Music Spring Courses

The School of Music offers new classes for Spring 2021!

MUS 507/MUS 690: Gender, Race, and Music: New Perspectives of Classical and Popular Music
Tues./Thurs., 9:30 – 10:45 am (In-person and virtual meetings)
Dr. Diana R. Hallman

This course will explore gender and race in Western classical and popular music across varied music genres and practices and in selected case studies of women/minority musicians. Underpinning our discussions will be key concepts, representations, and theories of gender and race that have shaped social, cultural, and musical traditions, repertoire, and history in Europe and America, including intersections of gender, racial, and sexual identities and notions of essentialism, blackness/whiteness, exoticism/orientalism, power, and transgression. Within American contexts, we will consider the impact of social-political transformations and upheavals — including the effects of the 19th Amendment and feminist activism, the Civil Rights Movement and cultural wars of the 1960s and 1970s, and the LGBTQ, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter movements of the early 21st century — on the experiences, artistic expression, and reception of composers and performers. Reinterpretations of classical and popular Western music genres will also be viewed through different cultural lens of race and gender in global settings.

Topics/Case Studies will include:

  • Black Trumpeters and Drummers in the Courts of Europe
  • Joseph Boulogne, le Chevalier de Saint-Georges: French-Caribbean Violinist, Conductor, Composer
  • Abolitionist Songs and Theatrical Works
  • Blackness in Opera: From Sissieretta Jones to Angel Blue; from Verdi’s Aida to Tesori’s Blue
  • African American Music & Dance in Europe: From the Cakewalk to HipHop; Josephine Baker and Cheng’s Second Skin
  • Orientalism and Asian Stereotyping in Opera, Tin Pan Alley, Musical Theater, and Film
  • Women Composers: Social and Artistic Challenges, from the 18th to 21st Centuries
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Popular Music in American and Global Contexts
  • Gendered Piano Performance & Repertoire: From Liszt and Clara Schumann to Lang Lang and Yuja Wang; Concert Pianists and “Piano Girls”; Classical Music and Sexual Marketing
  • Gender Exclusion and Gender Roles in 19th- to 20th-Century Orchestras and Bands
  • Homosexuality/LGBTQ and Opera: From Britten’s Billy Budd to Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain

MUS 390: Intro to African Music
Tues./Thurs., 11 am – 12:15 pm (In-person)
Dr. Kathy Bullock

This course will survey the African-American contribution to the musical heritage of the United States. Tracing the journey from West African origins to contemporary forms, the course will explore the genres and styles of African American music, and the African American culture from which it emerged. From Work Songs and Spirituals to Rap/Hip Hop, this course will cover secular and sacred music forms of African-American culture, as well as contributions by African Americans to European classical music traditions. Successful completion of this course will result in a deeper understanding and appreciation of African-American music-culture and its powerful impact upon the world.


Classes begin January 25

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