For a course text, students use a draft of Professor Robison's forthcoming book Putting Music Together (not yet available to the public).

This book is supplemented by additional readings, mostly from the following works:

Buy at Amazon Fisk, Josiah, ed. Composers on Music: Eight Centuries of Writings. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9781555532796.

Buy at Amazon Ford, Andrew, ed. Composer to Composer: Conversations About Contemporary Music. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 1994. ISBN: 9781863734431.

Buy at Amazon Schwartz, Elliott, and Barney Childs. Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music. 2nd ed. (reprint). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780306808197.

Buy at Amazon Simms, Bryan. Composers on Modern Musical Culture. New York, NY: Schirmer Books, 1999. ISBN: 9780028647517.

Buy at Amazon Zorn, John, ed. Arcana: Musicians on Music. New York, NY: Granary Books, 2000. ISBN: 9781887123273.

Students are responsible for reading these selections before the class, and must write a paragraph or two about them for their journal, to submit in class on that date.

LEC # TOPICS Supplemental Readings
1 Welcome - Ritual Reading of the Syllabus - Overview
Unit One: The Big Picture
2 What is "Music"? What is a "Score"? How are they Related? Buy at Amazon Cook, Nicholas. "Music: An Imaginary Object." Chapter 4 in Music: A Very Short Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780192853820.
3 Form and Proportion; Large-scale Rhythm and Phrase Rhythm (Special Guest: Jewlia Eisenberg, Composer-performer) Selections in Fisk:

Byrd, W. "Performing and listening."
Schoenberg, A. "A definition of music."
Varèse, E. "Organized sound."
Copland, A. "Listening to music."
Busoni, F. "Notation and improvisation."
Bernstein, L. "Hearing vs. listening."

Selections in Zorn:

Crispell, M. "Elements of improvisation."
Ochs, L. "Devices and strategies for structured improvisation."
4 Speed, Volume, and Register

Quiz 1
Selections in Fisk:

Mahler, G. "Tempo in conducting."

Selections in Zorn:

Ribot, M. "Earplugs."
5 Timbre Selections in Fisk:

Cage, J. "The use of noise," and "Tradition."
Bach, J. S. "Trying out an organ."
Bach, C. P. E. "Performance."
Mozart, W. A. "Vibrato," and "Practicing."
Berlioz, H. "Choral singing."

Selections in Schwartz and Childs:

Foss, L. "The changing composer-performer relationship: A monologue and a dialogue."
6 Texture and Articulation Selections in Fisk:

Ligeti, G. "Conformity."
Boulez, P. "Cultural conditioning."
Harbison, J. "Music history," and "Concert music and popular music."

Selections in Schwartz and Childs:

Ligeti, G. "An interview with Josef Häusler."
Unit Two: Rhythm
7 Symmetric Meter Selections in Fisk:

Rameau, J.-P. "Rhythm."

Selections in Ford:

"Opening and closing doors: Steve Reich."

Selections in Schwartz and Childs:

Reich, S. "Music as a gradual process [1968]."
8 Accent and Syncopation

Quiz 2
9 Polyrhythm and Polymeter Selections in Fisk:

Messiaen, O. "Independence as a composer."
Cage, J. "Composer explications."
Boulez, P. "Aphorisms and observations."
Glass, P. "The composer's voice."
Harbison, J. "Control."

Selections in Zorn:

Hemingway, G. "Awake at the wheel."
10 Asymmetric Meter Selections in Fisk:

Rameau, J.-P.. "Composition" and "Taste."
Bach, J. S. "Teaching composition" and "Talent and industry."
Beethoven, L. "Composition [from a written conversation...]"
Verdi, G. "Musical education" and "Self-evaluation."
Bizet, G. "Talent versus ideas."
Tchaikovsky, P. I. "Composition and instrumentation."
Janácek, L. "Inspiration."
11 Alternatives to Meter Selections in Simms:

Berg, A. "What is atonality?"

Selections in Fisk:

Rameau, J.-P. "Harmony."
Stravinsky, I. "Consonance and dissonance" and "Tonality and atonality."
Milhaud, D. "Polytonality."
Copland, A. "Modern music."
Unit Three: Melody and Harmony
12 Consonance and Dissonance Selections in Fisk:

Nielsen, C. "Knowledge and inspiration" and "Imagination vs. emotion."
Busoni, F. "Musical laws."
Satie, F. "Intelligence and musicality among the animals."
Schoenberg, A. "Form and expression," "Art versus science," and "A real composer."

Selections in Simms:

Schoenberg, A. "Aesthetic evaluation of chords with six or more tones."
13 Intervals and Harmony

Quiz 3
14 Melodic Construction and Transformation Selections in Fisk:

Janácek, L. "Speech melodies" and "Moravany! Morawaan!"
Stravinsky, I. "Composing."
Webern, A. "Knowledge."

Selections in Zorn:

Klucevsek, G. "Maim that tune."
15 Contrapuntal Relationships Selections in Fisk:

Bach, J. S. "Melody and counterpoint."

Selections in Simms:

Hindemith, P. "Musical inspiration."
16 Drone, Ostinato, Chaconne and Passacaglia Selections in Fisk:

Varèse, E. "Rules and experimentation."
Thomson, V. "Composers and teaching."
Sessions, R. "Talent and ideology," "Rules," and "Organization."
Cage, J. "Compositional techniques."
Ligeti, G. "The teaching of composition."
Boulez, P. "Research."
Takemitsu, T. "The nature of composition."
17 Contrasting Harmonic Areas

Quiz 4
Selections in Fisk:

Schumann, R. "Advice to a young composer" and "Rules and maxims for young composers [1848]."
Mahler, G. "Advice to a young composer."
Debussy, C. "Advice to younger composers."
Stravinsky, I. "Advice to young composers."
18 Deadline For Final Projects
Unit Four: Onward and Beyond
19 Sampling, Quotation, Paraphrase, and Allusion

Read-through of Large-ensemble Compositions
Selections in Fisk:

Bach, C. P. E. "Criticism."
Beethoven, L. "Critics."
von Weber, C. M. "Criticism."
Berlioz, H. "Critics."

Selections in Zorn:

Oswald, J. "Plunderstanding ecophonomics."
20 Polystylism

Rehearsal of Large-ensemble Compositions
Selections in Fisk:

Satie, E. "Critics."
Stravinsky, I. "Critics."
Hindemith, P. "'Good' and 'bad' music."
Thomson, V. "The music consumer and the critic."
Harbison, J. "Critics."

Selections in Schwartz and Childs:

Cardew, C. "On criticism."

Selections in Zorn:

Johnson, S. "The counterpoint of species."
21 What (and How) do Sounds Mean? Selections in Fisk:

Mendelssohn, F. "The meaning of music."
Schumann, R. "Music as expression," and "Aphorisms."
Janácek, L. "Inspiration."
Schoenberg, A. "Form and expression."
Stravinsky, I. "Music and expression."
Milhaud, D. "Musique d'ameublement ['furniture music']."
Hindemith, P. "Emotion in music."
Shostakovich, D. "Music and meaning."
21 Dress Rehearsal of Large-ensemble Compositions

Quiz 5
22-24 Performances Of Final Projects

Post-concert Discussion of Performances
25 Report on Your Final Project
Final Examination