Undergraduate Academic Courses
Session I: May 17 - June 11
MUSI 2570 / 3090: Music Cultures / Performance in Africa
Office: 201 Old Cabell
MTWRF 10:30 am-12:45 pm, OCH 107
This course explores performance in Africa through reading, discussion, audio and video examples, and hands-on practice. This is an academic course that integrates reading, writing and discussion with practical study. Practical work as learner and performer is crucial to the overall work in the course (no experience is expected). We will explore African music/dance styles, their sociomusical circumstances and processes, as well as performed resistances and responses to the colonial and post/neo-colonial encounter. In addition, we will address the politics and processes involved in translating performance practices from one cultural context to another. Each students’ personal relationship to the material/experience will be integrated into study.
Readings, discussions, and written work will focus heavily on topics and issues related to the main music/dance traditions that we are learning to perform each day, though we may venture beyond those areas from time to time. The course will explore both "traditional" and "popular" styles, leading us to question those categories. Those enrolled in the 3000 level will have some reading and writing/discussion work beyond those in the 2000 level.
The syllabus will be updated daily as the session evolves, based on student interests and the direction of discussion.
Session II: June 14 - July 10
MUSI 2390 / 3390: Music and Computers
MTWRF 1:00-3:15 pm, OCH B012
MUSI 2390/3390 will introduce you to the dynamic field of computer music. You will learn about topics including acoustics; digital sound, editing, and processing; recording and multi-track mixing; and MIDI. You will also learn about the historical evolution of electronic and computer music, and will study selected examples of both. We will cover elements of compositional design and hear them applied in a range of styles. You will have ample hands-on experience, and the opportunity to create original music. This course counts for the composition component of the Music Major. Programs to be used include Bias Peak, Frequency, Digital performer and Sound Hack. We will be working on the Mac platform, though the concepts you learn will be broadly applicable.
Session III: July 12 - August 6
MUSI 2070 / 3120: Popular Musics / Jazz Studies
MTWRF 10:30 am - 12:45 pm, OCH 107
MUSI 2080 / 3080: American Music
MTWRF 1:00-3:15 pm, OCH 107
This course examines the rich cultural heritage of "roots" genres such as blues, country, gospel, bluegrass and folk in American musical life. We'll take an historical approach to the subject, one which identifies the term "roots" as a late-20th-century invention used by journalists and fans to help explain the rise of more recent, related genres like rock and hip-hop. The course will examine the relationship of "roots" music to modern identity politics--particularly representations of African-Americans, working-class white Southerners, and rural Americans more broadly. We will track these representations in 20th century film, popular journalism, and musical performance itself. Extensive listening, writing and discussion will be required in this small seminar-style course.