Graduate Seminars

Fall 2018

MUSI 628, Early Song Tradition in the Habsburg-Spanish Empire, W 9:25-11:15 am
Ireri Chavez-Barcenas

This seminar explores the song tradition in the Hispanic world from the succession of the Catholic Monarchs through the reign of Charles II, the last Habsburg ruler of Spain—from approximately 1469 to 1700.

MUSI 697, Proseminar: Ethnomusicology, T 7-8:50 pm
Michael Veal

A survey of the major works, topics, issues, and techniques of ethnomusicological research as it has developed over the past century. We consider the position of the field within the broader contexts of society and the academy and provide a bibliographic foundation for further work in the field.

MUSI 720, History of Theory I, T 1:30-3:20 pm
Ian Quinn

A survey of the history of music theory from Greek antiquity to the Renaissance. Readings are drawn from Aristoxenos, the Sectio canonis, Ptolemy, Boethius, the Musica enchiriadis, Guido of Arezzo, John of Garland, Franco of Cologne, Jehan de Murs, Marchetto of Padua, Philippe de Vitry, Tinctoris, Glarean, Gaffurius, and Zarlino. Topics include systems and scales, tuning, transmission, institutional sites, speculative and practical traditions, methodology, and the scientific status of music theory.

MUSI 837, Opera: Explorations of a Technical Medium,
TH 9:25-11:15 am

Gundula Kreuzer

Opera has been assigned—and might yet assume—various roles in genealogies of technical media. This seminar explores both what media archaeology and other recent approaches in media studies and science and technology studies hold for an understanding of the nature of opera, and what opera might in turn contribute to a historically expanded perspective on modern and digital multimedia. In addition to such theoretical topics as the role of architecture, strategies of acoustic immersion, the development of illusionist devices, the orchestra as technology, and Wagner’s theories, we examine the medial configurations in select operatic scenes and their renditions, from the illusionist picture-frame stage to present-day mobile or site-specific conceptions. Projects are tailored to students’ interests and disciplines.

Spring 2019

MUSI 623, Song as Artifact: From Chansonniers to Song Books, T 9:25-11:15 am
Jane Alden

This seminar explores the connectedness of the visual and the textual to reach a broader understanding of the aesthetic goals that can motivate notational decisions. A historical thread is traced from medieval through contemporary graphic scores. We explore how and why sounds came to be written down and the spread of musical literacy; and we analyze the circumstances in which the visual presentation of music takes on its own distinct meaning. Parallels are drawn between the notational innovations of the late medieval and late modern periods—eras in which composers questioned the descriptive, prescriptive, and creative potential of musical inscriptions. To understand historical texts in their original milieu, we study the ways in which medieval chansonniers were created, read, revised, and safeguarded. The composers at the heart of our study include Baude Cordier, Senleches, Guillaume Du Fay, Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, Antoine Busnoys, Caron, and Hayne van Ghizeghem.  In the final weeks of the seminar, we consider Brown’s Folio, Cage’s Song Books, and Cardew’s Treatise as representative exemplars of the continuation of a long notational journey.

MUSI 698, Proseminar: Music Theory, F 9:25-11:15 am
Daniel Harrison

A survey of the major works, topics, questions, and techniques of research in the field of music theory as it has developed over the past half-century. We consider the position of the field within the broader contexts of the academy and provide a bibliographic foundation for further work in the field.

MUSI 903, The Voice, TH 1:30-3:20 pm
Brian Kane

The seminar is intended as a general introduction to the emerging field of voice studies. Students develop an overview of the field and acquire familiarity with the central topics, problems, and thinkers about the voice, both historical and contemporary. In addition to weekly readings, writing assignments, and presentations, students are involved in the selection of topics and texts, depending on their interests. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of voice studies with music, philosophy, and media studies.

MUSI 952, Musical Meter
Richard Cohn

Describing and representing musical meters and their relations; interpreting metric syntaxes in terms of musical “form.” Nineteenth-century central-European concert music (Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Dvořák); West African drumming; American minimalism, jazz, and EDM; if sufficient time, musics of south Asia and/or southeastern Europe.