MUH 2012-02 Syllabus for Fall 2010-3

MUH 2012-02 Syllabus for Fall 2010-3 - Fall 2010 Course...

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Fall 2010 Course number MUSIC IN WESTERN CULTURE Credits MUH 2012-02 3 PRELUDE You probably can’t remember a time in your life when you didn’t know some music. Your parents likely sang to you when you were a baby, you might have learned the alphabet to a song, you will have played games or jumped rope with songs, you have heard music while watching television shows, and if you attend religious services you hear music there. Music surrounds you at clubs or restaurants, you might go to concerts, and you can carry your playlist with you on your MP3 or iPod player. You don’t have to be a musician to love music, to find it intriguing or to learn about it. We hear music more than we listen to it. Hearing music might amount to no more than noticing that someone is singing or that music plays a part in the soundtrack to a film. Listening should be a more active experience than that. When we know what kinds of things to listen for in music, then we get much more out of it than if the sound merely washes over us. And we can learn to perceive details in music without a lot of training; we just need to know and pay attention to the elements that music contains, and to develop some basic vocabulary for identifying those when we hear them. While we acquire some skills for perceptive listening, we can also go further and learn how music becomes meaningful. Music does not exist in a vacuum but in society and culture, forming part of real- life experience, engaging with everything else that people do. To understand music, we not only have to listen attentively but also listen in context. We should ask ourselves all sorts of questions about what music means. How does music respond to war or patriotic movements? How does it reflect moral or religious values? How does it express celebration or mourning? How does it respond to nature or literature? One fascinating way to learn about music is to talk to musicians. You might have some experience making music yourself, although presumably not as your vocation. Musicians have a special calling, and they express themselves primarily through their composing, singing, and playing . There’s no substitute for finding out how they understand the music that they make. At the same time, musicians are real people who have to work hard every day. They puzzle out concepts like scientists or lawyers do, and they train like athletes. They also have to deal with the real world of business. Their world is one of beauty, challenging ideas, and hard knocks. In MUH 2012 you will listen to a lot of music; learn some of the great masterpieces of the classical music tradition; read, talk, and write about music’s meanings and values ; and get to know some musicians. COURSE OBJECTIVES
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2011 for the course MUH MUH2012 taught by Professor Wright during the Fall '07 term at FSU.

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MUH 2012-02 Syllabus for Fall 2010-3 - Fall 2010 Course...

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