Honors | Music & Ideas (MUS)
T418 | 26385 | M. C. Kielian-Gilbert
Time/place: 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Tues/Thurs,(Music Library)
NOTE: FOR HONORS CREDIT, PLEASE SEE LAST PARAGRAPH.
An introduction to the philosophy of music and problems of
music aesthetics. Can music express ideas? Can music express
emotions? If so, how? This course brings together work on music
philosophy and aesthetics, cultural theory, and music analysis to
explore connections between music and ideas in contemporary
culture. Emphasis will be on aesthetic issues such as beauty,
meaning, values, and relationships between music and the other arts;
other topics will include changing music receptions and modes of
perception, politics, sexuality and gender. Writings from
particular historical contexts (Hanslick, 19th-century hermeneutic
writers) will set the stage for discussion. Analyses will also
develop connections between technical and figurative descriptions of
music, and practices of music listening and contemporary experience
(e.g., discontinuity, hypertextuality and technology, forces of
pluralism and globalization).
Readings, music: The course will be organized around
particular topics (rather than by chronology) and readings will also
be geared to the interests of the class. We will listen to and
analyze music from a wide range of repertoire, including classical
and operatic, popular and theatrical. The instructor has particular
interests in the music of 19th- and 20th/21st-century composers.
Texts: Leonard Meyer, Music, The Arts, and Ideas: Patterns and
Predictions in Twentieth-Century Culture (2nd ed.). John Berger,
Ways of Seeing.
Course requirements: readings, reaction papers or reports
on issues arising in the readings, midterm and final paper, class
presentations of research. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.
For honors credit: In consultation with the instructor, the
honors component of the course will be organized as an in-depth
study of selected readings towards the final project. Modeled on a
mini-independent study, this work will be tailored to a studentís
individual background in music and involve their ongoing input and a
final summary and/or self-evaluation of work in the course on these
readings, or related music listening and analysis.