Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

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Department of Music
Spring 2022 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 Spring 2022 times and courses please see Cornell Course and Room Roster: https://classes.cornell.edu/browse/roster/SP22

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 2221, 2311, 2330

Performance course information is available at https://music.cornell.edu/performance

Music 1100: Elements of Musical Notation

Staff.   Section 1: 1/31 to 2/25    Section 2: 3/16 to 4/18   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 1105: Building Musical Skills

J. Spinazzola. (LA-AS, ALC-AS)  MW 12:25-1:15

This course is designed to develop and strengthen your fundamental musical skills through embodied music interaction. You will compose, improvise, listen, and perform. You will use fundamental musical materials such as chords, melodies, and rhythms, and learn to notate music with accepted systems and describe it with appropriate terminologies. Using your voice, the keyboard, and other instruments, you will stimulate your creativity, refine your listening skills, and put your ideas into practice. The course will address music-making from a diverse set of cultures and traditions, and the skills you acquire will be transferrable to a wide range of applications. 3 credits.

Music 1202: Classical Music from 1750 to the Present

Z. Weiss. (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS) (CU-ITL)  MWF 10:10-11:00

What is “classical” music anyways? And how does its history get told? This course examines the past 250 years of European and American art music through an American-centric perspective to explore how musical meaning changes between contexts and over time. Through a series of case studies that showcase the shifting cultural contexts surrounding the production and reception of music, we’ll think critically about music’s composition, circulation, reception, and politics, while considering the place of jazz and popular music in the “classical canon.” The course emphasizes close listening and students will increase their fluency in speaking and writing about music. 3 credits

Music 1212: Music on the Brain

R. Hoy, A. Lewandowski. (CA-AS, ALC-AS)  MW 11:25-12:40

We will explore How and Why music “works” from neurocognitive perspectives and from music analysis and its elements.  We will examine music you feel deeply about as well as the music of “Others,” including world music and animal communication signals.  You will also compose musical examples of your own. Instructor consent required. 3 credits

Music 1466: Physics of Musical Sound

K. Selby. (PBS-AS, PHS-AS)   MWF 1:30-2:20

This course explores the physics of musical sound. How and what do our ears hear? How does that determine the kinds of sounds we find pleasant and not so pleasant? How is sound generated by strings, pipes, and plates, and what determines the characteristics – pitch, timbre, attack, consonance, or dissonance – of that sound? How do the major families of musical instruments (string, wind, reed, brass, percussion) and specific examples (violin, guitar, piano, flute, oboe, trumpet, chimes, pipe organ) work, and how does that affect how they are played and the sounds they produce? How do we generate sound when we sing, and how does that vary in different kinds of singing? What makes for a good concert hall or listening space? These are explained using physical and mathematical concepts including vibrations, standing waves, harmonic series, beats, spectra, and logarithms, and illustrated using demonstrations, audio clips, and musical selections from a wide variety of genres. This course is a Writing In The Majors course: both science writing and physics problem-solving skills are developed through weekly assignments. Student activities include hands-on investigations of musical instruments and field trips. At the level of The Science of Sound by Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler. 3 credits  

Music 2102: Theory, Materials and Techniques II

L. Shuster. (LA-AS, ALC-AS)  MWF 9:05-9:55

Prerequisite: MUSIC 2101. Intended for students expecting to major in music and other qualified students.

Theory, Materials, and Techniques II surveys tonal music as conceived and practiced throughout late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe. The course combines modern pedagogical methods with the study of relevant historical sources and incorporates active learning at the keyboard. Topics to be covered include the analysis of form and genre; advanced techniques of modulation; transformational theory and other approaches to the configuration of diatonicism and chromaticism; and the relationship of words and music in nineteenth-century song. During section meetings, the concepts and skills introduced in lecture will be practiced at the keyboard as well as vocally. Other topics to be covered in sections include advanced aural skills; sight singing; score reading; and the improvisation of preludes. 4 credits.

Music 2112: Collaborative Songwriting

A. Lewandowski. (LA-AS, ALC-AS)   MW 2:45-4:00

Collaborative 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) in diverse collaborative contexts through analysis, composition, recording technologies, performance, and concert reports. Proficiency on one or more musical instruments is required. Collaborative Songwriting can be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of the Songwriting sequence. 3 credits.

Music 2201: Introduction to Music Studies

B. Piekut. (CA-AS, ALC-AS) (CU-ITL)   MW 8:05-9:20

This course introduces students to the study of music as an expression of history and culture by examining the ways in which music creates meaning, knowledge, archives, and identities. Musical examples will be drawn from a broad range of styles, chronological periods, and geographical locations; and students will engage with live performance as well as various forms of recorded music and mediated performance.  Along with considering music as sound, the course will examine different modalities of writing about music—journalistic, academic, and creative—and we will think about how these musical texts, and those that the students produce, function to situate music as discourse. The course will develop critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills. 4 credits.

Music 2221: Bach and Handel 

D. Yearsley. (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS)(CU-ITL) TR 9:40-10:55

Born within weeks of one another in 1685, their birthplaces less than one hundred miles apart in the forests of central Germany, George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach composed extraordinary music spanning the gamut of human experience and grappling with fundamental human concerns (love, death, duty, happiness) with an expressive power that has never been surpassed. Handel was one of the great cosmopolitans of the eighteenth century and his life and works offer a panorama of European baroque culture. Bach by contrast spent his entire life in the region of his birth; yet his music demonstrates a miraculous awareness of the greater world beyond Germany. In this course students will encounter vocal and instrumental masterpieces by each composer taken from opera, the church, the court, and the home; we will explore the meanings of these works in their own time and their continued vibrancy in the twenty-first century. 3 credits

Music 2311:  The Art and Craft of Music Journalism

D. Yearsley. (LA-AS, ALC-AS)  TR 2:45-4:00

This workshop in music journalism will sharpen your prose, your mind, and your tongue. We’ll read the work of great journalists of the past and present who’ve written ardently and unforgettably about music— Joseph Addison, Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Griffiths, Greil Marcus, Stanley Crouch, and Alex Ross, among others. Thus inspired, we’ll dive into the vibrant musical scene of Cornell and beyond, each participant writing weekly pieces for the class blog, whose title and format will be determined by class members. In the course of the semester each student will accumulate a substantial portfolio of journalism, and stroke a love of writing about music. 3 credits

Music 2330: Music in and of East Asia 

C. Miller. (GB) (CA-AS, ALC-AS)(CU-ITL)  MWF 11:20-12:10

This course explores the breadth of music found in present day China, Japan, and Korea–from indigenous musical traditions, through adaptations of Western art music, up to the latest popular styles–as well as the presence of traditional East Asian musics outside East Asia, including right here at Cornell. In both cases, music offers a lens for examining the myriad social and cultural forces that shape it, and that are shaped by it. The course’s academic focus on critical reading and listening, written assignments, and discussion is complemented by hands-on workshops and demonstrations with student-led ensembles. 3 credits

Music 2421: Computers in Music Performance

K. Ernste.(LA-AS, ALC-AS)  TR 1:00-2:15

Prerequisite: MUSIC 1421 or permission of instructor.

A course exploring strategies and techniques for live musical performance and real-time, interactive sound manipulation with computers. 3 credits

Music 2703: Thinking Media

E. Born. (CA-AS, ALC-AS)  MWF 12:25-1:15

From hieroglyphs to HTML, ancient poetry to audiotape, and Plato’s cave to virtual reality, “Thinking Media” offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the most influential media formats of the last three millennia. Featuring an array of guests from across Cornell, including faculty from Communication, Comparative Literature, German Studies, Information Science, Literatures in English, Music, and Performing & Media Arts, the course will present diverse perspectives on how to think with, against, and about media in relation to the public sphere and private life, archaeology and science fiction, ethics and aesthetics, identity and difference, labor and play, knowledge and power, expression and surveillance, and the generation and analysis of data. 3 credits.

Music 3324: Singing from the Heart: Choral Music and the Human Experience

A. Steppler. MW 2:45-4:00

The vibrant sound of a choir singing against an orchestra has thrilled listeners for centuries. Confronting extremes of human emotion, choral works encourage a complex response in their listeners, inviting us to hear them as universal expressions of joy, love, tragedy, death. Yet what might an eighteenth-century German work about the Crucifixion say to a twentieth-century American response to a lynching? How do we listen to a contemporary work by a woman that confronts life in the new millennium alongside a work written by a man at the dawn of the “modern world” in 1610? Imaginative listening, across historical and stylistic periods, will let us explore the genre, and question music’s ability to speak across nation, race, gender, and religion. [Note: Ability to read music is useful but not essential for this course; interested students are encouraged to get in touch to discuss this if concerned ] 3 credits.

Music 3422: Perform It Yourself

P. Louilarpprasert  TR 11:25-12:40

Inspired by the phrase “do it yourself” (DIY), Perform it Yourself (PIY) will train students from any background to make performances by utilizing their individual skills through theatrical presentation and new composition. The course offers the history and technique of contemporary, performance-based works; students will develop their own solo and group projects, including: 1) performance laboratory: students will perform theatrical works including Mauricio Kagel’s Staatstheater, Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit book, Nitibhon’s Live Around, Louilarpprasert’s Smelly Tubes and more; and 2) PIY compositions: students will compose new pieces and organize their own performances during the semester. The course will also provide topics including the analysis of theatrical/inventive notation, music and multimedia, technology in composition, and experimental art performance. 4 credits.

Music 3431: Sound Design

W. Cross. (LA-AS, ALC-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. (DE) 3 credits.

Music 4121: Advanced Conducting

M. Di Russo. (LA-AS, ALC-AS)   MW 1:00-2:15

Intended to give students more experience with score study, rehearsal techniques and conducting vocabulary through weekly feedback, conducting and class discussion. Advanced conducting will continue topics covered in basic conducting(3121). Ear training in the context of being able to hear the score will be an integral part of the course. will be Basic knowledge of beat patterns and gestural vocabulary will be assumed and students will explore conducting in the orchestral, band, choral and mixed media. 4 credits.

Music 4341: Writing Musical Ethnography

C. Appert. (CA-AS, ALC-AS)  W 1:30-4:30

This seminar examines the role of ethnographic writing in musical anthropology, exploring how ethnographic knowledge is produced, authorized, and consumed. It critically interrogates ethnography’s generic conventions, probing its relation to travel writing, memoir, poetry, and fiction, and engaging narrative, experimental, reflexive and auto- ethnography. Drawing on performance studies, it considers the textuality of musical events and weighs the particular challenges, possibilities, and limitations of writing ethnographically about sound, music, and movement. In doing so, it explores the temporality and spatiality of ethnographic writing, engages related critiques of the so-called ethnographic present, and considers issues of representation and subjectivity. Students will approach these questions through critical readings in anthropology and ethnomusicology as well as through weekly workshopping of their own writing.4 credits.

Music 4440: FutureSound

E. Ogonek, R. McCullough.   M 1:30-4:30

FutureSounds is an upper level undergraduate and graduate level course co-taught by Elizabeth Ogonek and Ryan McCullough that will serve as a multidisciplinary cross-arts lab for composers, instrumentalists, technologists, poets, dancers and other artists. The course emphasizes the dialogue between past and future, and focuses on Cornell's extensive collection of historical instruments (from krumhorns to clavichords to Moog synthesizers), as well as a collection of newly built 13- and 17-tet fretted instruments. The course will be split into three strands: 1) in the Seminar, students will develop critical approaches to alternative tuning systems, notation, performance practice, timbre, as well as relevant musical figures/works/collaborations (i.e. Harry Partch, Bjork/John Cavatorta, Liam Byrne, and others); 2) in the Keyboard Lab students will work to develop an automatic mechanism, "The Harmonic Arm," that mutes harmonic nodes on piano strings; 3) in the Performance Lab, students will test drive their developing pieces. FutureSounds culminates in the ReSounds MicroFestival, a public showcase for new works created throughout the semester. 4 credits.

Music 4667: Sonic Remains: Media, Performance, and Material Culture

M. Zuazu Bermejo. (LA-AS, ALC-AS) T 11:20-1:15

Sonic Remains investigates how music/sound are mobilized to negotiate the passage of time, as well as how, by enduring and being retrieved through bodies, objects, and media formats, they challenge the pastness of the past. The course familiarizes students with key approaches to the material culture of music and sonic media, as well as with questions that animate critical thinking about the presence of the past across the disciplines. In addition to scholarship, we will consider how work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Allora & Calzadilla, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Susan Schuppli, Lourdes Portillo, or Nadine Robinson, among other artists, intervenes in these questions (and remains). Topics include the sonic afterlives of imperial projects, sonic memorials, electronic waste, audio reenactments and revivals in living history, knowledge-production, and performance practices. 4 credits