u3r-whitesell_guide

u3r-whitesell_guide - MUS
355
American
Music
...

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Unformatted text preview: MUS
355
American
Music
 Unit
3
 “Race
and
Music”
Module
 
 Reading
guide
text
for
Lloyd
Whitesell,
“White
Noise:
Race
and
Erasure
in
the
 Cultural
Avant‐Garde”
 
 This
essay
explores
whiteness
as
manifested
in
avant‐garde
composition,
a
genre
 addressed
in
detail
in
unit
2.

While
many
of
the
styles,
composers,
and
pieces
 mentioned
in
the
essay
may
be
unfamiliar,
the
musical
vocabulary
is
straight
from
 Unit
1;
this
should
provide
enough
of
an
anchor
for
you
to
grasp
Whitesell’s
basic
 points.



 One
of
the
genres
that
Whitesell
makes
repeated
reference
to
is
minimalism,
 a
style
that
emerged
in
the
1950s
and
60s
that
was
based
on
the
repetition
of
short
 musical
passages
that
slowly
change
and
evolve.

Rather
than
moving
from
one
 theme,
musical
idea,
or
section
to
another,
minimalist
pieces
gradually
transform,
 and
invite
the
listener
to
experience
this
process
as
it
occurs.

This
aesthetic
reflects,
 among
other
things,
the
influence
of
Zen
Buddhism
on
minimalist
composers,
many
 of
whom
engaged
seriously
with
eastern
philosophy.
 Whitesell
also
references
previous
work
on
race
in
blackface
minstrelsy,
a
 subject
that
appears
elsewhere
in
this
course.

This
provides
an
opportunity
for
you
 to
reflect
on
how
some
of
the
Unit
2
modules
might
connect
in
unexpected
ways
 through
discourses
like
race.
 
 To
help
you
organize
your
reading
and
notes,
here
are
some
questions
for
 you
to
consider:
 
 How
does
Whitesell
define
“avant‐garde?”

What
does
he
mean
by
a
“rhetoric
 of
negation?
(see
171‐174
especially)”
 
 How
has
the
“rhetoric
of
negation”
manifested
in
music?
 
 Why
does
Whitesell
link
this
rhetoric
with
whiteness
in
particular?

Why
not
 blackness,
or
some
other
color?
 
 Whitesell
points
to
three
types
of
evidence
to
support
his
claim
that
the
 “blank
slate”
referred
to
by
avante
garde
composers
is
an
expression
of
 whiteness
(bottom
of
175).

The
first
of
these
is
“relational
symbolism;”
the
 second,
“qualitative
symbolism”
(based
on
Richard
Dyer’s
work);
and
the
 third,
“rhetorical
structure.”

What
do
these
mean?

See
if
you
can
understand
 what
he’s
trying
to
point
out
in
his
examples.
 
 Do
Whitesell
and
Jacobson
talk
about
the
same
kind
of
whiteness?

How
are
 their
concepts
of
whiteness
similar
or
different?
 
 ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2011 for the course MUS 355 taught by Professor Carson during the Spring '08 term at ASU.

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