Brief Description of Course:How do we describe music in words? What figures of speech do writers employ to convey the force or the beauty of musical compositions? What makes for a successful or effective piece of critical or creative writing about music? This course will try to answer these questions (and others) by looking at a wide range of essays, stories and poems that celebrate, evaluate, theorize, or otherwise attempt to translate the impact of classical, jazz and popular musical performances.
Required Reading: Excerpts from The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, Absolutely on Music, by Haruki Murakami; How Music Works by David Byrne; “On Popular Music” by Theodore Adorno; stories by Cather, Nabokov, Baldwin, Ishiguro and others. Course reader.
First Three Authors/Texts: Byrne; Adorno; Cather.
Method of Instruction: Discussion, presentations.Method of Evaluation: short music and live performance reviews, presentations, participation.