Introduction to Music
Term: Spring 2021 - Full Term (02/01/2021 - 05/11/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|2/1/2021||5/11/2021||MWF||11:10am - 12:00pm||ONLINE|
The goal of this course is two-fold: 1) to provide you with a framework for understanding basic concepts of music in the Western (i.e. Euro-American) tradition; and 2) to raise issues about the role of music in Western culture that will encourage critical thinking about the meaning, function, and nature of music. You are not expected to be able to read music or to know music theory, but you will be required to master some basic concepts in these areas as part of the course.
I will use class time primarily to lecture and to play musical examples that illustrate concepts covered in assigned readings. In the first half of the semester, we will use the Beatles’ recorded output as a central and consistent thread, and as a gateway to exploring other musical traditions in western culture. I frequently will make use of musical issues that arise in Beatles songs to introduce concepts, styles, composers, performers, and genres from various Western musical traditions. In this way, we will lightly and loosely cover the European classical tradition as well. The second half of the course will focus on several representations of the Orpheus legend from Greek mythology and other Western representations of the “power” of music. For that part of the course you will be assigned several full length videos (operas and feature films) to view along with a selection of essays to read.