Spring 2017 Undergraduate Courses


The Art of Listening - MUSIC-UA 3  

Mondays & Wednesdays  3:30-4:45 (Silver 320)
Instructor: Yoon-Ji Lee
Topics covered include: Seeing sound - Psychoacoustics of sound, Spectralism in Europe and America; Intercultural listening-traditional and contemporary perspectives, P'ansori and K-POP; Listening to Post-modernism in American experimental music, breaking and mixing genres; Listening to The queerness of sound; Listening to myself and emotions as sound and story; Listening to Italian Futurism and the evolved noise in pop music; Listening to analogue medium with/beyond LP/Tape

Course does not fulfill any music major or minor requirements

Elements of Music - MUSIC-UA 20
Monday & Wednesday  9:30 - 10:45 (Silver 320)
Additional recitation section required
Instructor: Moon Young Ha
Explores the underlying principles and inner workings of the tonal system, a system that has guided all of Western music from the years 1600 to 1900. It includes a discussion of historical background and evolution. The focus is on concepts and notation of key, scale, tonality, and rhythm. Related skills in sight-singing, dictation, and keyboard harmony are stressed in the recitation sections.

Course counts toward the music minor but not the music major

Anthropology of Music: Music and Politics in Postcolonial Africa - MUSIC-UA 153
Tuesday & Thursday  11:00 - 12:15  (Silver 320)
Instructor: Christine Dang
This course explores sound, contexts, and ideas of music-making in contemporary Africa. Drawing on scholarly sources in literature, history, and cultural studies—in addition to recordings and films—we study the ways African communities use music to represent the ethics governing their lives and to respond to the institutions dominating their societies. Through reading and listening, we also raise questions about the historical itineraries linking distant musical communities across North, South, East, and West Africa; about musical memory of the pre-colonial past, colonialism, and African independence; and finally, about musical imaginations of African unity and African futures. The music we analyze will include a range of traditional, popular, and sacred music--from oral praise poetry to indigenous initiation songs, from African Islamic poetry to Christian hymns, from South African jazz to Ethiopian rap. Our readings will include both academic literature and writings by African authors such as Francis Bebey, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Chinua Achebe, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Wolé Soyinka.
No musical experience necessary.

Area of Study: Music, History, and Cultures

Music Theory I - MUSIC-UA 201
Section 001: Monday & Wednesday  11:00 - 12:15 (Silver 218)
Additional recitation section required
Instructor: Joel Rust
Please refer to Albert for lab sections
Students study principles of tonal music composition including 18th- and 19th- century harmonic, formal, and contrapuntal practices. Exercises in four-part voice-leading and species counterpoint are supplemented by analyses of excerpts of music from around the world and from a variety of genres including concert and popular music. Weekly lab sections are devoted to skills in musicianship and are required throughout the sequence.

Music major distribution requirement

Music Theory II - MUSIC-UA 202
Section 001: Monday & Wednesday  12:30 - 1:45 (Silver 218)
Additional recitation section required
Instructor: Adam Mirza
Please refer to Albert for lab sections
Chromatic harmony as developed and practiced by composers of the 19th century and beyond. Introduction to score reading and principles of musical analysis applied to larger musical structures. Continuation of species counterpoint and an introduction to invertible counterpoint and fugue.

Music major distribution requirement
Prerequisite: Music Theory I (MUSIC-UA 201 or qualifying exam)

Performance and Analysis - MUSIC-UA 206
Section 001: Wednesday  2:00-4:30 (Silver 220)
Instructor: Louis Karchin
Students will learn to perform works from various periods of music, and will study them from the standpoint of interpretation and analysis. There may be individual or group projects (solo works or chamber music), and regular coachings will be supplemented with readings that will discuss issues of interpretation, and musical perception and reception as relevant to performance. Various methodologies for analyzing music will be studied and evaluated. A brief audition is required to establish proficiency on an instrument, and students should contact the music department to set up an audition time.

Area of Study: Sonic Art
Prerequisite: departmental audition

Principles in Composition - MUSIC-UA 307
Section 001: Tuesday & Thursday  2:00-3:15 (Silver 220)
Instructors: Elizabeth Hoffman
Emphasizes modern-day writing procedures. Frequent composition as well as study of musical scores. Students compose an original piece of music for performance in an end-of-semester concert by professional New York musicians.

The class will include a brief survey of issues specific to contemporary composition, and a collaborative exploration of the difference between experimental composition and style-based approaches. During the semester we will study techniques and technical fundamentals that span 1) acoustic composition (namely, acoustics, notation, tuning and standardization, and theories of performance); and 2) electroacoustic and computer composition (namely, techniques and theories of stereo and multi-channel sound, sound synthesis, timbre and sound composition, and algorithmic composition). We will collectively pursue projects that span numerous genres including pop, rock, classical, and experimental, considering through the creative work questions of the timeliness of concepts such as originality, longevity, universality, intercultural awareness, art and politics, and values of cultural preservation and accessibility.

Area of Study: Sonic Art

Special Studies: Weimar Music and Thought - MUSIC-UA 901 (section 001)

Tuesday & Thursday 11:00-12:15 (Silver 218)
Instructor: Brigid Cohen
This course explores the musical thought, creativity, and cultures of Weimar Germany (1919-1933). The end of World War I brought vertiginous changes to a nation grappling with the violence of its recent past while imagining a future in democracy. This unstable situation brought the opportunity to rethink society and culture from is very roots. Toward this end, music offered a means to imagine radically new modes of community, communication, and perception. This course will focus on musics connected with experimentalist movements and techniques including Dada, the Bauhaus, montage, "New Objectivity," Zeitoper, and cabaret. Composers and performers we will consider include Alban Berg, the Comedian Harmonists, Marlene Dietrich, Hanns Eisler, Paul Hindemith, Ernst Krenek, Lotte Lenya, Carola Neher, Vladimir Vogel, Kurt Weill, and Stefan Wolpe. We will also study Weimar-era thought about music and culture, including the work of Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, and Siegfried Kracauer. Finally we will confront the legacies of Weimar music and culture in Nazi Germany and in diaspora.
Area of Study: Music, History, and Cultures

Special Studies: From Thought to Sound-An Exploration in Composition - MUSIC-UA 901 (section 002)
Tuesdays  3:30-6:00 (Silver 220)
Instructor: Friedrich Kern
The course will give you the knowledge and tools you need to compose and produce music. Students should have previous exposure to music fundamentals (comparable to 'Elements of Music'). No previous composition or performance experience necessary but strongly encouraged. The course will cover fundamentals of music theory, exploration of musical styles, elements of music production, and technical aspects of composition (notation, Sibelius notation software, Ableton Live, mixing, performing). This class will also culminate in a concert where student pieces are performed by musicians (either students of the class or outside performers).

Area of Study: Sonic Art
Prerequisite: Elements of Music or equivalent experience