Musicology/Ethnomusicology Division course offerings for the upcoming semester are listed immediately below.
Please follow this link for a comprehensive listing and descriptions of prospective forthcoming courses provided further on this page.
Fall 2022 Course Offerings
MUS 302L INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN MUSIC
Instructor: Anna Piatigorski
Introduction to musical styles in the Euro-American art music tradition between the Middle Ages and the present day. Designed to foster critical listening and thinking about music, and deepen understanding of the vital role that music has played and continues to play in society and in individual lives.
MUS 303M INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC IN WORLD CULTURES
Instructor: Hanna Salmon
Exploration of practices, beliefs, and issues through the study of various musical genres in the regions of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific, Europe,music ethnic/racial identity, gender, colonialism, nationalism, globalization, technology,
MUS 303P MUSICKING / CONFLICT / VIOLENCE
Instructor: Ashley Thornton
Examine the intersection of conflict and violence with sound, noise and music, including current conflicts in Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kurdish regions and in the United States’ own streets, using analytical tools from postcolonial, indigenous, borderlands and diasporic studies.
MUS 307 MUSIC OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
Instructor: Charles Carson
Studies of the popular music of a selected culture or geographical area. Introduction to the variety of modes of expression of African American culture in music and other related genres.
MUS 307 HISTORY OF ROCK MUSIC
Instructor: J.A. Strub
Survey the stylistic development of rock music from its beginnings, including a look at the musical developments from the mid-19th century that led to the emergence of rock and roll, towards the end of the twentieth century, thinking deeply about the socio-cultural issues that arise within the milieu of rock music.
MUS 213M HISTORY OF MUSIC I
Instructor: Andrew Dell’Antonio
MUS 213M is the second component in our 4-semester undergraduate survey of music in cultural context at BSOM. Last spring in the first semester (MUS 312C) you engaged with a variety of broad issues in music and culture; semesters 2-4 explore the developments of the European musical tradition and its globalization from the beginning of Western notation to the present day. This second semester provides a survey of select musical repertories from about 600 CE to about 1730 CE, tracing the role of music in the shaping of European culture and its interactions with (and importantly, initial stages of colonization as well as enslavement of) other world cultures, exploring the ways in which broad cultural issues have reflected on musicians’ roles and choices. We will give you the opportunity to gain familiarity with the basic tools for research in music and its historical and cultural context, with significant attention to issues of race, gender, confession, class, and other categories of social distinction and marginalization.
MUS 230L HISTORY OF MUSIC III
Instructor: Charles Carson
The history of music from the early twentieth century to the present.
MUS 334 / MUS 387L HISTORY OF MARIACHI MUSIC
Instructor: Mónica Fogelquist
Overview of regional styles of Mexican music. Examines how these styles have influenced music along the southern border of the United States.
MUS 334 / MUS 380 MUSIC OF MEXICO / CARIBBEAN
Instructor: Robin Moore
This course provides an introduction to the history and performance of Mexican and Caribbean music within a broad cultural and historical framework. All inquiries are framed by a range of terms and concepts pertinent in Latin American contexts such as colonialism and its repercussions, hybridity, migration, diaspora, and cultural exchange. Content focuses primarily on traditional and commercial music, but some concert music is examined as well and students can pursue final independent projects on any topic or repertoire.
MUS 342 MUSIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Instructor: Veit Erlmann
The course is an introduction to black popular performance and culture in South Africa. Topics include: labor migration and performance; race, ethnicity and tradition; religion, music and the politics of resistance; the music industry and apartheid media; South African music and the Black Atlantic; “Worldbeat” and hip-hop in the new South Africa.
MUS 342 / MUS 379K POP MUSIC AND MULTIMEDIA
Instructor: James Gabrillo
Engage in multidimensional exploration of contemporary pop music in today’s networked cultures. Mediated through screens, via streams, and on the streets, contemporary pop artists, songs, genres, styles, and subcultures operate within a complex network of multimedia units. Analyze aesthetic, socio-cultural, and technological resonances of transnational pop, film, television, theatre, art, dance, digital, and virtual industries.
MUS 342 / MUS 387L MEXICAN SOUNDSCAPES
Instructor: Jacqueline Avila
This course is a cultural and historical examination of the music and sound cultures that exist in Mexico and in Mexican American communities in the United States. Using the concept of soundscape as the dominant framework, we will explore the social, cultural, religious, and political currents that have impacted the development of Mexican musical and aural cultures and how these currents have shaped conceptions of identity and notions of cultural nationalism. This class will engage with readings in popular culture, popular media (cinema and television), cultural theory, history, and musicology.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L MINIMALISM
Instructor: Alison Maggart
In this course we will explore a diverse array of art music that has been categorized as minimalist or post-minimalist. In coming to terms with the different techniques (drones, phasing, pulses, tintinnabulation, etc.) and sources of inspiration (Indian classical music, jazz, rock, Native traditions) that these composers have used and drawn from, we will scrutinize minimalism as an aesthetic, style, technique, and cultural practice. Lastly, we will explore how minimalist and post-minimalist styles have influenced and been incorporated into commercial, film, and popular music.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 17TH-CENTURY MUSICALLY INNOVATING WOMEN
Instructor: Andrew Dell’Antonio
Designed to provide an opportunity for a substantial research, discussion/analysis, and presentation/performance project exploring the musical innovations of European women from about 1600 to about 1700. We will compare the compositions of these skilled craftswomen and their interactions with their communities through performance, teaching, and publication. We will explore their different professional trajectories as examples of seventeenth-century social roles for women as well as for musicians. We will also assess the different “legacies” of these musicians from their death to the present day. Course assignments and proposed outcomes will be tailored to the student’s individual background and academic goals, overall drawing on Universal Design for Learning as a pedagogical framework.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20TH-CENTURY MUSIC FOR BALLET
Instructor: Alison Maggart
In this course, we will study music composed for ballet and modern dance during the 20th and 21st centuries. We will explore how dance and music interact in ballet; how dance has projected national identity and political views; functioned as a site for musical experimentation and abstraction; dissolved boundaries between classical and social dance traditions; and critiqued the performance of gender, sexuality, and race. While we will watch and discuss dance companies and choreographers, our focus will be on the newly composed music for dance.
MUS 380 GLOBAL MUSIC TRADITIONS 700-1400
Instructor: Luisa Nardini
Overview of musical cultures from around the globe ca. 700-1400 from as broad a perspective as possible and by demystifying some of the most common misunderstandings about the era. By following a roughly chronological order, the course centers on major cultural themes (some suggested by students), such as liturgical chants; women and music; music as/and intellectualism; music and urban centers; theoretical systems. Readings will be available in several languages in addition to English and on topics generally not covered in class, so that no two students might follow the same exact curriculum. The course, which also helps students prepare for DMA comprehensive examinations, offers opportunities for individual presentations and group work.
MUS 380 18TH-CENTURY MUSICS: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Instructor: Guido Olivieri
A survey of music of the 18th century including an in-depth examination of several representative works. The course will look at perspectives on music and music-making, discuss the socio-cultural context of music making in the period considered. Students will study activity and production of well-known composers as well as familiarize with less familiar works. Ample space will be devoted to the study of works by women and BIPOC musicians (both performers and composers) and to non-European repertory, with a special emphasis on the cultural context of Central and Latin American music. Readings and in-class discussions focus on performance practices, source studies, history of institutions, venues and reception of music with the goal of familiarizing with historical, cultural and critical issues related to this repertoire. The course is designed to help students to develop critical ability of discussing and writing about music.
MUS 380 ADV HIST MUS: 19TH CENTURY
Instructor: Peng Liu
This is a graduate-level course that attempts to deepen and broaden students’ understanding of nineteenth-century music and its social, cultural, intellectual, and political contexts. This course not only explores a wide array of representative musical genres and works, which will be viewed from a variety of analytical, critical, and historical perspectives; it also familiarizes students with larger issues of music aesthetic, performance practice, gender, and race from the period. Topics covered in this course include Romanticism, music and canonization, concert practice, musical salon, music and gender, music criticism, historicism, nationalism, music and race, and so on. In addition, students will have a chance to practice and hone their analytical, writing, and research skills through summary-response essays, score worksheets, and a final research paper. The course is also designed to help doctoral students prepare for the nineteenth-century portion of their comprehensive examinations in music history. Above and beyond these specific goals, the course encourages the graduate student as a budding professional to assume ever greater responsibility for the development of knowledge and understanding.
MUS 380 ADV HIST MUS: 20TH CENTURY
Instructor: Alison Maggart
The twentieth century produced some of the most challenging and provocative works in the western art music tradition. In the absence of any dominant style, a diversity of compositional approaches and musical philosophies questioned previous distinctions between music, sound, noise, and silence; reconfigured the relationships between composer, performer, and audience; reconceived the roles of time, space, tonality, timbre, and rhythm in musical structure; and reimagined the significance of the subconscious, emotion, and author in the creative process. A deepening historical consciousness led to rejections and reinterpretations of past styles and forms. New technologies and increasing globalization expanded composers’ sonic palettes. And, boundaries between popular, folk, and art music disintegrated. In this course, we will examine major trends in twentieth-century music in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. We will do this by reading and discussing a number of essays (listed below) written by the composers themselves, intellectuals within the composers’ milieus, and scholars today. We will also undertake analyses of assigned works (listed below) in order to better understand individual composers’ unique methods and characteristics, national and international styles, and broader “-isms” (e.g. compositional methods, philosophical perspectives, and leanings) of the twentieth century.
MUS 381 REFERENCE & RESEARCH MATERIALS IN MUSIC
MUS 381J INTRODUCTION TO COPYRIGHT
Instructor: Veit Erlmann
The class is two courses in one. Each week, during the first 60 minutes we will be reading select chapters from a standard hornbook (Principles of Copyright Law) and classic examples from case law. During the second half we will be discussing various aspects of copyright law from a variety of extra-legal vantage points.
MUS 381J FOUNDATIONS OF MUSICOLOGY
Instructor: Luisa Nardini
This is an introduction to the field of historical musicology for graduate students in musicology, ethnomusicology, and other affiliated fields, such as music theory, music and human learning, and performance. In the first few weeks, students discuss issues of inclusion/exclusion, diversity/homogeny in the field through an examination of recent discussions in professional music societies and related scholarship in Critical Race, Gender Theory, and more broadly the Epistemologies of Ignorance of modern societies. Through this perspective and critical input, they re-examine the history of the field from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. While learning the basics of academic research, students are encouraged to pay special attention to scholarship in non-English speaking countries and to pursue original research through a globalized lens. We discuss how musicology converses with other fields of study, how it contributes to the construction and dissemination of knowledge, and how it can become a more equitable and inclusive discipline.
MUS 381J FOUNDATIONS OF ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
Instructor: Sonia Seeman
This course introduces students to issues and debates that have confronted researchers in the field of world music study since the early 20th century. It devotes attention to the conceptual history of the field, particular influential figures, and considers a representative sampling of topics that ethnomusicologists have explored in recent decades. The semester’s topics are divided into four sections: 1) the history of ethnomusicology, parameters of the field, and debates over goals and methods; 2) paradigms from the 1980s-1990s that continue to be foundational for today’s ethnomusicologists; 3) theoretical and narrative approaches that have been prominent in research in recent decades; 4) practical concerns of ethnomusicologists including world music textbooks, pedagogy, issues surrounding performance ensembles, and academic publication. Students will be expected to read assigned articles, to complete written assignments punctually, and to participate in class discussion. Written work will consist of 1) a series of short responses to or summaries of assigned readings and 2) discussion points or questions. The discussion topics will also serve as a point of departure for class discussion.
MUS 385J COLLEGE MUSIC CURRICULA FOR A NEW CENTURY
Instructor: Robin Moore
What should music schools of the future look like and what new priorities should guide their curricula? How should programs vary if at all by region or emphasis? How can existing literatures and experiments in curriculum help guide alternate models? What steps might be taken to transition from current models to new ones? How should the fields of musicology/ethnomusicology respond to such trends? These questions guide the content of the seminar. Students will examine existing literature on arts pedagogy, trends in higher education, and pursue collective or individual research on a curriculum-related topic of their choice.
MUS 385J DIGITAL MUSICOLOGY
Instructor: James Gabrillo
Provides critical and practical orientation to current debates, fundamental methodologies, and intellectual histories of the digital humanities, with a focus on musicological narratives, popular music, and virtual cultures. Learn basic digital and visual tools for the gathering, analysis, and presentation of musical data — probing key questions in computational, geospatial, sonic, and visual methodologies. Offers general context and stimuli for future work in specialized projects and sub-fields; no prior technical experience required.
MUS 395W WRITING ABOUT MUSIC
Instructor: Peng Liu
Based on peer editing and feedback exercises, this course is intended to support your thesis, report, grant proposal, article, chapter, program notes and other related writings. You will formulate concrete goals and timelines for your project(s) through incremental tasks and will be guided through the steps towards accomplishing your objectives. In addition to incremental steps towards the completion of your projects, you will reflect on your own writing process, expand your repertoire of techniques, goals, and expectations, and establish a regular consistent pattern for writing—which includes drafting, revisions, proof-reading, reviewing and reflection. To achieve these goals, we will work on reflective awareness of and accountability for your writing process, through such activities as in-class writing exercises; maintaining an ongoing writing log; reporting on books and examples for writing; sharing experiences and strategies for success; regular submissions of drafts and revisions; and feedback on peers’ writing. Faculty guests may also visit the class to share their writing strategies and samples.
UGS 303 MUSIC, IDENTITY AND DIFFERENCE
Instructor: Sonia Seeman
This course explores how music has been used to bring together or separate people by generation, race, gender, class, nation state, colonialism/orientalism, disability and musical ecstasy. We will do this through readings, listening sessions, films and other experiences using case studies from communities in the U.S. and abroad. Students will also interrogate course concepts through debates, group discussions, individual writing, and semester-long research project. Introduces students to various methodologies for learning about music: interrogating scholarly research; observing and participating in music events; engaged and critical listening; examining materials of music (instruments, programs, commercial media presentations, playbills and other historical documents, notation); conducting interviews.
MUS 213N History of Music II (Alison Maggart)
MUS 213N is the third component in a four-semester survey of music in cultural context. In the first semester (MUS 312C), we introduced a variety of broad issues in music and culture; semesters 2–4 explore the developments of musical tradition in Europe and North America from the beginning of Western notation to the present day. In this third semester we will develop a critical framework for understanding the historical and cultural contexts, styles, and genres of Western Art Music in the common practice period, approximately 1730 to 1914. Specific topics include the construction of genius, the Werktreue concept, canonization, “separate spheres” gender ideology, exoticism in the Age of Imperialism, class and race structures before and after major political events, such as the French Revolution and U.S. Civil War. The music we will discuss in this semester is some of the most powerful and beloved music in the Western Art tradition. We challenge you to consider why and how did this music become so valued? What is at stake when we challenge this tradition? What responsibilities do we have as scholars and performers in elevating music that falls outside of the canon?
MUS 334 / 380 Music of Latin America (Robin Moore)
This course considers Latin American music within a broad cultural and historical framework. Latin American musical practices are explored by illustrating the many ways that aesthetics and society are embodied in and negotiated through performance. Our discussions will be framed by a range of concepts pertinent in Latin American contexts such as diaspora, colonialism, mestizaje, hybridity, migration, and globalization. Content focuses primarily on traditional and commercial music, but some concert music is examined as well and students can pursue final independent projects on any topic or repertoire.
MUS 337 Music and Film Sound (Hannah Lewis)
This course explores music and sound in cinema from the early twentieth century to today. Through an examination of a handful of films covering a range of genres and styles, we will consider the interaction between music and the moving image, delving into a variety of theoretical questions about the relationship between sound and image and music’s role in constructing meaning. In focusing on the soundtrack – which musical works or styles are quoted, and how these works interact with the film’s narrative – each film provides a point of departure for the exploration of a broad range of issues related to music and its sociocultural significance.
MUS 342 U.S. Music (Hannah Lewis)
This course surveys the history and impact of music in the United States from colonial times to the present, with an emphasis on music of the 20th century. We will delve into music’s role in the cultural, social, and political landscape of American history from a range of genres, styles, and perspectives, including classical, popular, and folk traditions. Topics covered include nationalism, race and ethnicity, the role of technology in shaping and disseminating music, cultural register, and musical communities.
Exploration of the role of sound in building and dividing communities through the topics of: musical nationalism; music/race/minstrelsy; history of music and spectacle (Greek, Roman, Ottoman; Western European coronations; US inaugurations); music and sports; music and school spirit songs; music and warfare.
MUS 342 / 380 Music of the Balkans: Empire, Nation-Building, Globalization (Sonia Seeman)
This course will survey the musical cultures of the Balkans as a means to illuminate the complex histories and demonstrate the key role of music in expressing identity, maintaining local and national solidarity, and sparking resistance. By examining the musical cultures of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and the former states of Yugoslavia (Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbian Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Kosovo) we will look at the processes by which musical practices are shared, while also examining the ways in which communities have maintained cultural distinctions. We will explore the musical practices of this region in relation to: empires and imperial rule (Ottoman; Hapsburg, Western European colonialism), religious institutions (Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam); ritual life (calendrical and life cycle rituals); identity (gender, age and status); emergence of ethno-nationalism and folklore; musical practices of minority communities; and the role of music violence and resistance. Our topics will include theories and case studies regarding orientalism; colonialism; racialization and ethnicity; national consciousness; modernity; imagining and imposing borderlands; mass media; globalization. Graduate sessions will focus on theoretical literature applied to musical case studies.
MUS 342 / 380 Music of the Middle East (Sonia Seeman)
This course introduces students musical topics in the Middle East by surveying shared as well as distinct musical features, then focusing on particular communities and regions: Islamic, Christian and Jewish communities; Ottoman Empire; Turkey, and one example from the former Ottoman territory of Macedonia; Egypt; Iran; North Africa; Israel; Palestine. While we will conduct our survey by area, we will look at regional musical practices in light of the following topics: 1. Distinctions and exchanges between court, urban/popular and rural-regional traditions; 2. Relationship between music, ritual and social formations in religious traditions; 3. 19th-20th century nation state formation, identity practices and musical change; 4. Media and mass-reproductive technology in the development of new forms; 5. Post-1960s musical changes: changes in class formations; cross-regional alliances; post-colonial states; emergent political discourses; music and protest. Graduate sessions will focus on theoretical literature applied to musical case studies.
MUS 342 / 380 Romani Music and Representation (Sonia Seeman)
This course explores the musical practices of groups variously known as Roma, Dom, Lom, Manush, Sinti, “Gypsy” and other names. Due to their long histories of diasporic dispersions, systemic exclusions and integral entertainment services, we learn about the variety of musical styles from different parts of Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the United States. Together we will explore the issues of music of Roma and other related communities at several levels: to gain a descriptive orientation to the variety of musical practices of these communities; to delve into the ethnographic, musicological, historiographic literature on these communities by insider scholars and advocates as well as outsiders; to explore theoretical perspectives and methodologies from Romani studies; ethnomusicology, musicology; anthropology, sociology, critical studies, and other fields as a means to gain greater understanding of the role in music in fostering complex human social interactive processes. Graduate sessions will focus on theoretical literature applied to musical case studies.
MUS 342 / 380 Music of the Philippines (James Gabrillo)
Musical traditions and cultures of the Philippines in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus on postcolonial convergences, multimedia ecosystems, and the popular music industry, linking to broader issues in authorship, class, syncretism, and digital mediation.
MUS 342 / 379K Introduction to Digital Humanities (James Gabrillo)
Critical and practical orientation to the intersections of music, multimedia technologies, and virtual cultures. Explores basic digital and visual tools for the gathering, analysis, and presentation of musical data.
MUS 342 / 379K Pop Music Criticism & Journalism (James Gabrillo)
Multimedia journalism for contemporary music cultures, focused on the creation of engaging texts in a variety of formats and styles. Practical exercises on writing compelling music reviews, profiles, and feature stories – geared to sharpen students’ critical thinking and creative instincts as they navigate through different musical subjects, genres, and issues. For the final project, students work on a multimedia piece such as a podcast, magazine article, video, or digital publication.
MUS 342 / 379K Music of Asian Americans (Peng Liu)
This course introduces and celebrates Asian American music-making from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The class is arranged both chronologically and topically, starting with a discussion of historical Chinatown opera theater in the early 20th century and concluding with a reflection of music’s role in the most recent 2021 “Stop Asian Hate” movement. The genres covered in this class are wide-ranging, from taiko to hip hop, from Chinese opera theater to art music, from jazz to sitar. Along with the recognition and appreciation of various music styles and practices in which Asian/Asian Americans have been involved as creators, performers, and listeners, students will be invited to discuss a range of cultural and political issues, including orientalism, transnationalism, diaspora, globalization, cultural appropriation, and racialization. Throughout the semester, relevant readings, repertoires, and videos (MVs, films, and documentaries) will be assigned regularly to students for class discussion.
MUS 342 / 385J Music and Gender (Sonia Seeman)
This course explores the dynamic role of musical and visual portrayals of gender and sexuality from a variety of cultural areas ranging from American pop genres to North African, Arabic, Turkish genres and beyond. Music and Gender is cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies (WGS 340) and Middle Eastern Studies (MES 342), thus contains case studies of Middle Eastern musical regions as well as US, European and other areas. Graduate course focuses on theoretical frameworks for examining musical constructions of gender and sexuality.
MUS 342 / 379K / 385J Music & LGBTQIA+ Cultures (James Gabrillo)
Explores intersections of LGBTQIA+ and musical cultures, with a focus on contemporary popular music. Through close readings of theory and criticism, we examine contested relationships between spectator and text, identity and commodity, realism and fantasy, activism and entertainment, desire and politics. Multimedia frames guide our understanding of how sexual identity categories are inter-articulated within complex and mediated categories of musical performance, while concurrently intersecting with systemic issues concerning equality, inclusiveness, and power. In appreciating the artistry of LGBTQIA+ communities, we critically reflect on how their musical narratives inform our own worldview.
MUS 342 / 279K / 387L Electronic Music (Alison Maggart)
This course provides a historical introduction to electronic music from the incorporation of new instruments in early twentieth-century orchestral music to compositions developed at mid-century in electronic music studios to select late-twentieth-century popular electronic music genres. We will consider how radio, tape, synthesizers, live media, etc. created new possibilities for musical composition as well as challenged traditional music philosophies related to ontology and performance.
MUS 379K / 385J / 387L Musicking and Disability (Andrew Dell’Antonio)
Our course will engage with evolving concepts of disability and ability in Western culture and their relationship with musicking (performing, listening to, and otherwise facilitating musical activity). The focus will be on disability and ability as social constructs that influence the wide spectrum of musicking in Western culture, which the class will examine critically (historically, structurally, analytically) in relation to race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, indigeneity, age, nation, and other relevant and intersecting historical and cultural categories of identity. We will be addressing disability as a site of negotiations over power, knowledge, and activism, and will be developing approaches to shape ethical scholarship and activism that is anti-ableist – that is, consciously working against disability-based discrimination. Course assignments and proposed outcomes will be tailored to the student’s individual background and academic goals, overall drawing on Universal Design for Learning as a pedagogical framework.
MUS 379K / 386 / 387L Chant and Digital Humanities (Luisa Nardini)
This is an opportunity for research, performance, and practical applications about chant and digital humanities. Throughout the semester students learn about different repertories of liturgical chant formed and spread worldwide, starting from the Coptic chant of the Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches to those of Latin America, and Asia, in addition to Europe. For their final projects, students create or expand digital resources about chant.
MUS 379K / 387L 20th-Century Music by Women Composers (Alison Maggart)
In this course, we historicize and analyze the music of women composers in the 20th century. We will trace how womens’ participation in music transformed in response to feminism, changing demographics in the interwar and postwar years, and other major political and cultural events. Readings will draw from feminist musicology, essays by women composers, reviews, and historical documents. Students will present original research on and/or perform works by women composers.
MUS 379K / 387L 20th-Century Western Art Music in the U.S. (Alison Maggart)
This course focuses on U.S. music in the western art music tradition. We will examine major developments in twentieth-century U.S. music in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. We will do this by reading and discussing a number of essays written by the composers themselves, intellectuals within the composers’ milieus, and scholars today. We will also undertake close analyses of assigned works in order to better understand individual composers’ unique methods and characteristics. Of particular focus will be the unique ways in which U.S. composers synthesized western European styles with the traditional musical cultures of minority racial and ethnic groups. We will also explore how music and particular styles functioned to project U.S. political and social ideologies within and outside the borders of the country: from ultramodernism to Pan-Americanism to cultural pluralism and liberal democracy.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20th-Century Music and the Occult (Alison Maggart)
In this course, we explore how music has been connected to esotericism and occultism, paying particular attention to music from the 19th and 20th centuries. We will ask: How has occultism inspired musical composition, performance, and listening practice? How has music served as a model for cosmology? How has the occult concept of correspondence influenced composers’ compositional interest in the relationships between sound, color, number, etc.? In what ways has music been connected to magic and theurgy?
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20th-Century Art Song (Alison Maggart)
In this course we will explore twentieth-century art songs – works for solo voice intended for the concert stage – in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. As we will see, twentieth-century art song underwent incredible transformation. As composers experimented with new forms of declamation (from spoken text to avant-garde, extended techniques to folk and popular singing styles), new types of texts (from Symbolist, Expressionist, and Confessional free verse to non- semantic phonemes and text assemblages), and non-standard and electronic accompaniments, the relationship and balance between sound and sense was redefined. In some cases, the voice was transformed into disembodied instrument, while in others the voice proffered an embodied, gendered, and racial challenge to musical idealism. In this course, you will gain an advanced understanding of a variety of art songs and song cycles: French mélodies, German Lieder, Spanish-language canciónes, Korean gagok, English-language songs, Russian romances, Chinese yishu gequ, and more.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20th-Century Chamber Music (Alison Maggart)
In the twentieth-century chamber music was a site of aesthetic experimentation, intellectual pursuit, and personal expression. New ensembles, extended playing techniques, innovative organizing structures, and programmatic narratives first explored in chamber music not only expanded previous conceptions of the genre but also laid the foundation for many innovations found in large-scale musical works of the twentieth century. In this course, arranged chronologically, we will examine major developments in twentieth-century chamber music in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. We will do this by reading and discussing a number of essays written by the composers themselves, intellectuals within the composers’ milieus, and scholars today. We will also undertake close analyses of assigned works in order to better understand individual composers’ unique methods and characteristics, national and international styles, and broader “-isms” (e.g. compositional methods, philosophical perspectives, and leanings) of the twentieth century.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20th-Century Opera (Alison Maggart)
In this course we will examine the major developments and trends in twentieth-century opera and operatic staging in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that draws from musicology, theater studies, philosophy, and literary and critical theory, we will consider operas as: dramatic, intermedia works, constituted of music, text, and staging and situated within particular cultural and social histories; multivalent texts, whose meanings are fluid, historically-contingent, and available to construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction by composers, librettists, performers, directors, and audiences; events, funded and mediated by governments, institutions, and individuals; experiences that build and signify cultural and social identities; products and reflections of social and cultural ideologies. We will consider the evolution of operatic production, including “interventionalist” stagings of historical (pre-twentieth-century) operas, during the twentieth century in relation to theater, technological developments, and subsequent operatic composition. Lastly, we will investigate operas through the lenses of critical race, feminist, and gender theories. Plan on viewing and discussing one opera each week (supplemented by excerpts from additional operas).
MUS 379K / MUS 387L 20th-Century Orchestral Music (Alison Maggart)
This course examines orchestral music in the twentieth century from a global perspective. As the most public declaration of a composer’s musical philosophy, orchestral music was arguably subject to more external pressure than any other repertory. The nineteenth-century legacy of the symphony made the genre particularly loaded: having been both the locus of hotly-contested ideological and formal debates and the foundation for canonization, symphonic composition was often approached with caution, proclaimed exhausted, or viewed as a retreat into the past. Economic and political stresses also affected composition, contributing, for example, to the decline of large-scale orchestral compositions during the interwar years and the revivification of traditional forms under Soviet Realism. Lastly, dependence on social tastes and ideologies has made the orchestra one of the more conservative institutions of cultural life, safeguarding the canon as well as instituting exclusionary policies regarding participation by women and minority groups. In this course, arranged chronologically, we will examine major developments in twentieth-century orchestral music in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. We will do this by reading and discussing a number of essays (listed below) written by the composers themselves, intellectuals within the composers’ milieus, and scholars today.
MUS 379K / MUS 387L Dissonance (Alison Maggart)
During the twentieth century, the concept of “dissonance”—both freely “emancipated” and organically structured—was called upon to endorse and condemn numerous spiritual, philosophical, and political causes: from spiritual transcendence to Jewish “degeneracy”; American cultural pluralism to anarchic revolution; cultural progress to ivory-tower elitism. The development of serial music, in particular, has been viewed as both historical necessity and aesthetic dead end, an “objective,” “apolitical,” and “scientific” enterprise and a reactionary system of hegemony. In this course, you will gain an advanced understanding of musical philosophies and compositional methods often considered “difficult,” “serious,” and/or “academic,” in particular twentieth-century freely atonal, twelve-tone, and serial music. Exploring serialism as a compositional method, adopted by composers in Europe, the U.S., South America, and Asia in the second half of the twentieth century, we will also explore how the serial systems function in a variety of different styles. Although (potentially) dissonant, music falling broadly under the following styles or aesthetics is considered beyond the scope of the class: bi- and polytonalism, microtonalism, “primitivist” modernism, spectralism, pastiche & collage, chance, sound art. Knowledge of set theory and serial theory is useful, but not required.
MUS 379K U.S. Musicals (Hannah Lewis)
This course explores the musical artistry and cultural resonances of several iconic shows, as rendered on stage and screen. Focusing on a handful of musicals, we will examine musical styles alongside broad cultural themes associated with the musical, including artistic collaboration, race and representation, gender, immigration, the role of dance, and adaptation or translation across media.
MUS 380 Global Musical Traditions 1400-1650 (Andrew Dell’Antonio)
Global Musical Traditions 1400-1650 is a course designed to increase a student’s familiarity with the basic tools for research in music and its cultural context, with significant attention to issues of colonization, race, gender, confession, class, and other categories of social distinction and marginalization. We will be focusing on some of the most prominent musical repertories and approaches cultivated in “early modern” Europe and its colonies from about 1400 to about 1650 CE, with regular references to contemporaneous intersections between European and non-European traditions of the time.
MUS 385J Global Studies in Pre-Modern Music (Luisa Nardini)
This graduate seminar will explore global approaches to pre-1400 music. Students will discuss the ethics of music history curricula, explore available resources and scholarship on non-hegemonic musical cultures, and evaluate the need for multi-lingual and flexible curricula. For their final project students will participate in the creation of a digital, modular, and multilingual textbook.
MUS 385J Musical Affect, Labor, Work (Sonia Seeman)
This seminar seeks to build upon recent theorizations of music as labor, intersecting with affect theory, and inquire into the mechanisms by which musical production has been mystified into “the sound itself”. We will engage in theory-building and refinement through exercises that include critical reading, keyword glossaries, formulating repertoires of questions, reflective writing and proposing new methodologies. Course readings range from theoretical writings on political economy, affect, scientific works on kinetics and physiology, descriptive historical and ethnographic music studies, newspaper articles, documentary films, and reading with new lenses canonical works from our own fields. Class engagement includes active discussion and debates, team-work research projects, regular writing exercises, peer-facilitated discussion sessions.
MUS 385J Creative Industries in the Global South (Veit Erlmann)
The course offers an introduction to the Creative Industries in the Global South, with a special emphasis on music and the African continent. The readings include a wide variety of materials, including policy documents, statistics, ethnographic case studies and critical texts. As such these materials offer an opportunity to engage with different epistemologies, academic disciplines, practices and rationales in fields such as cultural policy, economic development, politics of labor, theories and practices of entrepreneurship, intellectual property law, digital cultural production, data aggregation, theories of citizenship, and globalization.
MUS 385J Introduction to Sound Studies (Veit Erlmann)
This course offers an overview of sound studies. Discussions will include the following topics: Reasoning, Listening – The Second Sense; Knowing, Listening – Acoustemology; Mapping – Soundscape; Disciplining – Silence and Immobility; Discovering – Histories of Science as Heard; De/Colonizing – Language and Technologies of Inscription; Surrounding, Containing, Reverberating – Sound-Space; Inventing, Reproducing, Standardizing; Sound, Mobility and Ubiquity; Repressing, Remembering, Feeling – The Postsonic.
MUS 385J U.S. Musical Theater (Hannah Lewis)
MUS 385J Utopias and Dystopias in Postwar Music (Alison Maggart)
This course considers music from the perspective of utopian studies, an interdisciplinary field that emerged in the 1950s and 60s. The postwar era was a watershed moment in utopian thought, during which the status and validity of utopia(nism) became entangled in Cold War politics and culture. Drawing examples from the music of the same period and up to the millennium, we will consider the interplay between music, utopias, and utopianism. In our reading and discussion of texts in utopian studies, Cold War studies, and musicology, we will question: How has music served as a model for utopian thought? Can music transport us into an alternative utopian world? How has music been employed to build, project, and preserve utopian nations, communities, and collectives? How has music been used to support utopian political-economic philosophies and systems of social control and belief? How has utopianism inspired musical composition, performance, and listening practice? Selected themes and topics include the relationship between music, society, technology, and the environment; the Cold War culture wars; anarchy and improvisation; space in the postwar imagination; Afrofuturism; New Age utopianism; millenarianism; virtuality; cyborgism and posthumanism in relation to feminist and queer theory; Chicano utopianism; and the effects of utopian political and economic systems from communism to neoliberalism on music.
MUS 385J Pop Music and Multimedia Technologies (James Gabrillo)
Graduate seminar on popular music, multimedia technologies, and virtual cultures. Combines applications of musicological and ethnomusicological frameworks in global networked cultures, covering contemporary issues of production, reception, industry, class, power, taste, race, gender, and power.
MUS 385J Theory and Practice in Latin American Ethnomusicology (Robin Moore)
This course provides an introduction to academic research on the music of Latin America. Readings consider the historical development of such research, prominent themes in scholarship on Latin American music, foundational authors from various regions, and also the kinds of work being conducted today by North American, European, and Latin American authors. It is hoped that students will conclude the seminar with a better feeling for the cultural complexities of the region and the issues surrounding music that have attracted scholarly attention.
MUS 385J / 387L From Exoticism to Exchange to Music: Asian Influences in and on Western Art Music of the 20th Century (Alison Maggart)
This course explores the dynamics of globalization and transcultural exchange in art music in the 20th century, in particular among Asian composers that adopted western compositional practices and European/North American composers that drew inspiration from Asian sounds (often reductively conceived), aesthetics, and spiritual philosophies. We consider how music has not only exoticized non-western countries and perpetuated colonial power structures, but also provided avenues of creative expression and agency and models for post-binary thinking.
MUS 387L History of the Concerto in the 18th Century (Guido Olivieri)
The course focuses on the history of the concerto from its origins to the end of the 18th century. The concerto as a genre is examined in the historical, social, and cultural contexts in which it was created and performed. Students will look at the characteristics of national schools and the contributions of significant performers/composers to the development of this genre considering aspects of performance practice, patronage, function and reception of the repertory. Ample space is reserved to the activity and music creations of women and BIPOC musicians as well as to the repertory practiced in non-European countries, particularly in the Central American region, and to its cultural significance. The course will consist of listening, readings, score study, regular in-class discussions, and supervised research projects. Three options are offered as final project: 1) An 8-page academic paper with footnotes and bibliography; 2) A 20-minute lecture-recital focusing on a selected concerto (recommended for MUS 379); 3) A modern edition of an unedited manuscript concerto with a 2-page general introduction.
MUS 387L Performance Practice in the 17th-18th Centuries (Guido Olivieri)
MUS 387L Women and Music in the Nineteenth Century (Peng Liu)
This course is designed to familiarize students with women’s various roles in nineteenth-century musical culture, as composers, (professional and amateur) performers, instrument makers, patrons, managers, audiences, and educators. Students will learn a wide array of musical repertory and practice that women managed to participate and contribute in nineteenth-century Europe, UK, and US. Students will also critically engage with relevant primary sources and a broad scholarship on women’s studies in music and feminist approaches to music. Ultimately, this course aims to not only enrich students’ understanding and knowledge of women’s agencies in shaping, directing, and cultivating the musical culture in the nineteenth century, but also to equip students with a great amount of reportorial and scholarly knowledge about women in music for their future performance, research, and teaching.
MUS 387L Piano, Gender, and Performance (Peng Liu)
This course will examine the role and significance of the piano in 19th-century European society and culture through various lenses. Students will explore such topics as the evolving mechanisms and sound of the piano, the gendering of the piano and piano playing, the contested discourse of virtuoso and virtuosity, and the stylistic development and generic variety of piano music. Throughout the course, students will actively engage with a variety of sources, including historical writings (critical reviews, concert programs, novels, and correspondences), recordings, videos, visual images, and scores. By the end of the course, students will develop an expanded first-hand familiarity with a coherent segment of literature for the piano, detailed knowledge of selected, representative works, enhanced awareness of historical and cultural issues, and an improvement of their analytical tools through assigned compositions, readings, oral reports, class discussions, and written assignments.
MUS 398T Supervised Teaching in Music (TBD)
MUS 398T is an introduction to theory and techniques of teaching at the college and university level, with particular focus on academic music classes. The course aims to encourage students to think carefully about the nature of learning and effective teaching, to develop skills necessary for a variety of teaching contexts such as course planning, lecturing, leading a discussion, and assessment, and to come to greater self-awareness as to one’s own goals, strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. The course satisfies the State of Texas legislative prerequisite for appointment of graduate Assistant Instructors. Perhaps most importantly, the course is intended to prepare you for the academic job market. Weekly sessions will be divided into a review of literature on various aspects pedagogy and applied segment. The latter will ask you to utilize ideas in the readings in tangible ways, or to produce materials that can become part of a teaching portfolio.
TC 302 Unarchiving the Arts (Luisa Nardini)
Students learn to use archival documentation to uncover information about the arts and to present their findings in the form of public scholarship. They look at and analyze musical manuscripts, prints, objects, and photographs both as artifacts and as vehicles of information. Special attention is devoted to the Gabriel Garcia Marquéz’s archive, medieval manuscripts, musical theater with the final goal to disclose the socio-economic forces that influenced the production and circulation of these works. Students also explore issues related to the organization of public archives and museums and the role of special library collections and museums in the contemporary world.
UGS 303 American Musicals (Hannah Lewis)
This course explores the musical artistry and cultural resonances of several iconic shows and films. We will examine musical styles alongside broad cultural themes associated with the musical, including artistic collaboration, race and representation, gender, the role of dance, and adaptation across media. This course will serve as a window into the musical’s power to reflect and shape any given historical moment.
UGS 303 THE BEATLES AND BEYOND (Stephen Slawek)
This course comprises a broad introduction to the musical and cultural influences of The Beatles. We will begin the course by becoming acquainted with the early biographies of the individual members of the band and then launch into a detailed study of the evolution of the band’s music, moving through their entire output of songs and albums in chronological order. A significant portion of our time will be devoted to close listening of songs followed by analysis and discussion. We will also devote a portion of the course to the work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr following the disbanding of The Beatles, and we will be concerned with bands that followed in the wake of The Beatles, as well as the lingering effects their music has had on the global music culture. Lastly, throughout the course, we will be concerned with key issues concerning The Beatles impact on cultures around the world that scholars have found interesting to focus attention upon, and we will sample some recent and some not-so-recent scholarly literature that has addressed those issues.