Graduate Courses 2020-2021

A current listing of the graduate courses for 2020-2021 is available below (subject to change). For further information on course content, please consult the instructor directly.


Music 505: Bibliography and Methods of Research
Fall 2020: Monday 2:00pm–4:50pm
Instructor: Maryam Moshaver

This course combines exploration of a range of research methods with the practical problems of defining and expressing a research topic or constructing and presenting a creative activity or program as research. In addition, we will learn the conventions of citation and discuss how various citations styles convey information in academic contexts. Emphasis is on a variety of writing genres including grant proposals, program notes, and annotated bibliographies, as well as on individual textual elements such as footnotes, abstracts, etc., through writing exercises and analysis of examples from the literature. The course will focus on research apparatus and development of research questions, but not on the production of a research work or final paper as such. Emphasis is on bibliographical resources, critical reading, discussion, and collaborative learning.

Music 545 - Interactive Sounds and Systems
Fall 2020: Tues/Thurs 3:30PM - 4:50PM
Instructor: Mark Hannesson

This course is an introduction to coding interactive programs for sound artists and musicians. The language used for this course is Cycling 74's Max patching language, which is one of the most commonly used interactive media languages in the digital arts. We will also touch in Pure Data, a related language which is open source and works across multiple platforms, and ChucK, a strongly-timed text-based language that is particularly useful for live coding. Additionally, the course will survey a number of sound and music-based artworks that make use of these technologies to accomplish an array of fascinating artistic visions and interactive environments. All students in the course will learn the basics of Max, and will be asked to create a final project in the form of a musical performance, interactive system, or installation, which will be shown to the public in a final semester exhibition.

Music 489/589 - Studies in Music and Identity
Fall 2020: Tuesdays 9:00-11:50
Instructor: Julia Byl

In this class you will be introduced to a broad variety of musical cultures as we explore how ethnomusicolgists have discussed the issue of identity. How are our identities shaped by society, and what role does music play in this shaping? An identity can be broad (Canadian, LGBTQ, Spanish-speaking, Asian) or very niche (one of the ten people who liked that band before it got big). Through readings, listening, and discussion, we will explore the ways identities are expressed, globally. We will look at techno and punk scenes; examine national and regional cultures in Indonesia, Russia, and Zimbabwe; analyze the contents of our own playlists; and take on issues like globalization, intersectionality, and appropriation—all filtered through a music studies perspective. This course will also introduce some of the core concepts and issues of ethnomusicology through an engagement with the work of scholars of music and identity.

Music 632 - Advanced Wind Band Conducting
Fall/Winter 2020-2021: Tuesdays 9:30-10:50
Instructor: Angela Schroeder

This course is intended for Wind Band Conducting Majors, but students with previous wind band conducting experience may be considered by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.

This course offers an intensive study in the historical, theoretical, analytical and practical aspects that pertain to the Wind Band repertory and pedagogy. Students will demonstrate mastery through score analysis, composer studies, research projects, listening assignments, aural skills, class discussion, presentations and practical conducting demonstrations. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of past and current trends in the development of Wind Band history, and its implications for the Wind Band conductor.

Music 670: Proseminar in Popular Music and Media Studies
Fall 2020: Friday 9:00am – 11:50am
Instructor: Brian Fauteux

Music 670 is a proseminar that provides an overview of the history, issues, and methodologies in Popular Music Studies and its related fields, and explores music in its variety of popular and mediated forms. It will critically evaluate the production, reception, performance, and circulation of popular music and explore the various ways in which popular music communicates ideologies, meanings, aesthetics, forms of resistance, and cultural and technological shifts. We focus on the processes and methods that popularize music and facilitate its ability to reach audiences, both historically and in a contemporary context. A key component of this proseminar is the use of a Media Studies approach to the study of popular music, paying special attention to issues of power, industries, identity, sound technology, visual media, cultural policy, and cultural geography. This course is open to all graduate students in the Department of Music and students in related disciplines are welcome to join through obtaining permission of the Instructor.


Music 365/565 - Music and Cosmology
Winter 2021: Tues/Thurs 2:00-3:20
Instructor: Julia Byl

How do local understandings of natural power transform a major world religion? How is cosmic energy channeled through the movements of the human body? And what is it about music that allows it to express our grandest understandings of the divine? In this course, we will explore how people living in diverse times and places make sense of the world and their place within it through sound. We will encounter all of the major religions through music, ritual and sound, but will also pay attention to localized traditions of the divine in the world, and the world of the divine. We will use readings, listening, and the analysis of three performances to answer key questions, and think of more. 

Music 480/580: Survey of Contemporary Music and Sonic Arts
Winter 2021: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:50
Instructor: Andriy Talpash

This course is a survey of compositional trends and styles in contemporary music since 1945. In particular, we will focus on music and sonic art created in the last 25 years, drawing connections to the traditions of the avant-garde from the mid-20th century. The course will follow a seminar format, exploring music through score reading, listenings, readings, films, and discussion. Topics will include: 

  • Total Serialism
  • Indeterminacy
  • Electronic Music
  • Minimalism
  • Post-modernism
  • Political Music
  • Sound Mass/micro-polyphony
  • New complexity
  • Spectralism

Music 501: What Makes Music Last?
Winter 2021: Friday 9:00-11:50
Instructor: Fabio Morabito

For the past two centuries, the culture of Western art music has consisted largely of the consumption of earlier repertoires: music surviving its own time, heard and reheard as a model of excellence. JS Bach is still celebrated today, but his wife (also a competent musician) is not; Mozart is, but his just-as-prolific contemporary Antonio Rosetti isn’t. This is why, in common parlance, we refer to Western art music simply as “classical”. It is – for better or worse – a selection of musical monuments. The idea of an artistic canon (treating certain pieces of music and certain musicians as worthy of continued appreciation) is one of the most complex historical structures of the West, yet one we tend to take for granted. Who chose/chooses the monuments and how? Who is excluded and why? This seminar offers an exploration of key historiographical issues and conceptual tools to evaluate critically notions of composerly immortality/greatness in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. To this period date many practices that shaped our enduring fascination with these larger-than-life figures: from biographies boasting heroic accounts of musicians’ lives and compositional progress, to thinking of artistic creativity as a product of masculine prowess and virility, which sustained the creation of a male-dominated musical canon.

Music 634: Seminar in Choral Literature II
Winter 2021: Tuesday/Thursday 2:00pm-3:20 pm
Instructor: Gregor Kokorz
Music 634 is a seminar in choral literature from the late Classical era to the present.  We will explore representative genres, styles, composers, and compositions, using appropriate historical and analytical strategies, and consider relevant editorial and performance practices.  Participants will become familiar with choral repertory, scholarly literature, and standard reference tools.

Music 650: Proseminar in Music Theory
Winter 2021: Monday 1:00pm–3:50pm
Instructor: Maryam Moshaver

This course focuses on the intersections between Music Theory and the principal academic sub-disciplines of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. We will examine the modalities of theoretical exploration in a broad range of scientific and humanistic discourses, as exemplified in recent music-theoretical writings. Topics include the intersections of theory with analysis, aesthetics, postmodernist and structuralist discourse, psychology, phenomenology, history, and literature, among others. Depending on the interests of the participants, we will devote class time to discussing problems of performance analysis, transcription, symbolic systems, and the development of descriptive and analytical languages suitable for coming to terms with musical works from a variety of historical periods and geographical areas.