Musical Timbre or Sound-Color

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Musical Timbre or Sound-Color

Spring 2020

Taught By: Clara Latham

Section: AX

CRN: 5574

Credits: 4

Sometimes called “sound color”, timbre is the aspect of sound that tells us that we are hearing a clarinet vs. a violin, a car exhaust vs. water splashing in a swimming pool, your mother’s voice vs. that of a stranger. Timbre (pronounced TAM-ber) is often described as a parameter of sound, like pitch, loudness, or duration, but timbre is more than characteristic of a sound, it can be considered the "identity" of a sound. In this course, we will investigate timbre as a cultural and historical concept that became a central concern for composers of modern and contemporary music and cultural musicologists studying non-Western music. Our approach will combine discussion of critical scholarship on timbre with computer analysis of music and sound. Students will explore techniques of spectrographic analysis and digital audio synthesis while developing critical listening skills and terminology to speak and write about this significant but often neglected aspect of sound. This upper-level course is restricted to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 3, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 12, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*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: 3:07pm 2/26/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:00am - 11:40am

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 002

Date Range: 1/24/2020 - 5/8/2020