Fridays 9am to 11am*
Instructor: Margaret Panofsky
Description: Performance ensemble concentrating on the music of pre- and early-modern Europe and on neglected works or genres from other periods. Students receive weekly private viol lessons, the time arranged with the professor. When proficient, they play in a viol ensemble. The FAS Department lends students a viol and bow from its collection. Qualified students may play with The Teares of the Muses, an ensemble affiliated with the NYU Music Department. The group performs on- and off-campus. Requirements to enroll in the course are previous vocal or instrumental training on any instrument - not limited to strings - and good musicianship skills. *Please note that the class will not actually take place within a structured course time, as listed here. You will set up appointments for lessons with the professor.
Sem/Tech of Music Composition
Tuesdays 10:30am to 12:30pm with Jaime Oliver (Section 001)
Tuesdays 10:30am to 12:30pm with Aaron Helgeson (Section 002)
Description: Examination of techniques of music composition as they are applied to the creation of musical works. Compositional practice is studied and evaluated both from the standpoint of craft and aesthetics. Students create compositions, and works are performed in public concerts.
Special Studies: Contemporary Opera
MUSIC-GA 2198, Section 003
Instructor: Louis Karchin
Thursdays 10:30am to 12:30pm
Description: This course will explore operas of the 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with works emerging from the classical tradition such as Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and continuing onto landmark post-World War II operas selected from: György Ligeti’s Le Grande Macabre, Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Thomas Ades’ The Tempest, John Adams’ Nixon in China, Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain, and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. The course will focus on the interrelation of music and text, analysis of the music, and the dramatic underpinnings of each work. Alternative stagings and the role of the stage director will be considered through video comparisons. Students will select an opera of their choice to present to the seminar, and discuss in a final paper.
Special Studies: Sound Technologies and State Power
MUSIC-GA 2198, Section 004
Instructor: Brigid Cohen
Wednesdays 10:30am to 12:30pm
Description: This course examines how sound technologies have mediated state power in various geopolitical settings from the nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on both internal and external exercises of power. Topics of focus may include laboratory research, education, urbanization, empire, domesticity, warfare, policing, incarceration, revolution, citizenship, espionage, communications, globalization, and soft power. Seeking alternatives to deterministic histories of media and technology, the course will aspire toward a practice of decolonial research on sound cultural history and archival practices. Course assignments will encourage students to bring contrasting theoretical literatures into conversation with detailed research about specific sound technologies and their settings. They will also ask what claims histories of sound technology may hold political imagination.
Special Studies: Sound and Environment
MUSIC-GA 2198, Section 005
Instructor: Martin Daughtry
Thursdays 7pm to 9pm
Description: This seminar is designed for advanced graduate students who are working on topics related to sound, music, and the environment. We will be reading current scholarship on the anthropocene and posthumanist thought, analyzing music and sound art that engages with these themes, and critiquing one another's works-in-progress.
Special Studies: Musical Value
MUSIC-GA 2199, Section 003
Instructor: David Samuels
Tuesdays 4pm to 6pm
Description: This course brings together writings on esthetics with writings on value, in order to explore the idea of musical value. What kind of value accrues to musical labor and musical goods? Why do we think of music as having value at all? We begin by refracting three classic conceptions of value—the distinction between use value and exchange value in the Marxian tradition, the Maussian notion of the gift, and the Saussurean concept of valeur as a form of sign exchange. We follow these by engaging with theories that attempt to codify, upset, or move beyond these lineages. Ultimately, the goal of the seminar is to begin to create for ourselves a theory of musical and esthetic value that are not simply pitting economics against morals.
Special Studies: Sweelinck and the Question of Musical Abstraction
MUSIC-GA 2199, Section 004
Instructor: Mike Beckerman
Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm
Description: In the last quarter of the 16th century the Spanish Catholics were driven out of the Netherlands and replaced by the Dutch Calvinists. The latter banished organ playing from church services with the exception of simple hymn playing so the city of Amsterdam decided to create special concerts to take advantage of the beautiful instruments. So the question was: what kind of music do you play for a “town concert”? What kind of music is it that is not meant to be danced to, not for worship or singing, not part of a drama, and not for military marches or dinner entertainment? Many figures contributed to thinking about such issues, but one of the most influential was Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) who helped forge an approach to sound that leads to Buxtehude and Bach. This course explores the question of how we understand large-scale musical creations that are explicitly non-referential. We will also look at the effects of such things as economics, gender, and contemporary painting on the development of Sweelinck’s style and approach.
Special Studies: Global Musicologies
MUSIC-GA 2199, Section 005
Wednesdays 4pm to 6pm
Description: This seminar introduces students to music historiography – or how we think about past musics and musical communities. It takes a global purview by exposing students to a range of historiographical traditions from around the world and by decentering European ways of constructing historical narratives about music and related arts. The course is thus meant to provide a multi-regional awareness of practices and issues of music history, preparing students for more advanced historical work in their areas and for conversing with other humanities disciplines.