Autumn 2018 Courses

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

Scroll to: Undergraduate | Ensembles | Graduate


UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 10100: Intro to Western Art Music

Barbara Dietlinger: T/R 3:30 - 4:50 GOH 402
Seth Brodsky: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 GOH 402
Devon Borowski: T/R 12:30 - 1:50 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. 

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

Woo Chan Lee: M/W 3:00 - 4:20 GOH 402
Laura Shearing Turner: M/W 3:00 - 4:20 LC 703
Ameera Nimjee: 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

Anthony Cheung: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, LC 901
Timothy Page: T/R 12:30-1:50, LC901
Alican Çamci: T/R 2:00 - 3:20, LC 901

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

Jennifer Iverson: M/W 1:30 - 2:50, LC 901
Andrew White: M/W 3:00 - 4:20, LC 901
Lawrence Zbikowski: T/R 11:00 - 12:20, 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 15100: Harmony and Voice Leading I

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 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty.

MUSI 23619/33619: Music and Ethnic Authenticity in Mexico and Cuba

Robert Kendrick: TR 3:30 - 4:50 GOH 205

This course uses literary, artistic, and musical materials to compare visions of Afro-Cuban and Native Mexican cultures as imagined by artists in this time period. Some of the issues in the political and cultural changes behind the remarkable new repertoires created in these two countries include nationalism, nativism, modernism, and relations with France and the U.S. We look at representations of these non-European cultures in paintings, “high-culture” music, anthropological research, and literature. Graduate students will have longer papers and more intense readings. Students will prepare one (oral) reading report, take two short ID/listening quizzes, and prepare a final paper due on Tuesday of Week 11.

MUSI 26618: Electronic Music I

Sam Pluta: M/W 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 26915/36715: Composing for Orchestra in the 21st Century: Innovation, Tradition, and Institution

Anthony Cheung: W 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This course is a comprehensive look into the modern orchestra's relationship with new music over the past few decades. A major component will be examining repertoire of the past fifty years, seeing how new techniques, aesthetics, and technologies (electronics, computer-assisted orchestration, acoustics of instruments and halls) have influenced how composers approach writing for the orchestra. We will explore pathbreaking works that involve spatialization, alternative tunings, and electronics. At the same time, we will consider questions such as: Is it possible to be innovative with the orchestra in our time? And is this even an objective pursued by composers for the medium? The orchestra, that most tradition-bound apparatus, is on the one hand the most fertile ground for exploring new ways of thinking of timbre, spatialization, and new technologies. And yet, in dealing with economic realities and practical responsibilities, as well as a commitment to canonical practice, orchestras are also the most resistant to change and exploration. What are the limitations and expectations, artistic and financial, of music created for orchestral institutions? How is cultural prestige at play? What aesthetic choices are made in the programming and writing of orchestral music, and which arise out of pragmatism and marketing? What roles do the artistic administrators, composers-in-residence, publishers, critics and publicists play in changing the direction of orchestras? We will talk to people behind the scenes of new music programming in the orchestral world, and look at case studies of composers-in-residence, including Jacob Druckman's tenure at the New York Philharmonic and his Horizons series, and Augusta Read Thomas at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the formation of the successful MusicNOW series.

MUSI 27100: Topics: History of Western Music I

Martha Feldman: 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 28500: Musicianship Skills​

Olga Sanchez Kisielewska: F 1:30 - 2:20pm, GOH 402

3-quarter sequence.

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

Sam Pluta: T 5:00 - 6:20, LC 901


MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 32517: Proseminar: History and Notation of Monophonic and Polyphonic Music to c. 1520

Lawrence Earp: T 9:30 - 12:20 JRL 264

History and Notation of Monophonic and Polyphonic Music to c. 1520. This proseminar deals with issues of transmission, compositional history, context and function of music, c.750–c.1520. There will be weekly readings on important problems, listening, and notation assignments. The course requires two papers (each ca. 10 pp.), one on a monophonic topic, one on a polyphonic topic.

MUSI 33000: Proseminar: Ethnomusicology

Philip Bohlman: M 1:30 - 4:20 GOH JRL 264 

This course’s goal is to introduce graduate students to the history, development and theoretical underpinnings of ethnomusicology as a research discipline.  In our readings, therefore, we will focus our attention on key figures and institutions, especially from the late 19th century forward; on major issues and debates in and beyond ethnomusicology; on the relationships between ethnomusicology and other research disciplines; and on emergent emphases and concerns in ethnomusicological work.

MUSI 23619/33619: Music and Ethnic Authenticity in Mexico and Cuba

Robert Kendrick: TR 3:30 - 4:50 GOH 205

This course uses literary, artistic, and musical materials to compare visions of Afro-Cuban and Native Mexican cultures as imagined by artists in this time period. Some of the issues in the political and cultural changes behind the remarkable new repertoires created in these two countries include nationalism, nativism, modernism, and relations with France and the U.S. We look at representations of these non-European cultures in paintings, “high-culture” music, anthropological research, and literature. Graduate students will have longer papers and more intense readings. Students will prepare one (oral) reading report, take two short ID/listening quizzes, and prepare a final paper due on Tuesday of Week 11.

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

Sam Pluta: T 5:00 - 6:20, LC 901

MUSI 26915/36715: Composing for Orchestra in the 21st Century: Innovation, Tradition, and Institution

Anthony Cheung: W 9:30 - 12:20, JRL 264

This course is a comprehensive look into the modern orchestra's relationship with new music over the past few decades. A major component will be examining repertoire of the past fifty years, seeing how new techniques, aesthetics, and technologies (electronics, computer-assisted orchestration, acoustics of instruments and halls) have influenced how composers approach writing for the orchestra. We will explore pathbreaking works that involve spatialization, alternative tunings, and electronics. At the same time, we will consider questions such as: Is it possible to be innovative with the orchestra in our time? And is this even an objective pursued by composers for the medium? The orchestra, that most tradition-bound apparatus, is on the one hand the most fertile ground for exploring new ways of thinking of timbre, spatialization, and new technologies. And yet, in dealing with economic realities and practical responsibilities, as well as a commitment to canonical practice, orchestras are also the most resistant to change and exploration. What are the limitations and expectations, artistic and financial, of music created for orchestral institutions? How is cultural prestige at play? What aesthetic choices are made in the programming and writing of orchestral music, and which arise out of pragmatism and marketing? What roles do the artistic administrators, composers-in-residence, publishers, critics and publicists play in changing the direction of orchestras? We will talk to people behind the scenes of new music programming in the orchestral world, and look at case studies of composers-in-residence, including Jacob Druckman's tenure at the New York Philharmonic and his Horizons series, and Augusta Read Thomas at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the formation of the successful MusicNOW series.

MUSI 37100: History of Music Theory I

Thomas Christensen: F 9:30 - 12:20 JRL 264

n this pro-seminar we will survey some major themes that emerge in pre-modern music theory (antiquity to about 1700). Among the topics we will study are the nature and classification of mode, classical canonics (interval theory), rhythm and mensuration, discant and contrapunctus theory, tuning and temperament, and the “periphery” of music theory: musica humana, magic, and the emergence of modern science. (These latter topics will indeed help us critically scrutinize just what we might mean by “music theory” when considered historically.)

Emphasis will always be on the reading and exegesis of primary texts. (For this purpose, knowledge of Latin is always helpful, although all readings will be in English.) But some secondary material will also help guide us. In particular, I invite you to secure ahead of time a copy of the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory that I edited in 2002. While the focus of the course will be upon empirical problems of Medieval and Renaissance music theory, I also hope we can pause to consider a myriad of interrelated disciplinary problems regarding institutional underpinnings of these writings, rhetorical strategies, questions of authorial agency, and codicological issues of textual compilation and reception.

In lieu of any major research paper due at the end of the quarter, students will be expected to submit a number of shorter response essays, a review article, and/or textual analyses. In addition, there will be at least one short oral presentation on some assigned topic during one of the classes. Finally, there may be a take home “exam” at the end of the quarter.

MUSI 41500: Dissertation Proposal Seminar

Robert Kendrick: W 1:30 - 4:20 GOH 315

MUSI 45519: Topics in Transformational Theory

Steven Rings: M 9:30 - 12:20 JRL 264

This course is both an introduction to transformational theory and a survey of several active areas of research in the field, including neo-Riemannian theory and my own approaches to the transformational analysis of tonal music. We will explore both the conceptual and formal aspects of transformational theory, with special attention to the ways in which the former find expression in the latter.

MUSI 45918: Wagner's Ring of Nibelung In Performance: Siegfried

Steven Rings/David Levin: W 1:30 - 4:20, JRL 264

This course seeks to explore Richard Wagner’s sprawling 19th century tetralogy, The Ring of the Nibelung, via the history of its interpretation on stage. While the first section of the course will offer an introduction to the Ring in its entirety, the rest of the quarter will be taken up with an in-depth consideration of Siegfried, the 3rd piece in the tetralogy. Our work in the seminar room (which will encompass a range of historical and critical readings and screenings) will be supplemented by attendance at rehearsals for Lyric Opera’s production of Siegfried, slated to premiere on November 3rd. As it stands, we will cover a substantial amount of territory from a host of genres, eras, fields, and orientations, seeking to understand the contested and often contradictory place in music history and cultural theory that is occupied by Wagner and The Ring. Since the course is team-taught by a professor of music and of Germanic studies as well as theater & performance studies, our discussions will seek to encompass a range of fields, approaches, and topics. Among the topics we plan to examine are the aspiration to aesthetic totalization, the politics of community, the notion of distress or emergency (the German term is: Not), and some astonishingly lurid fantasies of family life--mostly of family dissolution. Texts will include the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor Adorno, Carolyn Abbate, Alain Badiou, Nicholas Ridout, and Slavoj Zizek.

MUSI 42719: Music, Mixed Emotions, Modernity

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

This seminar explores the relationship between music and emotion, focusing on emotions that have a special affinity with the experience of modernity, as expressed in music and film. A major portion of the seminar will be concerned with mixed emotions, including forms of pleasurable sadness, ranging from the Elizabethan cult of melancholia prominent in the music of John Dowland to modern bittersweetness, as manifest in nineteenth-century melodrama and such films as Back Street (1941) and La La Land (2016). Readings will include scholarship in musicology and film studies as well as empirical research in psychology and affect theory. Participants will take turns in functioning as "experts" for select seminar sessions by preparing readings and objects for class discussion. Participants taking the class for credit will present a 25-minute research paper at a mini-conference in Week 11.