Spring 2016 Courses

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


UNDERGRADUATE COURSES FOR SPRING 2016

MUSI 10100: Intro to Western Art Music

Seth Brodsky, Theodore Gordon, Elizabeth Hopkins

1. Brodsky: T,R 9:00 - 10:20am
2. Gordon: T,R 12:00 - 1:20pm
3. Hopkins: M,W,F 12:30 - 1:20pm

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

Genevieve Dempsey, Ameera Nimjee

1. Dempsey: M,W 1:30 - 2:50pm
2. Nimjee: M,W 3:00 - 4:20pm

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 and Design

Anthony Cheung, Katherine Pukinskis

1. Cheung: T,R 10:30 - 11:50am
2. Pukinskis: T,R 3:00 - 4:20pm

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 and Criticism

Zachary Loeffler

T,R 9:00 - 10:20am

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 12200: Music in Western Civilization - 2

Robert Kendrick

M,W,F 10:30 - 11:20am

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/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. 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

Anabel Maler

T,R 12:00 - 1:20pm

This one-quarter elective course covers the basic elements of music theory, including music reading, intervals, chords, meter, and rhythm. This course is for students who have had little or no exposure to reading music.

MUSI 15300: Harmony and Voice Leading - 3

Nancy Murphy

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

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

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.

MUSIC ENSEMBLES

MUSI 23509: Eurovision Song Contest

Philip Bohlman

R 1:30 - 4:20pm

Course description coming soon.

 

MUSI 23716: Music of the Latin American Outlaws

Ana Sanchez Rojo

T,R 1:30 - 2:50pm

Music sounds loud and clear at the edge of the law. From bandits to illegal immigrants, from underdogs to drug dealers, people who subscribe to their own rules reach out to our ears through song and dance. Their stories and sounds both fascinate and scare audiences well beyond their immediate surroundings, making their way to mass media and live events big and small. In this course, we will focus on Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking regions in the Americas, and our point of entry will be the music produced by and for groups or individuals who live(d) at the margin of law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Your study time will be equally divided between learning and practicing aural skills and musical terminology, and critically reading texts of historical significance. In the long term, I hope that this course helps you look at any outlaw groups in new, more informed ways. I invite you to let the musics we will study challenge our preconceptions about Latin American cultures.

MUSI 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty.

 

MUSI 24316: Music and Melancholy

Seth Brodsky

T,R 10:30 - 11:50am

This course charts a double history, examining the remarkably rich concept of melancholy and its influence on Western music from the Middle Ages through the present day. A number of melancholy’s recurring themes direct our explorations: melancholy and artistic genius; melancholy, idleness, and immobility; and melancholy as sadness and fear “without cause”. Through these themes we'll question how music functions as melancholy’s private symptom (i.e., the composer as melancholic, music as melancholy’s product, expression, or depiction); its public agent (i.e., melancholy as trend, style, public persona, cultural capital—melancholie chic); and its cure or coping mechanism (i.e., concepts of musical genius and the restorative powers of the creative act). Readings include texts by Aristotle, Ficino, Burton, Keats, Freud, Kristeva, et. al.; music of Machaut, Josquin, Dowland, Bach, Mozart, Berlioz, Brahms, Mahler, Ligeti, Gubaidulina, et. al.

MUSI 24416: Opera as Idea and Performance

Martha Nussbaum

T 3:00 - 5:50pm

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, a conductor, a designer and two singers, to enable us to explore different perspectives.

The list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppaea, 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.

Note/Prerequisite(s): students do not need to be able to read music, but some antecedent familiarity with opera in performance or through recordings would be extremely helpful.

MUSI 25600: Jazz Theory and Improvisation

Mwata Bowden

M,W 3:00 - 5:50pm

This course focuses on the knowledge necessary to improvise over the chord changes of standard jazz tunes. We cover basic terminology and chord symbols, scale-to-chord relationships, connection devices, and turn-around patterns. For the more experienced improviser, we explore alternate chord changes, tritone substitutions, and ornamentations. Using techniques gained in class, students write their own solos on a jazz tune and transcribe solos from recordings.

MUSI 26900: 18th Century Counterpoint

Marta Ptaszynska

T,R 10:30 - 11:50am

This is a practical course for learning the art of fugue writing that concentrates on writing different types of fugues and on short pieces involving different types of imitation. The material is based on Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Goldberg Variations, Das Musikalische Opfer, and Die Kunst der Fuge.

MUSI 27914: A Third Way: Ligeti and His Students

Anthony Cheung

W 10:30 - 1:20pm

This course will attempt to locate and analyze various aspects of influence and pedagogy surrounding one of the most illustrious and admired composers of the late 20th Century. We will examine the later works of György Ligeti - written in the 1980s and 90s, from the Horn Trio onwards - and the direction the composer himself described in 1981 as a "third way": neither avant-garde nor reactionary, modernist nor postmodern, tonal nor atonal. We will discuss multiple influences such as microtonal harmony (just intonation and spectralist thinking), African polyrhythms, mechanical music (especially the player piano music of Conlon Nancarrow), and jazz (Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, et al.). This polystylism, at once distinctive and recognizable by its own consistent vocabulary, was as much a reflection of the openness of its creator as it was a skillful technique of reinvention, reflecting a desire to be viewed in the company of outsider contemporaries, whom Ligeti had always admired more than the avant-garde elite with which he was usually associated. Ligeti's late works, most of which have become staples of the contemporary music repertoire, will be viewed through the parallel developments and enthusiasms of his students of the same period in Hamburg. We will look at the complex layers of inheritance and disavowal in the mentor-student relationships of these composers, who include such imaginative and diverse figures as Hans Abrahamsen, Denys Bouliane, Unsuk Chin, Benedict Mason, Roberto Sierra, and Manfred Stahnke.

MUSI 28116: Piano Repertoire of the Twentieth Century

Amy Briggs

M,W 1:30 - 2:50pm

This course will survey the repertoire for solo piano from 1900 to the present. We will examine works starting with Debussy and Ravel, through postwar works of Stockhausen, Boulez, and Cage, to more current solo piano music of Kurtag, Ligeti, Carter, and Reich. We will consider the diverse compositional trends, and evolution of sound, form, and musical materials in this rapidly changing period. This course will also serve as a seminar in which each student will choose and perform a work written in the latter half of this period (since 1950). It is therefore an introduction to contemporary piano techniques, including extended techniques. The course will culminate in a public recital of selected contemporary works, played by all class members.

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills

Phillip Kloeckner

F 1:30 - 2:20pm

This is a yearlong course in ear training, keyboard progressions, realization of figured basses at the keyboard, and reading of chamber and orchestral scores. Classes each week consist of one dictation lab (sixty minutes long) and one keyboard lab (thirty minutes long).

MUSI 29500: Undergraduate BA Seminar

Anne Robertson

Time by arrangement

Undergraduate Honors Seminar, typically offered each Spring Quarter, is designed to prepare students to write an honors essay. Students seeking honors should speak with the director of undergraduate studies no later than Spring Quarter of their third year.

MUSI 29700: Independent Study: Music

Time by arrangement

This course is intended for students who wish to pursue specialized readings in music or to do advanced work in composition.


GRADUATE COURSES FOR SPRING 2016

MUSI 30716: Opera as Idea and Performance

Martha Nussbaum

T 3:00 - 5:50pm

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, a conductor, a designer and two singers, to enable us to explore different perspectives.

The list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppaea, 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.

Note/Prerequisite(s): students do not need to be able to read music, but some antecedent familiarity with opera in performance or through recordings would be extremely helpful.

MUSI 31200: Tonal Analysis 2

Steven Rings

M,W 1:30 - 2:50pm

As a continuation of Tonal Analysis I (Music 311), this course builds upon your review of concepts and skills for the analysis of tonal music in general, while striving in particular to broaden and refine your ability to read, understand, appreciate, and produce Schenkerian sketches. The course invites a critical appraisal of Schenker’s theory, with emphasis on its relationship to traditional and recent theories of musical form, and a focus on the relevance of his contribution to present-day analytic and interpretive concerns.

MUSI 33504: Intro to World Music

Travis Jackson

W 9:30 - 12:20pm

This course has two goals: (1) to introduce graduate students to the broad theoretical underpinnings of ethnomusicology as a research discipline and (2) to help students gain facility with the resources and perspectives that might enable them to teach a quarter- or semester-long undergraduate course on the musics of the world. As such, the readings and assignments focus on canonic materials and areas for ethnomusicological study including, but not limited to, major monographs, recorded collections and reference works examining the musics of East, Southeast and South Asia; Africa; Europe; and the Americas. Each student will be responsible for presenting brief overviews of key texts and recordings as well as devising two syllabi and a sample lecture outline by the end of the quarter.

MUSI 33509: Eurovision Song Contest

Philip Bohlman

R 1:30 - 4:20pm

Course description coming soon.

 

MUSI 33800: Ethnographic Methods

Kaley Mason

M 9:30 - 12:20pm

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 we discuss 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

Augusta Read Thomas

T 4:30 - 5:50pm

 

MUSI 34600: Orchestration

Marta Ptaszynska

M 3:00 - 5:50pm

Meets every other Monday on even weeks.

MUSI 37914: A Third Way: Ligeti and His Students

Anthony Cheung

W 10:30 - 1:20pm

This course will attempt to locate and analyze various aspects of influence and pedagogy surrounding one of the most illustrious and admired composers of the late 20th Century. We will examine the later works of György Ligeti - written in the 1980s and 90s, from the Horn Trio onwards - and the direction the composer himself described in 1981 as a "third way": neither avant-garde nor reactionary, modernist nor postmodern, tonal nor atonal. We will discuss multiple influences such as microtonal harmony (just intonation and spectralist thinking), African polyrhythms, mechanical music (especially the player piano music of Conlon Nancarrow), and jazz (Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, et al.). This polystylism, at once distinctive and recognizable by its own consistent vocabulary, was as much a reflection of the openness of its creator as it was a skillful technique of reinvention, reflecting a desire to be viewed in the company of outsider contemporaries, whom Ligeti had always admired more than the avant-garde elite with which he was usually associated. Ligeti's late works, most of which have become staples of the contemporary music repertoire, will be viewed through the parallel developments and enthusiasms of his students of the same period in Hamburg. We will look at the complex layers of inheritance and disavowal in the mentor-student relationships of these composers, who include such imaginative and diverse figures as Hans Abrahamsen, Denys Bouliane, Unsuk Chin, Benedict Mason, Roberto Sierra, and Manfred Stahnke.

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 42416: Issues in Black Sacred Music

Melvin Butler

M 1:30 - 4:20pm

This seminar explores issues and concepts pertaining to black sacred music-making among communities of faith in the United States. While many observers define "black sacred music" in terms of genres ranging from nineteenth-century spirituals to modern-day gospel, this course seeks to problematize the discursive construction of this category while situating it in historical, cultural, and transnational context. How, in other words, is musical sacrality understood both within and beyond contexts of North American church worship? What are the ways in which stylistic and conceptual distinctions are drawn between religious and "popular" musics, and how do these distinctions relate to the ritual reconstruction of sacred/secular musical boundaries? With respect to congregational worship, we will ask, How do the spaces of global theology impact those of local (black) musical practice?

Taking ethnographic approaches as a starting point, we will examine black sacred music as sound, text, and embodied practice. We will also look toward the nexus of Music and Theology to attain a cross-disciplinary understanding of the significance of "the sacred" in black music. Students are encouraged to ponder a variety of social strategies and sonic theologies, while keeping alive a sense of how music and ritual accrue special meaning for practitioners. We will aim towards a critical awareness of how this music's past informs its present, and how present-day gospel artists, in particular, engage with their traditions and perform fluid identities while reconstructing the boundaries of black sacred music in the twenty-first century.

MUSI 42616: Gastromusicology

Kaley Mason

F 9:00 - 11:50am

In 2015, French anthropologist Marc Augé published Éloge du bistro parisien, a reflexive ethnography praising the tradition of casual neighborhood dining in Paris. Augé examined the iconic bistro from many angles: as a space of movement, conviviality, commerce, ritual, poetry, philosophy, nostalgia, solitude, intimacy, and home-style cooking. He also included a short meditation on the musical life of bistros, raising questions about how gastronomy and sound interrelate.

Language about music often reaches for culinary analogies to elucidate aesthetic concepts and creative processes. Songs evoke cuisines in narrative and poetry. Musical events are often occasions for fasting or feasting, from life cycle ceremonies like weddings and funerals, to rituals of faith, entertainment, and labor in everyday life. Sound and gustation are mutually conditioning sensory experiences. Tastes in music and food regularly express social distinctions.Finally, professional musicians, like chefs, take pride in the bodily skills,imagination, professional lineages, and hard work that represent hallmarks of exceptionality in their craft. Drawing on literature in anthropology, folklore, cultural history, and music studies, this seminar examines the nexus of sonic, visual, and culinary arts. In addition to introducing classic texts by Jack Goody, Mary Douglas, and Sidney Mintz, we will read recent work in the field alongside music scholarship, complete a small-scale ethnography of a sound/food-­scape in Chicago, and consider how a gastromusicological approach might enrich our individual research projects.

MUSI 43616: Topic Theory and Intertextuality

Yayoi Everett

T 1:30 - 4:20pm

What are musical topics and what does topic theory entail? When Mozart takes the gigue topic from Nozzi di Figaro and adopts it in the final movement of his Violin Concerto (K.218), how does it define an emerging convention? In considering such questions, the first part of this seminar will explore the historical, music-theoretical, and hermeneutical dimensions of topic theory focused on the 18th century. We will begin by reading the seminal writings by Leonard Ratner (1980), Wye Allanbrook (1983/2014), and Kofi Agawu (1991) on musical topics and relate them to 18th-century doctrines on rhetoric and affect. Drawing on articles from The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (2014), we will also investigate the broader intersection of topic theory with Formenlehre (Caplin), topic-schema amalgam (Byros), topics and meter (Mirka), corpus study (Garland), and cognition (Margulis).

The second part of the seminar will investigate how musical topics become unmoored from 18th century conventions and acquire a new range of expressions and aesthetic implications in the 19th century and beyond. By defining topics as a specific intertext (an idealized type instanced by tokens), Michael Klein situates topic-based analysis within the interpretive domain of musicologists and theorists who engage in hermeneutical reading of music. The identification of new topics in the 19th century (e.g., “heroic” and “Pantheistic” in relationship to Liszt’s instrumental work) demonstrates how topic theory becomes increasingly susceptible to the inductive validation of listeners. Klein’s study also raises the importance of identifying cultural tropes, which transform codes that bind topical (and non-topical) musical elements as texts. For example, the lament topic emerges as a specific marker of futility and loss in the works of Ligeti, Saariaho, and other postwar composers. To this end, we will examine theories of intertextuality (Klein, Kramer), semiotics (Monelle, Hatten), narratology (Almén, Monahan), and intermediality (Everett) in situating topic theory within a broader framework of hermeneutical inquiry.

MUSI 44416: Recent Research on Film Music

Berthold Hoeckner

R 9:00 - 11:50am

This seminar will explore recent scholarly research on film music, ranging from monographs such as David Neumeyer's Meaning and Interpretation of Music in Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2015) and The Oxford Handbook of Film Music Studies (OUP 2014) to recent issues from the journal Music and the Moving Image. The seminar will include screenings of an eclectic list of films for discussion, growing out of the readings. Participants will provide weekly reports on readings and write a research paper to be presented at a mini-conference in Week 11.

MUSI 44616: Music and Images, 1450 - 1650

Robert Kendrick

T 9:00 – 11:50am

This seminar combines methodologies of art history and music studies to examine selected representations of music in European visuality at the beginning of early modernity. It also addresses the sounds implied by such representations, thereby providing real aural content and analysis to visual studies. Hence it seeks to aid historians of both the visual arts and music. Readings will be on a par with that of other seminars, and a final 20-page paper is the culminating project.