Nonmajors Summer Classes 2018

GEN MUS 170-0-20

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Jenna Harmon
6-week session, June 25 – August 4
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

This course will focus on Western art music, or “classical” music, in order to ask larger questions about the role of music in culture. By studying instrumental, vocal, and theatrical genres from the Medieval period to the present day, students will learn what to expect from the symphony, the opera, or a chamber work, among many other genres. As you develop listening skills, you will also acquire a vocabulary for talking about specific aspects of musical works, allowing you to describe not only music from the past, but also music being made today. Additionally, students will learn about the interaction of culture and politics which gave rise to many of the works under discussion. Students should come to class ready to discuss the assigned readings and musical examples. Regular reading and listening quizzes will be given, as well as a comprehensive midterm and final exam. Students will also be required to attend one concert, about which they will provide a short review.

Distribution credit: VI. Literature and Fine Arts


GEN MUS 175-0-20

Special Topics in Music Literature – Stolen Songs: Parody to Piracy
Instructor: Stephen Hudson
6-week session, June 25 – August 4
TTh, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
RCMA 1-160

This course is an introduction to the history of popular music through the ethical questions raised by sampling, imitation, and copyright infringement. Examing cases from Elvis’s emulation of Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’s sampling of Marvin Gaye, from the Beatles’ early cover songs to internet piracy, we will explore questions like: What makes a musical composition original? Who can profit from a “traditional” song? Can a DJ spinning records be a “live” performance, and do they have to pay royalties like a radio station? Who really owns and profits from commercial popular music? What’s the difference between stealing and fair use, and how have those ideas changed over time? Each class meeting will focus on a different moment of theft in pop music history, which across the quarter will illustrate how changes in recording technologies, music industry practices, and cultural attitudes towards originality and authenticity came together to shape the careers and the music of the most famous and beloved musicians of the 20th century. The stage will be set in each class by an excerpt of scholarly research, but the main show will be a diverse mix of newspaper articles, television interviews, blog posts, album reviews, legal proceedings, and music recordings themselves. The culmination of the course will be a paper in which students examine the stakes and outcome of an act of musical larceny. Music expertise is not required.

Distribution credit: VI. Literature and Fine Arts

Visit CAESAR