this week

Mar 30, 2016 – for Apr 6, 2016

critical review for next class (Apr 6)

Kramer, Jonathan D. “The Nature and Origins of Musical Postmodernism.” In Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought, edited by Judy Lochhead and Joseph Auner, 13-26. New York: Routledge, 2002. [pdf was handed out in class – it isn’t posted online]

  • focus on the distinctions between postmodernism and modernism, as we’ve discussed in class and in earlier readings etc

note: the Gloag rdg (online) is helpful background to postmodernism as a cultural/philosophical expression/idea/movement – reading it first will provide a good intro to Kramer

Gloag, Kenneth. Postmodernism in Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2012): 1-15 [ch.1: Introducing Postmodernism]

Here is the critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your review to me as a Word document before class, AND bring it to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

ALSO: we’ll be starting the class with a mock test (not for marks, but for your practice) – bullet point summary of the ideas we’ve engaged so far in the course! Won’t that be fun!!??

 

Mar 16, 2016

critical review for next class (Mar 23) – you may need more than 500 words!

(check the syllabus for details on writing a critical review)

Bruhn, Siglind. Messiaen’s Contemplations of Covenant and Incarnation: Musical Symbols of Faith in the Two Great Piano Cycles of the 1940s. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon (2007): 41-68 [Elements of a Musical Language of Faith]   [ find/download it at the selected readings page – make sure to get the right Bruhn rdg, there are 2]

  • Bruhn asserts the following (42): “By far the most important aspect of this language is the fact that each component functions, beyond its purely musical coherence, as a spiritual symbol. The relationship between signifier and signified can vary to a certain degree depending on the composition’s subject matter, but the number of variables is sufficiently large to provide material for a systematic examination.”
  • Discuss what she means as a focus for your review of the entire chapter’s material.
  • Also Include some of your own reflection/thoughts on the quotation she closes the article with (from scholar/priest Pascale Ide, 68): “Messiaen attempts to make the mystery of God, which is beyond all words, audible in a language that is itself beyond all words: music.”
  • NOTE: to respond to this final idea, you should listen to portions of some of the pieces discusssed in the chapter, so you have a point of reference

Here is the critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your review to me as a Word document before class, AND bring it to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

 

Mar 9, 2016

(1) critical review for next class (Mar 16)

(check the syllabus for details on writing a critical review)

Milton Babbitt: Who Cares If You Listen?  [ find/download it at the selected readings page ]

  • critically engage with his thesis, especially relating to some of the readings we’ve done already, for example Morgan and Schoenberg

Here is the critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your review to me as a Word document before class, AND bring it to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

(2) ALSO for next week: read Taruskin chs 1 + 2

[ find/download them at the selected readings page ]

and if you have time, supplement them with Ross chs 10 + 11

(3) FLEX REQUIREMENTS:

as we discussed, begin to think of ideas for your flex requirements

as per the syllabus description (analyses, critical reviews, paper, etc)

and I’ll plan individual mtgs to discuss these sometime late next week or after

 

Feb 24, 2016

critical review for next class (after Reading Break, Mar 9)

(check the syllabus for details on writing a critical review)

Ross text: choose either ch 7 (Stalin/Shostakovich) OR ch 12 (Benjamin Britten)

  • engage with the main ideas as usual
  • each chapter focuses on specific composer(s): for the chapter you are doing briefly compare their music with styles, techniques already discussed in Ross, other readings, and in class thus far in the semester
  • also discuss the intense cultural pressure those composers faced, and how this affected them and their music

Here is the critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your review to me as a Word document before class, AND bring it to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

Jan 27, 2016

for next week’s class (Feb 3) – read Straus chs 1 + 2

in ch 2, don’t worry so much about the Tn (transposition) or TnI (inversion)…

  • but do get as far as the discussion of segmentation and analysis
  • along the way you’ll need to get a good handle on Normal Form and Prime Form
(you’re reading for understanding, not to hand anything in, but next week when we dive into analysis of some Schoenberg you will need to be able to keep up)

 

Jan 20, 2016

2 critical reviews for next week’s class (Jan 27) !!

(check the syllabus for details on writing a critical review)

Alex Ross (text): chs. 2 + 3 

  • the chapters range fairly widely, but ch 2 centres around Schoenberg, and ch 3 Stravinsky
  • summarize and engage with these chapters’ main ideas
  • do some critical listening this week to a few of the key pieces under discussion in each chapter, and reflect on how Ross’ chapters have affected your listening experience
  • Here is the Ross critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Joseph Kerman’s article How We Got Into Analysis and How to Get Out   [ find/download it at the selected readings page ]

  • focus on sections 1-3, and 5 (section 4 is an extended discussion/case-study of a Schumann song, and is optional for your consideration)
  • deal with his main objections to the approach to analysis inherited from the 19th century and still in place by the late 20th century
  • evaluate his alternative suggestions
  • what do you think of his arguments?
  • make connections with ideas from Ross chs 1-3
  • Here is the Kerman critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your reviews to me as a Word document before class, AND bring them to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

Jan 13, 2016

critical review for next week’s class (Jan 20)

(check the syllabus for details on writing a critical review)

Robert Morgan’s article Secret Languages: The Roots of Musical Modernism  [ find/download it at the selected readings page ]

  • Morgan makes two key statements early in his article, both on p443:
    • “Musical modernism is marked above all by its “linguistic plurality” and the failure of any one language to assume a dominant position.”
    • “…musical developments around the turn of the century reflect with particular clarity the intellectual and artistic climate of the period as a whole.”
  • Follow these two threads, one musical/stylistic and the other cultural, through his article.
  • What do you think of his arguments?

Here is the critical review Word document, with questions, context, and rubric.

Email your review to me as a Word document before class, AND bring it to class in hard copy or on your laptop, for discussion.

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