Spring 2013 Courses

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 10100 Introduction to Western Art Music

MICHAEL GALLOPE, MICHELLE URBERG

01 Gallope: MW 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., LC 901
02 Urberg: TR 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., 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.

Note(s): Background in music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

MUSI 10200 Introduction to World Music (=CRES 10200)

DANIEL GOUGH, GENEVIEVE DEMPSEY, ANDREA HARRIS JORDAN

01 Gough: MW 3:00-4:20p.m., LC 901
02 Dempsey: TR 10:30 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., LC 901
03 Jordan: TR 3:00-4:20p.m., LC 901

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.

Note(s): Background in music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

MUSI 10300 Introduction to Music: Materials and Design

FRANCISCO CASTILLO TRIGUEROS

TR 12:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m., LC 901

In this variant of the introductory course in music, students explore the language of music through coordinated listening, analysis, and exercises in composition. A study of a wide diversity of musical styles serves as an incentive for student compositions in those styles.

Note(s): Background in music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

MUSI 10400 Introduction to Music Analysis and Criticism

AUGUST SHEEHY, CHELSEA BURNS

01 Sheehy: TR 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., LC 901
02 Burns: TR 9:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m., 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.

Note(s): Background in music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

MUSI 12200 Music in Western Civilization II: 1750 to the Present (=HIST 12800, SOSC 21200)

Andrew Cashner

MWF 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m., C 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.

Note(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 15300 Harmony and Voice Leading

Stefan Love

MWF 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m., GoH 402
MWF 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., GoH 402

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.

Prerequisite(s): Ability to read music

MUSI 22800 Music in Fin-de-Siècle France

Anne W. Robertson

TR 10:30 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., GoH 205

We will study music by César Franck, Vincent d’Indy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Lili Boulanger, Erik Satie, and Maurice Ravel through the lenses of social, political, economic, cultural, musical and other concerns of France in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Note(s): The ability to read music is desirable but not essential.

MUSI 22913 Music and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Portugal (=LACS 29454, LACSS 39454)

SALWA EL-SHAWAN CASTELO BRANCO

T 1:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m., JRL 264

This course examines how nationalist ideology, colonialist policy, and political resistance are articulated discursively and performatively through music and other modes of expressive culture in twentieth century Portugal. It will focus primarily on the totalitarian regime known as Estado Novo (New State) that ruled from 1933 up to the 1974 revolution. Brief reference will also be made to the preceding period going back to the mid 19th century, as well as to the period following the establishment of democracy in 1974. In dialogue with recent ethnomusicological research on music and nationalism, we will explore through case studies how music has been implicated in the articulation of the nation-state, national belonging, politics of representation, and power relations. We will emphasize the centrality of cultural practice to the inculcation of political ideologies and hegemonic rule, and to the efficiency of resistance movements that eventually led to its overthrow. The course will examine the politics of categorization, cultural policies, transcultural flows and their impact on music performance, genres and styles (for example, “folclore,” “música ligeira,” jazz, etc). We will also discuss the central role of actors (composers, performers, arrangers, cultural politicians, folklorists, promoters), institutions and the media in the production and circulation of national and nationalist musics. Meets with MUSI 42913.

MUSI 23300 Introduction to the Social and Cultural Study of Music

Sidra Lawrence

TR 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., GoH 205

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.

Note(s): Prior music course and ability to read music notation not required.

MUSI 23313 Music of Southeast Asia

Andrew Mall

TR 4:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m., GoH 402

Thirty years ago, Benedict Anderson argued that increased access to mass mediated commodities and experiences in Southeast Asia connected individuals to trans-local social networks at the nation-state level. An individual member’s participation in these “imagined communities” was based not only on relationships built in face-to-face interactions, as in traditional local communities, but also on cultural affinities and demographics understood to be shared across a broader population. How might musical activities affect communal bonds organized around shared experiences and histories of colonialism, nationalism, religion, and tradition in Southeast Asia? What roles do musical commodities, economies, identities, and subcultures play in contemporary Southeast Asian cultures? To what degree is Anderson’s idea of the imagined community useful to scholars of musical life in social worlds that are both increasingly globalized and increasingly fragmented? In this course we will look beyond the print media that provided the basis for Anderson’s analysis and examine the ways in which various forms of musicking in Southeast Asia confirm and problematize the imagined communities model.

Prerequisite(s): Any 10000-level music course or consent of instructor

MUSI 23503 Introduction to Music and Folklore in Central Asia (=NEHC 20765, ANTH 25905, EEUR 23400)

Arik Kagan

T 1:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

Meets with MUSI 33503.

MUSI 23911 Jewish Music

Philip V. Bohlman

R 9:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., JRL 264

Few questions in ethnomusicology and music history remain as enigmatic and yet ideologically charged as, What is Jewish music? With responses ranging from claims that Jewishness defies representation with music to those that argue for a plurality possible only when Jewish culture appropriates the musics of constantly shifting historical contexts, Jewish music has acquired remarkably important resonance in the history of religions and in the meaning of modernity. In this proseminar we approach the richness and diversity of Jewish music as givens and as starting points for understanding of both the sacred and the secular in Jewish culture. The cultural contexts and soundscapes of Jewish music, thus, are not isolated, restricted, for example, to the synagogue or ritual practice, but rather they cross the boundaries between traditions, genres, and even religions. The sound materials and structures of Jewish music, say, the modal ordering of Arabic classical music that is standard for biblical cantillation in Israel, will be treated as complex phenomena that both influence and are influenced by the worlds around Jewish communities. Genres and musical practices will be examined in their full diversity, and we shall move across the repertories of liturgical, folk, art, and popular music.

Throughout the proseminar students will be asked to think creatively about the usual categories of Jewish music by exploring the ways in which different repertories intersect. Rather than move chronologically through a history of Jewish music from the Temples to the present, we shall deliberately juxtapose past and present, history and ethnography. For each week, students will prepare several different kinds of readings, and teams of students will work together to gather diverse Jewish musics for collections and anthologies. Just as Jewish music comes from many different sources, so too should students from different disciplines and backgrounds feel free to join the proseminar. Students from Music, Divinity, Jewish Studies, Middle East Studies, NELC, and other fields at the University should feel welcome to take this proseminar. The class is open for both College and graduate credit. Meets with MUSI 33911.

MUSI 25213 Analysis of Nineteenth-Century Music

Sarah Marie Iker

TR 3:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m., GoH 205

This course focuses on the tonal language of nineteenth-century European composers, including Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, and Wagner. Students confront analytical problems posed by these composers’ increasing uses of chromaticism and extended forms through both traditional (classical) models of tonal harmony and form, as well as alternative approaches specifically tailored to this repertory. Students present model compositions and write analytical papers.

Prerequisite(s): MUSI 15300 or equivalent

MUSI 26113 Introduction to Composition

Augusta Read Thomas

MW 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., GoH 402 (Five class meetings will be in Fulton Recital Hall)

Designed for beginning composers to practice and hone the nuances of their musical craft, this course introduces some of the fundamentals of musical composition through a series of exercises as well as three larger creative projects. Professional musicians perform exercises and all compositions. Through a combination of listening, reading, discussion, analysis and composition assignments, we explore and practice the fundamental aspects of music composition. Repertoire study, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm, orchestration, timbre, form, transformation, and several other pertinent essentials are included in the curriculum.

Performance Format: Students hear their music sight-read and performed by professional musicians in an interactive, laboratory-style format. Every reading is digitally recorded allowing students the opportunity for further study of and reflection on their work. The final exam is a concert of works composed by class members presented in Fulton Recital Hall.

Prerequisite(s): MUSI 14200 or 15300, or equivalent, or by permission of the instructor.

MUSI 26512 Singing Songs: Music, Poetry, and Pop Culture circa 1000-1550

Mary Channen Caldwell

TR 12:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m., GoH 205

Modern jongleurs Tom Waits and Bob Dylan may seem far removed from the troubadours and trouvères of the Middle Ages; similarly, the preponderance of “greatest hits” records appear to have little in common with the great chansonniers, collections of songs, from the Renaissance. Although many centuries separate the songs that infiltrate our lives today from the songs of antiquity through to the sixteenth century, the very concept of “song” as we understand it now began to be formed, reformed, developed, and expanded in early and pre-modern Europe. Beginning with Biblical conceptions of song, this course examines song in its diverse contexts through a variety of lenses—text, music, history, ritual, and reception. Looking closely at a selection of song traditions from Western Europe, this course offers students an interdisciplinary perspective on song that draws together through discussion and close musico-poetic analysis the interrelated areas of music, poetry, analysis, popular culture, religion, and history. Although this course does not assume any familiarity with musical notation or music history, by the end of the course students will have a strong grasp on the larger concept of song and its historical position up to the sixteenth century. While the subject matter of this course is specific, namely early and pre-modern song, the larger ideas explored in the seminar have a broad relevance to the humanities and to the continued production of song into the twenty-first century. From song as a form of personal expression, communication, and religious worship, to song as functional, practical, and as a musico-poetic genre, this course introduces students to the concept of locating one type of artistic creation within history, culture, and society.  Students will be able to take the larger theoretical and analytical ideas explored in this class and apply them to other genres of song and poetry, while the research skills developed through the class activities, assignments, and papers will be useful for any research in the humanities and social sciences.

MUSI 27300 Topics in the History of Western Music

Trent Leipert

MW 3:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m., 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. MUSI 27300 treats music since 1800. Topics include the music of Beethoven and his influence on later composers; the rise of public concerts, German opera, programmatic instrumental music, and nationalist trends; the confrontation with modernism; and the impact of technology on the expansion of musical boundaries.

Prerequisite(s): MUSI 14200 or 15300. Open to nonmajors with consent of instructor.

MUSI 28500 Musicianship Skills

Füsun Koksal

F 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., JRL 264

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).

Prerequisite(s): MUSI 15300. Open only to students who are majoring in music.
Note(s): 100 units credit is granted only after successful completion of the year's work.

MUSI 29500 Undergraduate Honors Seminar

Peter Schultz

W 4:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m., GoH 205

The seminar guides students through the preliminary stages of selecting and refining a topic, and provides an interactive forum for presenting and discussing the early stages of research, conceptualization, and writing. The course culminates in the presentation of a paper that serves as the foundation of the honors thesis. The instructors work closely with honors project supervisors, who may be drawn from the entire music faculty.

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Open only to fourth-year students who are majoring in music and wish to develop a research project and prepare it for submission for departmental honors.

back to top

GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 30000 Reading Course

ARR

ARR

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

MUSI 31300 Analysis of 20th-Century Music

Steven Rings

TR 10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., GoH 402

This course offers an intensive study in analytical and theoretical approaches to 20th-century art music. Students will develop fluency in the analytical and theoretical tools that typically fall under the rubric of “set theory”—the lingua franca of post-tonal analysis—and explore ways in which that apparatus can be applied profitably in the analysis of diverse 20th-century repertories. We will seek to foster a critical awareness of both the virtues and limits of set-theoretic approaches, employing alternative means of discussing the music at hand when that is warranted. In addition to readings—which will be drawn both from the scholarly literature and from texts on post-tonal theory—coursework will consist of weekly assignments (including problem sets), brief analytical presentations, a midterm, a final, and a final paper.

MUSI 32213 Proseminar: Music to 1300

Anne Robertson

W 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., JRL 264

This course covers selected topics in the history and notation of monophonic and early polyphonic music. Topics discussed include the development of Gregorian chant; the place of singing in the liturgy; the use of chant as foundation for polyphony; the genres of polyphony that appeared in the 9th through 13th centuries; the notation of monophonic and polyphonic music from its earliest appearances in theoretical and southern French sources through the development of the late-thirteenth-century motet; composers; oral transmission; bilingualism; memory; and allegory. The recent availability of major sources of monophonic and polyphonic music online (e.g. the Florence MS) will greatly facilitate class discussion as well as completion of written assignments.

MUSI 33503 Introduction to Music and Folklore in Central Asia (=EEUR 33400, NEHC 30765)

Arik Kagan

T 1:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

Meets with MUSI 23503.

MUSI 33900 Music Anthropology

Travis A. Jackson

R 1:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m., JRL 264

This course is a selective introduction to anthropology and related, influential strands of high/critical theory, on one hand, and the changing relation of both to the study of music and the field of ethnomusicology, on the other. After an opening situating the course’s origin and content in university and broader intellectual discussions, we will proceed through a series of modules focused on particular issues and approaches: culture; society; research paradigms and theory; ethnography; intellectual crises and questions; the emergent field known as sound studies; and, finally, music. Rather than providing a comprehensive survey, then, this course presents students with a series of paths they might fruitfully explore further, a set of tools for navigating the heterogeneous, distributed nature of fields with ever-proliferating subfields and research/writing paradigms.

MUSI 33911 Jewish Music

Philip V. Bohlman

R 9:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., JRL 264

Few questions in ethnomusicology and music history remain as enigmatic and yet ideologically charged as, What is Jewish music? With responses ranging from claims that Jewishness defies representation with music to those that argue for a plurality possible only when Jewish culture appropriates the musics of constantly shifting historical contexts, Jewish music has acquired remarkably important resonance in the history of religions and in the meaning of modernity. In this proseminar we approach the richness and diversity of Jewish music as givens and as starting points for understanding of both the sacred and the secular in Jewish culture. The cultural contexts and soundscapes of Jewish music, thus, are not isolated, restricted, for example, to the synagogue or ritual practice, but rather they cross the boundaries between traditions, genres, and even religions. The sound materials and structures of Jewish music, say, the modal ordering of Arabic classical music that is standard for biblical cantillation in Israel, will be treated as complex phenomena that both influence and are influenced by the worlds around Jewish communities. Genres and musical practices will be examined in their full diversity, and we shall move across the repertories of liturgical, folk, art, and popular music.

Throughout the proseminar students will be asked to think creatively about the usual categories of Jewish music by exploring the ways in which different repertories intersect. Rather than move chronologically through a history of Jewish music from the Temples to the present, we shall deliberately juxtapose past and present, history and ethnography. For each week, students will prepare several different kinds of readings, and teams of students will work together to gather diverse Jewish musics for collections and anthologies. Just as Jewish music comes from many different sources, so too should students from different disciplines and backgrounds feel free to join the proseminar. Students from Music, Divinity, Jewish Studies, Middle East Studies, NELC, and other fields at the University should feel welcome to take this proseminar. The class is open for both College and graduate credit. Meets with MUSI 23911.

MUSI 34000 Composition Lessons

MARTA PTASZYNSKA, AUGUSTA READ THOMAS

ARR

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

MUSI 34100 Seminar: Composition

MARTA PTASZYNSKA

M 4:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m., GoH 205
 

MUSI 34600 Orchestration

CLIFF COLNOT

R 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., GoH 409

Note(s): This class meets at 6:45-8:30pm over two terms on Jan. 8, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Mr. 5, Apr. 2, Apr. 16 and May 28. Class time will vary; on 2/5, 3/5 and 4/2, class will meet at 5:15-8:30pm.

MUSI 38000 Orchestral Conducting

Barbara Schubert

R 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., LC 803

This year-long course provides an introduction to the art, the craft, and the practice of orchestral conducting. The course is targeted particularly toward graduate students in Music Composition, and toward experienced musicians familiar with the basic orchestral repertoire as well as the fundamental procedures of orchestral playing. Ideally, all students enrolled in the course should have had several years’ experience playing in a symphony orchestra or other musical ensemble. Proficiency in sight-reading and ear-training, as well as 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, as well as modest 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 background readings and classroom work. In all, the goal is 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.

Note(s): The overall work load of the course is commensurate with a one-third course load per quarter. 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.

MUSI 41000 Graduate Colloquium: Music

LAWRENCE ZBIKOWSKI

Various
 

MUSI 41500 Dissertation Proposal Seminar

Lawrence Zbikowski

W 2:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m., JRL 264

The purpose of this seminar is to assist students (typically in their third year) in crafting a dissertation proposal, gaining critical feedback from their peers, and honing compelling research projects. The meeting schedule of the seminar will be flexible: beginning in the fourth week of Autumn term, we will meet about once every two weeks; it may be, however, that we pick up the tempo a bit during Winter term, such that during Spring term we can slow it down a bit to allow students more time to work with their advisors on the formulation of their research projects.

Note(s): Participants will include students in Ethnomusicology and History/Theory who are writing dissertation proposals, as well as Composition students working on a Minor Field Paper.

MUSI 42913 Music and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Portugal

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

T 1:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m., GoH 264

This course examines how nationalist ideology, colonialist policy, and political resistance are articulated discursively and performatively through music and other modes of expressive culture in twentieth century Portugal. It will focus primarily on the totalitarian regime known as Estado Novo (New State) that ruled from 1933 up to the 1974 revolution. Brief reference will also be made to the preceding period going back to the mid 19th century, as well as to the period following the establishment of democracy in 1974. In dialogue with recent ethnomusicological research on music and nationalism, we will explore through case studies how music has been implicated in the articulation of the nation-state, national belonging, politics of representation, and power relations. We will emphasize the centrality of cultural practice to the inculcation of political ideologies and hegemonic rule, and to the efficiency of resistance movements that eventually led to its overthrow. The course will examine the politics of categorization, cultural policies, transcultural flows and their impact on music performance, genres and styles (for example, “folclore,” “música ligeira,” jazz, etc). We will also discuss the central role of actors (composers, performers, arrangers, cultural politicians, folklorists, promoters), institutions and the media in the production and circulation of national and nationalist musics. Meets with MUSI 22913.

MUSI 43713 Studying Music as Performance

Nicholas Cook

F 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., JRL 264

For historical reasons, musicologists have tended to treat music more as a form of writing than as an embodied, real-time practice in which meaning is generated in the act of performance. In this course we shall explore what a musicology of performance might look like. Topics include the “page-to-stage” approach that predominates in contemporary music theory; ethnographic approaches to performance as a social practice; psychological and cultural approaches to the performing body; the potential and limitations of recordings as musicological sources; computer-aided approaches to the analysis of recordings; and the impact of recording and record production on performance culture in the twentieth century and beyond. A concern throughout the course will be the tension between “hard” analytical approaches to recorded sound, which may all too easily reinscribe assumptions drawn from score-based analysis, and approaches based on the quite different assumptions of interdisciplinary performance studies.

MUSI 44713 Music and Death in 17th-Century Europe

Robert Kendrick

M 1:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m., JRL 264

This course looks at the liturgical, ritual, and social structures around the dying and the dead, across a variety of situations in early modern Europe and New Spain. After considering the ars moriendi literature, and the liturgy for the deceased in Catholicism and Lutheranism, we pass to laments for (actual or impending) death in opera and oratorio, then consider state/noble funerals and commemorations in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, and England and their music. We will pay special attention to funeral/mourning ceremonies as a special kind of early modern ritual. Students will engage a variety of different pieces and cultural situations on a weekly basis; there is one report on a piece, and an assignment in reconstructing repertory for a specific funeral, while the course culminates in a substantial research/analytic paper. Listening assignments may sometimes be as long as an hour/week, and willingness to engage Latin or one modern (non-English) European language will be helpful in the coursework and final paper.

MUSI 45513 Boulez

Martin Zenck

T 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., JRL 264

Seminar meetings will begin with a discussion of one or two of the Douze Notations pour piano by Pierre Boulez. Each session will start with structural and performative analysis of the Notations in combination with the different musical interpretations by Pierre-Laurent Aimard (on Deutsche Gramophon), Psi-Hsien (on Sony classical) and by other piano players.

In a second step we will consider orchestral transcriptions of some of these Notations—specifically, nos. I–IV and no. VII—consulting rehearsals on DVD (with Barenboim and Boulez) and on CD (with David Robertson and the Orchestra national of Lyon), as well as the sketches from the Pierre Boulez Collection in the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel (Switzerland). These are not linear transcriptions but rather non-linear and spatial transcriptions that do not respect the original extent and length of the original piano Notations. Here, I will propose introducing two terms: proliferation and spatialisation.

The concept of spatialisation has its background in electronic research work undertaken at IRCAM at the Centre Pompidou together with Andrew Gerzso in Paris. These studies are the basis for all further and later compositions by Pierre Boulez, which increasingly include mobile and non-Euclidean spaces, as in Dialogue de l’ombre double, Anthèmes II, and Répons. From another perspective this is the basis for Luigi Nono and Peter Haller’s invention of a special system of electronic sound distribution called a “Halaphon.” At the same time it is important to remember that Boulez, long before he had invented live-electronic works in the Electronic Studio at IRCAM, developed electronic compositions such as Etude I and II in the early fifties and in combination with the a later work Poèsie pour pouvoir (1958), also from spatial perspectives, focusing on the electro-acoustic distribution of the sound of the voice, the orchestra, and the electronic materials through the concert hall.

In all meetings of this seminar I will generally follow a lecture/seminar given by Pierre Boulez at the Collège de France in Paris in spring 1981 about “Research and Creation,” which is about the interdependency between analytical procedures and the power of free imagination in the arts and in the sciences. This lecture by Boulez is still unpublished, but it will be—in my transcription—the basis for our seminar.

back to top