Speaking of Music A

CoPA Cross-Disciplinary: Coll of Performing Arts

Non-Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Speaking of Music A

Fall 2019

Taught By: Edward Rothstein

Section: A

CRN: 3716

Credits: 2

Talking about music, it has been said, is like singing about economics. Or dancing about architecture. Yet we all do it and some do it for a living. But how do we translate sound into words, or communicate the nature of a performance? This course will be shaped by a series of questions. Music has a rare ability to teach itself: we learn how to listen by listening. How does this happen? And why do we attribute meanings to music? We will look at music and its relationship to images, to narratives, to ideas, to social life. How do movie scores affect our perceptions of a film? How is “program music” able to invoke images or events in the physical world? How does music tell a story without words? Why do tyrannies perceive a political aspect to music? What is the nature of musical beauty? These questions all come into play when we speak about music. But then how do we evaluate what we hear? How do we listen to new music? And why do we say one musical interpretation works and another does not? The context also matters: Why is the musical world the way it is? Why have concert halls and orchestras evolved? How does technology affect musical perception? Where are we headed? We will take a look at the history of Western music criticism and the nature of its practice today. We will also think about other cultures’ musics. The course will be guided, in part, by students’ interests, the instruments played, the musical styles most loved. Every week there will be a reading assignment and a listening/writing assignment. The first question to think about is: What is the most extraordinary musical experience you have had? And why? This course fulfills the requirement for Graduate Seminar for MM students.

College: Mannes School of Music (MC)

Department: Coll of Performing Arts (COPA)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Enrollment Status: Closed*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:31pm 6/15/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Thursday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:40pm

Building: Arnhold Hall 55 W13th

Room: 453

Date Range: 8/29/2019 - 12/12/2019