Fall 2016 Undergraduate Courses


The Art of Listening: The more I hear... - MUSIC-UA 3

Section 001 - Tuesday & Thursday 3:30-4:45 (Silver 320)
Instructor: Elizabeth Hoffman
"The more I see, the less I know for sure" figures in lyrics by John Lennon and also by Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name just two popular music examples. With a substitution of "hear" for "see" this provocative statement will be our starting point. What *is* the practice of listening? What can it be if we nurture it? Is it and acquired skill? a talent? a bodily practice? a mental process? Is hearing the result of listening? And, what do we hope to know through listening?

This class will include creative work and written responses to listening, though there are no prerequisites for enrollment. Inability to read music will not disadvantage any student wishing to take the course.

The Art of Listening: Contemporary Approaches to Listening - MUSIC-UA 3
Section 002 - Monday & Wednesday 3:30-4:45 (Silver 320)
Instructor: Yoon-Ji Lee
Topics covered include Seeing sound - Psychoacoustics of sound, Spectralism in Europe and America; Intercultural listening-traditional and contemporary perspectives, P'ansori and K-POP; Listening to Post-modernism in American experimental music, breaking and mixing genres; Listening to The queerness of sound; Listening to myself and emotions as sound and story; Listening to Italian Futurism and the evolved noise in pop music; Listening to analogue medium with/beyond LP/Tape

Art of Listening does not fulfill any music major requirements. It can be counted toward the minor as an elective.

Elements of Music - MUSIC-UA 20
Monday & Wednesday  9:30 - 10:45 (Silver 320)
Additional recitation section required
Instructor: TBA
Explores the underlying principles and inner workings of the tonal system, a system that has guided all of Western music from the years 1600 to 1900. It includes a discussion of historical background and evolution. The focus is on concepts and notation of key, scale, tonality, and rhythm. Related skills in sight-singing, dictation, and keyboard harmony are stressed in the recitation sections.

Course counts toward the music minor but not the music major

Intro to Celtic Music - MUSIC-UA 182
Monday & Wednesday 12:30 - 1:45 (Sliver 320)
Instructor: Mick Moloney
Provides a comprehensive introduction to the traditional and contemporary music of the Celtic areas of Western Europe: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and Galicia. Recordings and live performances present the extraordinary range of singing styles and the musical instruments employed in each culture, including harps, bagpipes, and a variety of other wind, free reed, keyboard, and stringed instruments. Forms and musical styles are explored in depth, along with a study of their origin, evolution, and cultural links.

Area of Study: Music, History, and Cultures

Seminar: Aural Perception - MUSIC-UA 193
Monday & Wednesday 2:00 - 3:15 (Silver 320)
Additional recitation section required
Instructor: J. Martin Daughtry
A broad interdisciplinary exploration of listening in musical and non-musical contexts, the course is designed to help students (a) deepen their understanding of the dynamics of listening, (b) gain an appreciation for modes of listening that have emerged around different musical styles, and (c) become more virtuosic and attentive listeners themselves. Students will learn how medical professionals, philosophers, composers, and laypeople conceptualize the act of listening. Live musicians will be invited into the classroom to make music and talk about what they heard in their own performances. During a weekly recitation, students will engage in regular listening experiments, and design experiments of their own. No prior knowledge of music is needed. This course is required for music majors, and recommended for other adventurous students with an interest in music and/or sound.

Music major introductory requirement

Music Theory I - MUSIC-UA 201 (Formerly listed on Albert as Harmony & Counterpoint I)
Section 001: Monday & Wednesday  12:30 - 1:45 (Silver 218)
Instructor: TBA
Section 004: Monday & Wednesday  9:30 - 10:45 (Silver 218)
Instructor: TBA
Additional recitation section required
Students study principles of tonal music composition including 18th- and 19th- century harmonic, formal, and contrapuntal practices. Exercises in four-part voice-leading and species counterpoint are supplemented by analyses of excerpts of music from around the world and from a variety of genres including concert and popular music. Weekly lab sections are devoted to skills in musicianship and are required throughout the sequence.

Music major introductory requirement

Music Theory III - MUSIC-UA 203 (Formerly listed on Albert as Harmony & Counterpoint III)
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30-4:45 (Silver 218)
Instructor: TBA
Analysis of music of the late 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and the creation of imitative compositional models based on works studied as well as on principles acquired earlier in the sequence. Additional topics will include whole-tone and octatonic scale systems, atonality, serialism, and an introduction to post-modern and spectral techniques. Weekly lab sections are devoted to skills in musicianship and are required throughout the sequence.

Area of Study: Sonic Art

Special Studies: Computer Music Theory and Techniques - MUSIC-UA 901.001 (MUSIC-UA 170)
Monday & Wednesday 11:00-12:15 (Waverly 365)
Instructor: Jaime Oliver
This course introduces students to the general theory of digital sound signals, and the techniques to synthesize and transform them. The main objective of the course is to create the skills that allow students to design and program computer music applications, compositions, and art works. The open source programming language Pure Data (Pd) is introduced and taught extensively, though these techniques can be programmed in any programming language. Broadly, the course includes the following topics: sampling theorum and sine waves; samples, reading/writing arrays; additive synthesis; filters and subtractive synthesis; frequency shifting, and amplitude and frequency modulation; delays, pitch-shifting, and reverb; and brief introductions, to video and graphics in GEM, MIDI interfacing, and physical computing. At the end of this course, the student should be able to use Pd to replicate classic devices such as synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and effects processors, as well as design their own interactive music systems.

Area of Study: Sonic Art

Special Studies: Opera - Production, Performance, Pleasure and Profit - MUSIC-UA 901.002
Wednesday 3:30-6:00 (Waverly 268)
Instructor: Suzanne Cusick (with special guest-star Cori Ellison, Dramaturg, Glyndebourne Opera Festival)
How do the desires for profit or pleasure from musical experiences drive decisions about musical production and performance in the "classical music" world? How can considering the convergence of economics and aesthetics influence the way we who produce, perform, or consume music in that world understand our musical experience?

This course will address these questions through studying the production of Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de loin (2000) at the Metropolitan Opera. (This will be only the second opera composed by a woman ever to be staged by the Met: the last was Dame Ethel Smyth's Der Wald in 1903.) We will prepare ourselves to think critically about the production using such traditional academic approaches as listening; study of the opera's score, libretto and literary sources; viewing representative video productions; and discussion of the opera's multiple engagements with gender, sexuality, violence and difference. We will prepare ourselves to think about this production as economic acts with aesthetic (and political?) consequences by interviewing artistic workers at the Met who have made crucial financial and artistic decisions (staging, costuming, casting, interpretations of key roles, etc.), and who will be involved in the string performances. Student term projects will contribute to the critical literature by articulating interpretations that take into account the economics, politics and practicalities that inform live performance.

Area of Study: Music, History, Cultures

Special Studies: Music and Intermedia - MUSIC-UA 901.003

Tuesday & Thursday 11:00-12:15 (Silver 218)
Instructor: Brigid Cohen
"Intermedia" describes art forms that emerge at the boundaries of existing media. This course explores a number of exemplary "intermedia" art practices (with a special emphasis on Weimar Germany and mid-century New York) while guiding students in the formulation of their own intermedial projects. Toward this end, we will also incorporate assignments related to the Charlottte Moorman exhibit at NYU's Grey Art Gallery.

Advanced Course