Nonmajors Summer Classes 2021

Note: All Summer 2021 courses will be taught remotely.

GEN MUS 170-0-1

Introduction to Music
Instructor: Olivia Cacchione
6-week session, June 21 – July 31
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

This course examines music as an artistic, communicative, and functional phenomenon. We will focus on music in the Western world throughout history, but will not be limited to the Western classical tradition. The course seeks to address the “why” of music in addition to the “what.” In this spirit, our examination will go beyond understanding specific works to consider how music functions in different contexts and how we listen to and engage with it. Units will cover music in relation to language, art, politics, emotion, and entertainment, as well as topics such as religion, death, and love. Students will be evaluated on participation, quizzes, short assignments, and a final project. The class is open to students with all levels of musical experience and will include both synchronous and asynchronous components.

Class materials: No materials required for purchase.  Assigned reading and other materials will be available on CANVAS.


GEN MUS 175-0-1

Special Topics: Introduction to Global Music 
Instructor: Sarah Bartolome
3-week session, June 21 – July 11
MTWThF, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

This course will introduce students to a variety of music-making traditions from around the world. During class, students will engage in discussion based on readings, participate in listening activities, and interact with local culture bearers. Workshop sessions will also provide students with an opportunity to participate in some of the traditions being studied. Content will feature music from Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bali, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, among others. Students will develop a deeper understanding of music as a human phenomenon and an appreciation for the diversity of musical expressions practiced in communities around the world. No prior musical experience is necessary.  

Class materials (required): TBD


GEN_MUS 175-0-2

Special Topics: Playing with Video Game Music
Instructor: Cella Westray
6-week session, June 21 – July 31
MW, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

What role does music play in the way we interact with and experience video games?  In seeking to answer this question – and to equip students with the skills to examine their own experiences as listeners and players – this course will explore the cultural and historical contexts in which video game music developed, tracing its emergence as a unique musical genre. Along the way, students will gain vocabulary and analytic tools that allow them to communicate about the style and function of game music, answering questions like: What makes the musical style of a particular game or franchise unique? What specific musical factors influence us to play and experience a game in a certain way, or to have particular emotional reactions to a game? Why is video game music personally and culturally meaningful? We will also learn about the careers of current video game composers and others involved in the collaborative process of game design, gaining insight into what motivates their musical decision-making and creative process. This course does not require any prior musical background or knowledge of music theory. Graded assignments will include discussion posts, short presentations, and hands-on analytical and creative projects. Access to a laptop computer or tablet is beneficial, but not required.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase. Assigned readings will be made available through CANVAS. 


GEN_MUS 175-0-3

Special Topics: Music & Latin American Thought 
Instructor: Luis Fernando Amaya Muñoz
6-week session, June 21 – July 31
TTh, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

What can music reveal about the time, place, and currents of thought within which it was created? How can music teach us about the history of the vast region that we now call Latin America? What are the social, political, and philosophical implications of the music created there, and what can we learn from them that is relevant today? Through listening, reading, and discussing, we will take a journey through Latin American histories (in plural) across the centuries by means of a series of case studies where the ear can tell us something more than the silent pages of books can. From Caribbean trap to colonial church music in indigenous languages, from anti-dictatorship protest songs to nationalist avant-garde movements, this course will change your view of Latin America through its music. There is no minimum required musical background and all course materials will be provided by the professor.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase


MUS_TECH 321-0-1

Producing in the Virtual Studio
Instructor: Chris Mercer
6-week session, June 21 – July 31
MW, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

The class will explore session and post-production techniques in the computer-based project studio, including accompanying hardware components. Topics include running a multi-track session, intensive audio editing, effects processing, mastering, and basic surround mixing. Students will produce audio projects of their own choosing from start to finish with the goal of creating tracks at professional standards.

Class materials (required): No materials required for purchase.

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