S103 0073 Clocks, Cars and Composers (Hawkes)
10:10a-11:00a MWF


Did it matter to a 17th-century musician if the Earth was the center of the universe? Did it matter whether a 14th-century musician knew how his internal organs worked? Have the existence of paved roads, airplanes, photography, or an accurate clock affected the works of composers? What made it possible for these artists to do what they did? What was the world they were living in like? We will explore how the works of innovative composers are related to the combination of time, place, circumstance, and person. This is NOT a music history course, but a course in THINKING “SIDEWAYS” about historical events in context, using music only as a starting point. Have no fear: You don’t have to be a musician. We will explore some interesting moments in Western history and the composers (both male and female) who lived through those moments. We will look for connections (musical, political, technological, literary...) and for ways people have broken through the conventions of their own times. You will have a chance in this class to focus on topics of interest to you.