MUS 84600: Advanced Topics in Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis, Music Since 2000 – Professor Joseph Straus
The music referenced in the title of the class is mostly in the learned, literate, art, Western, classical tradition in North America and Europe, mostly uptown, difficult, dissonant, atonal, mostly pitch-based, mostly in traditional notation, modernist, maximalist, mostly instrumental and opera (although electronics are sometimes involved), by established composers. After the introductory class, which will consider music by composers of an older generation (born before 1930 and now deceased), we will study music by twelve composers active since 2000, with particular attention to one major work by each. We will also read the secondary analytical literature, where that exists. We will be equally interested in compositional systems (how it was made) and analytical approaches (how it might be construed, made sense of).
MUS 81504: 20th—21st – Century Performance Practice – Professor Jason Eckardt
Prereq: Post-Tonal 1 or permission of instructor.
Designed for both composers and performers, the course explores the performance of 20th- and 21st-century music. Weekly meetings will be devoted to the coaching and critique of both student composition assignments and representative works. The class will culminate with a MANDATORY public concert on May 16 in Elebash Hall featuring repertoire works and music composed by the students.
MUS 86100: Critical Approaches to Music: Adorno on Music – Professor Chadwick Jenkins
This course will examine the writings and thought of critical theorist Theodor W. Adorno. While the emphasis will be on his many monographs and essays pertaining to music (including his books on Wagner, Berg, and Mahler, as well as his renowned Philosophy of New Music and selections from the collection of essays entitled Adorno on Music), we will read those works within the context of the larger scope of his thought. Thus we will also read substantial portions of the Dialectic of the Enlightenment (co-authored with Max Horkheimer), Negative Dialectics, and Aesthetic Theory. Topics of discussion will include: the nature of "truth content" as a rubric for understanding and evaluating musical works; the social nature of musical material; the role of form; the political use (and abuse) of music; Adorno's understanding of mimesis and mediation; the role of musical analysis in Adorno's thought; and the notion of "failure" as a critical tool for investigating music.
MUS 83000: Studies in World Music Analysis – Professor Peter Manuel
This seminar will examine a variety of world musics (i.e., primarily non-Western) with an emphasis on their formal features, emphasizing sound structure rather than socio-musical dimensions. The course will fulfill a number of objectives. It will help students—and perhaps especially ethnomusicology students preparing for the second exam—to develop analytical skills, including transcription and notation of a wide variety of types of music. It will help prepare students to teach world music survey classes, such as are often in demand at colleges. It will, in its way, cover a breadth of world music genres, some of which—such as Indonesian gamelan music—are not addressed in our current ethnomusicology offerings. It may interest several DMA and musicology students who seek familiarity with world music styles as sound systems rather than as subjects of social theory. The course would also familiarize students with software programs used for analysis. The areas and genres covered would consist primarily of those not covered in other ethnomusicology offerings, and would include, for instance, traditional musics of Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Hawai’i, Portugal, Indonesia, and assorted African regions, perhaps with some excursions into jazz and diverse pop styles. For students at dramatically different levels of analytical skills, parts of certain seminar meetings might be devoted to special *remedial* sessions.
MUS 81502: Performance Practice: Baroque – Professor Raymond Erickson
This course, intended for performance majors at the doctoral level, is designed to provide students with the following: 1. A broad, basic knowledge of the contexts and conventions of musical performance during the period 1600-1750, with particular emphasis on the music of J.S. Bach; 2. Acquaintance with the development of musical instruments during the period; 3. Acquaintance with the principal pedagogical publications of the period as well as current bibliography dealing with performance practices 1600-1750; 4. Acquaintance with a wide range of specific performance-practice issues of current interest, especially, but not only, documented in the leading journal of the field, Early Music; 5. Practical knowledge of how to apply historically-documented performance practice techniques in their own performances on modern instruments; 6. Elementary knowledge of and experience in improvisation (unwritten ornamentation, cadenzas, preludes, etc.) as employed by performers active during the period under study; 7. Experience in formally documenting sources (in the manner required for a dissertation).
MUS 86200: Music and the Holocaust: Testimony, Memory, Commemoration – Professor Abby Anderton
This course explores a variety of methodological and historiographical approaches to music and the Holocaust. We will examine notions of musical testimony in ghettos and camps; musical memory in the works of early postwar composers; and musical commemorations of the Holocaust which incorporate new media. Sonic materials under consideration include: The music of Terezín, survivor interviews recorded by David Boder, Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 (Babi Yar), Hanns Eisler’s score for Night and Fog, and Steve Reich’s Different Trains. This course will also feature readings by Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Pamela Potter, Amy Lynn Wlodarski, Tina Frühauf, Omer Bartov, and Shirli Gilbert.
MUS 86500: History of Theory II: Concepts of Musical Form – Professor Scott Burnham
This seminar will follow the Formenlehre tradition in Western music theory through the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special emphasis on sonata form. Of particular interest as we follow the historical trail: the impact of the aesthetic shift from mimesis to expression; the emergence and ongoing transformation of formal analysis; harmonic vs. thematic views of form; the relationship of form and compositional pedagogy; the rise of the natural sciences and their influence on late 19th-century theories of form; the impact of modernism on thought about tonal forms; latter-day notions of the “sonata principle;” the relation of phrase rhythm and form; and finally, sonata-form theories in the age of the personal computer. Our work will include in-depth coverage of treatises, articles, and analyses by H. C. Koch, J. B. Logier, J. J. de Momigny, Anton Reicha, A. B. Marx, Hugo Riemann, D. F. Tovey, Leonard Ratner, Charles Rosen, Edward T. Cone, James Webster, William Rothstein, William Caplin, Warren Darcy and James Hepokoski.
MUS 89200: Composers Forum – Professor Suzanne Farrin
The Composers Forum is a series of meetings on topics of interest to composers. There will be guest composers and performers; presentations by students on their own work and discussion of the best ways to present one’s own work; and discussions of technical, musical and professional issues in contemporary composition.
MUS 71500: D.M.A. Topics, Spring – Professor Sylvia Kahan
The second semester DMA Topics course will focus on the various types of scholarly writing encountered by performers in doctoral work and beyond. In addition to reading and analysis/discussion of writing on music from multiple genres by both scholars and performers, weekly writing assignments will include in-class writing, evaluation of classmates’ work, and ongoing work on longer assignments. These will include samples of: program notes, encyclopedia articles, pre-concert talks, and mock dissertation proposals, among other writing assignments. The course also serves as a continuing review of bibliography and research techniques as needed.
MUS 83100: Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Music, Gender, and Sexuality – Professor Jane Sugarman
Over the past three decades, the relationship between music and issues of gender and sexuality has been a major field of ethnomusicological inquiry. Among the studies that have appeared, some have sought to expand our knowledge of the musical activities of women, while others have examined how concepts of gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by musical practices and discourses, or how musical constructions of gender or sexuality intersect with issues of race, nation, class, or migration. In this seminar we will read a series of writings in ethnomusicology and closely related disciplines that relate musical practices to prominent issues in gender and sexuality studies, paired with major theoretical writings that helped to inform them. We will begin with second-wave Western feminism and the feminist anthropology of the 1970s-80s, and continue with poststructuralist approaches, race and intersectionality, queer and trans theory, masculinity studies, and postcoloniality. Permission of instructor required.
MUS 71000: Proseminar: Teaching Music – Professor Jane Sugarman
In this course we will explore teaching strategies and discuss prominent pedagogical issues across the range of disciplinary areas in music, with an emphasis on teaching courses in music appreciation, musicianship, Western music theory and history, world music cultures, music in specific world areas, and performance. The course is team-taught by faculty members in the musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, and performance programs, joined by current and recent teaching fellows who have taught in the CUNY system. It is required of all first-year Graduate Center Fellows; however, all students in the Music Programs are welcome to register.
MUS 85400: Intermediate Schenkerian Analysis (Schenker II) – Professor William Rothstein
MUS 86400: Advanced Writing Workshop: From Paper to Article – Professor Emily Wilbourne
A practicum on Heinrich Schenker’s analytical method, focusing on music of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the last weeks of the semester, each student will make an oral presentation on a piece chosen by the student and approved by the instructor.
Graduate school training privileges the “seminar paper”—usually something written under duress for a course, often while the author is simultaneously teaching and producing papers for other courses, in a compressed time period dictated by the semester structure. There is little time for reflection, expansion, self-editing, reading deeper into the topic—all features of the best writing that we all aspire to, and all prerequisites for a successful career as an academic. Journal articles and books, and even, it is hoped, your dissertation, will be products of long thought and many drafts, but there is little time during graduate school to figure out how to achieve these things.
This workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for students (generally those beyond the first year of the program) to engage in the reflection and revision necessary to produce excellent writing. A prerequisite for the course is that students are in possession of a seminar paper or a conference paper that they would like to expand into an article. During the course of the semester we will read and edit each other’s drafts, read writers on how to write, and read published musicological work that has won prizes. We will explore a variety of topics specific to the craft of writing: developing an original voice; writing a strong thesis statement; positioning oneself within existing scholarship; overcoming writer’s “block” and developing good writing habits. The goal for the workshop is that by the end of the semester students will have a paper ready to send to a journal, and will be equipped with skills and habits that will help them to continue to produce good writing.
MUS 74100: Introduction to the Analysis of Post-Tonal Music – Professor Philip Ewell
MUS 70000: Introduction to Musicology – Professor Janette Tilley
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.