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SCHULICH SCHOOL OF MUSIC   -   McGILL UNIVERSITY

GRADUATE STUDIES IN MUSIC SEMINARS 2014-2015

(August 18, 2014)

The SSM offers a wide range of topics, including: 19th century Chromaticism, Film Music, Coping Strategies for Performance, Contemporary Composition. Discussions and assignments build on different disciplinary perspectives and projects that reflect diversity of the school and allow students to adapt topics and studies to their own particular interests.  Offerings are organized below by area, but students are encouraged to explore seminars under all headings.

New Initiatives this year include: 

-MUPP 695 What did Renaissance musicians know? Historical pedagogy and Renaissance vocal polyphony in the age of Josquin

-MUPP 694 Contrapuntal Improvisation at the Keyboard

-MUPP 693 Introductory Conducting Course for Performance and MUPP 694 New Course in Church Organ

-Historian of politics and culture, Prof. Lars Lih returns to provide new perspectives on Opera, Fathers and Daughters, MUHL 680

-Courses in Digital Humanities and Business

Registration in music graduate seminars is usually limited to 12 students per class (14 for Performance and Performance Practice seminars) unless otherwise noted. If the class is full, please contact the teacher to see if they will accept more students in the class or go to the first class where the teacher will be the actual registration. Students are generally able to register for the seminars of their choice on MINERVA, but in cases where too many students have registered for a seminar, some will be asked to drop the course, in accordance with the following priority list

Note:  Course offerings may be adjusted over the summer.

Class schedule can be found here.

Best wishes for a great year of discovery and sharing.

The following Digital Humanities course can be taken as an elective with a justification from your supervisor, permission of the Area Chair and approval of the Graduate Director.

Fall 2014 - History 585

Theory for Historical Studies: Introduction to Digital History - New Media Past Worlds

Professor Matt Milner

This course explores the relationship historical scholarship does, and could have, with new digital media and technologies. On the one hand digital media – in the form of digitized content, archives, and publicity – are reshaping historical analysis and its methods. On the other they also present challenges to well-established historiographical and methodological approaches: what is the relationship between the craft of the historian and modes and media of scholarly communication? How can historians reconcile quantitative historiographies with the rise of big data, and digital archives? Consequently the course will explore what historians have to offer the digital, as much as what the digital has to offer historians. It will examine how creation of new digital representations of historical evidence can aid historical research, but also how such acts are also analytical practices. Most importantly, it will theorize the boundaries of digital media and techniques in the historian’s craft.

Evaluation will be based on seminar participation, completion of a digital project (creation or assessment), blog postings, and written work.

SEMINARS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC RESEARCH (COMPLEMENTARY SEMINARS FOR PERFORMANCE STUDENTS): FALL 2014

COMPOSITION

The following seminar can be cross-referenced as a composition seminar.

MUTH 652 (001) Seminar in Music Theory 1 – CRN 12099

Professor Jonathan Wild

Tuning and Temperament: Historical and Speculative Approaches

In this seminar we shall investigate the changing ways in which musical scales and other organising principles of intonation for western music have been conceived, modelled, and evaluated, from antiquity to the present. The emphasis will be more on musical systems than on the repertoire they support. On the historical side we shall examine, among other issues: Platonist vs. Aristoxenian notions of pitch division in Ancient Greece; the Just Intonation debates of the sixteenth century; the development of circulating temperaments in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and the effects of acoustical science on theories of harmony after the scientific revolution. Modern components of the seminar will touch on the field of scale theory (e.g. Clough; Carey & Clampitt), as well as on the speculative approaches of twentieth-century composers and experimentally-minded theorists who have proposed novel tuning systems as a means of increasing available sonic resources. We will conclude with an introduction to systems of microtonality as used by selected twenty-first-century composers, benefitting from two guest lectures by the composer Lasse Thoresen. As part of our aural familiarisation with musical materials drawn from outside 12-tone equal temperament, we will incorporate hands-on exploration of alternative tuning systems through the use of retunable software instruments.

Course assessment will include in-class presentations, a short test, and a research paper of 15-20 pages.

Fall 2014 - Composition students may ask to substitute other graduate seminars relevant to their program of studies and research with a justification of their supervisor, permission of the Area Chair and approval of the Graduate Director.

MUSIC EDUCATION

MUGT 610 (001) Seminar - Music Education – CRN 19576

Professor Joel Wapnick

Research in Music Performance

This course will deal with recent research in music performance. It will cover topics such as individual practice, ensemble practice, memorization, sight reading, physical fitness, physiological self-regulation, mental skills training, performance anxiety, feedback learning of expressivity, and pharmacological interventions.

Readings will include Aaron Williamon’s book Musical excellence: strategies and techniques to enhance performance and additional research articles.

Student evaluation will be via class presentations and a final paper.

MUGT 611 (001) Seminar - Music Education – CRN 8641

Professor Lisa Lorenzino

The History of Music Education in North America

This seminar will look at the various factors that influenced the development of music education in Canada and the United States. Related yet distinct, the two countries share similar philosophies of music education, yet the embodiment of these philosophies has followed a unique course of history in each nation.

In-depth study of the history of music education in the United States will focus on topics such as the Rote versus Note Movement, Singing Schools, the Civil War and World War II. In contrast, the study of Canadian music education will emphasize the influence of British, Scottish, and French traditions upon the early schooling. A discussion of the influence of American music education upon Canada will also be investigated. The course will include a brief introduction to the philosophical foundations of schooling in both nations, including North American music education philosophers such as Langer, Reimer, and Elliott.

Student evaluation will be based on academic papers, in-class presentations, and projects.

MUSICOLOGY

MUHL 680 (001) Seminar in Musicology - CRN 6787

Prof. Lars Lih

Fathers and Daughters: Rossini's Operatic Revolution

According to Richard Wagner, Rossini was as important to his age as Palestrina, Bach and Mozart were to theirs.  Rossini’s operas were revolutionary in two senses.  They represent a musical revolution that fundamentally altered conceptions of opera’s aims and methods. They are also revolutionary in a political sense, not through direct pronouncements, but through an examination in dramatic terms of the new, subversive principle of individual autonomy. As our survey of Rossini’s operatic career (1810-1829) will show, his musical innovations and his dramatic innovations are strongly intertwined.

Rossini’s serious operas are not as well known today as his comedies, but they had a greater impact on the history of opera.  By looking at selected serious operas, we will trace Rossini’s painstaking development of a new kind of operatic tragedy. Rossini took the standard comic plot of fathers and daughters clashing over marriage plans, and turned it into high tragedy that reflected some of the great ideological issues of his day.

Students will be graded on class discussion based on reading, viewing and listening assignments, as well as on class presentations and final papers that will explore specific topics, as determined in consultation with the instructor.

MUHL 683 (001) Seminar in Musicology – CRN 17640

Professor Tom Beghin

From Haydn to Beethoven: The "Decline" of Rhetoric

The relationship of Papa Haydn and his rambunctious pupil Beethoven is one of the most volatile and symbolic in music history. In this seminar, it will function as a point of departure to revisit the notion of a “decline” of rhetoric, when it comes to either defining a musician’s craft or describing a listener’s experience, as we move from the 18th to the 19th century. “Haydn the orator” vs. “Beethoven the philosopher” is an antithesis we will seek to problematize by exploring how the music of both composers reflects concrete interactions with the performing body, instrument, and listener. Focus will be on their piano music, string quartets, and symphonies.

After ten weeks of reading, discussing, listening, and brief presentations in class, the final three weeks will be devoted to the formal presenting and writing of a 20-30 page paper.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

MUMT 605 (001) Digital Sound Synthesis and Audio Processing – CRN 13993

Professor Philippe Depalle

Most digital sound synthesis methods and audio processing techniques are based on the spectral representation of sound signals. This seminar starts with a theoretical and practical study of spectral representation, spectral analysis, and spectral modification of sound signals. Digital sound synthesis and sound processing techniques are then presented as specific spectral modeling or alterations from which their capabilities, properties, and limitations are deduced. Techniques explored in this context include the phase-vocoder, additive synthesis, source-filter synthesis, non-linear (distortion) processing, and audio effects. Available Computer Music software and ad hoc pieces of software are used as examples and illustrations.

Evaluation will be based on two assignments (25% each), one in-class presentation (15%), and a final project (35%).

MUMT 617 (001) The Cognitive Dynamics of Music Listening – CRN 19281

Professor Stephen McAdams

Music theoretic, performance-related, psychophysical, and cognitive perspectives on contemporary musical materials and musical form will be surveyed and discussed. The main aim is to lay the groundwork for a theory of the dynamics of musical listening and experience. The seminar covers a variety of interdisciplinary topics concerning the conception, perception, and memory of contemporary musical materials, as well as the cognitive, emotional and aesthetic aspects of music listening in time. It will combine considerations of a compositional, music theoretic and cognitive psychological nature to attempt to understand these complex phenomena as they operate in real music listening, whether to recorded or to live music in a concert setting.

Grades will be based on: student-led discussions [20%], presentation of individual projects [20%], presentation of group analyses of a piece of music [25%], and presentation of group projects [35%].

MUMT 620 (001) Gestural Control of Sound Synthesis – CRN 8648

Professor Marcelo Wanderley

This seminar examines the use of computers as part of novel digital musical instruments, including physical gestures and actions, design and evaluation of new interfaces for musical expression, and mapping strategies between gestures and sounds. Basic knowledge of sound synthesis methods is required.

Evaluation will be based on summaries of papers, student presentation, project proposal, and a project presentation.

MUSIC THEORY

MUTH 652 (001) Seminar in Music Theory 1 – CRN 12099

Professor Jonathan Wild

Tuning and Temperament: Historical and Speculative Approaches

In this seminar we shall investigate the changing ways in which musical scales and other organising principles of intonation for western music have been conceived, modelled, and evaluated, from antiquity to the present. The emphasis will be more on musical systems than on the repertoire they support. On the historical side we shall examine, among other issues: Platonist vs. Aristoxenian notions of pitch division in Ancient Greece; the Just Intonation debates of the sixteenth century; the development of circulating temperaments in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and the effects of acoustical science on theories of harmony after the scientific revolution. Modern components of the seminar will touch on the field of scale theory (e.g. Clough; Carey & Clampitt), as well as on the speculative approaches of twentieth-century composers and experimentally-minded theorists who have proposed novel tuning systems as a means of increasing available sonic resources. We will conclude with an introduction to systems of microtonality as used by selected twenty-first-century composers, benefitting from two guest lectures by the composer Lasse Thoresen. As part of our aural familiarisation with musical materials drawn from outside 12-tone equal temperament, we will incorporate hands-on exploration of alternative tuning systems through the use of retunable software instruments.

Course assessment will include in-class presentations, a short test, and a research paper of 15-20 pages.

MUTH 653 (001) Seminar in Music Theory 2 – CRN 15682

Professor Nicole Biamonte

Music Theory Pedagogy

This seminar prepares students to teach music theory and aural skills at the college level, focusing on ways of designing a music-theory course (syllabus, course materials, assessments and policies), pedagogical strategies for teaching to various levels of students, and finding solutions for common academic and administrative problems. We will examine and critique recent research in music theory pedagogy concerning various systems of presentation for the core topics of undergraduate music theory courses, and consider what should constitute those core topics for different student populations.

Coursework consists of readings, brief essays, class discussion, teaching observations, teaching demonstrations, preparing sample course materials, written reviews of theory textbooks and websites, and a final research paper. Evaluation will be based on class participation, teaching demonstrations, and the written assignments listed above.

PERFORMANCE AND PERFORMANCE PRACTICE SEMINARS (OPEN TO PERFORMANCE STUDENTS): FALL 2014

PERFORMANCE PRACTICE

MUPP 690 (001) Performance Practice Seminar – CRN 6791

Professor Isabelle Cossette

Coping Strategies for Optimal Performance

This course is designed for performance, pedagogy and music education students interested in understanding performance anxiety, its effect on the body and existing coping strategies.

Classes provide the opportunity for the students to explore and put into practice various coping strategies to control performance anxiety such as: goal setting, anxiety/arousal theories, basic physiology related to anxiety, sport psychology, mental imagery and visualisation, time management, relaxation techniques, meditation, and others based on students’ interests. Discussions based on readings, self-evaluated performances, as well as guest speakers’ presentations will allow the students to apply theoretical knowledge to their performance or teaching skills.

Evaluation will be based on class preparation/participation, journal writing on coping strategies practice, and a final project consisting mainly of designing a psychological preparation program tailored to the students’ own goals.

MUPP 692 (001) Performance Practice Seminar - 17966

Professor Fabrice Marandola

Pedagogy of performance – Pedagogy of interpretation

In this seminar we will explore different teaching techniques related to musical performance. We will discuss different approaches to the pedagogy of interpretation, as well as the phenomena of traditions, Schools and historical interpretation. The concept of expressiveness in music performance will be examined, and we will question its implication on musical teaching. We will evaluate the role and the importance of the pedagogical repertoire in the elaboration of a curriculum, and we will examine how to set goals adapted to a given category of learners.

Cognitive aspects of musical education will be investigated, specifically those related to the mental representation of music (encoding, mnemonic, visualisation, verbalisation). The comparison of Western musical teaching practices with the traditions of cultures where the transmission of the musical knowledge is merely oral, will be used as a prompt to investigate the importance of musical immersion, observation, memorisation and improvisation. In contrast, we will explore methods involving new technologies (aural, haptic and visual feedback).  Observation of teaching situations and mock teaching sessions will be organised to put into practice some of the principles addressed during the seminar.

Student evaluation will include an oral presentation (25%), a report following the observation of teaching situations (20%), a final paper based on the elaboration of a curriculum (40%) and a mark based on their participation and preparation to the discussions (15%).    

MUPP 694 (001) Performance Practice Seminar – CRN 19647  

Professor Lena Weman-Ericsson

Sacred Cantatas by J. S. Bach

During 2014-2015, different ensembles in and around Montreal will all perform cantatas by J. S. Bach. For everyone fascinated by his music, this is a wonderful opportunity. In this seminar, we will try to explore the immediate fascination of this fantastic music. We will examine different layers of meaning such as text, rhetoric writing, the use of chorales, “writing for the eye”, instrumentation, etc., as well as the historical and religious context.

We will choose a number of cantatas to explore from different perspectives in class.

Evaluation will be based on class participation, assignments including presentations in class, and a final paper partly presented in class.

MUPP 694 (001) Performance Practice Seminar - CRN 13559 - IMPORTANT NOTE:  THIS SEMINAR IS SCHEDULED IN THE WINTER 2015 TERM.  HOWEVER, THE SEMINAR WILL BE OFFERED FROM THE FALL TERM TO THE WINTER TERM AT 1.5 HOURS PER WEEK.

Professor William Porter

Contrapuntal Improvisation at the Keyboard

The focus of this year-long seminar is upon developing the skills necessary to improvising – that is, composing at the keyboard – compositions in two, three, and four parts by learning the techniques employed to this end by composers of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. The first semester will be devoted to absorbing the procedures described by Santa Maria, Diruta, Banchieri, Spiridionis, and others, supplemented by musical examples by Italian, Dutch and German composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Exercises in invertible counterpoint will be introduced later in the first semester. The second semester will focus upon later contrapuntal techniques and the practice of partimento as found in Pasquini, the Langloz Manuscript, and the wealth of sources from Naples in the eighteenth century, supplemented by musical examples by composers whose works reflect this practice. Grading will be based upon weekly participation by performance in class, and a public performance at the end of each semester. This seminar is open to pianists, organists, harpsichordists, and any others whose keyboard skills are comparable to those of an undergraduate keyboard major at McGill.

MUPP 695 (001) Performance Practice Seminar 2 – CRN 19624

Professor Julie Cumming

What did Renaissance musicians know? Historical pedagogy and Renaissance vocal polyphony in the age of Josquin

What kinds of musical tools did Renaissance musicians bring to their performance and composition? How did they sight sing, think about pitch relations, and negotiate the ambiguity and lack of clarity in early notations? How did they decide which accidentals to add (musica ficta)? In order to answer these questions we will explore the music pedagogy of the Renaissance and use those skills in our investigation of Renaissance repertoires. We will begin with the Renaissance equivalent of solfège: hexachordal solmization using the Guidonian hand. We will learn to sing the most common chants of the Catholic liturgy – Ave Maria, Pater noster, and the four great Marian antiphons - Salve regina, Ave regina celorum, Alma redemptoris mater, and Regina celi letare - and some hymn melodies, such as Ave maris stella. We will then move on to polyphonic music, learning basic techniques of improvisation (fauxbourdon, falsobordone, improvised canon, and parallel 10ths).

Students will be taught these techniques and be required to do basic improvisation in class. (For an explanation of improvised canon, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n01J393WpKk ). The final project will be a study of a Renaissance composition, looking at the original notation, identifying improvisatory techniques, preparing a performance edition, and writing a paper on the piece. For each class we will read an article, learn a musical technique, and look at some music. We will sing all the music we study in class (from both original and modern notation).

PERFORMANCE

MUPG 590 (001) Vocal Styles and Conventions – CRN 15669

Professor Anja Strauss

This seminar explores vocal performance practices through practical application: text, language, inflection, pronunciation and interpretation considered with the individuality of each student’s voice and technical development.

After examining historical treatises, students will discuss and present musical selections using modern performance standards while remaining true to the stylistic demands of each period.

MUPG 677 (001) Seminar in Performance Topics - CRN 12289 - IMPORTANT NOTE:  THIS SEMINAR IS SCHEDULED IN THE WINTER 2015 TERM.  HOWEVER, THE SEMINAR WILL BE OFFERED FROM THE FALL TERM TO THE WINTER TERM AT 1.5 HOURS PER WEEK.

Professor William Porter

Liturgical Organ Playing
Location: The Church of St. John the Evangelist

This seminar focuses upon the development of skill in the leadership and accompaniment of hymns, the accompaniment and teaching of sung psalmody (particularly Anglican and Gregorian), and the conducting of choral music while accompanying at the organ. Additionally, regular instruction in techniques of improvisation will focus in particular upon hymn introductions and free accompaniments. Each student will be responsible for weekly preparation of music in at least one of these areas. Reading assignments and class discussion will also be devoted to the historical background of each of these areas, as well as to the liturgical principles that shape current practice. Grading for the seminar will be based upon participation in weekly performances and discussions, and a term paper due at the end of each semester.

MUPG 678 (001) Special Topic Seminar – CRN 12072

Professor Rémi Bolduc

 Advanced Improvisation Seminar

The goal of the seminar is to develop students' musical voices by researching the improvisational ideas and approaches of various jazz artists. With approval of the instructor, students will choose the artists to be studied and will be responsible for transcribing compositions and improvised solos by these musicians. Students will also have the opportunity to play the music in class and get feedback from the instructor and their peers, with approximately one third of class time spent performing. The instructor will begin the seminar by presenting his own ideas and insights about specific mentors.

There will be at least three transcriptions and written analyses required from each student, as well as weekly practice assignments derived from the material. Evaluation will be based on the quality of the analyses, transcriptions and ideas the students bring to the seminar, and on their ability to incorporate those ideas into their playing.

SEMINARS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC RESEARCH (COMPLEMENTARY SEMINARS FOR PERFORMANCE STUDENTS): WINTER 2015

BUSA 692 The Treble Cliff - The Business of Music

Monday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Bronfman 310
This is a non-music course. For those admitted to the class, this could be used as an elective seminar with the approval of your Area Chair and Graduate Director.  Please see the end of the course description for instructions on how to get admitted to the course.

This course is a flagship interdisciplinary course, intended to introduce students to collaborative learning through considering the technological, regulatory, economic and social issues in creating, performing, supplying, hearing, finding and making a living from music.  Music is an obvious locus for interdisciplinary learning as it is a shared passion that transcends traditional silos.  More specifically, this course studies music because recent rapid technological innovations have led to creative changes in the business and practice of music.  Changes in music’s form and dissemination have had ripple effects, inspiring the creation of entirely new media and technologies, daring business models, new commodity forms and have tested the limits of domestic and international regulation. 

Understanding and working in this new and evolving environment requires a non-traditional skill set that this course will help develop.  The skills we think are at the core of good interdisciplinary practice include knowing what you don’t know, knowing where to find that out, learning how to talk to strangers (and disciplinary foreigners), and the ability to create frameworks and synthesize knowledge independently.

An important part of education is developing the ability to express oneself clearly and persuasively in various forms of written and oral communication, to engage in constructive critical review of others’ research, experience peer‐review of one’s own research, and develop new knowledge that is rigorous, theoretically grounded and accessible. This course exposes students to these skills through guest speakers, peer-reviewed projects, and presentations.  

Student Evaluation will include attendance and active participation (40%), a research synthesis paper (15%) and a final project (45%).

Please note that there is a limit of 20 students overall, and a limite of 4-5 from the School of Music. Thus, there is a selection process to ensure disciplinary diversity and dedication of the students in the course. In order to be considered for the course, please e-mail a 300-word statement describing your background, why you are interested in this course, and how your perspective will contribute and enhance the course to jui [dot] ramaprasad [at] mcgill [dot] ca by Sunday, November 16. In the following two weeks, potential students will be interviewed. Acceptances will be sent by Friday, December 5.  

COMPOSITION

MUCO 631 (001) Seminar in Composition 6 – CRN 14640

Professor Christopher Harman

Witold Lutoslawski and Krzysztof Penderecki

During the second half of the 20th century, Polish composers Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) and Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-) occupied a prominent place in the world of contemporary music. Yet scholars have largely avoided discussing the works of these two composers together. The proposed seminar will collectively examine historical and cultural aspects of the milieux in which each composer developed. It will also consider their contributions to the post-World War II avant-garde, as well as long-term stylistic developments in their output, and the influence of their music on younger generations of composers, both in Poland and elsewhere.

Activities for evaluation will include readings and written summaries, class discussion, short analysis assignments, individual in-class presentations and a final paper.

MUSIC EDUCATION

MUGT 613 (001) Seminar - Music Education 2 – CRN 6359

Professor Isabelle Cossette

Understanding the Performing Body

This course is designed for performance, pedagogy and music education students interested in understanding how to use their body in an optimal, healthy and efficient way.

Class sessions are intended to provide the opportunity for students to explore knowledge that will seed the inquiry on issues related to the use of body during music playing. Students will develop their critical thinking on topics such as health of musicians, musculoskeletal injuries, breathing strategies, neuroplasticity, nutrition, etc. Discussions based on readings, presentations and lab visits will allow the students to apply theoretical knowledge to their practicing routine, performance, or teaching skills.

Evaluation will be based on class preparation/participation, presentations, and a final project that will require the integration of research and/or pedagogical skills. Topics will be based on students’ interests and may include health of musicians, musculoskeletal injuries, nutrition, brain functions, etc.

MUSICOLOGY

MUHL 681 (001) Seminar in Musicology - CRN 13581

Professor Roe-Min Kok

Chez les Schumanns

This seminar analyzes Robert and Clara Schumann’s Hausmusik in the context of the family life they shared for thirteen years (September 1840-February 1854). Notwithstanding the romantic match—so often idealized—Clara and Robert’s life together was severely strained by inadequate income, a fast-growing family, cramped living quarters, and debilitating illness. At the center of these difficulties lay two individuals’ conflicting views of home, particularly their respective gender roles in relation to family finances and the rearing of their children. We shall analyze the Schumanns’ music for the domestic sphere, primarily Lieder. In Clara’s case, we examine works she created as personal gifts for her husband, her entries in the couple’s marriage diary, and her frank, frequent references to home life in letters to her mother and female confidantes. Evidence for Robert’s concept of home comes from his art songs describing domestic life and familial relationships, and his music for children. Combining musical sources with historical analyses of the family, domesticity, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, we shall critically re-examine the significance and shifting meanings of domestic music in the upheavals of nineteenth-century European private life, and identity formation in the contexts of family, gender, and class.

Reading knowledge of German is recommended, though not required. Evaluation will be based on class presentations (including mandatory handouts), a final project proposal, a 20-25 page research paper, and professionalism (attendance and participation).

MUHL 682 (001) Seminar in Musicology CRN 13238

Professor Steven Huebner

The Operas of Verdi

In connection with the instructor’s current book project on Verdi’s musical dramaturgy, the seminar will investigate how he put his operas together: the scenario, organization of the libretto, verse types, texture types, phrase structure, vocal strategies, tonal planning, number types, recurring elements, and mapping of effective contrasts and character appearances. Participants will also read and report on critical studies of selected works.

Students will develop a research paper concerning opera during the semester. This will be done in close consultation with the instructor and need not be related to Verdi. Evaluation will be based on class participation, short presentations, and the research paper.

MUHL 684 (001) Seminar in Musicology 3 – CRN  10616    

Professor LLoyd Whitesell

Film Music and the Meanings of Style

From its very beginnings, film music was polystylistic—patching together a wide range of idioms from popular and classical spheres, not merely to create moods but using style itself to convey meaning. We will explore how musical style signifies in connection with specific film genres (e.g., Western, film noir, musical); how style topics convey crucial information about narrative and character; Romantic, modernist, and postmodernist aesthetics; mismatching for irony and humor; and the effects of eccentric or exaggerated style (e.g., cartoons, the Coen brothers, Wes Anderson).

Readings will cover a basic introduction to film music studies as well as recent developments. Evaluation will be based on class participation, occasional short assignments, and a final paper/presentation.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

MUMT 611 (001) Music Technology Seminar 1 – CRN 14586

Professor Philippe Depalle

Advanced Techniques for Musical Sound Analysis

This seminar will present advanced techniques of signal processing, which use has recently emerged in the context of musical applications such as non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), analysis of non-linear systems (Volterra series), and adaptive filtering (Kalman filtering). While the emphasis will be made on their use in the context of the analysis/synthesis of sounds, these techniques can be  used in a broader music technology context, such as music information retrieval, physical modelling, or gestural control.

Evaluation will be based on in-class student presentations, and final project presentation, result, and report.

MUMT 618 (001) Computational Modeling of Musical Acoustic - CRN 14587

Professor Gary Scavone

Methods for discrete-time modeling of musical acoustic systems, with an emphasis on digital waveguide techniques. Delay-based audio effects, artificial reverberation, musical instrument models and “physically-informed” approaches to sound synthesis. Prior experience with differential equations, digital filters, Matlab, and C/C++ is required.

Evaluation will be based on weekly homework, in-class presentations, and a final course project.

MUMT 619 (001) Input Devices for Musical Expression  – CRN 14588

Professor Marcelo Wanderley

Basic technologies used in the design of input devices for musical expression, including the most common types of electronic sensors, actuators and associated conditioning circuits and examples of their application to gestural controllers. Prior knowledge of analog electronics required.

Evaluation will be based on assignments and a final project.

MUMT 621 (001) Music Information Retrieval, Acquisition, Preservation – CRN 9398

Professor Ichiro Fujinaga

This seminar will investigate current research activities in the area of music information retrieval. The goal is to discover ways to efficiently find and retrieve musical information. Although the field is relatively new, it encompasses various music disciplines including music analysis, music education, music history, music theory, music psychology, and audio signal processing.

Each student will be expected to present various music information retrieval topics along with literature reviews. Each presentation should be accompanied by web pages created by the presenter. The final project may consist of software development, a theoretical paper, or an extended review paper. Class format will be presentations followed by discussions.

Potential topics include: Themefinder, MELDEX, Cantus, audio content analysis and search, web crawling, melodic similarities, computer-aided transcription, beat tracking, timbre recognition, speech / music separation, P2P technologies, audio and music formats (MPEG-4/7/21, MP3, MusicXML), and Web Services. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the presentations, written assignments, class participation, and the final project.

SOUND RECORDING

MUSR 692 (001) Media Theory and Practice Seminar – CRN 14576

Professor Martha DeFrancisco

This seminar is open to second year graduate sound recording students and graduate performance students only. Recordings of professional standard will be realized with the participation of music students as performers, a recording producer and the recording students as the recording team. All steps will be followed from the preparation to the realization of the recording, the postproduction including editing and mixing and the preparation of the master. Performance students and Sound Recording students will work as partners in the recording process. Some sessions will be directed at musicians, some at recording engineers, and some at both.

Evaluation will be based on active in-class participation and presentations, the results of individual work on the postproduction of the recordings, and a final paper.

MUSIC THEORY

MUTH 654 (001) Seminar in Music Theory 3 – CRN 13202

Professor René Rusch

19th-century Chromaticism

To what extent is chromaticism in 19th-century music rooted in diatonicism? While some theory scholarship maintains that chromaticism in the music of Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, and others can be understood as a subset of diatonicism, other scholarship proposes that chromaticism in these repertoires resists a diatonic rendering, abiding instead by a different compositional logic. Arising from both perspectives are concerns about pitch-based relationships (which ones are closely related and which ones are distant), analytical approach, and listening perspective.

In this seminar, we will explore current theories for understanding chromaticism in 19th-century music, the relationships between these theories, and their impact on music analysis, interpretation, and listening. Topics include voice leading, chromatic harmony, enharmonicism, tonal hierarchies, tonal space, and tonal unity from the viewpoints of diatonic- and chromatic-based music theories.

Evaluation will be based on participation, three critical reading summaries, analyses of selected musical works, one oral presentation, and one research paper.

MUTH 655 (001) Seminar in Music Theory – CRN 14641

Professor Robert Hasegawa

Analyzing spectral music

In the mid-1970s, composers associated with the Paris collective L’Itinéraire, began to investigate the musical implications of spectral analysis: the decomposition of a single sound into a complex of partials at various frequencies. For the first time, musicians could explore “a formal organization and sonic material that came directly from the physics of sound” (Grisey). Acoustic spectra served as models for the control of harmony and timbre, and the evolution of sounds in time offered a compelling image of gradual, processual change. As described by composer Jonathan Harvey, “Spectralism is a moment of fundamental shift after which thinking about music can never be quite the same again.”

This seminar explores the past forty years of spectral composition, following its development from the early experiments of L’Itinéraire composers Tristan Murail and Gérard Grisey to the varied strains and offshoots of spectralism active today. Distinct variants of spectral thought have emerged (often independently) in North America (Claude Vivier, James Tenney), Germany/Austria (Hans Zender, Georg Friedrich Haas), Finland (Magnus Lindberg), and Britain (Jonathan Harvey). The seminar will also consider the close relationship between spectral composition and technology, including tools for spectral analysis (SPEAR, AudioSculpt), sound synthesis, and computer-aided composition (OpenMusic).

Coursework includes a weekly listening/reading assignments and a final analytical paper.

MUTH 659 (001) History of Music Theory 2 – CRN 14590

Professor William Caplin

A survey of the major theoretical writings on harmony, rhythm, and form from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Theorists to be studied include Rameau, Kirnberger, Koch, Sechter, Hauptmann, Marx, Riemann, and Kurth.

Evaluation based on a mid-term exam (20%); final example (40%), and research paper (40%).

PERFORMANCE AND PERFORMANCE PRACTICE SEMINARS (OPEN TO PERFORMANCE STUDENTS): WINTER 2015

PERFORMANCE

MUPG 691 Vocal Seminar – CRN 12066

Professor Valerie Kinslow

Vocal Ornamentation

This seminar provides an introduction to the major treatises with emphasis on their practical application to modern performance. Through the study and discussion of both primary and secondary sources, students will observe and compare national styles. Special topics include the conventions of recitative, text-driven embellishment, and ornamentation in Handel's dramatic works.

Evaluation will be based on two presentations, which may include the performance of embellished airs.

PERFORMANCE PRACTICE

MUPP 691 (001) Performance Practice Seminar 2 – CRN 14623

Professor Lena Weman-Ericsson

Burney's travels through Europe

Charles Burney travelled through Europe in 1770 and 1772 to collect material for his forthcoming Music History. Burney documented his travels in diaries that, in different ways, will be the point of departure for this seminar.

We will follow in Burney's footsteps and virtually visit different musical centres during the 18th Century. In focus are different musical styles and their characteristics, but also the cultural context of these centres. We will use Burney's own texts, appropriate parts of historical treatises, as well as more modern texts and recordings to follow musical development during the late baroque and early classical eras and discuss matters related to today performance of the music in question.

Evaluation will be based on class participation, assignments including presentations in class, and a final paper also presented in class.

MUPP 693 (001) Performance Practice Seminar 4 - CRN 3596

Professor Guillaume Bourgogne

Introduction to Conducting

This seminar for graduate performance students having little or no previous experience in conducting  (instrumentalists and vocalists alike) has three goals :  1) discovering the great conductors in history; 2) acquiring the technical basis of conducting; 3) and putting this technique into practice.

Each student will choose a video of an important conductor in the history of music and analyse his or her style and body language.  By sharing these analyses in class with one another, students will acquire a culture of orchestral conducting.  In the second part of each class, students will then apply what they have learned to the development of their own technique:  first, through the acquisition of technical fundamentals in harmony with their own bodies and personalities; second, through the study of techniques for analysing and preparing scores before starting rehearsals.

The final part of each class will be devoted to practising with a chamber ensemble made up of students in the seminar.  Students will exchange the roles of conductor and performer.  Students, consequently, will be introduced to transcriptions and transcription skills in order to adapt repertoire to the instrumentation and needs of the class.

Evaluation will be based on participation, in class presentations on historical conductors, transcriptions, and the evolution of basic skills.

Priority List for Graduate Seminars:

1. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is a required seminar in that program and who require the seminar to graduate the year in which it is offered.
2. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is a required seminar in that program.
3. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is an elective seminar in that program.
4. Other McGill students in graduate programs (music and non-music).
5. Visiting graduate students.
6. McGill undergraduate music students who have the necessary prerequisites.
7. Other McGill undergraduate students who have the necessary prerequisites.
8. Visiting undergraduate music students.
9. Special Students.