Current Courses: University of Rochester, College Department of Music
- Spring 2021
- History of Western Music,
This course provides music majors the opportunity to build a conceptual framework for understanding how and why people in Europe and European colonies made music between about 1600 and 1800 and what it meant to them. It equips students to think historically about music (understanding change over time in forms, practices, and concepts of music), and to think musically about history (understanding lived experience in the past through music). The course highlights the interconnection between the sound of music and the social structures that music shapes and is shaped by, with particular emphasis on how European people used music to build a
Westernworld, which included developing a canon of musical
classics.Students will gain detailed knowledge of musical repertoire from this period through close engagement with the sources, including transcription and performance; while developing critical thinking skills through research, writing, and oral presentation.
- Music in Christian
This course explores the changing functions and meanings of music in Christian worship practices, from the first-century house churches to contemporary megachurches. We will see how Christians developed music and ritual to embody their beliefs and structure their communities. We will listen closely to music ranging from Gregorian chant and liturgical music of Palestrina, Bach, and Mozart to Protestant hymns and psalms and contemporary evangelical worship music. The course will equip students to understand how people have used music to create relationships with God and with each other.
Rather than presenting worship as a single, unchanging tradition or elevating one type of liturgy above all others, this course focuses on different Christian communities' creative responses to times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The course will emphasize Christianity's global dimensions, with special emphasis on the problems of intercultural missions and colonization and the contributions of women and people of color. The instructor is both a musicologist specializing in Christian worship and a practicing worship leader. No musical training or knowledge is required, nor is religious background or belief.
- History of Western Music, 1600–1800
- Fall 2020
This course introduces you to music as a discipline for understanding human experience. It considers both how people do music and how we talk and think about music (in other words the course is introductory both to music and to musicology). Its goal is to equip you to think critically about the experience of music and to empower you to engage with music in a way that will not only enrich your life in a lasting way but also allow you to make a positive impact in society. We will break down the complex whole of musical experience into different elements of how the music sounds and how the music functions socially, so that you can understand how those elements interact to make music mean something to people. The course strongly emphasizes music by Black and indigenous music creators.
- Music in New Worlds:
Global Encounters in the Age of Discoveries, 1492 to
After 1492, Europeans and other peoples around the globe began to discover each other in new ways, and music played a vital role in their encounters. This course equips students to develop a global perspective on music in the early modern era. Through case studies in Latin America, New England, China, and Africa, students will gain insight into the ways people use music as an agent of political and religious power in processes of cultural exchange and conflict. The course examines how missionaries and colonial leaders mixed musical cultures to build new social structures; and how colonial subjects responded creatively, in collaboration or resistance, to shape hybrid identities. We will study musical practices from both sides of the encounters, including Chinese and Native American musics and exported European practices like religious choral music and popular dances. No prior musical knowledge is required.
- Experiencing Music
- Fall 2019
- Spring 2019
- History of Western Music IV (1850 to present)
- Christian Worship in the
This course equips students to understand the key role of music in shaping the new identities and beliefs of the Christian communities that emerged from the Reformations of the sixteenth century: Lutherans, Calvinists, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics, including colonial societies around the globe. We will study the link between faith, music, and community in Lutheran chorales and Puritan psalms, Palestrina's masses and J. S. Bach's Passions, and music from colonial Latin America. In light of theological literature of the time we will study how music served as a form of ritual and prayer for communities and individuals. This historical knowledge will enable students to understand the roots of living traditions of Christian worship today. No musical or theological background required.
- Fall 2018
- Spring 2018
- History of Western Music IV (1850 to present) (MUR 224)
- Music and Religion (MUR 218/REL 281)
- Fall 2017
- History of Western Music III (1730 to 1850) (MUR 223)
- Opera (MUR 126)