Spring 2023 Graduate Seminars

Spring 2023 Graduate Seminars

Music 6663 401.       Embodied Ethnographies
Imani Uzuri.        Wednesday 1:45p.m-4:45p.m Room TBA

Performance Art, Ritual Performance and Poetic Praxis

Led by composer, vocalist, librettist, experimental ethnographer and conceptual artist Imani Uzuri (she/they), this course will investigate embodied research modalities (from mundane to ethereal), performance praxis centering Blackness, Indigeneity, queerness and cultural practices outside of the western eurocentric gaze embedded with the politics of agency, marginality, identity, mythmaking, subversiveness and sacredness. During the semester, we will discuss practitioners of these modalities – both emerging and established, well-known and obscured –including artists such as Victoria Santa Cruz, Adrian Piper, Spider Woman Theater, Tehchieng Hsieh, Lorraine O' Grady, Marsha P. Johnson, Gladys Bentley, Ben Patterson, Aida Overton Walker, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Juliana Huxtable, Marina Abramović, Cindy Sherman, Robert Ashley, Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Allison Janae Hamilton, Sister Gertrude Morgan, David Hammons, and Carrie Mae Weems. Students will also engage Uzuri’s own ritual performances, sound art and interdisciplinary works, which often deal with themes of ancestral memory, magical realism, liminality, Black American vernacular culture, spirituality and landscape (including her/their projects Wild Cotton, Come On In The Prayer Room, Hush Arbor: Wade (1, 2 &3), The Haunting of Cambridge, I Am Here (Black Madonna) and Conjure Woman). The semester will culminate in students creating their own short ritual performances and/or experimental works using aspects of the various methodologies, healing modalities, research modes, multivalent texts and performance praxis explored throughout the semester. No performance experience is necessary. 


Music 6700 301.          Analytical and Theoretical Approaches
Anna Weesner.      Monday 145p.m-4:44 p.m Lerner Conference Room

MUSC 6700 (622): Analytical and Theoretical Approaches In spring, 2023, this course will begin with consideration of various approaches to common practice tonality and follow threads through repertoires of both concert and pop music. We’ll consider a wide range of composers and musicians, including Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Kurtag, Ligeti, Weir, Abrahamsen, Cole Porter, Janelle Monae, Billie Eilish, Mitski, among others. We will take a kind of iceberg approach—straightforward surface with greater depths lurking below—to musical topics often taken for granted, taking up basic questions of form, such as the phrase and the cadence, smaller-scale notions, such as motive, hook, theme, and gesture, and larger concerns like style analysis and questions of tonality vs. non-tonality. Harmony will be our starting place, with other parameters, especially texture and rhythm, considered as a natural part of the mix. Simple composition exercises may be deployed from time to time in the service of analytical pursuits. 



Music 7200 301.           The Sound of Music
Natacha Diels.        Tuesday 1:45p.m-4:44 p.m Lerner Conference room

This course takes a practical approach to acoustics through the study of compositions that expand upon a particular property of sound in space. Students will perform repertoire and create original works inspired or based on these existing models. The class includes a basicstudy of utilizing audio computer programs in the service of recreating existing works and creating new works.


Music 7200 302.         Seminar in Composition
Tyshawn Sorey.         Monday 5:15p.m-8:14 p.m Lerner Room 102

Seminar in selected compositional problems, with emphasis on written projects. Additional information will be forth coming.

Questions can be directed to Professor Sorey: tsorey@sas.upenn.edu


Music 7320 401.        Opera as Theater, Object, and Script
Mauro Calcagno.     Friday 1:45p.m-4:44 p.m Lerner Conference Room  

The seminar focuses on the L'incoronazione di Poppea(1643) as a case study. This music-theatrical work is approached as a historical object and as a script for today's performances/revisitations. In the former case, we will focus on methodological issues of authoriality, narrativity, and materiality; in the latter, on mediality, theatricality, and gender. Other case studies may be considered according to students’ interests. In addition, we will discuss historiographical and theoretical notions of “Baroque,” early modernity, postmodernity, performativity, reenactment, and the postdramatic. No Italian or musical notation knowledge is required; however, we will investigate early seventeenth-century Italy's literary and performance culture, and music-analytical approaches will be discussed if interest arises. Students in Music Studies and Composition are welcome, as well as those in Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies, the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory, and those interested in early modernity and performance studies in general. For scheduling reasons, decisions regarding enrollment in this seminar must be finalized no later than the day after the first meeting (on 1/14).


Music 7500 301.  Contemplating the Field: An Intellectual History of Ethnomusicology
Tim Rommen.     Thursday 1:45p.m-4:44 p.m Lerner Conference Room

This semester we will take a series of journeys together, each of which is aimed at developing our sense of the intellectual history of ethnomusicology. These journeys will be framed by matched sets of readings that illustrate not only the abiding issues that have confronted ethnomusicologists throughout the years, but also the changing terrain upon which solutions to those issues have been sought and articulated. We will   be   traveling   along   routes   that   variously   explore   travel   writing,   folklore,   the   comparative ethnomusicology  of  the  Berlin  School,  anthropological  connections,  the  beginnings  of  the  Society  for Ethnomusicology and some of its forerunners (like the International Folk Music Council [since 1981, called the International Council for Traditional Music]), and the definitional and methodological concerns that have animated and continue to (pre)occupy ethnomusicologists. Along the way, we will also have occasion to  consider  some  of  the  theoretical  and  ideological  shifts  and  conce  rns  that  our  colleagues  have confronted, negotiated, and defended over the years. Ultimately, these journeys will provide a framework

within which to consider our own work—a contextual framework that will enable us better to understand the intellectual and political spaces within which we pursue ethnomusicology today. Finally, we will also invest a bit of time in reading together some very recent offerings by our colleagues with a view toward understanding how ethnomusicologists are currently (re)shaping and envisioning the field