Honors | Drama, Affect, Body (MUS)
N399 | 12132 | Marianne Kielian-Gilbert

MW 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
M271 (Music Library)

This special topics course in music theory brings together work on
music analysis and cultural theory to explore connections between
music, drama, and performance. We will introduce different ways of
analyzing music in traditional, nontraditional, and multimedia
spaces of performance (working with issues of drama, affect/feeling,
and body). We will also consider the ways in which drama and
performance are implicated in various musical practices and in
analyses that seek to characterize those practices.

Music’s performativity conveys acts and actions; music enacts and
becomes something that one does. Musical and analytical emphases
shift from authority to affect, and from “aesthetic consumption”
and “representation,” to material-bodily expressions and
interactions between music and listeners, bringing music to ‘life’
and transforming its significance. Starting from the angle of music
as drama we will study how music can become dramatic and
performative of texts, social critique, and differing orientations.
Enacting Music will offer insight into how we may better understand
the multiple ways that music enacts its ideas through dramatic,
emotional, and physical processes of performance. Organized around
particular topics, critical readings, and music from classical to
popular, analyses will grapple with ethical-political consequences
of music’s performative “moments of attention” particularly in
multimedia and interart settings (film, opera, dance, performance

Course limit (12). Requirements: readings, class discussion, short
reaction papers & presentations on issues arising from the readings,
midterm project, one major paper and class presentation (geared to
individual projects). Prerequisite: junior standing, MUS-T252 or
consent of instructor. Texts: Leo Treitler, Reflections on
Musical Meaning and Its Representations (2011); Kathryn Kalinak,
Film Music: A Very Short Introduction (2010); John Berger, Ways of
Seeing (1972).