Course Detail
Course Components:
Enrollment Information
Enrollment Requirement:
Prerequisites: Member of the Honors College.
Requirement Designation:
Fine Arts Exploration
Course Attribute:
Honors Course
This student-centered, community-cultivating course will engage and critically assess music as a socially-reflective art. Music will be our vehicle for a journey into multiple dimensions of human behavior, with side-trips through rhetoric, political theory, sociology, narrative, ideology and identity. Mixing freely from Haydn and Hendrix, Prokofiev to punk, jazz to jam bands, and rhapsody to rap, students will correlate musical forms, processes and expressions with societies from which they spring - including their own. Cross-cutting themes will include: music as dialogue; music as ideology; music as a mirror of government music and social movements; and music's evolutionary role in human development. Class sessions will at times be conducted as examples of interactive musical and dialogical processes, whereby students "compose" their own community. Other sessions will explore the practice and performance of "deep listening." Readings will be selected from cultural studies, musicology, the sociology of music, music criticism and music theory. Listening will be selected from a wide range of musical genres of various cultures, from the Middle Ages through today - including music proposed by the students. Assignments will include short papers, oral presentations and taking turns conducting the discussion. The goals are for students: 1) to achieve a more articulated experience of music through the filters of other disciplines; and 2) to gain an enriched understanding of community through musical manifestations of participatory democracy. A touchstone for the course is the Navajo "songdog" myth that we "sing" our world into existence, coupled with Benjamin Barber's conception of citizens as "makers" who "create a common future"; students will develop, combine and apply their musical and political potential to "sing" their world into existence.