Featured Courses at the School of Music

Spring, 2019

To register for a class or search for others,  please visit this page.

The American Musical: Genre, Spectacle, Celebrity - MUSIC 419

The American Musical: Genre, Spectacle, Celebrity

MUSIC 419—Spring 2019
MWF 1:20 – 2:10, Humanities 2411
Instructor: Prof. Margaret Butler

This course introduces students to the history and development of American musical theater from its origins to the present. Topics we will explore include the formation of the genre and its relationship to American culture and society; the genre as a commercial medium; its principal creators and performers (singers, actors, dancers, composers, lyricists, dramatists, choreographers, and others); its relationship to film; its role in the formation of America’s national identity; and its communication of American values, attitudes, and norms.

Music and Genocide - MUSIC 497: Special Topics

Music and Genocide

MUSIC 497: Special Topics
Mondays, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Mills Library Seminar Room, Memorial Library
Instructor: Prof. Teryl L. Dobbs

Music serves important roles in helping us realize social change, typically to imagine and create a better world. In such roles, music is often romanticized as a means of resistance, redemption, and salvation. However, what is meant by a better world shifts from culture to culture, perspective to perspective, person to person. For better or for worse, music has been instrumentalized across time and space as propaganda and for inciting riots, ethnic cleansing, torture, and genocide. With a central focus on the Holocaust, this special topics course will explore how music was deployed through specific sites of music making between 1940 and 1945, including Theresienstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the Kovno, Łodz, and Warsaw Ghettos. We will then expand our study to music’s roles in more recent historical moments: the Rwandan genocide, the war in Bosnia and Serbia, and the growing White Nationalist Power movement. Together, we will explore how to ethically and critically interrogate music and music performances that emerge from such fraught circumstances. As in the best of research endeavors, we might very well find that there exist more questions than answers.

Music in Performance - MUSIC 113

Music in Performance

Music 113
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:20-2:10pm
Mills Hall, Humanities Building
Professors Tom Curry (Mondays and Wednesdays) and Marc Vallon (Fridays).
1 Credit

Music 113: Music in Performance is a music appreciation course designed for non-music majors. Each class features performances of traditional classical music, musical theater, or jazz, with occasional lectures by music academic faculty. Performing artists include School of Music faculty, graduate students, and visiting artists who present musical programs and discuss the composers and the music from the performer’s perspective. The material presented in the course is designed for those with limited musical training. Students enrolled in and completing the course earn one elective credit in Humanities, and this credit counts toward L&S breadth requirements. The course may be taken three times for credit (totaling three credits).

Jazz Greats: Their Lives and Music - MUSIC 497-092

Music 497-092
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Room 2521 Humanities
Instructor: Matthew Endres

Learn about some of the iconic stars in jazz tradition, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Nancy Wilson, and more. We’ll listen to their music and how it evolved through different time periods.

This course counts toward 50% graduate coursework requirement in Humanities, Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S, and 50% graduate coursework intermediate requirement.

Music and the Body - MUSIC 915

Music and the Body
Music 915
Tuesday, 1:00 – 3:30 PM.
Seminar Room B162G, Mills Library (in Memorial Library)
Professor Nadia Chana

What do we mean when we invoke “the body”? Are we still distinguishing it from “the mind”? And who exactly is this scholarly “we”? This seminar explores current approaches to the body in (ethno)musicology and closely related disciplines, including anthropology, dance studies, and performance studies. Together, we will attempt to think both about and through the body. We will consider a wide array of topics that scholars locate in “the body”: self-fashioning; race, gender, and other vectors of identity; musical transmission; practice and technique; relational listening; the limits of the human; and even critical self-reflexivity. One of our aims will be to map, disentangle, and assess these varying approaches: how, if at all, do they speak to each other? Simultaneously, we will zoom out, asking about the role of embodied knowledge in shaping our own lenses and scholarly practices. Participants will have the opportunity to take turns facilitating “embodied” exercises.

Drumming the World Ensemble - MUSIC 268

Drumming the World Ensemble
 
Music 268
Lab 3, Wednesdays 1:20-3:15
Lab 4, Thursdays 12:05-2:00
Humanities Building
Professor Todd Hammes
1 credit
Drumming the World Ensemble is designed to introduce students to a variety of global drumming styles and techniques. Students are provided opportunities to create arrangements, facilitate drum circles & explore improvisation while learning traditional rhythms and musical contexts. The course is open to all university students; previous drumming experience is not required. Students enrolled in and completing the course earn one elective credit in Humanities. This course fulfills selected music education global music requirements. NOTE: Please contact Professor Todd Hammes (thammes@wisc.edu) to receive a registration permission number.

Basic Concepts of Music Theory - MUSIC 151

Basic Concepts of Music Theory
Music 151
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, both fall and spring semesters. This class is also offered online during the eight-week summer session.
2441 Humanities Building (room may change from semester to semester)
Instructor: Distinguished Faculty Associate Jamie Henke
3 Credits

Basic Concepts of Music is a complete and comprehensive study of music theory for the non-music major. Students explore theoretical concepts in the context of real-world settings. Students apply what they learn in their own composition journal. We create jingles and video game music, become famous composers on a social web site, and learn to beat box!  Students learn notation, rhythm, melody, harmony, and analysis techniques. The course includes an introduction to: musical forms, the evolution of music through history, as well as Twentieth century devices. The goal of the course is to provide a complete basic set of tools, and understanding of how to use those tools, for a lifelong knowledge and interest in music, and to transform the students from passive to active listeners.