Fall 2021 Undergraduate Courses
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Department of Music
Fall 2021 Undergraduate Course Offerings
For a complete listing of course descriptions, please see Cornell Courses of Study Catalog: http://courses.cornell.edu/
For a complete listing of Fall 2021 times and courses please see Cornell Course and Room Roster: https://classes.cornell.edu/browse/roster/FA21
Music Majors may enhance the following courses with additional content and an extra credit by enrolling concurrently in MUSIC 3901, in which case the course may requirement: MUSIC 2244
Performance course information is available at https://music.cornell.edu/performance
Music 1100: Elements of Musical Notation
E. Lyon. Section 1: 9/1 to 9/29 Section 2: 10/22 to 11/17 MWF 8:00-8:50
This four-week course, given twice in the semester (starting on the 2nd and 8th weeks), fulfills the requirement of basic pitch, rhythm, and score-reading skills needed for some introductory courses and 2000-level courses with prerequisites. 1 credit (4 weeks)
Music 1101: Elements of Music
S. Pond. (LA-AS) MW 10:10-11:00
Have you ever wondered: is there music in outer space? what is music’s "deep history"? how do we know music when we hear it? why does it make us want to dance? does it also make us "civilized"? and how do cultural, technological, and economic forces shape why we listen, when we listen, and what we listen to? Elements of Music offers the opportunity to think about all these questions (and more) through a wide variety of hands-on musical activities: experimenting with instruments, recording and manipulating sounds from the world around us, examining medieval musical books, dancing the Twist, Sweatin’ to the Oldies, improvising, singing, and above all, listening to music from around the world. 3 credits.
Music 1421: Introduction to Computer Music
K. Ernste. (LA-AS) T 1-2:15
A composition-based introduction to computer hardware and software for digital sound and media. Fundamentals of audio, synthesis, sequencing, and other techniques for electronic music production. Each student creates several short compositions. 3 credits
Music 2101: Theory, Materials and Techniques I
L. Shuster. (LA-AS) MTWRF 9:05-9:55
Prerequisite: basic ability to read/write music, to sing/play an instrument, and to navigate the keyboard (advanced skills not necessary), as evaluated by diagnostic exam (administered in first class meeting of semester) and/or instructor permission. Some students might be expected to take MUSIC 1105 in the Spring before returning to MUSIC 2101 the following Fall.
Study of the foundations of tonal music as manifested primarily in the Western literate tradition, also incorporating examples from various vernacular idioms. The course combines modern pedagogical methods with the study of historical sources and focuses on active learning at the keyboard. Topics to be covered include rudiments such as scales and triads; melodic and harmonic principles; voice-leading strategies and schemata; species counterpoint; improvisation, including techniques of embellishment; rhythm, meter, and gesture. During sections, the concepts and skills introduced in lecture will be practiced at the keyboard as well as vocally. Other section activities include elements of musicianship (aural skills, intervallic production and identification, rhythmic accuracy and fluency, etc.); transcription; sight singing; and score reading. 4 credits.
Music 2111: Songwriting
A. Lewandowski. (LA-AS) MW 2:45-4
Songwriting introduces students to the practice of songwriting through workshop-formatted classes. We will explore the ingredients of song (lyrics, melody, delivery, harmony, rhythm, form, texture, timbre, and arrangement) through analysis, composition, recording technologies, performance, and concert reports. Proficiency on one or more musical instruments is required. Songwriting can be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of the Songwriting sequence with Collaborative Songwriting. 3 credits
Music 2207: History of Western Music I
E. Lyon. (HB) (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS) (CU-ITL) MW 11:25-12:40
A survey of Western music and its social contexts from the beginning of notation (circa 900) to 1700. Topics include sacred chant, secular song, polyphony, madrigals, early opera, and the development of independent instrumental music. The course emphasizes listening and comprehension of genres and styles, and is intended for music majors and qualified nonmajors. 4 credits.
Music 2244: The Music, Art, and Technology of the Organ
A. Richards, D. Yearsley. (HB) (ALC-AS, HST-AS, LA-AS) (CU-ITL) TR 9:40-10:55
The organ is an interdisciplinary wonder where mechanics, architecture, acoustics, religion, philosophy, literature, as well as the musical arts and sciences meet. This course uses the organ to explore music's relation to technology, history and culture, and in turn traces the technical and mechanical mysteries, and expressive possibilities, of the 'King of Instruments' across its long history. Students will gain 1) an understanding of some key aspects of musical history and repertoire; 2) a sense for the historical relation between music and technology; 3) a new knowledge of (and enthusiasm for!) the organ; and 4) an insight into the ways in which musical instruments and the musical practice associated with them are cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. With a key focus on the music of J. S. Bach, as well as on the reception of Bach's music in the 19th and 20th centuries, topics include the mechanics of organ construction, the North German organ art and the toccata, virtuosity and the use of the feet, the symphonic organ in the 19th century, 20th-century experimentation with organ sound, the organ and film. The course combines lectures with practical studio-style sessions at Cornell's four superb organs, and unprecedented access to those instruments. No prior musical experience necessary, although those interested (and with some keyboard skills) will have the opportunity to learn to play – with both hands and feet. 3 credits.
New Course! Music 2290: You Have Terrible Taste in Music
B. Piekut. (LA-AS)(ALC-AS, SCD-AS) TR 1-2:15
What does it mean to have "good taste" in music? Where does the idea come from, and how has it changed historically? Who has the power to decide which music is good and which is terrible? What makes an expert? Does expertise mean anything in assessing the "value" of different musics? And how does aesthetic expertise interact with other systems of power and identity? Why do people love some genres and hate others? Why does a "guilty pleasure" involve guilt at all? How do we explain our most basic aesthetic attachments? We will examine these questions by reading and discussing texts by philosophers, historians, journalists, musicologists, and sociologists on taste and cultural authority. 3 credits.
Music 2320: Latino Music in the US
A. Madrid. (CA-AS)(CU-ITL) MW 1-2:15
Music and dance cultures have been central topics of study in the development of Chicano studies, Puerto Rican studies, and Latino studies in general. From Americo Paredes to Frances Aparicio and from Jose Limon to Deborah Pacini-Hernandez, focusing on music and embodied culture through sound has allowed scholars to engage the wide variety of cultural experiences of the different ethnic groups usually described with the term "Latino". Taking this scholarship as a point of departure, this class offers a survey of Latino music in the U.S. as a window into the political, cultural and social that struggles Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Brazilians, Colombians, and Central Americans have gone through while becoming hyphenated (Eg. Mexican-American, Cuban American, etc) or not, and into how these processes have continually challenged and enriched mainstream notions of "American identity". 3 credits.
Music 2341: Gamelan in Indonesian History and Cultures
C. Miller. (GB) (LA-AS) MWF 1:25-2:15
No previous knowledge of musical notation or performance experience necessary.
This course combines hands-on instruction in gamelan, Indonesia's most prominent form of traditional music, and the academic study of the broader range of music found in contemporary Indonesia, including Western-oriented and hybrid popular forms. Students thus engage with music directly, and use it as a lens to examine the myriad social and cultural forces that shape it, and that are shaped by it. 3 credits
Music 2440: Shaping Sound I: An Introduction to Experimentation in Sound and Composition
M. Papalexandri-Alexandri. (CA-AS) TR 2:45-4
A hands-on introduction course to experimentation in sound art and composition. Our main focus will be on the use of everyday sounds and materials in the context of musical composition. We will investigate the process of creating new work from the gathering of materials to extended forms of musical notation. We will experiment with creating, manipulating and transforming sounds using notations and guided improvisations to create forms of interacting, listening, musical textures, and structures. We will also explore notions of time, approaches to musical notation, and the symbolic representation of sound. As part of this course, we will study influential compositions and artworks from the 20th century to the present day, as starting points for discussions on form, concept, and compositional method. 3 credits.
Music 3112: Jazz Theory and Improvisation II
P. Merrill. (LA-AS) MW 2:45-4
Prerequisite: MUSIC 3111 or permission of instructor.
Continuation of jazz theory, technique, and applied skills. 3 credits.
Music 3122: Conducting
M. Di Russo. (LA-AS, ALC-AS) MW 2:45-4
This course introduces fundamentals of conducting including: gesture and movement; score reading, analysis, and interpretation; rehearsal procedures; and historical practices. Students will explore these topics in both instrumental and choral contexts. 3 credits.
Music 3141: Composers Toolbox I
E. Ogonek. (LA-AS, ALC-AS) MW 1-2:15
The Composer’s Toolbox is a two-semester sequence of courses that equips undergraduates with the skills and techniques they need to write music in a variety of styles and idioms, both tonal and otherwise. While a modicum of theoretical knowledge is required, the emphasis throughout the sequence is on the practical applications of that knowledge via both composition and the analysis of repertoire: students will learn through doing.
The first semester of the sequence focuses on harmony and counterpoint, which can also be understood in terms of verticality and horizontality. Topics will include the ordering of these dimensions via various methods, including intervallic criteria and set theory. Students will learn how to analyze smaller forms and how to assemble phrases, from the smallest module to extended melodies. By the end of the semester, students will have become closely acquainted with representative examples of musical repertoire from the eighteenth century to the present day. They will also have composed a small-scale piece for chamber ensemble, which will be performed live in class. Along the way, they will learn how to notate their music digitally (via the software Sibelius). 4 credits
New Course! Music 3212: Seminar in Music Research
D. Yearsley. (CA-AS)(ALC-AS) TR 2:45-4
This course welcomes Music Majors engaged in an honors project, as well as other students interested in pursuing a scholarly study outside of honors. In a welcoming workshop setting we will develop important research skills: defining and refining a topic; producing a bibliography; evaluating source materials; reviewing the scholarly literature; crafting a thesis statement; writing abstracts; using libraries; navigating archives and on-line resources; making use of recorded sound and visual materials; producing persuasive, lucid prose; presenting your work to others. All kinds of projects can be pursued in this seminar: historical studies; critical engagements; performance projects enriched by scholarship—or combinations of these and other approaches. 4 credits.
New Course! Music 3302: Rhythm and Blues to Funk: Black Popular Music Before Hip Hop
S. Pond. TR 9:40-10:55
In this course, we’ll investigate the various sounds of black popular music in the post-World War II period, its antecedents, interactions with other popular musics, and influences on later developments, principally to the mid-1970s. The historical focus of the course locates rhythm & blues (R&B) as both a personal/interactive expression and as an expression of culture; our investigation, therefore, encompasses style history in light of how R&B affects, and is affected by, notions of ethnicity, class, nationalism, racial politics, aesthetics, gender, and genre. Throughout, we will focus our inquiry through listening to historical recordings. We’ll investigate what has changed over time and try to understand why. To do this, we’ll study writings about music by musicians and non-musicians, study developments in music production and marketing, experience the music hands-on, and do research to add to the body of literature on rhythm-and-blues. 4 credits.
New Course! Music 3317: Music in the Making and Unmaking of Race
D. Hawkins. (CA-AS) (ALC-AS) TR 11:25-12:40
How do music, sound, and listening practices construct race? Conversely, how might we critically understand those moments when, in experiences of music, we feel race and other divisions temporarily melt away? What would it take to unmake race for real? Would we even want to? This course seeks answers in everyday experiences like urban noise and voice-overs that racialize nonhuman movie characters, and also in texts by scholars and radical decolonial and abolitionist activists. Our goals will be, first, to build critical awareness of race’s own geographic and historical embeddedness, inner logics, and sonic manifestations; and second, to consider when, how, and why race might cease to be, and what the role of sound might be in its unmaking. 3 credits.
Music 3431: Sound Design
W. Cross. (LA-AS) MW 9:05-11:00
Prerequisite: some experience with audio/video recording or editing recommended. Permission of instructor required.
Covering the basics of digital audio, bioacoustics, psychoacoustics and sound design, as they apply to theatre, film and music production. Students create soundscapes for text and moving image using ProTools software. 3 credits.
Music 3490: Hip Hop in Global Perspective
C. Appert. (CA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS) (CU-ITL) T 2:40-5:10
This course examines hip hop's historic development in the United States and its global spread to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. We will explore how youth throughout the world increasingly draw on U.S. hip hop to address their own experiences of marginality, exploitation, and displacement, localizing the music in ways that potentially complicate dominant models of cultural globalization. 3 credits.
Music 4181: Psychology of Music
C. L. Krumhansl (KCM-AS) TR 2:45-4
Prerequisite: a psychology course on perception or cognition and MUSIC 2101 or equivalent. Co-meets with PSYCH 6180. Credit varies depending on whether student elects to do independent project.
Covers the major topics in the psychology of music treated from a scientific perspective. Presents recent developments in the cognitive science of music, including perception and memory for pitch and rhythm, performing music, the relationship between music and language, musical abilities in infants, emotional responses, and the cognitive neuroscience of music. 3-4 credits.
New Course! Music 4233: Music Aesthetics and Criticism: Sensation, Sympathy and Theories of Touch c. 1800
A. Richards. (CA-AS)(ALC-AS) M 1:30-4:30
This seminar explores the aesthetics of musical touch, especially at the keyboard, from the late 18th century to the present. We will examine how sensibility and sympathy, performance and material culture, instruments and bodies, are figured in terms of touch and touching. Readings include C. P. E. Bach on keyboard practice and Diderot on sympathetic vibration, German romantic fiction, contemporary theory of sensibility, physiology, and new materialism, and visual materials including hand casts, photography, and film. Topics include clavichords and sympathetic vibration; glass harmonicas and physiology of the nervous system; 19th-century technologies of touch and the fetishization of the disciplined hand; and the absent or fantastic touch and its relation to music-making at early 20th-century electronic instruments. 4 credits.
Revised! Music 4270: Minimalism
B. Piekut. (LA-AS, ALC-AS) W 1:30-4:30
Minimalism emerged in the early 1960s in a tight interdisciplinary configuration among music, sculpture, film, and dance. It has been understood as an investigation into, variously, the relationship between frequency and rhythm, apperception over expression, collaborative authorship or anonymity, the creative possibilities of magnetic tape, and reduced compositional materials. Music-specific descriptions might highlight drones, pulses, consonance, just intonation, and non-western metric systems. This upper-level seminar will touch on all of these claims about minimalism, as well as the social and political conditions of its appearance. Artists will include La Monte Young, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Tony Conrad, Terry Riley, Terry Jennings, CC Hennix, Robert Morris, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Julius Eastman, and Eliane Radigue. 4 credits.
Music 4340: Fieldwork Methods in Ethnomusicology
C. Appert. (SBA-AS, SSC-AS) R 1:30-4:30
Although ethnographic fieldwork is often touted as the hallmark of ethnomusicological research, it is sometimes unclear what distinguishes certain music scholarship as "ethnographic" to begin with. Does conducting interviews render a study ethnographic? Is participant observation in a band or performance ensemble an effective research method? This class introduces and problematizes primary methodologies in ethnomusicological research, taking into consideration the relations of power that determine the subjects, processes and products of that research. It places foundational ethnomusicological texts and contemporary ethnographies of music and performance in dialogue with a broader body of critical scholarship on ethnographic methods, including interviewing, field recording, participant observation, and hanging out. Students will test and critically evaluate these methods as they design and conduct fieldwork projects in the local community and workshop those projects in class. 4 credits.