Day 1: Welcome / Listening through another person’s ears (M Jan 27 / W Jan 29)
Music played in class
The piece played at the start of class was Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring (1945).
Day 2: Intro to musical elements I (texture), Musical portraits I (M Feb 3 / W Feb 5)
In-class readings from Amanda Mull (“I Gooped Myself”, 2019) and David Foster Wallace (“A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”, 1996) are available on the Writing Portfolio reference page.
Music played in class: Listening for texture
The words to Einstein on the Beach are available here.
Music played in class: Musical portraits
- Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata No. 1 in F minor (1795) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6YTd9z8PQM
- Clara Schumann, Romance No. 11 in E-flat minor (1839) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOuCBoz34Ro
- Julius Eastman, Gay Guerrilla (1979) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6ZqIbS9T_E
In-class warm-up essay
If you were absent for the in-class writing, you may send me a response to this prompt within one week of your class meeting: What was the most interesting or surprising thing you learned from the reading(s) this week? What made it interesting or surprising for you? [Cornelius 2-7, Titon 7-12, Titon 1-4, Yudkin 18-21]
Day 3: Intro to musical elements II (melody) · Thinking like a musicologist I: the Medieval and Renaissance periods (400-1600) (M Feb 10 / W Feb 19)
In-class reading from Alexander Chee, “On becoming an American writer” from How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (2018) is available on the Writing Portfolio reference page.
Music played in class
Video played in class (Melody and expectations — sing along!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne6tB2KiZuk
Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 4, IV. Allegro pizzicato (1928), played by the Amadeus Quartet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LP5oZyle84
If you were absent for the in-class writing, you may send me a response to this prompt within one week of your class meeting: Divide your paper in half by drawing a line from the top to the bottom. On the left side, list things that 2020 and the Medieval/Renaissance periods have in common. On the right side, list things that differ between 2020 and the Medieval/Renaissance periods. [Clark 34-39 (sections 2.1-2.5)]
Day 4: Intro to musical elements III (rhythm) · Thinking like a musicologist II: the Baroque period (1600-1750) (M Feb 24 / W Feb 26)
Music and videos played in class
- Pavane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVBlFUb0g60&t=3s
- Galliard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lDCxv3Hv2g&t=10s
- Gavotte: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9b6ldKKqu0
- Musical stereotypes interview (from Twitter): https://twitter.com/adam22/status/1173289165271654400
You may use any notes you’ve taken to complete this essay, which is based on the reading assigned for today: Clark 14-30 (sections 1.7-1.12), Cornelius 207-209, Forney 4-16, Forney 102-107
Describe each of the two pieces of music you hear with as much detail as possible. They will be played one after the other, and after a brief pause they will be played again.
The first piece is by a composer named Josquin des Prez (1450 or 1455-1521) and is called “Absalon, fili mi” [Absalom, my son] (composed c. 1513). The text is sung in Latin and comes from the Bible (2 Samuel 18:33). The “speaker” of the text is, King David, who is lamenting the death of his son, Absalom. The section of music you’re hearing begins at the third line of text.
|Absalon fili mi,||Absalom my son,|
|quis det ut moriar pro te, Absalon?||if only I had died instead of you, Absalom!|
|Non vivam ultra,||I shall live no more,|
|sed descendam in infernum plorans.||but go down to hell, weeping.|
The second piece is called “Entre Av’e Eva” and it comes from an anonymous poetry/song collection compiled during the 13th century called the Cantiga de Santa Maria.