks to provide an understanding of how the discipline is evolving as it is (re)situated in relation to historical musicology, anthropology, performance studies, and other branches of inquiry within the humanities and social sciences.

MUSI 41500: Dissertation Proposal Seminar

BERTHOLD HOECKNER

Time by arrangement

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 42016: History of World Music Recording

PHILIP BOHLMAN

W 1:30-4:20 pm

The history of world music recording begins with the collections of musical objects that are transformed and given meaning as human subjectivities. Johann Gottfried Herder’s late-Enlightenment collections of what he, for the first time, called “folk songs” inspired subsequent collections of music, musical instruments, and cultural settings from around the world. It was with the advent of recorded sound, however, that most dramatically rerouted the historical path of world music. From the first attempts to record music in its cultural settings, recordings were used to sound differences, encountered in colonial expansion, at world fairs, and in the cosmopolitan commercialism of the recording industry.

In this seminar we examine the history of world music by examining the sites in which world music was recorded in all its diversity. We begin close to home with the very first concerted attempt to record musics from around the world, at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition on the Midway, now a part of the University of Chicago. World music went on record for the first time in the Midwest when Benjamin Ives Gilman and a team of ethnologists from the Peabody Expedition arrived on the Midway to record the music of a cross-section of the musicians who performed in theaters, cultural villages, and national expositions, together forming an imaginary global landscape across the grounds of the newly established University of Chicago. We then move to other moments when world music went on record, from A. Z. Idelsohn’s audio mapping of the Jewish Diaspora with wax discs from 1911 to 1913 in Jerusalem, to the 1932 Cairo Congress of Arab Music. The history of world music recording shows no signs of receding in the twenty-first century, with major collections by UNESCO, the Smithsonian, and academies of science throughout the world determining the vast range of musical globalization.

Our investigations in the seminar will also draw upon a major Mellon research project at the University of Chicago, part of the Global Midwest and Humanities Without Walls programs. We shall address major collections that are part of that project, for example, the Paramount collections of early jazz at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the John Philip Sousa Archive at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We shall also concern ourselves with the role of technology and its critical contribution to globalization. The local and the global will remain intensively in dialogue as we seek to understand the very processes of mediation that form the history of world music recording.

MUSI 43216: Theorizing Melody

STEVEN RINGS

M 9:30-12:20 pm

For the layperson, melody is arguably the most familiar and most accessible aspect of musical experience. How striking, then, that it figures so little in music theorizing. While a few prominent 18th-century theorists addressed melody, it faded from view in the 19th century, as harmony took center stage. In the 20th century, Schenker’s theory placed a great emphasis on line (as a temporal composing-out of underlying contrapuntal and harmonic configurations), but not on melody per se; indeed, Schenker regularly derided theorists who focused on such obvious surface configurations as themes, tunes, and the like. In the decades after Schenker, only Leonard Meyer and Eugene Narmour advanced substantial theories of melody.

Given this theoretical lacuna, how might we engage melody theoretically and analytically as music scholars today? Should we strive to develop general theories of melody that apply across repertories, or does each musical culture merit its own melodic theory? What do we mean when we praise a given artist (performer or composer) as a great melodist? What musical traits underwrite such an assessment? And what is the role of voice in our theories of melody? Is it true, as some scholars have suggested, that melody is essentially vocal, the part of music most easily assimilable by the body, and thus central to music’s social efficacy? Or are there forms of melody that resist the vocal?

This seminar will consider these and related questions, approaching them both through theoretical readings and through analytical work with a wide range of musics (vernacular and learned). In the first week we will assemble a corpus of student-chosen examples—across a range of repertories, styles, eras, and cultures—and revisit them over the course of the term, in light of a given week’s readings. The readings themselves are arranged in rough chronological order, from the 18th century to the present, but we will not apply them only to their historically and culturally proximate repertories. Instead, we will often adopt a strategic anachronism, exploring a given theory’s potential to illuminate musics that are historically, culturally, stylistically distant from the author’s cultural context. Can Riepel’s ideas of melodic shape and combinatorial design lend insight into a Lennon–McCartney tune? Can Gino Stefani’s populist theory of late-20th century vernacular melody shed light on a Handel aria? And so on. We will not seek facile connections between these historically and culturally disparate sources, but will instead treat the juxtapositions heuristically, as setting up a dialectic field within which unexpected insights into culturally specific melodic practices, and theories about them, might emerge.

Student work will consist of reading, analysis (for discussion in class, not to hand in), and a final seminar paper.

MUSI 44016:​ Modeling the Voice

MARTHA FELDMA​N

R 1:30-4:20 ​pm

This seminar is the third in a series on the voice.  The first focused on performing voices, the second (taught with David Levin) on the tension between the material and abstract.  This seminar will focus on how the voice as a pragmatic and theoretical site has been modeled while working to develop models of its own.  Among the models it will analyze are varieties of the psychoanalytic, the deconstructive, the gendered, the acousmatic, the drastic, the material, the anthropological, and the technological.  Texts by Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Wayne Koestenbaum, Kaja Silverman, Michel Chion, Jacques Derrida, Gary Tomlinson, Carolyn Abbate, James Q. Davies, Holly Watkins, Roland Barthes, Nicholas Harkness, Amanda Weidman, Laurie Stras, Brian Kane, Adriana Cavarero, Mary Ann Smart, and Steven Connor will form the core readings of the seminar.

As part of the work of the seminar students will attend the conference A Voice as Something More (University of Chicago, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and Logan Center for the Arts, November 20-22), where authors of some of our principal texts will be participating.  Work for the seminar will include a conference report and term paper.  Students will also take turns leading off discussions of some of the readings.

MUSI 44216: Modernisms and Repetition 

SETH BRODSKY​

T 9:00 - 11:50 am

If modernism is inseparable from the new, it generally doesn’t make the news anymore as something new, but as a storehouse of predictive energies past. It pings on the cultural radar because of a Picasso exhibition, or a conference on mid-century design, or the discovery of a lost Stravinsky score. One recent exception was a September 2014 symposium in Amsterdam on “metamodernism”, whose highlight involved actor Shia LaBeouf running a marathon around the Stedelijk Museum while inside, Francis Fukuyama gave the audience a “potted neo-con history of the world”, as Nina Power puts it. An almost too-tidy metaphor: even as the suit at the podium soberly repeats a (now quite old) story about the End of History, the modernist, a holy fool clad in day-glo spandex, is running circles around him, repeatedly finding his way back to the front door. 

This seminar has two related aims. The first aim is textual: to introduce participants to some of the more current work on historical modernism within art and literary history, philosophy and critical theory, and of course music. Anchoring themes will include the new, but also the break, the end-and-beginning, the antinomy of progress and stasis; the role of negativity; global and “bad” modernisms; and the recent “expansionism” in modernist studies. Authors will include Daniel Albright, Beci Carver, T.J. Clark, Susan Stanford Friedman, Eric Hayot, Fredric Jameson, Tamara Levitz, Françoise Meltzer, Peter Osbourne, Philip Bohlman, et. al. 

The second aim of the seminar is a conceptual challenge: to ask what in modernism’s great trove of negativities (its insistences on the new, the break, the end-beginning) is being repeated. What is being repeated today? What was already in 1913, or 1922, or ’26, or ’59, or ’68, or ’89, a repetition? This will of course raise the specter of postmodernisms, early-high-and-late modernisms, and (yes) metamodernisms. But it will also implicate music in some concrete and hopefully “new” ways: music is, after all, an art of repetition, and it was precisely in the arena of repetition that musical modernism staged some of its most disruptive and influential interventions. If modernism introduced something new into the field of musical repetition, how might musical repetition teach us something new about modernism, especially as something that repeats?