African American Music, History, and Culture – Foundations
A survey course that investigates and analyzes the musical response by Africans in America to the social, political, psychological, and historical conditions that inspired various African American musical forms, including slave utterances, chants, moans, cries of deliverance, Negro spirituals, hymns, gospel, ragtime, jazz, soul, rhythm music, protest music, the blues, black disco, and hip-hop. These sacred and secular musical forms remain the most effective vehicles chronicling human expression, documenting the systemic conditions of human bondage, the survival of faith and hope, and the reaffirmation of the African aesthetic.
Concert Music after 1945
A survey course offering an overview of musical trends that have dominated concert music since World War II, with emphasis on symphonic and chamber music. Recent trends including minimalism, post-Webern serialism, chance and indeterminacy, electronic music, world music, neoromanticism, avant-garde experimentalism, multimedia, and others will be discussed. Pieces by composers John Adams, Takemitsu, Stockhausen, Penderecki, Schnittke, Torke, Cage, Feldman, Harbison, Xenakis, Reich, and others will be studied and analyzed.
African American Music, History, and Culture – Contemporary Connections
This course focuses on the indelible impact the African musical and cultural aesthetic has had on the formation of America's contemporary music soundtrack and popular culture. The course closely examines the intersection of race, class, and gender as it pertains to the emergence of different sounds, including Atlantic, Philly, Stax, Motown, and Buddha, as well as gospel music in traditions such as Baptist, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, and the holiness movement. The course will also focus specifically on those African American musical artists who responded musically to the civil rights movement.
History of Music in the European Tradition
In this course, students will explore the art music of Europe and the United States. The course will address such important trends as the evolution of counterpoint, the birth of opera, and the emergence of post-tonal compositional practices, using a selection of repertoire spanning the Middle Ages to the present. Students will finish the course with a clear understanding of how the poly stylistic music of the twenty-first century has evolved from past practices. Additionally, students will develop a greater understanding of how other cultural forces have shaped musical practice in the West.