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MUS 390

Advanced Musicology Topics

In-depth investigations of focused topics in music history (encompassing art, popular, and folk musics), approached through musicological and interdisciplinary lenses. The topic may address a specific composer, group, movement, era, or genre, or a particular theme or issue in the discourse. Promotes skills in historical thinking, interpretation and analysis, research, scholarly reading, writing and/or speaking, and critical thinking. This course is primarily for music majors who have completed MUS 140 and 141, but others with a background in music may be eligible with consent of the instructor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MUS 265 and MUS 266 or consent of instructor 1 course

Fall Semester information

Matthew Balensuela

390A: Mus Hist Tps: Music and Humor

A review of the ways humor has been expressed in music in a variety of genres and styles. The class will review theories of humor in general before a discussion of humor in various musical topics such as the works of Satie, parody, P.D.Q. Bach, and as a tool for anti-racism. Student work in the class will include extensive reading and preparation for seminar-like discussions and a series of research assignments leading to a substantial oral presentation. Other speech-related work will include reviews and critiques of model speakers, a debate with other students as the midterm exam, and practice presentations.

WARNING: Humor often "works" by transgressing social norms. Works of music that were intended as humorous may be considered by some listeners to be sexist, racist, or ableist. Students considering the class should be aware that some topics in the class may be troubling for some listeners, but need to be discussed fully and sensitively to address this subject.

Spring Semester information

Elissa Harbert

390A: Topics: