Graduate Seminars

Fall 2019

MUSI 619, Medieval Motets, M 1:30-3:20 pm
Anna Zayaruznaya

This course focuses on the motet in its first two hundred years, from the genre’s emergence in a Parisian orbit around 1200 through the so-called ars subtilior of the early fifteenth century.

MUSI 622, In Search of Historical Voice, W 1:30-3:20 pm
Jessica Peritz

This interdisciplinary seminar explores a set of histories, aesthetics, and contingencies of voice from the ancient world through the early years of the phonograph.

MUSI 627, Liturgy, Ritual, and Chant of Medieval England (Sarum Use), TH 3:30-5:20 pm
Henry Parkes, Bryan Spinks

This team-taught interdisciplinary travel seminar focuses on the rites, ceremonies, and music of the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), which was the predominant form of Christian worship in late medieval England.

MUSI 699, Proseminar: Musicology, T 1:30-3:20 pm
Gary Tomlinson

A historiographical survey of major topics, issues, and techniques of musicological research. We consider the position of musicology in the broader context of historical thought and provide a conceptual foundation for further work in the field.

MUSI 718, Mathematical Models of Tonal Systems, W 9:25-11:15 am
Richard Cohn

Since 1980, theorists have applied techniques of atonal pitch-class theory to traditional chords and scales, seeking to identify properties that afford and underlie complex musical systems of long historical duration. This seminar traces the historical development of this theoretical subfield, including diatonic set theory and transformational theory of the 1980s (Clough & Lewin), neo-Riemannian graphs of the 1990s (Cohn & Douthett), geometric voice-leading models in the 2000s (Callender, Tymoczko), and trigonometric discrete-Fourier models that matured in the 2010s (Quinn, Yust).

MUSI 986, Corpus Methods in Music Research, TH 1:30-3:20 pm
Ian Quinn

The course covers computer-assisted methods for formulating and investigating empirical research questions at what Meyer called the “interopus” level: i.e., corpora rather than individual works. We also consider the role of empirical research of this type in the field of musicology generally and its relationship to the specific questions of music theory in particular. Students learn to use the music21 software package under development at MIT.

Spring 2020

MUSI 721, History of Theory II
Roger Matthew Grant

This seminar surveys the history of music theory in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries.

MUSI 823, Women and Western Art Music, W 9:25-11:15 am
Gundula Kreuzer

An introduction to current debates on women and gender in and around Western art music. Topics include historical case studies of women composers and performers, as well as the question of the archive and other obstacles we face today in researching them; the representation of gender roles in opera and in contemporary productions thereof; processes and agents of (de)canonization; and ongoing curricular shifts.

MUSI 833, Musical Afrofuturisms, W 1:30-3:20 pm
Michael Veal

A survey of the Afrofuturist theme as it has been articulated in African American music of the post-World War II era, with additional references to its concurrent manifestations in film, literature, and visual arts.

MUSI 909, Arts of Fugue, TH 3:30-5:20 pm
Daniel Harrison

The seminar examines theoretical and analytical issues associated with fugal procedures, ca. 1650–1950, with special focus on the work of J.S. Bach. Harmonic-contrapuntal (e.g., Schenker) and hermeneutical (e.g., rhetorical) explorations of individual works are examined and tested, supported by readings modeling both approaches.

MUSI 938, Sound Studies
Brian Kane

Sound studies is an interdisciplinary field, situated at the intersection of science and technology studies, film, music, media, anthropology, and cultural studies. Scholars in sound studies analyze both the technologies and cultural techniques involved in the production, reception, and meaning of sound and listening. This seminar is intended as a broad introduction to sound studies.