MUSIC 40B – History of Music – 4 Units
MUSIC 40B. History of Music. 4 Units. Survey of the development of musical styles and forms from Hasse to Mahler.
MUSIC 21C. Piano for Majors. 1 Unit. Provides Music majors with a basic background in keyboard skills: interval and chord identification, melodic and harmonic dictation, and tonal and chromatic sight-singing.
Introduction to Music
Music is the arrangement of sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, and rhythm. It is a cultural universal that can communicate emotions, enrich our communities, entertain us, and bring us in touch with beauty.
There is no one simple definition for music, but some theorists describe its characteristics: it must have a set of tones, a rhythm, and a sense of time. It must also have a particular quality, called timbre, which is the way the sound resonates.
Examines some of the ways in which music can convey culture, identity, and meaning through an exploration of selected broader historical and cultural themes. The class includes readings and selected repertoire.
Introduction to Opera
Opera is a form of classical music that has been around for centuries. It is a fusion of singing and drama, and it has a history that goes back to ancient Greeks who fused poetry and music.
In the Classical era, composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created operas that incorporated both dramatic and comic elements. His The Marriage of Figaro is a funny farce about servants outwitting their aristocratic masters, and it has beautiful musical moments.
In opera, dialogue is often sung rather than spoken. It’s usually divided into arias, recitatives and ensemble pieces (duets for two characters, quartets for four, etc). Composers use recurring melodies called leitmotifs to represent characters and ideas.
Popular Music in the United States
While everyone’s taste in music is different, certain genres tend to be more popular than others. These genres are usually characterized by a catchy rhythm, easy-to-remember melodies, and smart lyrics.
Modern popular music began to take shape in the late 19th century with discoveries by Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner. They developed technologies that allowed for the mass production of records, a significant advance over the old wax cylinders.
The emergence of jazz was another major development in American popular music. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald adapted Broadway-style songs to the new style of syncopated ensemble music. Their performances brought a sense of mournful majesty and plaintive emotion to popular music that contradicted America’s reputation for energy and vim.
The Beatles and the Sixties
The Beatles changed youth culture worldwide. They were a symbol for the new hippie counterculture movement. Their long hair and the way they dressed ‘frightened’ older generations, but the youth loved their music and their free spirit.
After their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show the Beatles became hugely popular. They were soon famous all over the world and people would queue up to buy their records.
They also experimented with different musical styles and sounds. For example, on the song Norwegian Wood, they used a sitar. This was the first time that a traditional Indian instrument was used in a Western pop song.
Rock: The Early Years
In the early 1950s, a new musical genre burst onto the scene, exciting a young audience and shocking many parents. Known as rock and roll, this music was steeped in the blues, rhythm and blues, country, and gospel. Teenagers embraced this sound, buying transistor radios and records at record stores.
Some parents believed that rock and roll was a form of noise that eroded moral values. Others linked juvenile delinquency to the music and those who listened to it.
In this course, students will investigate the birth of rock music, including its highs and lows. They will also explore how developments in music business and technology have shaped the styles of rock music.
Music in Society
Music has a powerful role to play in society. It can bridge cultural, racial and geographic divides, unite people and inspire social change. However, it can also promote messages of hate, division and intolerance and perpetuate stereotypes towards certain groups.
Music is used for entertainment, to celebrate special events and holidays and to enhance the storytelling of films and other art forms. It is a coping mechanism for many people and even helps to heal the body and mind. It has also been shown to improve academic performance in children and aid memorization. It can also be a source of spiritual connection and cultural preservation.