This course is a survey focusing on stylistic analysis and a contextualizing cultural exploration of the various socio-historical circumstances that have characterized Brazilian music throughout its evolution from the slave-trade defined colonial era, via the emergence of a unified national, mainstream musical identity around the early 20th century, and into its current cosmopolitan stylistic landscape. It features discussion of national as well as regionally-defined genres, introductions to representative artistic figures and their works, and places particular emphasis on the historical as well as ongoing creative exchanges among European-, Indigenous-, and African-derived musical traditions in the formation of Brazil’s musical identity. The particular impact of Brazilian popular music on the international stage will be also examined from a variety of perspectives. The class discussion includes extensive audio/visual materials, as well as weekly readings drawing on a variety of journalistic and academic sources.
A survey course on the female contribution to the art of music from the Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the changing roles of, and attitudes towards, women as composers, performers, teachers, writers, instrument builders, patrons, etc. More specifically, this class will be conducted within a historical framework of contexts and perspectives; thus we will examine the achievements of women musicians in the light of societal expectations, impositions, limitations, and attitudes.
This course will discuss the contributions that African American composers have made to classical music from the late 19th century to the 21st century. We will explore the extramusical influences affecting black composers past and present, such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and the influence of jazz and other black music, and examine whether or not these influences play a role in the music of these composers. We will also try to discover the characteristics that may exist distinguishing the music of black composers from those of non-black composers.
A survey course offering an overview of musical trends that have dominated concert music since World War II, with emphasis on symphonic and chamber music. Recent trends including minimalism, post-Webern serialism, chance and indeterminacy, electronic music, world music, neoromanticism, avant-garde experimentalism, multimedia, and others will be discussed. Pieces by composers John Adams, Takemitsu, Stockhausen, Penderecki, Schnittke, Torke, Cage, Feldman, Harbison, Xenakis, Reich, and others will be studied and analyzed.