MUS 239
Music in the Global Cold War Spring 2024
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed LEAD 239
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Class Details

Throughout the Cold War (1947-1991), music was deployed as a weapon, as a source of nationalist and ideological inspiration, as a form of political protest and resistance, and as propaganda. Music both echoed and helped shape political views and, therefore, prompted various forms of regulation and censorship (McCarthyism in the U.S.; the Union of Soviet Composers). To counter Soviet claims of American cultural inferiority and racism, the U.S. sponsored numerous musical diplomacy efforts showcasing both jazz (Armstrong; Ellington; Brubeck) and classical musicians and composers (Bernstein; American orchestras). Cold War politics and the threat of nuclear war influenced musical styles (Copland; Soviet Socialist Realism; the popular American folk music revival; serialism; rock behind the Iron Curtain), specific musical events (Tokyo East West Music Encounter; concerts celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall), and individual careers (Shostakovich; Robeson; Van Cliburn). To investigate music’s political roles and capacity for expressing communist and democratic capitalist ideologies, we will adopt a case study approach. The Cold War was a global political and, frequently, militaristic struggle. Though our focus will be on music in the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A., we will also consider musical developments impacted by the Cold War throughout Western and Eastern Europe, in Latin America, and in East Asia.
The Class: Format: lecture; Class discussion will be central to this course.
Limit: 19
Expected: 16
Class#: 3082
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 20% = Participation; 20% = Paper #1, 5-6 pages; 25% = Paper #2, 8 pages; 35% = Paper #3, 12 pages, due during exam period
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Students with relevant experience in Political Science, History, or Music studies.
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 239 Division I LEAD 239 Division II
WS Notes: Students will write three papers during the semester: a 6 page, 8 page, and a 12 page paper. Drafts of papers 2 and 3 will be required prior to the due dates listed below. This is a "writing skills" course. Students will receive detailed comments on each paper, allowing them to build upon those comments in subsequent writing assignments.

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