Simplicity in Music

Schools of Public Engagement: Humanities

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Simplicity in Music

Fall 2019

Taught By: Sonya Mason

Section: A

CRN: 7094

Credits: 3

Returning to simplicity is a popular concept that people take on when life begins to feel too cluttered with artificialities and meaningless muddle or when outside forces, such as hard economic times, or a catastrophic event, pressure us to reevaluate our own priorities and happiness. Music has long followed a pattern of returning to simplicity after periods of increased complexity. Composers, artists and performers purge, renew and re-grow, which inevitably results in increased complexity, which eventually begins the entire cycle again. Often, this cycle is a natural progression that comes with the exhaustion of ideas, but sometimes, the natural flow of things is interrupted purposely by artists who feel disconnected; music is no longer reflecting the way of the world from their perspective, or no longer gives them meaning. This course studies six periods in music when artists dramatically shifted their style and sought out simplicity. We begin with the emergence of opera in 1600, then move through Russian nationalism in the late 19th century, minimalism in the late 1960s, punk in the 1970s, jazz in the 80s and hip hop in the 2000s. We explore whether some of these massive shifts in the history of music can be mirrored to our own need to de-clutter, whether the results were sustainable and influential, and if the audience was somehow elevated by the philosophy behind the changes. This is the search for simplicity in music.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Humanities (NHUM)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 17

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (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: 10:56pm 2/28/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: TBD

Times: TBD

Building: Online Course

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/26/2019 - 12/15/2019