Graduate level course offerings (academic area)

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for 2007-2008


FALL 2007

Music 614: Proseminar

  • Proseminar in Musicology (Christina Gier)

This course provides an intensive orientation to a several approaches to scholarship within the branch of music studies known as musicology. No such iphone photography course can claim to be comprehensive, but we will survey a broad range of approaches in both traditional and recently developed areas of study. The goal of the course is that you will emerge from it conversant with a variety of issues and appraoches in musicology and better prepared to evaluate scholarship critically and conceptualize your own research.

Music 615: Seminar in Musicology I


Music 484 / 584: Advanced Studies in Music and Society (FAB 2-28 T/R 9:30-10:50)

  • Music and Social Conflict (Christina Gier)

The social role of music in conflict is multifaceted. Both a vehicle for propaganda and an agent of comfort, music produces a complex web of power, pleasure and identity. This course explores the nature of this web through the study of musical practices and conflicts over the centuries and within various cultures. Topics will include: the practices of singing and government policies on music during WWI in Europe and North America; the USO and jazz bands that toured the Pacific front in WWII; Nazi discourse on music in the camps and the role of music as propaganda; the impact of the Cold War on musical composition, examining composers such as Shostakovich and Leonard Bernstein; music and song about domestic violence; music and protest in the age of the Vietnam War; and the use of music within current conflicts. Students will be encouraged to participate in discussion and develop their own project on a topic of interest.

Music 487 / 587: Advanced Period Studies (FAB 2-15 T/R 14:00-15:20)

  • Beethoven's Last Decade: Investigating His Late Period Musical Style (Mary Ingraham)

n the last decade of his life, Beethoven completed some of his most extraordinary music. From the late piano sonatas and ‘Diabelli’ Variations to the last five string quartets and the massive Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, these compositions reveal similarities in musical style despite obvious internal contrasts and dissociation of musical ideas. Beethoven’s mastery of large-scale formal design, his extensive use of variation and fugal techniques, and the increased importance placed on final movements provides common areas for study across these diverse works.

MUSIC 487/587 will examine Beethoven’s compositional output in this period, focusing on the piano sonatas opp. 109, 110, and 111; the five last string quartets, opp. 127, 130/133, 131, 132, 135; the ‘Diabelli’ Variations, op. 120; as well as the Missa Solemnis, op. 123 and the Ninth Symphony, op. 125. As this music ranges from piano to orchestral and vocal works, students are encouraged to select repertoire for projects that most appeal to their primary area of study. Relevant readings on the concepts and goals of critical study in Beethoven scholarship will be required, as well as other readings directly concerning the individual compositions. Assigned readings will be available on reserve at the Music Library, and all of the late period music is available on recordings through the NAXOS online library, accessed through the UofA library.

Music 616: Seminar in Musicology II (FAB 3-56 W 13:00-15:50)

  • Musical Lives: Beyond the Great Composers (David Gramit)

What role has music played in shaping people’s lives and their sense of self? Whose musical experiences have mattered in accounts of music history? How have cultural values shaped accounts of those musical lives that “matter”? What alternatives are there for considering musical life stories? What special challenges does historical study bring to the study of musical lives?

Biography has occupied a prominent but generally limited position within historical musicology. Biographies of great composers are one of the oldest (if sometimes not most respected) genres in the field, but little attention has been directed toward either the issues surrounding biography and autobiography in music or the study of the place of music in the lives of other participants in musical culture. This seminar will explore the place of biographical studies in music history. Participants will consider examples of music-biographical literature and the small musicological literature on biography and autobiography; relevant literature from related disciplines, including social history, the sociology of music, and ethnomusicology; theoretical literature on the genres of biography and autobiography; and selected case studies, involving both collective and individual biography—-as well as engaging in their own research project.



Music 556: Seminar in Music Theory (FAB 2-26 T/R 12:30-13:50)

  • Schenkerian Analysis in History and Practice (Maryam Moshaver)

This course focuses on two interrelated perspectives necessary to understanding Schenkerian theory. The first is a genealogy of Schenker’s analytical approach--his views on the interaction between the harmonic and contrapuntal dimensions of music as they developed in his theoretical writings, analytical essays and graphs. This study, together with familiarity with the notational devices used in graphic analysis will contribute to developing the practical knowledge necessary for both interpreting published analytical graphs, and producing original ones. The second area of focus is from a comparative perspective, which, taking as its starting point Schenker’s often fierce intolerance of the theoretical output of his contemporaries, investigates the implications of Schenkerian theory through considering alternative analytical approaches to tonal music, especially those of Riemann, Kurth and Schoenberg. As a conclusion to the course, we will consider the extensions of Schenkerian practice to pre-tonal and non-tonal repertories. Besides Schenker’s own writings, readings will include analytical essays by Salzer, Jonas, Oster, Zuckerkandl, Schachter and others.

Music 651: Seminar in Music Analysis (FAB 2-15 F 9:00-11:50)

  • Music and Text (Maryam Moshaver)

This seminar examines the many problems and registers of text-music interaction, with a focus on Romantic and Symbolist repertories of the 19th century. Beginning with the idea of mimesis, where music is seen to imitate or express in its own medium the images and sentiments presented in a poetic text, the seminar will focus on the critiques and radical transformations of this model in the philosophical aesthetics of the 19th century, as well as in the compositional practice Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Wolf, and Debussy. Readings include works by Rousseau, Lessing, Goethe, Schlegel, Hoffmann, Hanslick, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Poe among others. On the musical side, in addition to in-class analyses of selected works, we will discuss the musico-poetic analytical approaches proposed by Daverio, Rosen, Hoeckner, Perry and others.

Ethnomusicology and World Music


Music 468 / 568: Ethnomusicology of the Arab World (RN2 109A W 9:00-11:50)
(Michael Frishkopf)

This course will survey music culture in the Arabic-speaking world, from the 7th century to the present. Historical and music theoretical approaches will be adopted, but the course will focus on musics of the present day in its socio-cultural context. The course will develop a critical stance towards Arab music, by contextualizing music designated as such within Arab nationalism from the 19th century onwards. We will examine localized musical dialects--urban and rural--characterizing societies and cultures from Morocco to the Gulf, as well as broader mediated forms, and music media, from phonodiscs to videoclips. The relations between music and language, and between music and Islam, will also be discussed. The concept of "Arab world" will be problematized and extended to the diasporic community.

Music 666: Field Methods in Ethnomusicology (RN 2 109A Tue 2:00 PM - 4:50 PM)
(Federico Spinetti)

This course is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork in Ethnomusicology. It aims at providing students with theoretical and practical instruments to undertake field research and ethnographic writing in preparation for their graduate theses. The course entails an exploration of fieldwork techniques and technologies, and active engagement with theoretical debates and critical perspectives on fieldwork and ethnographic representation involving Ethnomusicology, Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural Studies.

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