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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2020


MUS 45.11 The Power of Music

Why is music powerful and what are the sources of its powers? From the Pythagorean "music of the spheres" and Plato's inventory of the ethical attributes of musical scales and modes to Siberian shaman drumming, Sufi "trance music,” and contemporary debates about the "weaponizing" of music, the powers attributed to music have inspired a broad range of philosophical speculation, scientific and pseudoscientific analysis, and critical writing. The aim of the course is to illuminate some of the ways in which music’s powers have been explained and described in various times, places, and cultures as well as to develop a critical vocabulary for speaking and writing about music from an evidence-based perspective. In short weekly papers, students will critique musical works and musical performances (both live and recorded) as well as offer their own critical interpretations of selected texts about music. Each class member will develop a final project due at the end of the term that addresses a course-related topic of personal interest. Weekly listening/viewing assignments are drawn from a range of global musical sources. Not open to students who have received credit for MUS 07.06.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:ART; WCult:NW

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.