Spring 2021 Graduate Courses

MUSI 7509 Cultural and Historical Studies of Music
Topic: Sounds of Anachronism/Temporal Syncopation

Bonnie Gordon
3.0 credits
W / 9:30 am - 12:00 pm / Online Synchronous
Class Number: 18604

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar plays with the vibrations between pre-modern sounds and current theoretical and political issues. We will approach history and stories not as a way to restore the past but as a way to create a hybrid present. What does Virgil’s portrayal of the goddess Rumor personified in a seventeenth-century opera have to do with a tweetstorm? 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 affect the doing of history? How do we sound the past in our lives and work? The seminar will begin with two case studies. We will examine the Italian castrato as a premodern cyborg voice from the Global South and as a figure that asks questions about the limits of the human. We will also look at ancient and medieval roots of the settler colonialism of Jamestown as a way to hear the acoustemology of race and the governing of sound in early America and as a precursor to the entanglement of music and race that plays out today. The class will provide a space to do history through creative work or digital humanities. Theoretical readings include Kara Keeling’s Queer Times, Black Futures; Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever; Amitov Ghosh’s, In an Antique Land, and Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories. Students will also work with digital archives and contemporary creative projections that engage archives and the past. 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. Projects will be tailored to fit the precarity of the Zoom semester and of the humanities and arts in general.

MUSI 7510 Cultural and Historical Studies of Music
Topic: Music, Mimesis, Modernity

Michael Puri
3.0 credits
T / 9:30 am - 12:00 pm / Online Synchronous
Class Number: 14253

“If human beings suddenly ceased imitating, all forms of culture would vanish.” Drawing inspiration from this striking claim by René Girard, this seminar will ask and seek to answer several questions. In the history of mimesis, what has been imitated, by whom, with what means, and to what end? How and why have western attitudes toward mimesis changed, particularly over the past two centuries? And how does mimesis figure into western musical theory and practice? The ability to decipher western musical notation will help you to read certain assigned texts, but is neither expected nor required.

MUSI 7520 Current Studies in Research and Criticism

Richard Will
3.0 credits
R / 9:30 am - 12:00 pm / Online Synchronous
Class Number: 18605

Western musicians, poets, and collectors have been inventing “folk music” since the 18th century, presenting songs (mainly) as expressive of community and place. Serving both progressive and conservative political agendas, they have played a significant role in constructing the social and national boundaries of modernity. This seminar examines the origins of folk music as a concept, its development through 19th- and 20th-century revival movements, and its role in promoting or resisting hierarchies of race, gender, class, and national identity. While focusing on the U.S. and U.K., we will consider the repercussions of folk music ideologies globally, and students are welcome to explore any affected community or place.

MUSI 7540 Computer Sound Generation and Spatial Processing
Topic: Digital Signal Processing for Musicians

Luke Dahl
3.0 credits
M / 2:00-4:30 / Hybrid
Class Number18606

As musicians and composers we frequently use software tools to modify digital sound. Our ability to effectively deploy these techniques can be improved by understanding what digital sound is, how sounds are changed by these processes, and how they work “under the hood.” Audio Digital Signal Processing (DSP) may seem like technical wizardry, but in this class we will begin to demystify the processes and terms.  What is the frequency domain and why is it important? How does a Fourier Transform work?  What is a filter, how is one built, and why do some of them have poles? Etc. The class will be both hands-on (we will be analyzing and modifying sounds by writing code in Matlab), and theoretical (which may require re-acquainting yourself with some math).

MUSI 7547 Materials of Contemporary Music

Leah Reid
3.0 credits
W / 2:00-4:30 / Online Synchronous
Class Number: 13603


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

Email: music@virginia.edu