MUSI 244 - Methods of Analysis


Jeffers Engelhardt

MW 01:30PM-02:50PM

Amherst College

ARMU 212

This course engages global music theories from the perspective of ethnomusicology and analytic approaches drawn from sound studies. The music we analyze will come from popular, folk, and classical traditions around the world, including West African drumming, Caribbean dance genres, East Asian court and religious traditions, American roots music, classical traditions from the Arab world and Indian subcontinent, and several global popular styles. At its core, the course addresses three questions: What do musicians working in the traditions we study hear in and think about the music they make? What methods are available to better understand these kinds of music? How does analysis develop our skills as musicians and listeners? Students will learn methods of musical transcription (notating or visually representing sound) and software-aided analysis to develop translatable ways of approaching timbre, texture, rhythm, groove, meter, harmony, mode, tuning, and musical form. Understanding the ways people theorize music in the process of performance, improvisation, composition, and teaching across musical cultures will give students new tools for creating, performing, and analyzing music. Although not a performance course, class sessions feature hands-on involvement with instruments and singing. Coursework includes weekly listening, transcription, and analysis assignments; basic projects in composition; and music-making presentations.

This is an upper-level musicianship course designed for majors or students with experience analyzing and performing music. This course may be used to fulfill the second required musicianship course (in addition to MUSI 241) for the major.

Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Engelhardt. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.