Fall 2016 Graduate Seminars

Music 508 001: Musicianship, James Primosch
(meeting time to be scheduled)  

The instructor will assess each student’s abilities at the beginning of the course and will structure the curriculum accordingly, covering skills in tonal repertoires as needed. Examples of the eventual goals for the course would ideally include the ability to:

- take down two part atonal melodic dictations

- tap out the rhythms of an Elliott Carter timpani piece

- sing atonal melodies in treble or bass clefs, or tonal melodies in C clefs, 

- aurally identify the harmonies of a work by Bartok or Britten. 

- take down Bach chorales in harmonic dictations


Music 515 301:  Compositional Analysis (1900-2016), Professor Jay Reise

Tuesdays 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., room 210, Lerner Center

In-depth analysis of compositional techniques from Debussy to the present. Discussion will include extended harmony, non-tonal techniques, 12-tone, neoclassicism, non-traditional musical sources, and musical narrative. Most important, there will be analysis and discussion of the musical ideas and their effectiveness behind the techniques. There will be two papers, practice in composing is style, and class presentations.


Music 650 301:  Field Methods in Ethnomusicology, Professor Carol Muller, Thursdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Marion Anderson Seminar Room, VPL

Description:  To be Announced.


Music 700 301:  Seminar in Composition, Professor Anna Weesner, Mondays, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Room 210, Lerner Center

Description:  Two themes will inform this composition seminar: the question of short versus long form and the matter of composing for non-virtuosic forces.

 We live in the world of the three-minute song.  At the same time, we relate (to a greater or lesser extent) to a concert music tradition that often centers on long form music.  What are the musical implications of this difference?  Do the same harmonies do the same thing in short versus long unfoldings?  What dictates our formal choices as composers?

 We will explore this theme through the study of repertoire and through composing.

 We will also explore composing for Penn’s ensembles (Details TBA but hopefully involving Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz combos, Penn chamber, Arab Music Ensemble, etc.).  Each student will arrange a song (TBA; everyone will arrange the same song) for one of the ensembles and also write a short piece for a different ensemble.  Attendance at rehearsals, readings and/or performances is expected!  This part of our class will involve an encounter with adjustments that are necessary when writing for less virtuosic players and—hopefully—an encounter with the question of what musical ideas spring up when thinking about large/less usual forces?  Where does the imagination go when the boundaries are tipped in this way? 



Music 705 301:  Seminar in Ethnomusicology, Visiting Professor Noriko Manabe (Temple University), Fridays, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Room 312, Lerner Center

This workshop/seminar explores issues and frameworks for analyzing music in social movements. Students will pick a movement or activist group (past or present) that they will analyze for the duration of the course. Topics discussed  include urban space and soundscape in protests, cyberspace, festivals, the record industry, censorship, biography, the position of musicians, and textual and musical techniques such as intertextuality and metaphor. Readings will draw from literary theory, urban studies, political science, and anthropology as well as music theory and ethnomusicology. Examples will be drawn from historical and contemporary situations in the US, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Japan, with post-Fukushima protests serving as a constant example throughout the course.


Music 730 301:  Performing Opera in the Postdramatic Era, Professor Mauro Calcagno, Thursdays, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Room 312 CONF, Lerner Center 

 Performance is a term used differently within a variety of academic disciplines and human activities (theatre, anthropology, visual arts, business, sports, politics, science) signaling “a wide range of human behaviors” (Diane Taylor). In connection to an explosion of scholarship in performance studies during the last forty years (Schechner, Schneider, Worthen, Roach, Davis etc.) and, more recently, in musicology (Abbate, Cook, Opera Quarterly), we will explore the relationship between this constellation of meanings and music, focusing on theatre (esp. Shakespeare) and opera. In particular, the seminar will examine stagings of Baroque operas, paying particular attention to a set of works that are today frequently revived in opera houses worldwide, those first performed in Italy during the seventeenth century. Among the topics and concepts covered are: research and writing methodologies, agency, reconstruction and re-enactment, technology and mediation, materiality, gender, singers’ uses of body and voice, text vs. performance, editing, history and memory, and the always elusive postdramatic.


Music 740 301:  Revolutions and Music, Professor Glenda Goodman, Tuesdays, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Room 312 CONF, Lerner Center

Revolution—turnover, revolving, change—is a powerful concept in the history of music. How do we understand historical change over time when it comes to music, and what roles has music played in periods of tremendous historical change? Addressing these questions historically and conceptually, this seminar introduces students to methods, sources, and debates in historical research during the age of Atlantic world revolutions. We will use the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries as case studies for our inquiry into scholarship on music’s role in times of flux. Delving equally in the historiography of musicology and history, we will examine the significance of the discourses and practices attached to the following topics: festive culture, the public sphere, sensibility, consumerism, enlightenment, gender, and postcolonialism. A firm historical grounding permits us to assess and critique musicological investment in the idea of a revolutionary (innovative) paradigm for music creation.