Skip to main content

Expanded Course Descriptions

MUSC 2910 - Music, Sound, and Climate Change

This course explores the relation between music, sound, and climate change. We do an overview of the field of acoustic ecology and explore key terms such as ambient music, soundscape, keytones and soundwalks, environmental sound art, among others. We look at issues of sound pollution, environmental justice and the sonic relations between humans and non-humans across different cultures, especially environmental racisms and the relation between climate change, music, and the colonial. We explore these issues through specific audiovisual and sonic materials.

MUSC 6940-03 - Indigenous Media/Sound LatAm

This course explores how indigenous musics and sounds have been inscribed into ethnographic media. We compare specific media and music collections from the early twentieth century and others from the early twenty-first century. We explore how the notion of indigenous musics arose in the late nineteenth century based on how it was collected and inscribed on specific sound and audiovisual formats, creating a racialized and colonial notion of indigenous musics.  We associate this with broader colonial histories of media. Then we explore how indigenous peoples themselves, often in collaborative processes, are decolonizing and appropriating such histories by rethinking the early archives or documenting their own musics and sounds in new ways. In so doing, they challenge Western notions of musicality, of media inscription, of racialized histories of music, and how human and non-human sounds are understood.

MUSC 4950 - The Creative Soundscape

This course introduces students to approaches of art and research that consider environmental sound. Students will learn technical skills, develop compositional processes, and engage with theoretical perspectives to inform the generation of original creative works, ranging from composed and improvised musical pieces to podcast episodes and radio dramas. Topics covered will include frameworks for environmental acoustics, including ontologies of sound; listening practices; field recording; microphone technique; compositional strategies; audio editing and creative audio processing; spectral analysis; sonification; and more.