Nonmajors Summer Classes 2020

Note: Summer programs and activities scheduled to begin in-person on or before July 12 will be offered remotely for the duration of the summer. Learn more in the April 23 announcement from Northwestern.

GEN MUS 170-0-1

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Nathan Reeves
6-week session, June 22 – August 2
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Combo: Synchronous and Asynchronous Meetings

This course introduces the study of music by exploring a range of musical practices, both past and present, as they are situated in broader webs of culture, society, and history. Throughout the course, we will interrogate the values that are attached to different types of music and the various filters that affect how we listen. By doing so, we will seek to challenge our preconceptions of what music is, while also working to develop listening skills and a critical vocabulary with which to describe our musical experiences. Class meetings will consist of guided discussions of assigned readings and listening examples, and assignments will include topical quizzes, journals, and a series of short essays.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be available as PDFs on CANVAS.


GEN MUS 170-0-2

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Kyle Kaplan
5-week session, July 27 – August 30
MWF, 1:00-3:00pm
Combo: Synchronous and Asynchronous Meetings

This course develops listening skills and critical vocabulary in order to refine the ways we write and talk about music. To introduce these methods, we will revisit canonical works of 19th- and 20th-century art music alongside examples from today’s musical landscape. Comparing these periods, we will explore the affective and technical challenges of describing music and consider the continuing legacy of Romantic and Modernist musical aesthetics on our contemporary sensibilities as listeners. Class time will be spent discussing assigned listening and readings, listening as a group, and practicing oral and written description skills.

Class materials (required):  No materials required for purchase.  Assigned reading and other materials will be available on CANVAS.


GEN_MUS 175-0-1

Special Topics: Understanding Popular Music
Instructor: Fred Hosken
6-week session, June 22 – August 2
TTh, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Combo: Synchronous and Asynchronous Meetings

The goal of this course is to enable students who may have little to no musical training to communicate meaningfully about popular music (pop, rock, funk, hip hop, EDM, etc.). Students will learn how to articulate their intuitions and opinions about music and develop new insights through acquiring a variety of analytic tools and critical listening skills. By developing active listening techniques, engaging with academic and journalistic readings, and conducting a variety of hands-on analysis projects, this course will provide a toolbox of analytic and critical skills that will enable students to answer questions such as: What, specifically, is it about a favorite track that is so great? How have the performers achieved their signature sound? What similarities are there between these two tracks? Students with any level of musical experience and training are welcome.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be available as PDFs on CANVAS.


GEN_MUS 175-0-2

Special Topics: The Beatles
Instructor: Brandon Quarles
6-week session, June 22 – August 2
TTh, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Synchronous Meetings

For decades, the Beatles have been among the most respected and beloved bands throughout the world. But who were the Beatles, and how might they continue to be relevant today? This class aims to understand how the band developed over the course of their career, while allowing students to examine the impact music can have on society and culture. We will spend a generous amount of time with the music itself, listening to and discussing every studio album, as well as demos and previously unreleased recordings. We will look at how the compositional style of the band changed over time, with regards to lyrics, melody, harmony, instrumentation, uses of studio technology, and more. We will also use writings, interviews, and videos of the Beatles, as well as writings about the band by contemporary and current commentators/scholars, to further enhance our understanding of the group. Students’ grades will be comprised of active participation, reading and listening assignments, in-class analysis and discussion, and written work. No prior knowledge of music is required to enroll, and students who know the band’s music by heart and those who have never heard a single Beatles song are equally welcome.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be available as PDFs on CANVAS.


MUS_TECH 321-0-1

Producing in the Virtual Studio
Instructor: Chris Mercer
6-week session, June 22 – August 2
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Synchronous Meetings

The class will explore session and post-production techniques in the computer-based project studio, including accompanying hardware components. Topics include running a multi-track session, intensive audio editing, effects processing, mastering, and basic surround mixing. Students will produce audio projects of their own choosing from start to finish with the goal of creating tracks at professional standards.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase.

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