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Music, Sound, and the Environment in the Anthropocene
MUSC 288
Spring 2018 not offered
Crosslisting: ENVS 288

In this course we will explore how environmental works have proliferated throughout the academy and how scholars across the humanities are re-evaluating the reciprocal relationships among society, culture, and the environment. Over the course of the semester we will explore the diverse and interconnected ways in which contemporary composers, popular musicians, sound artists, world music practices, and collaborative arts practitioners draw on natural and urban environments in order to comment on current environmental and energy issues, trauma, the relationships among the arts, humanities and science and technology studies, representations of the environment and the environmental past, and participate in social activism. Employing socially and environmentally engaged musicological analysis, this course will focus on five distinct areas: We will analyze how environmental sites and situations are represented in music; examine why environmentalist ideologies are integrated into the musical narratives and/or sonic choices made by the artist; address how artists conceptualize the environment and express their relationship to it; grapple with what motivates these artists to incorporate environmental commentary into their compositions, illustrating how sociocultural and environmental factors influence creative expression; and question how personal and societal values concerning relationships between society and the environment are disseminated and constructed through music. We will also explore the various ways in which nature, urbanity, and environment are constructed in the production, performance, consumption, and reception of music. Through our reading discussions, writing, and applied projects, some of the questions we will address include: How do the intersections of landscapes and cityscapes produce multifarious artistic responses? How are communities whose economy depend on, or historically depended on, energy and/or natural resource industries signified or evoked through music? How are past and present histories of place expressed, recorded, and remembered through detailed and affective sensory experience? How do we determine the health of our soundscapes? How is music and sound mobilized in social activism? How are notions of identity, as shaped by a physical environment and the ideologies connected to place, constructed and communicated? As we engage with the critical geography of sound, we will address the global networks, musical mobilities, circulation of sounds, traditions and musicians, and the ways in which landscape, mapping, urban planning, and landscapes are expressed in music.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS)(MUSC)

Last Updated on NOV-29-2023
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