MUS 273 Spring 2013 Dangerous Music (W)

As a largely non-referential art whose meanings are far from transparent, music might seem to pose little danger. How could mere sounds represent a threat? Yet precisely because its meanings can be obscure, enabling it to achieve its ends surreptitiously, music has intertwined with danger throughout history. With its power to stir the emotions, stimulate bodily movement, encode messages, and foment rebellion, music has often been perceived as an agent of harm. Plato claimed that too much music could make a man effeminate or neurotic, and warned that certain musical modes, melodies, and rhythms promote licentious behavior and anarchic societies. Puritans, Victorians, and Totalitarians, as well as opponents of ragtime, rock 'n roll, and rap, have also accused certain musical genres or styles of exerting dangerous influences, and sought to limit or suppress them. In Afghanistan, the Taliban banned music altogether. While music has often been unfairly accused, its potential for placing people in actual danger is undeniable. Works that are played at ear-splitting decibel levels, that call upon performers to injure themselves, that are used as a form of psychological torture, or that incite violence demand reconsideration of the widely shared view that music is fundamentally a form of entertainment. Part of the Gaudino Danger Initiative, this tutorial course will explore the intersection of music and danger in a broad range of historical, cultural, and global contexts.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on participation, five 5- to 6-page papers/presentations, and five 1- to 2-page responses
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis or Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: an ability to read music is desirable but not required
Enrollment Preference: sophomores and juniors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3490
MUS273-T1(S) TUT Dangerous Music (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Marjorie W. Hirsch
TF 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Bernhard 29 3490
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