MUSI 699, Proseminar: Musicology, M 2:30-4:20
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 817, Music, Radio, and Mediation, T 9:25-11:15
This seminar focuses on the heyday of radio—its so-called Golden Age—and considers the medium from a variety of perspectives: media theory, auditory culture, musicology, and sociology, among others. The goal is to understand how radio functioned not only as a mass medium but also as a form of mediation. Special attention is given to the role of music on the radio and to the ways that radio altered the nature of musical works. Readings include classic texts on radio (Arnheim, Adorno, Merton, Lazarsfeld, Fanon, McLuhan) as well as more recent writing in cultural history (Douglas, Hilmes), sound studies (Mowitt, Bijsterveld), and media archaeology (Ernst). Special attention is given to the nature of the radio archive and its problems, with sessions devoted to working with source materials.
MUSI 857, Music in Nazi Germany, W 2:30-4:20
An exploration of musical life under a totalitarian regime. The quest for “Germanness” in music and the Nazis’ ill-fated attempts at policing musical aesthetics and compositional styles. Ideological, political, and administrative dimensions of these attempts; their influences on such composers as Egk, Hartmann, Hindemith, and Orff, as well as on jazz and “entertainment music”; the reception of canonic masters; and consequences for performance and scholarship at large, during the Third Reich and after.
MUSI 904, Beach Boys in American Culture & Counterculture,
A research seminar using the fifty-year career of the Beach Boys as an armature to study a variety of topics of interest to music theorists and analysts, historical musicologists, American cultural historians, and students of media. The group’s musical production is notably large and stylistically varied, its complex history (and mythology) is well documented in print and on film, and recent scholarship about the group is sophisticated and suggestive. Starting with close listening of a large set of songs, readings from both academic and popular sources, and discussions with expert guests in cultural studies, rock journalism, biography, and music analysis, students identify and work on an original research project related to the group, broadly conceived.
MUSI 925, Parsifal, F 9:25-11:15
A study of Wagner’s final opera, applying recent approaches to late-nineteenth-century harmony, with particular attention to the relationship between diatonic and chromatic systems of pitch organization.
MUSI 950, Shostakovich, T 1:30-3:20
The course aims to develop a rich understanding of Shostakovich’s musical oeuvre, focusing on a number of central works. We try to achieve a balance between critical and analytical approaches, between consideration of the composer’s whole output and detailed consideration of individual pieces, and between a study of the music’s Russian and Soviet context and a study of the music itself.