400 - Level

Fall 2019

MUSIC 455 - Music Theory V

    Andriy Talpash
    MW - 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM


This is a repertoire-based course in theory and analysis.  Music 455 focuses on the first half of the twentieth-century, covers a range of composers, styles and representative works dating from c.1890 to c.1945.  Throughout the first part of the course, substantial discussion on both conventional tonality and late chromatic harmony is also included.  The student will gain in-depth familiarity of the works discussed, and gain ability with various tonal and post-tonal analytical techniques.  Instruction is given in lecture format.  Required reading and listening assignments will be given on a TBA basis (all materials are on library reserve).


MUSIC 466 - Topics in Ethnomusicology: Music Culture as a Social Network

    Michael Frishkopf
Time     TR - 11:00 - 12:20

Ethnomusicology is the study of music in or as society and culture. Social Network Analysis (SNA) is an application of mathematics (graph theory) to social and semantic phenomena. As SNA provides an insightful approach towards understanding society (social links) and culture (semantic links), it follows that SNA also provides an insightful means of thinking in ethnomusicology, and a productive tool for ethnomusicological research. Similarly, graph theory has been applied in many other disciplines - from computer science, to physics, to biology - resulting in a flourishing new field generally known as "network science".

In this course we consider ethnomusicology as "the study of music in, as, or generating networks." With this formulation, networks define the social and cultural contexts within which music operates; the channels through which music, musical artifacts, and knowledge about music, diffuse; and as the basis for musical performance. Music is also considered as a key factor in the formation of social networks. This network approach has become especially pertinent with the rise of social media, through which much music and musical knowledge passes.

Students will learn about social network analysis in theory and practice (including hands-on training using (free) software packages), with applications to music, and will conduct a small research project in this domain.

See: Course Website


MUSIC 484 - Studies in Music & Society: Music Scenes and Creative Cities

    Brian Fauteux
    F - 9:00-12:00


This course investigates the various relationships between cities and their local musical activity. It considers the ways in which local identities and popular histories are shaped by music cultures (and vice versa). Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary theoretical and conceptual frameworks for studying local music (including popular music studies, media studies, cultural studies, and cultural geography) this course explores issues and themes such as: the transition from subcultural studies to music scene studies; cultural and municipal policies for local music; the cultural histories of specific music scenes; the role of music in branding “creative cities;” the ways in which music can be a force for forming localized social movements; the role of cities in shaping the sound and lyrics of songs; and, technology and global/translocal scenes. Students will be required to participate frequently throughout the course and to reflect critically on their own experience of music scenes (both here in Edmonton and beyond). We will also regularly evaluate the representation and documentation of local music scenes through a variety of texts (including documentaries, television shows, news stories, and so forth).


Winter 2020 


MUSIC 445 - Electroacoustic Music

    Scott Smallwood
    TR 11:00 - 12:20


This course is an introduction to electroacoustic music, including an explanation of that term!  The course will explore the history, development, repertoire, artworks, and cultural movements around the rise of electronic/digital technologies in music and the sonic arts.  Through a combination of lecture, listening, in-class demos, and studio work, students will gain an overview of the wide varieties of sounds, technologies, and ideas that have shaped electroacoustic music since the 1950s.  This course is not merely "how to use technology course,” rather, it is a course in which students will work together, and creatively, to understand the diverse world of this music.  Students will be expected to do creative work, including a final compositional project, which will be presented in a public concert.


MUSIC 470/471/570/571 - Compositional Tutorials

     Scott Smallwood, Mark Hannesson


In either or both acoustic and electronic mediums, Music 470, 471, 570 and 571 are all tutorial-based courses in ‘free’ composition. Regular critiquing and coaching will assist the student in developing various compositional techniques and strategies, as well as encouraging informed, independent creative musical thought and expression. To ensure that diverse learning experiences occur, emphasis is placed on composing shorter, multi-movement works that are concise, well-structured, and clearly focused with regard to artistic objectives and compositional means.


MUSIC 481 - Studies in Avante-Garde Music

    Mark Hannesson
Time     TR - 9:30 - 10:50

This course is a seminar in Contemporary Vocal Music.  Each week we will investigate a piece of repertoire, a significant vocal composer, or an issue related to the subject.  Repertoire will include, Berio's Sequenza for voice, Vivier's Lonely Child, Saariaho's L'amour son loin, Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children, Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Cage’s Aria, Nono’s Il canto sospeso.  As well as the pieces surrounding these works as well.  We will look at the substantial vocal output of composers Meredith Monk, Robert Ashley, and Harrison Birtwistle. The course will try to look at where vocal music was in the late 20th and where it is now.

MUSIC 482 - Studies In Music and Gender

    Christina Gier
Time     TR - 14:00-15:20


In this course, we will consider how music produces and facilitates gendered meanings in our social interactions and musical creativity. The syllabus introduces some fundamental historical and theoretical writings on the intersections of gender, sexuality and musicality and explores case studies of gender issues in musical practices and compositions from different eras. This class specifically will focus on how popular and artistic musical practices made meanings about identity and both changed and expressed ideas of gender over the 20th century in North America. An example topic is the role of popular song in expressing gender during the First World War. Another focus is the discussions around women instrumentalists in jazz and how the hundreds of “All-Girl” bands played all over the nation. In addition we will study rock, heavy metal, techno, and alternative masculinities and femininities, “disruptive divas” and trans identities in popular music.