Spring 2023 Graduate Courses

MUSI 7509 Cultural and Historical Studies of Music
Topic: Syncopated Histories

Bonnie Gordon
3.0 credits
R / 2:00-4:30 pm / OCH S008
Class Number: 20691

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar in the Music Department considers history as a practice of entangled temporalities, inviting students from across departments to excavate the debris of the past and listen to the resonances between pre-modern and contemporary moments. What is the historical relationship between fiction and dis-information?  How do scholars and artists create and transform originary myths?  How do emotional and sensory responses effect the doing of history? How do we sound the past in our lives and work?  How do different fields like legal history, cultural history, music history tell stories. The class begins by asking what it meant when the United States Supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade based in part on medical knowledge from a time when it was thought, for example, that listening to a string instrument made of the wrong animal products might cause miscarriage. We then will investigate the case study of the Italian castrato phenomenon that prefigures questions around gender, identity and body that are increasingly urgent today. We will look at ancient and medieval roots of the setter colonialism of Jamestown from the perspective of sound. Theoretical readings include Sylvia Wynter’s Unsettling, Kara Keiling’s Queer time/Black Temporalities, Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever, and Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds. Students need not be in the Music Department or read music for this class. There will be ample time for students to pursue their own interests. Coursework centers on reading, writing, archival work in Special Collections, and listening. Students can create final projects that are relevant to their research or can explore other media.

MUSI 7519 Current Studies in Research and Criticism
Topic: The "Black" Voice

A.D. Carson
3.0 credits
T / 2:00-4:30 pm / NCH 398
Class Number: 12900


MUSI 7540 Computer Sound Generation
Topic: Composing for Music & Movement

Luke Dahl
3.0 credits
W / 2:00-4:30 pm / OCH B011
Class Number: 19819

There are many interesting connections between music and movement. Music and dance occur together in every human culture. When we listen to music we experience an abstract sense of movement, and we use movement metaphors to describe music and its movement. Musical instruments can be thought of as devices for transducing human movement into sound.

In this class we will examine these relationships, we will study various technologies for measuring movement, and we will use these technologies to make music from movement and movement-based data. In particular we will explore how motion sensors and motion-capture can be used to generate musical sound in real-time, and we will work with ourselves, dancers, and other movers and performers to develop new artistic works.

This class is a seminar for graduate composers in the CCT program of the music department. However advanced undergraduates or other interested students may contact the instructor to discuss joining the class.

MUSI 7559 New Course in Music
Topic: Scoring Human Existence

JoVia Armstrong
3.0 credits
T / 2:00-4:30 / OCH B011
Class Number: 20698

Scoring Human Existence is an ensemble course for composers and improvisers. This course explores the question, "What does it mean to feel music?" Composers and improvisers will create compositions based on various themes and imagery (film, photography, dance, architecture, corporate identity, politics, war, etc.), human emotions, nature, current events, and narratives. Students will create through-composed music as well as improvise live scores to these various mediums which will also be conducted by students. There will be a small concert at the conclusion of the course as well as 360° videos of our favorite musical explorations. All vocalists and instrumentalists (including computer musicians) are welcomed to enroll. Students may submit their works on Bandcamp and YouTube if they choose.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu