MUS 474
Music and Corporeality Spring 2020
Division I Writing Skills

Class Details

Music is often said to derive its own special quality from the fact that it exists outside of visual representation and is not contained within a physical form, yet musical sound and practice are created through and act upon bodies in numerous ways. This course aims to address how music and bodies shape and respond to one another. Drawing from sources across musical sub-disciplines and extending to fields including cognitive science, sound studies, performance studies, and anthropology, we will follow four lines of inquiry related to music and corporeality: Embodied practices: techniques and pedagogies in performance and in listening (including praxis [Bourdieu], Deep Listening [Oliveros, Becker], Alexander Technique); Music’s physical effects and affects: pleasure and pain, the vocalic body [Bonefant, Connor], cognitive processes; Ideological moves: questioning the universality of music and of bodies (including works by Blacking, Miller, and Geurts); Music and bodies at their limits: cyberfeminism, futurism, disembodiment, ecstasy, questions of artificiality/virtuality. Musical examples will be drawn from classical and popular sources from Euro/American idioms and beyond, predominantly from the late 20th and 21st centuries.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 8
Class#: 3863
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: midterm project, final paper (including rough draft and final copy) and presentation, intermittent 1- to 3-page papers and exercises
Prerequisites: familiarity with music terminology and the ability to read music notation is expected; questions can be directed to the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: senior and junior Music majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
WS Notes: This course culminates in a final presentation and paper, meant to showcase the student's critical achievements, including their ability to formulate and substantiate their argument. Assignments and exercises throughout the course are aimed at honing students' ability to write and present effectively.

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