Winter 2017 Courses

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

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 10100: Intro to Western Art Music

Lindsay Wright: T/R 1:30 - 2:50 pm
Zach Loeffler: T/R 10:30 - 11:50 am

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

Phil Bohlman: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 pm
Nadia Chana: 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 10300: Intro to Music Materials/Design

Alican Camci: T/R 9:00 - 10:20 am
Pierce Gradone: 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: Intro to Music Analysis/Criticism

Jennifer Iverson: M/W 3:00 - 4:20 pm
George Adams: M/W/F 9:30 - 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 12100: Music in Western Civilization I

Staff (TBA): M/W/F 10:30-11:20 am

This two-quarter sequence explores musical works of broad cultural significance in Western civilization. We study pieces not only from the standpoint of musical style but also through the lenses of politics, intellectual history, economics, gender, cultural studies, and so on. Readings are taken both from our music textbook and from the writings of a number of figures such as St. Benedict of Nursia and Martin Luther. In addition to lectures, students discuss important issues in the readings and participate in music listening exercises in smaller sections.

Prerequisites: Prior music course or ability to read music not required. Students must confirm enrollment by attending one of the first two sessions of class. This two-quarter sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies; it does not meet the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.

MUSI 15200: Harmony and Voice Leading II

Nancy Murphy: M/W/F 10:30 - 11:20 am
Nancy Murphy: M/W/F 11:30 - 12:20 pm

Separate keyboard labs will meet: MW 1:30-2:20 OR TR 9:30-10:20 OR TR 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.

MUSI 23517: Music of the Caribbean

Jessica Baker: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 pm

This course covers the sonic and structural characteristics, as well as the social, political, environmental, and historical contexts of Caribbean popular and folk music. These initial inquiries will give way to the investigation of a range of theoretical concepts that are particularly important to an understanding of the Caribbean and its people. Specifically, we will think through the ways in which creolization, hybridity, colonialism and postcolonialism, nationalism, and migration inform and shape music performance and consumption in the region and throughout its diaspora. In this course, participants will listen to many different styles and repertoires of music, ranging from calypso to kumina, from reggaeton to bachata, and from dancehall to zouk. We will also examine how the Caribbean and its music are imagined and engaged with globally by focusing attention on how and why music from that region has traveled, and been adopted and adapted by numerous ethnic and religious “others.”

MUSI 24000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty

 

MUSI 25113: Analysis of Classical Music, 1775 - 1825

Julianne Grasso: T/R 1:30 - 2:50 pm

This course focuses on the analysis of music by composers associated with the Viennese classical period, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Topics include classical phrase structure, standard tonal forms such as sonata-allegro, and basic chromatic harmony. Participants present model compositions and write analytical papers. Meets with MUSI 30913.

Prerequisites: Any 10000-level Music course.

MUSI 26100: Intro to Composition

Marta Ptaszynska: M/W 4:30 - 5:50 pm

 

MUSI 26617: Electronic Music I: Composing With Sound

Sam Pluta: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 pm

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

MUSI 27200: Topics: History of Western Music II

Mari Jo Velasco: M/W 3:00 - 4:20 pm

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 27200 addresses topics in music from 1600 to 1800, including opera, sacred music, the emergence of instrumental genres, the codification of tonality, and the Viennese classicism of Haydn and Mozart.

Prerequisites: MUSI 14300 or 15300. Open to non-majors with consent of instructor.

MUSI 28500: Musicianship Skills​

Phillip Kloeckner: F 1:30 - 2:20 pm​​

 

MUSI 28717: VoiceGrooveSong​

Steve Rings and Gl​enn Kotche: W 9:30 - 12:20 pm

How might a composer of modern concert music engage the conventions of popular song? Can those conventions themselves become the raw material of a new creative practice—one in which the affective power and immediacy of popular song are at once reanimated and thought anew? What might such a reanimation sound like, especially if it resists the all-too-familiar stances of postmodern irony and meta-commentary? And how might a composer catalyze such a practice if his principal tool of composition and performance is a drum kit, that iconic emblem of popular music’s commitment to body and beat?
The present course, VoiceGrooveSong, inhabits these questions. As the title suggests, we aim to rethink three categories central to many popular idioms, considering them at once as a fused, holistic group, and as parameters amenable to strategic separation and recombination. The course itself combines a workshop environment for compositional and performative experimentation with an intellectual environment of reading, discussion, and critical inquiry. Creative work will involve focused compositional assignments involving shared materials—a given groove, for example, or a fixed vocal part—that students can manipulate via notation or using the software platform Ableton Live (depending on musical background and interest). Readings ranging from Simon Frith’s “Why Do Songs Have Words” to Tiger Roholt’s philosophical inquiry into the phenomenology of groove will prod students to think our three categories afresh, and to reconsider ways in which they might re-emerge in contexts traditionally considered “classical.” In so doing, we wish not only to harness the power and pleasure of these practices for new aesthetic purposes, but also to challenge audiences to rethink the kinds of engagement and bodily behavior that a “composerly” music should elicit, and to foreground the durable cultural and class-based associations that still underwrite the popular/learned divide.

Coursework will involve weekly creative assignments and readings, as well as a final project (which may be a composition or a final paper). 

MUSI 28917: Music Archeology​

Lars Koch: R 1:30 - 4:20​ pm

Music Archaeology is a cross-disciplinary field of research, which uses methods of both musicology and archaeology with different research fields. One of the most important is the exploration of excavated artefacts, such as sound-producing devices, iconographic representations of musical scenes and textual sources. The archaeological and musicological analysis and documentation of such artefacts (dating / description / find contexts and cultural contexts) can answer questions concerning the role of sound and music in ancient societies.

The observation and integration of ethnographic analogies in contemporary societies should evaluate results from archaeological research. In the last decade the research field has expanded with the inclusion of neurophysiological, biological, and psychological research. At the same time there are newly published musical notations and theoretical writings as well as iconographic sources relevant to ancient music extending our understanding of vanished music cultures.


MUSIC ENSEMBLES


GRADUATE COURSES

MUSI 32800: Proseminar: Western Music 1900 - Present

Seth Brodsky: M 9:30 - 12:20 pm

 

MUSI 33517: Music of the Caribbean

Jessica Baker: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 pm

This course covers the sonic and structural characteristics, as well as the social, political, environmental, and historical contexts of Caribbean popular and folk music. These initial inquiries will give way to the investigation of a range of theoretical concepts that are particularly important to an understanding of the Caribbean and its people. Specifically, we will think through the ways in which creolization, hybridity, colonialism and postcolonialism, nationalism, and migration inform and shape music performance and consumption in the region and throughout its diaspora. In this course, participants will listen to many different styles and repertoires of music, ranging from calypso to kumina, from reggaeton to bachata, and from dancehall to zouk. We will also examine how the Caribbean and its music are imagined and engaged with globally by focusing attention on how and why music from that region has traveled, and been adopted and adapted by numerous ethnic and religious “others.”

MUSI 34000: Composition Lessons

Arranged with composition faculty

 

MUSI 34100: Composition Seminar

Augusta Read Thomas: T 4:30 - 5:50 pm

 

MUSI 36617: Electronic Music I: Composing With Sound

Sam Pluta: M/W 1:30 - 2:50 pm

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 37200: History of Music Theory II

Thomas Christensen: R 9:00 - 11:50am

In this pro-seminar, we will be studying and analyzing a number of key theoretical and analytic concepts from the mid- sixteenth century until the early twentieth century.   Emphasis will be placed upon the close reading of primary sources (mostly in English translations), though selected secondary readings will be assigned as well.  Among the topics we will look at concern the meaning and application of modes in the 17th century; rhetoric and melody;  Rameau’s harmonic theory and the scientific revolution;  partimenti and thorough bass practice;   Formenlehre in the 19th century;   dualism and function theory in the circle around Riemann;  and finally energetics in early 20th century theory and analysis.

There will be several short essays or exercises assigned during the quarter (responses to readings, critiques of secondary readings, applied analyses, etc.)  In addition there will a take-home final examination.

MUSI 38717: VoiceGrooveSong

Steve Rings and Glenn Kotche: W 9:30 - 12:20 pm

How might a composer of modern concert music engage the conventions of popular song? Can those conventions themselves become the raw material of a new creative practice—one in which the affective power and immediacy of popular song are at once reanimated and thought anew? What might such a reanimation sound like, especially if it resists the all-too-familiar stances of postmodern irony and meta-commentary? And how might a composer catalyze such a practice if his principal tool of composition and performance is a drum kit, that iconic emblem of popular music’s commitment to body and beat?
The present course, VoiceGrooveSong, inhabits these questions. As the title suggests, we aim to rethink three categories central to many popular idioms, considering them at once as a fused, holistic group, and as parameters amenable to strategic separation and recombination. The course itself combines a workshop environment for compositional and performative experimentation with an intellectual environment of reading, discussion, and critical inquiry. Creative work will involve focused compositional assignments involving shared materials—a given groove, for example, or a fixed vocal part—that students can manipulate via notation or using the software platform Ableton Live (depending on musical background and interest). Readings ranging from Simon Frith’s “Why Do Songs Have Words” to Tiger Roholt’s philosophical inquiry into the phenomenology of groove will prod students to think our three categories afresh, and to reconsider ways in which they might re-emerge in contexts traditionally considered “classical.” In so doing, we wish not only to harness the power and pleasure of these practices for new aesthetic purposes, but also to challenge audiences to rethink the kinds of engagement and bodily behavior that a “composerly” music should elicit, and to foreground the durable cultural and class-based associations that still underwrite the popular/learned divide.

Coursework will involve weekly creative assignments and readings, as well as a final project (which may be a composition or a final paper).

MUSI 38917: Music Archeology

Lars Koch: R 1:30 - 4:20 pm

Music Archaeology is a cross-disciplinary field of research, which uses methods of both musicology and archaeology with different research fields. One of the most important is the exploration of excavated artefacts, such as sound-producing devices, iconographic representations of musical scenes and textual sources. The archaeological and musicological analysis and documentation of such artefacts (dating / description / find contexts and cultural contexts) can answer questions concerning the role of sound and music in ancient societies.

The observation and integration of ethnographic analogies in contemporary societies should evaluate results from archaeological research. In the last decade the research field has expanded with the inclusion of neurophysiological, biological, and psychological research. At the same time there are newly published musical notations and theoretical writings as well as iconographic sources relevant to ancient music extending our understanding of vanished music cultures.

MUSI 41000: Colloquium

 

MUSI 41500: Dissertation Proposal Seminar

Martha Feldman: R 1:30 - 4:20 pm

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 42117: A Global Sonic History in 30 Objects

Phil Bohlman, Lars-Christian Koch: T 9:00 - 11:50 am

Students will draw upon the wide range of disciplinary perspectives that contribute to sound studies. Collectively they will use these to understand the historical meaning present in the materiality of what we call the “audio moment.” Critical to the audio moment is the transformation from object to subject, from the material to the sonic. These transformations unleash meaning and generate the multiple subjectivities from which history emerges. Basic ontologies will be challenged in our consideration of each object. The objects we consider are largely not primarily associated with music alone, but through their transformation into audio moments we are often able to understand just where music situates them in the human subjectivities of different societies. In addition to its interdisciplinarity this CDI seminar will be broadly comparative and will draw upon diverse sources and collections for its objects (e.g., with visits to urban and architectural spaces on campus, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Digital Media Archive). The goal of such comparative investigation is not to undo ontological assumptions about the dialectics of music/sound, but rather to use the collective thought that grows from the seminar participants to generate new approaches to the aesthetics and epistemology of sound and history globally.

MUSI 43617: Seminar: Intro​ to Sound Studies

Jennifer Iverson: F 9:30 - 12:20 pm

This seminar introduces participants to the interdisciplinary field of sound studies. Sound studies scholars broadly investigate how sound can function as an historical, material, and cultural object. We will read authors whose disciplinary homes are in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, sociology (of music), science and technology studies, history of science, eco-criticism, and cultural studies. The course begins with historical modes of listening, moves to consider the shaping power of technologies, investigates the role of sound in
defining cultural, natural, and public spaces and finally queries the role of sound with/in the body, via noise, deafness, and voice. Participants will work throughout the quarter on an independent research project on a topic of their choosing and present in a class conference in the final weeks of the quarter. The text you write
for the conference will serve as the final paper in the course.