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New & Cross-Listed Courses!

Please see below for a list of new and cross-listed courses being offered this term. The undergraduate add/drop deadline is February 15. For a complete list of Music Department courses, please click here.


MUS 247                                 Reverence or Dominance? Cultural Appropriation in the Arts

White, Barbara A.

(T Th 1:30 to 2:50 pm)

(LA) na, npdf

Total Course Enrollment: 24


From holiday costumes to dining hall menus to GIFs, from popular songs to films to operas, many forms of expression cross cultural borders, raising aesthetic and ethical questions. This course explores the phenomenon of cultural appropriation through a wide lens, analyzing popular song, film, television, opera, and concert music. We scrutinize the familiar claim that respectful intentions negate power imbalances, and we explore complex questions regarding identity, ownership, representation, and authenticity. In the face of ever-shifting cultural boundaries, how do individuals and cultures retain and reconfigure meaning?


MUS 259                                 Projects in West African Mandé Drumming

Tarparga, Olivier

(T 1:30 to 4:20 PM)

(LA) A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 25


Performance course in West African drumming with focus on music from Mandé Empire (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.) Taught by master drummer and exponent of Mogo Kele Foli drumming technique. Course provides hands-on experience on two instruments, Djembe and Dun dun. Students acquire performance experience, skills and techniques on Wassolon and Diansa, and develop appreciation for integrity of drumming in daily life of West Africa.


MUS 345                                 Songs and Songwriting

Douthitt, Christopher & Trueman, Daniel

(M 1:30 PM to 4:20 PM)

(LA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 12


Songs and Songwriting will offer undergraduates the opportunity to study songs and songcraft in an intense, supportive small-group workshop. Songs are mysterious musical forms. They can be as simple as nursery rhymes or as complicated as miniature symphonies. They are inherently multidisciplinary, engaging one's ear for language as much as for music. They demand a knack for melody as well as an architectural sense of form and proportion. They rely on timeworn formulas and cliches, but there is no blueprint for writing them; a great song always catches you off guard.


MUS 355                                 Folk Revival

Velasco, Maria J.

(M W 1:30 PM to 2:50 PM)

(LA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 60


This course will examine a variety of manifestations of “folk” music in different cultures of the world, with a specific emphasis on examples from France and the U.S., and will study key moments of folk music revival from the nineteenth century to the present. With a particular focus on singing and the voice, we will explore the practices of folk music-making and their relation to concepts of identity, nationalism, protest, preservation, and innovation. By studying revival movements, we will seek to understand how these musical practices have influenced thinking on history, authenticity, and belonging in contemporary society.


MUS 359                                 Sound Cultures

Steingo, Gavin

(T 1:30 PM to 4:20 PM)

(SA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 15


This course examines the role of sound and listening in the constitution of culture. Classes will be evenly split between historical and theoretical analysis, on the one hand, and practice-based explorations of sound, on the other. Topics of exploration include: audio technology, sound and space, psychoacoustics, and acoustemology. We will engage these topics through close readings of theoretical texts and through a range of sound-based practices such as field recording, sound walks, spectral analysis, and sonic art.


Other cross-listed courses:


EAS 237/MUS 237/ COM 229                         Imagining Sounds of China: Encounters and Fantasies

Chen, Guanghcen & Keulemans, Pieter

(T 1:30 - 4:20 pm)

(LA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 20


Chinese culture and history contain an abundance of sounds with distinctive timbres. They have been experienced, imagined and theorized locally and in cross-cultural dialogues. People from different times and cultures often experience them in mediated forms such as literary and graphic descriptions. This course offers an introduction to these sonic phenomena. Comparative and transmedia approaches are used to tackle their multicultural repercussions while giving equal attention to their socio-historic contexts. Students will gain an overview of the Chinese soundscape, aided by methods of sound studies and literary/cultural criticism.


HUM 470/ ENG 482/ MUS 433                       Interdisciplinary Studies In the Humanities - Voices

Connery, Majel & Dolven, Jeff

(T 1:30 - 4:20 pm)

(LA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Total Course Enrollment: 15


This seminar examines the theory and practice of the human voice across media including literature and music, as well as film, podcasting, social media, and other digital technologies. Taught by a poet (and English professor) and a composer (and musicologist), our work will be both critical, prioritizing close reading of texts, and practical, involving creative assignments, in-class enactments, and group exercises. Our basic question: How do transformations of the voice affect social, political, and aesthetic space? A comfort with, or desire to make friends with, vocal spontaneity is a must.


STC/MUS/ENG 209                                         Transformations In Engineering and the Arts

Adriaenssens, S., Bhatia, A., Finkelstein, A., Snyder, J.

(M 1:30 - 4:20 pm)

(LA) No Pass/D/Fail

Total Course Enrollment: 15




This course explores the parallels and intersections of design/composition in engineering and the arts, emphasizing a merging of artistry and systematic thinking. Students will use what they learn to create as engineer-artists and artist-engineers. The course is organized around four modules: A) Visuals, B) Sound, C) Structure and 4) Movement, led by faculty from COS, MUS, CEE, MAE with faculty from the Lewis Center for the Arts. 'Transformations' unifies the modules by engaging the different disciplines and allowing the course to serve as an introductory experience for students with diverse academic backgrounds.


VIS 225/MUS 271/THR 225                            Sound Art

Rowland, Jess

(M 7:30 - 9:40 pm)

(T 1:30 - 4:20 pm)

(LA) na, npdf

Total Course Enrollment: 14


In this course, you will be asked to develop your own voice in sound as an art material. Through the making of physical objects and use of audio technologies, we will think about sound expansively, as physical material, personal experience, and as concept. Along the way we will explore the extensive works of pioneers in sound art and contemporary music, learn new skills, and investigate ideas about sound which can inspire your own creative explorations. Building on diverse practices from Experimental Music to the Fine Arts, this will be a creative, open - and fun - journey into sound as art material.