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Check out some of our course offerings for Spring 2022:

  • Arts 27 - How To Be A Tool: Storytelling Across Disciplines is for students interested in music theater, opera, and dance, especially those in social sciences and fields outside of humanities. Presenting data, advocating policies, and offering personal or historical narratives - is storytelling. Compelling storytelling requires tools. No matter the story, whether it be a personal narrative, a math problem, or political demands, how one tells a story is crucial to move ideas toward action. This course gives you a tool kit to do so. HOW TO BE A TOOL is co-taught by visiting lecturer-mentors Davóne Tines and Zack Winokur (and teaching assistant Ian Askew), who work in music-theater, opera and dance, along with guest performers, thinkers, scholars, and creators. This course is for students interested in these performative fields, especially those in the social sciences and fields outside the humanities, and engages capacious cross-disciplinary exchange. Each student will work on an independent project of their own initiation that pushes the boundaries of critical and scholarly presentation, performance and messaging. Project development will be bolstered by lively collective conversation, in-class studio time, and sustained one-on-one dialogue with the faculty mentors.
  • Music 20 - Opera What is opera anyway? Opera can be: Superhuman vocal power, music, poetry, dramatic realism as well as high artifice. Crossing national borders and flying free of time and place, snapping fingers at customary ideas about appearance, social roles, and identities. Fascinating, enigmatic, overwhelming. (And then there is Puccini’s La bohème on a spaceship, and much more.)
  • Music 108R: re(Facing (g)Odds: Black Improvisational Music and Dance. Through a north American jazz lens, this immersive research-performance course charts and explores the histories, connections, evolutions and fissures between Black improvisational-dance and live improvisational-music. Guided and informed by elder/expert teach-ins, archival research, audio and video transcription, dance-based ancestral recall, physical improv, performance devising, failure and iteration, members of this class will develop and curate performances and performance-environments where improvisational-dance, and live improvisational-music are reintegrated.
  • TDM 269Q: Sonic Solos led by Brian Quijada and TA’d by Emma Watt. This class will explore how a range of sonic registers, including songs, music, and sound effects, can play a role in performance storytelling. Sonic Solos could be for the singer who wants to create a piece to match their unique voice, the spoken word artist who wants to work with sound, the lyricist/composer with a musical vision who would like to collaborate with a performer, or anyone interested in the relationship between sound and storytelling. We will use the fundamentals of looping technique and technology to understand the basic components of musical composition and sound design. In studying song structure in musical theater and pop music, we will learn how chords, melody, pitch, tempo, dynamic, and texture help support narrative. Brian & Emma are happy to meet with students to discuss the course.

See the full Spring 2022 course list here.

The Music Building, including the practice rooms and the Loeb Music Library, is CLOSED through January 23, 2022 in accordance with Harvard University’s reduced campus density during winter session. All staff are currently working remotely.

Check out the digital exhibition from the Loeb Music Library showcasing the work of Eileen Southern.

Applications are now open for the Harry Starr Fellowship in Judaica. The Starr fellowships for 2022-23 will be available exclusively to recent Ph.D. recipients working on topics in Jewish Studies and the Arts, including History of Art and Architecture, Visual Studies and Visuality, History of Music and Ethnomusicological studies, History of Theater and Dance, and Performance Studies. Read more at the Center for Jewish Studies website.

Read the latest Music Department Newsletter

Interested in taking music theory? Sign up for the placement exam here.