School of Music: Music History & Musicology

  • CFA MH 105: Music Appreciation
    Basic materials of music; analysis of masterpieces of music with reference to cultural background; group attendance of concerts with preliminary discussion period. Course does not presuppose a technical knowledge of music. 2 cr.
  • CFA MH 106: Music and Culture
    This course introduces music across history, genre, and cultures, examining music's relationship to politics, race, religion, and identity. We'll approach music as a human activity enmeshed in social, political, economic, philosophical, religious, ecological, and individual contexts. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Aesthetic Exploration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
  • CFA MH 211: History & Literature of Music 1
    Historical survey of music tracing the history, performance, cultural significance, and development of musical styles from the Middle Ages to approximately the end of the Baroque. Required for all students in the BM and BA Music routes. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CFA MH 401: Graduate Music History Review
    Review of music history and literature from the Middle Ages to present. 2 cr.
  • CFA MH 433: The Beatles
    "The Beatles": Selected topics exploring the relationship between popular music and culture, from American popular song and musical theatre, to worldbeat, blues, R&B, rock, Hip-hop, and techno. 4 cr.
  • CFA MH 436: Musical Culture
    This course offers both an introductory look at four selected regions/countries among the diverse musical cultures around the world: West Africa, Bulgaria, Brazil, and Korea. Through these musical practices, we will investigate the ways in which many of these styles are the product of long running intra/intercultural dialogues, struggles, and negotiation processes that continue to produce new hybrid forms. Because of the vast array of people and cultures within each selected area, this course is necessarily selective and introductory. A variety of scholars and performing artists will be invited to give a workshop on music/dance and discuss their lives as musicians. Over the course of the semester, you will gain an understanding of the myriad ways people use music to construct and individual group identities, the diverse ways groups incorporate music into their lives, and how to understand music within a broader historical, political, and economic context. You will also be introduced to basic musical concepts and terminology, and acquire listening skills that will enable you to better encounter and understand music in this course and beyond. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CFA MH 499: Directed Study: Undergraduates
    Individual projects arranged between undergraduate students and faculty, often in areas outside of the regular curriculum. Plans must be submitted in advance of registration. Variable credit.
  • CFA MH 620: Writing About Jazz
    Since the beginning of the recorded history of jazz, writers have alternately disparaged and praised the new music. Influencing these writings are ideas and prejudices that involve racism (in both directions), drug use, elitism, and ignorance. These handicaps have never quite disappeared from jazz writing. We shall examine both the music and the writing about it through the turbulent decades of the twentieth and twenty-first century by looking closely at reviews, articles, books, memoirs, and even dictionaries. Regular class presentations and communal discussions will be expected, as well as two papers during the course of the semester.
  • CFA MH 629: Early Music Studies
    Mini-course offered by the Center for Early Music Studies. Taught by eminent figures in the field of early music, this course is an intensive, laboratory-style immersion in early music scholarship and performance on selected topics, composers, and repertories, covering vocal and instrumental styles from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. 1 cr. Can be repeated for credit.
  • CFA MH 720: Pro-Sem in Mus+eth
    This course provides an overview of the historical development of the disciplines, explores research techniques, and introduces influential theoretical perspectives, including: empiricism, psychology, criticism, representation, gender, and globalization. 3 cr.
  • CFA MH 724: Listening to Mozart: Chamber and Orchestral Music
    Arnold Schoenberg famously venerated Mozart; yet when he arrived in America, he was asked why he never used Mozart's music in his teaching. Because, he said in his still highly Germanic syntax, "In Mozart everything is to hear, but not to see." In this seminar, we'll try to get at what "is to hear" in Mozart: by listening to the music, intently and repeatedly, in recordings and, if possible, live performances; and in equally intensive discussion of what we hear -- free- floating discussion that will follow only the directions of the participants' interest and exclude no possibility a priori. We shall not, however, exclude the possibility of bolstering our perceptions through background reading of recent and earlier literature -- analytic, historic, and hermeneutic. We shall not attempt anything like a survey. Indeed, I imagine we'll devote attention to only a handful of pieces. I do not have an advance list of these (although I do have my favorites) -- I will be grateful if participants will send me suggestions before our first meeting.
  • CFA MH 799: Master's Thesis
    Ongoing work toward completion of Master's Thesis. 3 cr.
  • CFA MH 820: Prosem Mus+eth
    Required for graduate students in Musicology and Ethnomusicology. This course provides an overview of the historical development of the disciplines, explores research techniques, and introduces influential theoretical perspectives, including: empiricism, psychology, criticism, representation, gender, and globalization. Fall Semester. 4 credits.
  • CFA MH 824: Listening to Mozart: Chamber and Orchestral Music
    Arnold Schoenberg famously venerated Mozart; yet when he arrived in America, he was asked why he never used Mozart's music in his teaching. Because, he said in his still highly Germanic syntax, "In Mozart everything is to hear, but not to see." In this seminar, we'll try to get at what "is to hear" in Mozart: by listening to the music, intently and repeatedly, in recordings and, if possible, live performances; and in equally intensive discussion of what we hear -- free- floating discussion that will follow only the directions of the participants' interest and exclude no possibility a priori. We shall not, however, exclude the possibility of bolstering our perceptions through background reading of recent and earlier literature -- analytic, historic, and hermeneutic. We shall not attempt anything like a survey. Indeed, I imagine we'll devote attention to only a handful of pieces. I do not have an advance list of these (although I do have my favorites) -- I will be grateful if participants will send me suggestions before our first meeting.
  • CFA MH 899: Independent Project/Directed Study
    Specialized, individually tailored and guided work on projects not connected with a thesis, dissertation or other terminal document, but of particular interest to the graduate student. Variable credit.
  • CFA MH 921: Research and Directed Study in Musicology
    Supervision of special projects, theses, and dissertations in the history of music. May be repeated for credit. 3 cr.