Nonmajors Summer Classes 2023

GEN MUS 170-0-1

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Daniel Atwood
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

This course is designed to provide students with the foundational tools and vocabulary to critically engage with a variety of kinds of music. Surveying a diverse assortment of musical traditions ranging from classical to popular, we will consider music in its historic and present cultural contexts and develop a working familiarity with the stylistically appropriate terminology of musical description and analysis. Assignments include topical quizzes, short written assignments, and a final project/exam. No musical training is assumed or required.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be made available through CANVAS.


GEN MUS 175-0-1

Special Topics: Introduction to Global Music
Instructor: Sarah Bartolome
3-week session, June 20 – July 9
MTWThF, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
RCMA LL-121

This course will introduce students to a variety of music-making traditions from around the world. During class, students will engage in discussion based on readings, participate in listening activities, and interact with local culture bearers. Workshop sessions will also provide students with an opportunity to participate in some of the traditions being studied. Content will feature music from Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bali, Bulgaria, Brazil, Lithuania, and the United States, among others. Students will develop a deeper understanding of music as a human phenomenon and an appreciation for the diversity of musical expressions practiced in communities around the world. No prior musical experience is necessary.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be made available through CANVAS.


GEN_MUS 175-0-1

Special Topics: Chicago Soul of the 60s & 70s
Instructor: David DeAngelis
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
MW, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-164

During the 1960s and ‘70s, Chicago played a key role in the emergence of soul music, which originated in the African-American community in cities across the U.S. after World War II. Through critical listening and analysis, we will explore the history of soul – a musical fusion of blues, jazz, and gospel – and trace the development of the Chicago soul sound. While giving special attention to the music of Curtis Mayfield, Etta James, Sam Cooke, and Earth, Wind, & Fire, we will also draw connections to other artists, genres, cities, and styles. This course is open to undergraduate non-music major students with all levels of musical experience and backgrounds.

Class materials (required):
Aaron Cohen, Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power. University of Chicago Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780226653037.
Todd Mayfield with Travis Atria, Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield. Chicago Review Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780912777726.


GEN_MUS 175-0-2

Special Topics: Music and Gender
Instructor: Lena Console
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
TTh, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

Is music gendered? What do people mean when they describe “masculinity” and “femininity” in music, and how might this be problematized? How do lyrics support or subvert societal gender norms? This course examines the perception and construction of gender in music, and the gendered dynamics of music-making. We will investigate these phenomena through readings in gender studies, music theory, and musicology; podcasts; vlogs; and in-class discussion, applying the frameworks we learn to an assortment of songs, artists, and genres. Our listening and analysis will span Western art music and American popular music, considering figures such as Clara Schumann, Aretha Franklin, and Ariana Grande. A background in music or gender studies is not required. Formats for final projects will be flexible, and can include written analytic essays, video essays, autoethnographic analyses, and podcast-like interviews. By the end of the course, you will become more aware of your impressions and assumptions of gender in music; be able to articulate your own gendered experiences of musical activities; and identify gendered dynamics in various musical environments.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings and musical materials will be made available through CANVAS.


GEN_MUS 175-0-3

Special Topics: Popular Music and Society
Instructor: Jennifer Blackwell
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
MW, 10:00 - 12:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

How does music shape, enhance, and change our society? This course illustrates fundamental social institutions, theories, sociological concepts, and processes surrounding the place of popular music in society. Through explorations of popular music in a variety of contexts, including protest music in the Estonian singing revolution, hip-hop culture’s role in social change, and popular music and the socialization of children (among many others), students will develop enriched understandings of how music can enhance the study of social life. Students will be invited to connect popular music to their own interests or primary areas of study in assignments and discussion. No formal musical background is expected or required to participate in this course.

Class materials (required):
Joseph A. Kotarba, Understanding Society Through Popular Music, 3rd edition. Routledge, 2018. ISBN: 9781138806528.


GEN_MUS 175 -0-4

Special Topics: Why Classical Music?
Instructor: Vasili Byros
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
MW, 2:30-5:00 p.m.
RCMA 1-172

In this class we will examine the place of “Classical” (or Western historical) music in popular culture today, including film, television, flashmobs, YouTube and other forms of social media, as entry points for asking big questions about the relevance of these effectively “dead” musical languages of the past in today’s world. Among the questions we will ask: How is Classical music used as a resource for musical meaning and musical creativity? How and why does this music continue to speak to both the initiated and a broader public in today’s world? How does all this compare with how the music was understood in its own day? Some powerful examples the class will cover include the use of Wagner and Beethoven in Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic meditation on depression in the film Melancholia, the Japanese tradition of Daiku, with its annual performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as a ritual of spiritual rebirth at New Year, and the child prodigy composer of historical music Alma Deutscher, who has been featured on visible platforms such as 60 Minutes, Ellen, and NBC and BBC News. No prior training in music is required.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be provided by the instructor or made available through Northwestern's library system.


MUS_TECH 321-0-1

Producing in the Virtual Studio
6-week session, June 20 – July 30
TTh, 10:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
RCMA LL-121

The class will explore post-production techniques in the computer-based project studio. Software used for teaching will include Adobe Audition, ProTools, and various DSP applications and plug-ins. Students can implement concepts from class in software of their choosing. Topics include audio editing, plug-ins/effects processing, mixing, mastering, and surround sound

Class materials: No materials required for purchase.

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