Music 347: Music History IV: Twentieth- and Twenty-first-Century Music

Syllabus - Spring 2013

Dates: Classes will meet on Mondays and Wednesday 1:40 to 2:55 PM in room 351, on the following dates:

January 28March 20
January 30April 3
February 4April 8
February 6April 10
February 11April 15
February 13April 17
February 20April 22
February 25April 24
February 27April 29
March 4May 1
March 6May 6
March 11May 8
March 13May 13
March 18May 15

There are no classes on February 18, and Spring recess is March 25-April 2.

Composers covered in classes: the following composers will be covered in classes:

Other composers may be added to (or subtracted from) this list, but it is advised that you take advantage of any opportunities to listen to and study any music by these composers or to read biographical and analytical writings about their music.

Other major composers: In addition to the composers listed above, you should also be expected to know something about the lives and music of the following major twentieth-century composers:

Major ideas and issues: In addition to the music of these composers, the course will focus on three central issues concerning the music of this period:

Concert review: In order to familiarize yourself more with contemporary music, it is a good idea to attend concerts that feature it. All students must write a review of a concert that they attend. The concert must be devoted exclusively to new music. One or more of the composers should be in attendance, and it is even more beneficial if there is a pre- or post-concert discussion. (In particular, the organization Meet the Composer often sponsors such concerts.) Your review should include a detailed description of the music played, comparing it to other music studied and listing works and composers that it most resembles. In conclusion, you may include your own evaluative comments about the music, but this is not required. Your review must be turned in by the date of the mid-term examination, tentatively March 20. You should consider writing your review as something that could be submitted to a newspaper or new music periodical for publication.

Term paper: All students must write a paper of at least 3000 words on the music of a composer of their own choice from the following list. It must be handed in by the end of the term. The paper must discuss the composer's biography, including his teachers or major influences, a list of his works, and the playing and discussion in class of at least one (perhaps more than one) work that you have studied with the score. This report should not be just a research paper, where you learn about the topic by reading what others have written. While you will have to rely on some published materials (including CD inserts, record jackets and the internet) for biographical materials, you should listen to the music yourself and come to your own conclusions about it. The report does not ask you to give your opinion about the music, but to describe it objectively and determine where it fits into the overall scheme of twentieth-century music. The composers are as follows:

Other composers may be added to this list as well.

Instead of doing a report on one of these lesser-known composers, you may instead do a report on the music of one of the other major composers listed above in item 3. In this case, you will need to give a more substantial report and paper. Your biography will have to be longer, and the paper may need to cover works and material that you are not be able to cover in your oral report.

Grading: Your final grade will be calculated as follows: mid-term examination 15%, concert review 15%, paper 25%, final exam 40%, class participation 5%. Attendance is not required, but class participation cannot take place if you are absent. More than three absences will produce a zero for this category.

Web Site: The web site for this course is Materials, including all of the repertory of works played in class, will be posted to it regularly. Please check it regularly for further information.