Music | Musicians in the Movies
Z103 | 30051 | D. Bishop


z103 will focus on films that depict the biography of composers or
performers. Our central focus will be divided along three lines: 1)
the historical and musical background; 2) the historical context of
the film; and 3) how these representations lead us to larger
questions regarding how musicians are portrayed in film. Among other
things, we will deal with the cultural role of music, the idea of
the "genius," and how music biopics depict moments of social crisis.
The syllabus will be divided fairly evenly between films focusing on
classical music, jazz, and popular music, with a short unit at the
end dealing with parody and deconstruction. There will be one film a
week that is required viewing. Students are responsible for viewing
this film either on their own or at the optional viewing session
Wednesday night. Additional clips and listening materials may be
either included in lecture or distributed beforehand. There will be
a final project, which will be to examine an additional film of your
choosing, viewing it on your own, analyzing it through the
various 'lenses' we'll have constructed over the course of the
semester.