The full list of music courses we offer can be found on the Registrar's website. Please note that courses and times are subject to change.
Timetable of Class Meetings posted here.
This course is an introduction to hip-hop music and culture, intended to offer interdisciplinary perspectives on what is one of the most popular genresin the United States. From its humble origins in New York to now, hip-hop and rap music have changed thesonic landscape of the US and the world. We will examine rap music and hip-hop culture as artistic and sociological phenomena with emphasis on historical, cultural, economic and political contexts. Discussions will include the coexistence of various hip-hop styles, their appropriation by the music industry, and controversies resulting from the exploitation of hip-hop music and culture as a commodity for national and global consumption.
How have machines changed music, and how have musicians changed machines? This course explores the impact of music technology on a century of sonic innovators. From room-sized synthesizers to backpack drum machines, from military vocoders to turntable science, we track how electronic tools have scrambled cultural hierarchies on their path from state-funded radio stations to present-day microchips. Both sites of radical Black resistance and tools of a Eurocentric elite, electronic instruments have shaped auditory cultures in myriad, divergent ways. Tracing these threads, we'll touch on the birth of Hip-Hop, Italian Futurists, Afrofuturism, Musique Concrète, American minimalism, Detroit Techno, and much more.
Class sessions move from theory to practice, merging group discussions of repertoire and readings with hands-on sonic experimentation in Audacity and Ableton Live. Students are lent a home studio kit (with an audio interface, midi keyboard, microphone, and headphones) to compose three sonic art projects throughout the term. Weekly X-hour meetings, led by Sunny Nam, foster studio-based ear-training skills. Music 25 aims to empower the sonic intelligence in everyone. No previous musical training is required, just a willingness to get down with sound.