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Music in Outer Space
MUSC 248
Fall 2020
Section: 01  

Very few people have traveled out of the Earth's atmosphere, but many composers have voyaged extensively in the conceptual realms of outer space. Throughout human history, musicians have been inspired by the "harmony of the spheres," knowledge of the universe, celestial bodies, and planetary motion. From Pythagorus, Boethius, Philippe de Vitry, John Dunstaple, Johannes Kepler, Gustav Holst, Gy├Ârgi Ligeti, John Cage, Judith Weir, Alvin Lucier, Brian Eno, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sun Ra, and Jeff Mills to the 1977 Voyager Golden Record, Hawkwind, David Bowie, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, John Williams, Kraftwerk, and the Beastie Boys, we explore the importance of constellations to musical creativity, and the ways in which cosmic sounds have influenced artists. The course will approach the topic through various interpretative lenses. Readings are drawn from a wide range of sources--theoretical, scientific, poetic, and experiential. Discussion topics will include theories relating to the music of the spheres, the study of geometry and proportion, astro-acoustics, sonification, the use of metaphor (in naming the planets in our solar system, lunar and solar imagery), and the influence of imagined and documented sounds of space on composers past and present. Students will each construct their own soundscape of space in the near future. Musicians, astronomers, theorists, and composers: All are welcome.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MUSC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-22-2024
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