Jonathan W Bernard
Development and discussion of current student and faculty research in compositional/analytical theory and metatheory.
The Spring 2013 offering of the Seminar in Theory is devoted to study of the music of the Hungarian-born Gyorgy Ligeti, one of the most interesting and significant Western composers of the later 20th century and early 21st. We will focus on new analytic methods that have afforded insight into the workings of Ligeti's music in his three principal style periods (1.Up to 1956; 2.1957-1977; 3.1981-2006), as well as the fruits of study of his compositional sketches. The unusually wide range of influences on Ligeti's developing aesthetic -- literary and scientific as well as musical -- will also receive considerable attention.
Student learning goals
Listener's knowledge of representative works from Ligeti's three principal style periods: (1) to 1956; (2) 1957-1977; (3) 1982-2006
Familiarity with Ligeti's aesthetic foundations, including his debts to various European, American, and "non-Western" musics
Knowledge of viable theory-based approaches to Ligeti's music, and experience in applying them to original analytical study
General method of instruction
Suggested: Music 471 or 472, or the equivalent. There is no fixed prerequisite for this course, although some background in the analysis of 20th-century music and/or some previous listening experience (acquaintance) with the repertoire under study would be useful. Anyone in doubt as to whether s/he is ready for this course is encouraged to consult with the instructor.
Class assignments and grading
a good deal of listening; readings selected from Ligeti's writings and interviews as well as from the scholarly literature on their work; musical analysis
one in-class presentation; final paper; class participation