Expository writing based on material presented in a specified humanities lecture course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required.
We will explore methods of writing about music by completing specific assignments on musical topics. Through identification and discussion of major issues within a topic, students will craft papers around these problematic themes. Emphasis will be on achieving clarity of writing, strong argumentative writing skills, and good writing organization. We will also evaluate the unique issues that accompany writing about music as opposed to other fields in the humanities or sciences.
Topics may include: writing of program notes, issues of modernism and its reception, issues of American music and reception, writing about popular music, concepts of canonization. Basic researching skills will also be introduced and used.
Student learning goals
to improve students' ability to describe musical phenomena in writing.
to gain an appreciation for the process of writing, and learn a possible manner of planning out a long term paper.
to learn how to integrate sources and citations into your own argument.
to learn how to create an argument that engages in a musicological discourse, and differentiate this from writing in other disciplines.
to gain a better understanding of students' primary instrument by seeing the connections between music history and the performance of music.
General method of instruction
Classes will be conducted in a seminar-like fashion, with student discussion a vital component of the course. Discussions of readings and problems in writing, as well as in-class writing and listening exercises. Peer review of each other's papers is necessary for success in this course.
Class assignments and grading
Major papers of medium length (~1000 words) with multiple smaller related assignments leading up to and in preparation for major paper. Peer review of drafts is an essential component of the class process and will be required of every paper.
Short assignments, class participation, and three papers.