A comprehensive study of major intellectual trends relevant to cultural theory and musicology. To foster interdisciplinary awareness, emphasis will be placed on those schools of thought that have become widely influential beyond musicology. Upon completion of this course, students should be competent in the application of a range of theoretical models, and should also have an appreciation of their specific historical contexts and development. Topics to be considered may include (but are not be limited to): Marxism and critical theory, anthropological and sociological theory, philosophical aesthetics, psychoanalysis, feminism and gender theory, post-colonial studies, and cultural studies. Precludes additional credit for MUSI 5001.
An examination of the research process, including the initial phases of conceptualization, framing and research design. The course will examine and critique existing musical and cultural methods and raise issues related to the application of interdisciplinary methodologies to musical objects of study. The relationship of method to theory and epistemology will be discussed. Students will formulate a set of research questions and design a research project appropriate to them.
Selected debates within contemporary theory and culture will be explored and their relevance to music will be assessed. The course is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather, it will focus on a limited range of debates and issues selected by the instructor and/or the course participants for in-depth discussion and analysis. Prerequisite: MUSI 5000 or permission of the School.
Elective courses in the MA in Music and Culture (a minimum of five electives will be offered in each academic year)
Music is often taken as a privileged medium for the construction and maintenance of cultural identities. The relationship between music and traditional cultures, geography, the nation state, urban subcultures, gender and sexuality, race, class and ethnicity will be explored through a variety of theoretical perspectives including ethnomusicology, cultural studies, feminism, masculinity, and queer studies.
In Western culture, we have come to understand music as an autonomous form of cultural expression. However, the relationships between musical and visual culture–including traditional arts, fine art painting, film and television and, more recently, digital gaming and interactive media – are intimate and complex. This course will question the basis on which music and visual culture are held to be separate and distinct, and will explore the ways in which meanings are dependent upon mutual relationships between the two.
This course is concerned with the role that technologies – including musical instruments, notation, sound recording, and digital media – play in our concepts and practices associated with music. In this regard, the course will address technology as both material culture and a set of distinct musical practices. The relationship between musical technologies and, more generally, the increasing importance of technology in society and culture at large will be discussed.
This course is meant to develop an advanced competency in theories of meaning and representation as applied to music. Major source traditions to be considered will include semiotics/structuralism, analytic philosophy, and cognitive theory, along with the most prominent critiques of “musical meaning,” including formalism and post-structuralism.
The aim of this course is to explore theories of genre – including theories derived from other disciplines such as literary theory and film studies – as they are applied to the production and reception of music. Historical issues concerning the emergence of specific genres and the various relationships between genre and musical style, social contexts, markets, legitimization and the organization of knowledge will be addressed.
Music making is both enabled and sustained through a variety of social institutions. Historical relationships between society and Western art music – from the sacred institutions of the medieval monastery to modern religions, from seventeenth century opera to the nineteenth century concert hall and the conservatory – will be discussed. In addition, theories and modes of analysis drawn from critical and cultural theory, political economy, and policy studies will be employed as a means of understanding the significance of the rise of the so-called cultural industries (sound recording, radio and film) in the early twentieth century, the relationship of science, the arts, and the academy, as well as contemporary regimes of state funding and Canadian multicultural policies.
This course will explore the ways in which the production and reception of music is governed by a variety of organizational and hierarchical principles whose role is to differentiate, categorize, and legitimize music making within specific historical and social conditions. The formation of musical canons and their relationship to issues of class, nationalism, taste cultures, and the rise of musicology itself will be of particular interest.
Challenging notions of music as located primarily in musical texts (i.e., scores) or fixed objects (sound recordings), this course will address music as a form of social practice rooted in traditions of performance. The inherent variability and multimodal character of these practices will be explored through theories of performance and gesture drawn from the histories and literatures of music, theatre, and dance (in art, popular, and non-Western forms).
Selected aspects of notated Canadian music from 1600 to the present: liturgical music; social and economic conditions of Canadian musical life; regional studies; individual composers and performers. Precludes additional credit for MUSI 5100.
Issues of anthropological, sociological, and analytical significance are examined in the context of selected developments in folklore and ethnomusicological research on English- and French-language Canadian traditions. Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as MUSI 4103. Precludes additional credit for MUSI 4103 and MUSI 5101.
The context and significance of musical expressions for representative Nations in each of the Canadian geographical regions – Maritime, Eastern Nomadic, Eastern Sedentary, Plains, Western Subarctic, Plateau, Northwest Coast, and Arctic – are examined from the pre-Contact period to the present. Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as MUSI 4104. Precludes additional credit for MUSI 4104 or MUSI 5102.
This course examines music’s role in the multifaceted and complex processes of globalization. Drawing on case studies of “world musics” this course explores how sound and music negotiate histories of post/colonialism, cultural and economic imperialism, and constructions of sameness and difference in “world music” contexts.
This course explores the varied roles that music has played—and continues to play—as an agent of positive social change, offering students innovative opportunities to reflect/act on the relationships between music and human rights and to forge connections between academic work and struggles for social justice.
Selected topics, focusing on aspects of music and cultural theory, not available in regular program offerings. Topics will vary from year to year and may include (but are not be limited to): Feminism and Musicology; Issues in Ethnomusicology; and Problems of Historical Musicology.
Selected topics, focusing on specific genres of music, not available in regular program offerings. Topics will vary from year to year and may include (but are not be limited to): Issues in Popular Music; or Music in French Canada.
Practical experience in music-specific projects such as music recording, librarianship, concert management, research, multimedia creation, etc., at public or private institutions. A maximum of 1.0 credit of practicum may be used in fulfillment of MA requirements. Prerequisite: Permission of the School.
Advanced study for voice or instrument in classical, traditional or popular idioms. The course requires a lecture-recital arranged in consultation with the Graduate Supervisor and the Supervisor of Performance Studies. This course is non-repeatable. Prerequisite(s): Proposal, audition, enrolment in the MA program and permission of the Graduate Supervisor and Supervisor of Performance Studies. Individual instruction on a bi-weekly basis. 0.5 credit for full year course.
Advanced study in composition in classical, jazz or popular idioms. The student will be required to assemble a portfolio of work as a final project for the course. This course is non-repeatable. Prerequisite(s): Proposal, portfolio of compositions, enrolment in the MA program, and permission of the Graduate Supervisor. Individual instruction on a bi-weekly basis. 0.5 credit for a full year course.
Tutorials designed to permit students to pursue research on topics in music and culture chosen in consultation with a member of the faculty. A maximum of 1.0 credit of directed studies may be used in fulfillment of MA requirements. Prerequisite: permission of the School.