MUS 70000: Introduction to Musicology – Professor Janette Tilley
MUS 74100: Introduction to the Analysis of Post-Tonal Music – Professor Philip Ewell
This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the discipline of musicology: its history, methodologies, resources, and debates. It is also intended to introduce the skills and habits of mind necessary for graduate work in musicology, including research and writing skills, the peer review process, and specific writing projects in our discipline, including reviews, abstracts, proposals, and thesis-driven essays. This course will also examine the changing place of technology in the field of musicology and consider ways in which technology affects the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
MUS 84000: Music and Cultural Disability Studies – Professor Joseph Straus
In this course we will be studying works from the twentieth century by composers including, but not limited to, Bartók, Berg, Britten, Cowell, Debussy, Gubaidulina, Ligeti, Messiaen, Prokofiev, Reich, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Varèse, and Webern. We will be studying various methods of analyzing works by these composers while putting their music into a twentieth and twenty-first-century perspective. One method, set theory, will feature prominently; during the term we will focus on such set-theoretical concepts as pitch class, interval class, set class, transposition, inversion, segmentation, common tones under transposition and inversion, and complement relations. Further, we will be studying various elements of 20th-century modality, including centricity, referential collections, inversional axes, and triadic post-tonality. It is therefore the aim of this course to introduce the student to great works of the twentieth century and the analytical systems and theoretical ideas available to better grapple with them; in so doing it is hoped that s/he will gain a better understanding of this vast repertoire.
This course lies at the intersection of musicology/music theory and cultural disability studies, probing what each can learn from the other. We will read standard texts in cultural disability studies (Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Lennard Davis, Tobin Siebers, and others) and a wide range of recent scholarship in music (including the recently published Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies).
MUS 82500: History of Theory I – Professor William Rothstein
The course covers the period from ca. 1475 to 1950. Within this period, students gain a broad knowledge of the development of those disciplines that today are grouped together, somewhat loosely, as “music theory.” They read extensively in primary and secondary sources and learn to consider these sources from both present-day and (so far as is possible) historically situated perspectives. Several short papers and a term paper are required. There is also a final exam.
MUS 86600: Seminar in Music History, Late Beethoven – Professor Scott Burnham
We will address the fabled late-style music of Beethoven, as well as discuss prominent views of artistic lateness as an aesthetic phenomenon. The primary musical compositions we will cover include the piano sonatas Opp. 101, 106, 109, 110, and 111; the Diabelli Variations Op. 120 and the Bagatelles Op. 126; the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis; and the String Quartets Opp. 95, 127, 130 (including Grosse Fuge), 131, 132, and 135. Musical issues that arise from this repertoire notably include contrast and continuity, intimacy and voice, perceived comprehensibility, and a renewed commitment to fugue and variation. We will discuss critical takes on lateness and on Beethoven’s late music in particular, by authors such as Theodor Adorno, Donald Francis Tovey, Joseph, Kerman, Leo Treitler, Maynard Solomon, Richard Kramer, Edward Said, Daniel Chua, Joseph Straus, Stephen Rumph, Michael Spitzer, Mark Evan Bonds and others.
MUS 71200: Research Techniques in Ethnomusicology – Professor Jane Sugarman
An introduction to ethnomusicological research through an examination of classic and contemporary writings in the field. Weekly readings trace the intellectual history of the field since the late 19th century, intermixed with weeks devoted to practical research methodologies. Assignments will include readings; weekly writeups, oral reports, or short methodological exercises; and a final paper that critically assesses research on music in one world area or related to one theoretical topic. This course is required of students concentrating in ethnomusicology, but students in other programs are welcome as well.
Permission of instructor required.
MUS 74500: Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis – Professor Eric Wen
MUS 71500: D.M.A Topics – Professor Eric Wen
Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis will aim to develop an understanding of large-scale musical coherence through a study of the voice-leading and tonal organization of selected compositions. Through the analytic techniques learned in this course, students will gain a deeper understanding of how the principles of harmony and counterpoint operate in tandem, and determine the criteria for structural coherence in music of the common-practice period. In the process of doing so, students will be introduced to the analytic system of graphic notation developed by Heinrich Schenker. Beginning with short extracts and themes, by the end of the semester, a complete work will analyzed. There is no textbook for the course, but all the musical works studied will be made available as photocopies.
MUS 86300: Seminar in Music History, The 1920s: Music and Culture in New York – Professor Jeffrey Taylor
D.M.A. Topics consists of two main areas: performance/analysis and an introduction to graduate studies aimed at D.M.A. students. The fall semester focuses primarily on analysis, looking forward to the D.M.A. First Exam given in the spring. The course will begin with a review of harmony and counterpoint and continue with form and phrase structure, harmonic rhythm, and some elements of set theory and serialism. We also examine some aspects of text/music relationships and elements of expression. Assignments will consist of analytical exercises and also analytical essays, which will help to focus on writing skills. (The second semester of the course will delve into research skills, leading to a mock dissertation proposal as a final project.)
In 1920s New York, music and musicians served as both causes and effects in social history. Seen in the larger context of the aftermath of World War 1, the technology boom (especially in recording, radio, and film), Prohibition, the emergence of organized crime, the Harlem Renaissance, the early history of jazz, and many literary and artistic movements (including Modernism), music becomes a lens through which to examine radical shifts in America’s views on gender, race, class, and a host of other issues. Emphasis will be on discussion of primary and secondary written texts, films and artworks, and listening, rather than score analysis—though students are welcome to pursue analytical work in their final projects. The course will explore work by and reception of musicians and composers as diverse as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Bessie Smith, Henry Cowell, Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, Dane Rudhyar, Ruth Crawford, George Antheil and Edgard Varèse. Assignments will consist of weekly written responses to reading and listening, discussion-leading, a midterm writing assignment, and a final project that will incorporate a class presentation and final paper.
MUS 88200: Music and Society in the Caribbean and Latin America – Professor Peter Manuel
This seminar will explore selected Caribbean and Latin American music genres and scenes from the perspective of relevant socio-cultural theoretical issues. Areas to be studied will include Jamaica (emphasizing reggae and dancehall), the Dominican Republic, Peru (especially Andean and Afro-Peruvian musics), Cuba, Mexico and the US-Mexican border region, and Trinidad. Themes of special interest will include creolization; urbanization; dynamics of race and gender; the contestation and consolidation of national identities; scholarly perspectives on neo-African and Latin dance; and the role and status of border and diasporic cultures.
For basic reference, we will be reading much of Manuel’s Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae
. Other readings will include Robin Moore, Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Havana, 1920-1940,
and Thomas Turino’s Moving away from Silence: Music of the Peruvian Altiplano and the Experience of Urban Migration,
and Donna Hope’s Inna di Dancehall: Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity in Jamaica.
Students will be required to write a term paper, present critical summaries of readings (and/or videos and websites), and submit notes on reading assignments. Formal knowledge of music is not a prerequisite.
MUS 88500: Composers Seminar – Professor Bruce Saylor
"Form and Structure Across Medium and Style"
Based on selected repertory heard this semester at the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, signal works from the turn of the century through the present day will be examined as to their large-scale form and internal structure. Special genres will include opera and concerto, with a special unit on notions of form in the electronic music of David Olan, Douglas Geers and James Dashow.