Graduate

MUS 510: Extramural Research Internship

MUS510 is for students in the department who wish to gain experience of central importance to their area of study by working outside of the University capacity. For composition students, this might include working with theater companies, dance troupes, or other relevant organizations. For musicology students this might include archival research or performance. Course objectives and content are determined by student’s adviser in consultation with the external institution. Students submit monthly progress reports including goals and progress to date, and any evaluations received from host institution or published reviews of the final product.

MUS 512: Topics in Medieval Music: Charlemagne and the Authentic Antiphonal

It is a well-known problem in Gregorian chant studies that certain concepts (e.g. improvisation, orality, transmission, composition) are so malleable that they can be flexibly interpreted according to what a given theory demands, or what the evidence is hoped to corroborate. In such conditions, theories may lose all semblance of falsifiability, and unwittingly keep it that way by policing the very terms on whose interpretation they depend, or proposing moratoria on discussion. This seminar departs from the position that the problem is partly one of question-framing, and it proceeds by exploring different questions.

MUS 527: Seminar in Musicology

This class involves an in-depth reading of my manuscript, Tonality: an Owner’s Manual, reading one chapter per week. That book uses geometrical models, corpus study, and schema theory to consider a range of theoretical and analytical issues, including the development of tonal harmony, continuities between modal and tonal styles, the nature of nonharmonic reduction, and hierarchical structure in musical syntax.

MUS 528: Seminar in Musicology: Music and the Human

This seminar examines the place of the “human” in music discourse. While earlier scholarship assumed a definition of music as “humanly organized sound” (Blacking), recent global developments – from social fragmentation to ecological catastrophe – have put pressure on simple characterizations of both humanity and music. This seminar explores theorizations of the musical human from different disciplines and angles, including biosemiosis, anthropology, and Black critical theory. In addition, we consider the music making capacities of non-human species.

MUS 532: Composition

Emphasis is placed upon the individual student’s original work and upon the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 534: Ends and Means: Issues in Composition

We investigate the continuity between tone, timbre, and harmony by studying music by various composers who are touched by spectralism (broadly defined as an attitude encompassing a variety of styles that derive pitch materials from acoustical phenomenon). We begin by looking at examples from Unsuk Chin, Jonathan Harvey, Tristan Murail, Kaija Saariaho, and Chiyoko Szlavnics, among others. Our objective is not only to gain fluency with the materials but also to understand how each composer unfolds their musical ideas to achieve a certain level of structural depth.

MUS 542: Instrumentation and Performance

Collaborations with varied ensembles and performers from around the world and here at Princeton, presented in concert on the Princeton Sound Kitchen concert series.

MUS 545: Contexts of Composition: Musical Instruments, Sound, Perception, and Creativity

Through a series of hands-on labs, we look at a range of topics relevant to how we make and conceive of music, including pitch perception, instrument design, log/linear relationships, spectral analysis, synthesis, resonance, physical modeling, and more.

MUS 548: Creative Practice in Cultural Perspective: Cultivating a Humane Arts Practice

The creative arts are often idealized for their virtue and transcendence, for their ability to enrich and inspire us. However, the canon we still study was made possible by various forms of dominance, including racism, misogyny, and imperialism, and even now, artists experience bias and exclusion in our professional community. We cultivate creative thinking about a more just and sustainable arts world, as we live through the pandemic and imagine what lies ahead. Cultivating community within the seminar, we ask, what would a truly humane arts practice look like? Can we even imagine it?

MUS 513: Topics in 19th- and Early 20th-Century Music: Abstraction

This semester explores the origins and exploitation of the concept of abstraction in music from circa 1910. There is some discussion of the articulation of the term in the visual arts (Kandinsky, Klee), but the seminar centers on the syntax of the modern, late modern, and after modern periods in 20th century music history. Repertoire discussed includes Schoenberg, Babbitt, and Feldman, and both ‘dissonant’ and ‘consonant’ abstraction.

MUS 524: Collisions

This seminar examines the role of key controversies and debates within music studies over the past few decades. What leads to scholarly confrontation, and what comes out of it? How do bouts of discord shape the field? What makes some scholarly clashes more productive than others? What does the field look like when mapped around its points of highest contention? Readings trace key debates up to their moments of conflagration and out to their eventual consequences. We also consider what might be worth fighting about now and in the future.

MUS 525: Topics in Music from 1400 to 1600: Polyphonic Mass Composition in Europe,1440-1540

Chronological survey of the changing styles of Mass composition in the period 1450-1550,
beginning with the anonymous English Missa Caput and Petrus de Domarto’s Missa Spiritus
almus, and concluding with the Missa Ecce quam bonum by Jacobus Clemens non Papa.
Focus is almost entirely on scores.

MUS 527: Seminar in Musicology

Seminar in musicology consists of two distinct six-week modules, one focusing on Music and Digital Culture (with guest speakers) and a second focusing on Francesco Cavalli’s opera La Calisto (1652), considering as well the virtual production being produced this semester by MUS 219 (taught by Wendy Heller). Both units will be continued in the spring semester in MUS 528.

MUS 531: Composition

Emphasis is placed upon the individual student’s original work and upon the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 534: Ends and Means: Issues in Composition

Our focus is on writing new works for percussion quartet, with a level and depth of engagement which resembles So’s process of commissioning major new works. The spring course challenges composers to consider aspects of percussion writing which are peculiar to percussion chamber music, as well as writing etudes for instruments they are less likely to be familiar with such as steel drums. After the semester course, S works individually with each composer to workshop and premiere a new 8-12′ long work for percussion quartet.

MUS 545: Contexts of Composition: Composing concertos: the individual and the group

This seminar is a follow up to composing for Orchestra and covers some of the same issues of writing for a large conducted ensemble, but now that ensemble shares the stage with a soloist or small group of soloists and the focus is on the relationships between and among the many and the few.

MUS 514: Topics in 19th- and Early 20th-Century Music: The Ballets Russes and Ballets Súedois

Examination of works produced by Ballets Russes and Ballets Suédois, with emphasis on dialogue between music and dance in these works, the rivalry between the two companies between 1920 and 1925 (the years the Ballets Suédois operated), and their general contribution to French modernism. Discussions address canonic ballets and their transformations, “deceased” ballets and the potential for reviving them, and “living” ballets (those that have stayed more or less intact since their premieres. History has treated the Ballets Russes repertoire better than that of the Ballets Suédois: Petrushka is accessible as a ballet; La Boîte à Joujoux is not.

MUS 528: Seminar in Musicology: Digital Culture; Early Modern Women and Song

A continuation of MUS 527, this seminar is divided into two modules. The first, taught by Global Scholar Georgina Born (Oxford University) focuses on anthropological and sociological aspects of digital technology; the second module, taught by Wendy Heller, focuses on the composer Barbara Strozzi in the context of seventeenth-century Venice.

MUS 532: Composition

Emphasis is placed upon the individual student’s original work and upon the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 534: Ends and Means: Issues in Composition

The seminar includes the following topics: classical piano literature; mechanics and physics of the piano; the precursors of the piano; tuning; the pianists; fingerings, phrasing, and pedals; prepared piano; notation; digital piano and bitKlavier; and contemporary piano literature. We rethink the instrument as a source of vast potential rather than a symbol of obsolescence.

MUS 542: Instrumentation and Performance

Collaborations with varied ensembles and performers from around the world and here at Princeton, presented in concert on the Princeton Sound Kitchen concert series.

MUS 545: Contexts of Composition: Process and Intuition

We consider the interaction between compositional intuition and the use of processes, systems and mechanisms, combining analysis, theory, and composition.

MUS 510: Extramural Research Internship

MUS510 is for students in the department who wish to gain experience of central importance to their area of study by working outside of the University capacity. For composition students, this might include working with theater companies, dance troupes, or other relevant organizations. For musicology students this might include archival research or performance. Course objectives and content are determined by student’s adviser in consultation with the external institution. Students submit monthly progress reports including goals and progress to date, and any evaluations received from host institution or published reviews of the final product.

MUS 512: Topics in Medieval Music: Guillaume de Machaut and the Ars Nova

The Ars Nova of the early 14th c. is a heavily contested in musical scholarship. Among pressing questions are: (1) the almost complete disappearance of musical sources in 1310-1350; (2) the connection between Ars Nova and Ars Antiqua: continuity or rupture? (3) the mysterious figure of Jacobus of Liège, (4) the date of his treatise Speculum musicae, (5) the meaning of the Papal bull Docta sanctorum, (6) the emergence of counterpoint. In the midst of all this, (7) Machaut steps forward, around 1350, with a substantial musical repertoire in a fully-developed new style. Nothing here makes sense. Or does it?