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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

30471 - CRITICAL APPROACHES TO THE ARTS II - MODULE I (MUSIC AND SOCIETY)

CLEACC
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  L-ART/05)
Course Director:
STEFANO BAIA CURIONI

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: PAOLO ALDERIGHI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The course provides the students with an overview of how music has played a crucial part in the shaping of contemporary culture and society worldwide. Major musical styles and genres of the 20th and 21st centuries, within and beyond the Western canon, are presented and discussed from the theoretical, aesthetic, and socio-cultural points of view. By the end of the course, students obtain a method and a conceptual basis to listen to, think about and analyze music effectively.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course deals with two subjects:

  • Classical and jazz music: mutual influences (Alderighi).
  • Music, society and technology after 1945 (Vanoni).
  1. The first part of the course analyzes the mutual influences between classical and jazz music in the first half of the 20th century. The analysis of musical ensembles, forms and other structural elements lead to the understanding of how and to what extent these two apparently opposed musical worlds influenced each other and in some cases even blended, making the stylistic categorization of some works uncertain. Furthermore, an in-depth study of musical genres and listening approaches, in relation to the radical technological transformations which occurred during the 20th century lead to a reflection on the concept of art music. The topics include:
    • American music at the beginning of the 20th century.
    • A brief history of jazz music and Broadway musical theatre.
    • The development of the recording industry and the publishing industry of Tin Pan Alley.
    • The influences of jazz music on classical composers such as Stravinsky, Ravel, Milhaud and Debussy.
    • One of the lessons is an in-class concert with a jazz ensemble, focusing on musical form and improvisation.
  2. The second half of the course centers on concert music and composers between 1945 and the present day, and on how their music shaped and reacted to the changing society. The coursework is based on listening assignments, elucidation of the reading assignments, occasional videos pertinent to course topics, and open discussion of relevant issues, such as the aesthetic, socio-political and philosophical background of concert music, the identification of general trends and currents of influence of that music. Topics that are discussed include:
    • Music and War.
    • The experimentalism years.
    • Music in the USSR.
    • Minimalism.
    • Concert music and Non-Western influences.
    • Electroacoustic Music and Multimedia.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Summarize the main aesthetic and stylistic trends in Western music in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Identify the main cultural and historical issues surrounding the diverse development of such trends.
  • Illustrate the development of recent technologies for music making.
  • Enrich his/her musical vocabulary and gain a cultural understanding requisite to identify and distinguish each musical trend according to aesthetic, stylistic or strictly musical criteria.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Develop critical listening skills and the capacity to recognize musical styles and genres according to musical parameters.
  • Assess how musical movements have informed contemporary society and recent history, and how society and history have fostered certain musical movements over the different decades and for what reasons.
  • Evaluate how the dialogue between music and technology has evolved over the past few years, and predict potential future scenarios of its use.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
DETAILS

One of the lessons is an in-class concert with a jazz ensemble.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The exam is in written form and consists of open questions aimed to assess students' ability to:

    • Write about musical genres, styles or works using musical terms propertly.
    • Dentify musical concepts as pertaining to a certain musical genre.
    • Explain the main aesthetical and artistic values present in certain musical works.
    • Place the main musical genres and styles addressed in the course in a historical perspective.
    • List the major developments of music technology and explain how they influenced music making.
    • Explain how technological changes transformed the relationship between composer and audience.

    The students decide if they prefer to take either the test for attending students or for non-attending students after having read both sets of questions. The tests for attending and non-attending students are quite similar, as they refer to the same materials and topics indicated in the syllabus. The main difference is the type of questions:

    • The questions for attending students are based on the contents covered in class and are meant to verify that the students have assimilated them and are able to draw connections among the different concepts. It is important to know that the notes taken in class are not a substitute but rather a clarification and supplement of the other materials provided by the course.
    • The questions for non-attending students are meant to verify that the students have gained an understanding of all the topics of the course and are based on all the materials provided by the course.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The exam is in written form and consists of open questions aimed to assess students' ability to:

    • Write about musical genres, styles or works using musical terms propertly.
    • Dentify musical concepts as pertaining to a certain musical genre.
    • Explain the main aesthetical and artistic values present in certain musical works.
    • Place the main musical genres and styles addressed in the course in a historical perspective.
    • List the major developments of music technology and explain how they influenced music making.
    • Explain how technological changes transformed the relationship between composer and audience.

    The students decide if they prefer to take either the test for attending students or for non-attending students after having read both sets of questions. The tests for attending and non-attending students are quite similar, as they refer to the same materials and topics indicated in the syllabus. The main difference is the type of questions:

    • The questions for attending students are based on the contents covered in class and are meant to verify that the students have assimilated them and are able to draw connections among the different concepts. It is important to know that the notes taken in class are not a substitute but rather a clarification and supplement of the other materials provided by the course.
    • The questions for non-attending students are meant to verify that the students have gained an understanding of all the topics of the course and are based on all the materials provided by the course.

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The materials are indicated at the beginning of the lessons.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    In debt students have to follow the same program of current students and they have to prepare the same materials, either they attend classes or not.
    Materials for Prof. Alderighi's part (Music and Society):

    • ALDERIGHI, 30471 – Music and Society, Dispense del pellicano, EGEA, 2018.
    • J.E. BERENDT, G. HUESMANN, The Styles of Jazz, in The Jazz Book, from Ragtime to the 21st Century, Lawrence Hill Books, 2009, pp. 1-20.
    • J.E. BERENDT, G. HUESMANNJ, The Arrangement, in The Jazz Book, from Ragtime to the 21st Century, Lawrence Hill Books, 2009, pp. 202-206.
    • J.E. BERENDT, G. HUESMANN, Toward a Definition of Jazz, in The Jazz Book, from Ragtime to the 21st Century, Lawrence Hill Books, 2009, pp. 661-667.
    • G. SCHULLER, The Future of Form in Jazz, in Musings, Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 18-25.
    • G. SCHULLER, Third Stream Revisited, in Musings, Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 119-120.
    • B.B. HEYMAN, Stravinsky and Ragtime, in The Musical Quarterly, Volume 68, No. 4, 1982, pp. 543-562.
    • T.A. GRACYK, Adorno, Jazz, and the Aesthetics of Popular Music, in The Musical Quarterly, Volume 76, No. 4, 1992, pp. 543-562.
    • W. "BILLY" TAYLOR, Jazz: America's Classical Music, «The Black Perspective in Music», 14 (1986), Black American Music Symposium, pp. 21-25.
    • H. REIMANN, Jazz versus classical music: their objects and criteria for aesthetical evaluation, paper presented at the “Hawaii International conference on arts and humanities”, Honolulu, 2003.
    • Slides and other materials uploaded to Bboard.

    Materials for Prof. Vanoni's part:

    • Articles available on the library's website.
    • S. STUCKY, Listening to Contemporary Music.
    • M. BABBITT, Who cares if you listen?
    • J. CAGE, Experimental Music (PDF, also present in J. Cage, Silence, Wesleyan University Press, 1961).
    • G. ROCHBERG, The Avant-Garde and the Aesthetics of Survival, New Literary History, Vol. 3, No. 1, Modernism and Postmodernism: Inquiries, Reflections, and Speculations (Autumn, 1971), pp. 71-92.
    • E. VARESE, C. WEN-CHUNG, The Liberation of Sound, Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Autumn - Winter, 1966), pp. 11-19.
    • P. SCHAEFFER, Acousmatics in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music (p. 76-81), edited by C. Cox, Continuum 2004.
    • Slides and other materials uploaded to Bboard.
    Last change 01/06/2019 15:40