Avant-Garde Explorations in Music and Art

Course Number

In this course, students compare visual and musical art with a special focus on the essential features of avant-garde art forms and practices. Students explore how these forms and practices have evolved throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and into the twenty-first, analyzing how art forms outside of music inspire musical thinking and creation. Additionally, students discern how visual arts operate according to structural and poetic devices. Interpreting these devices as a sort of language, drawing parallels and comparisons among art forms that appear distinct, students explore the ethical implications of works of art and musical creations. Students also create sonic works that are based on visual art. They explore works of art and key philosophical texts, with the aim of sharpening their ability to see visual ideas in ways that relate to how they hear musical works. Students articulate major sea changes in how art itself has been conceived. They listen to musical compositions that are based on, or modeled after, specific works of art or poetry. In analyzing the many different ways in which musicians have responded to works of visual art in the near and distant past, students make connections among different art forms that exist today, and work toward creating new forms of interdisciplinary art and new ways of conceiving musical sound, structure, form, improvisation, and performance.

Required Of
None; elective course in CPGJ
Electable By
CPGJ graduate students
Semesters Offered
Blended (Campus + Online)
Course Chair
Robert C. Lagueux
Taught By
Courses may not be offered at the listed locations or taught by the listed faculty for every semester. Consult my.berklee.edu to find course information for a specific semester.