Last revised: April 4, 2002.

Music 145/245
Tobias Plebuch

From Adorno to Zappa
A Kaleidoscope of 20th-Century Music

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Course description

This seminar will introduce you to a variety of musical styles as well as analytical and philosophical approaches to music from the past century. The rationale of the course is to confront the modernist narrative of continuously progressing techniques and materials with styles, repertoires and musical thought that receive but little, if any, attention in the Procrustean bed of music history textbooks. The course does not aim at a comprehensive history of 20th-century music (not even a decent overview) but rather at a changeable picture in which each element could take up the center or the periphery of different, more or less meaningful, patterns. It remains to us to formulate and answer the question of aesthetic and historic significance anew. These considerations account for the lack of a textbook and the presence of film music, Frank Zappa, ambient music, The Beatles, and John Zorn next to Stravinsky, Webern, Ligeti and Ferneyhough on the syllabus.

This seminar counts toward fulfillment of the Writing in the Major requirement for music majors and minors. The assignments are writing intensive but not writing extensive. While limited in size, your major paper will undergo a rewriting process. Excellence and a thorough revision is expected. There will be a course reader available at the Stanford Bookstore. Further readings, CDs, LPs and scores are available on reserve in the music library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Meeting Schedule

Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00-11:50 a.m., Braun105

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Assignments and Grading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contact

Tobias Plebuch
Assistant Professor (Musicology)
Andrea Castillo
Teaching Instructor
Phone: 725-3692
Fax: 725-2686
E-Mail: Plebuch@Stanford.edu
Office: Braun 212
Office hours (spring 2002): Monday, Wednesday, noon-1 p.m.
E-Mail: andrea.castillo@stanford.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Syllabus

Week 1: A Postmodern Prelude

Wed, 4/3

Listening:

Week 2: Atonality and Serialism

Arnold Schoenberg

Mo 4/8

Introduction: Kenny Easwaran

 

Listening:

Reading:

Arnold Schoenberg / Anton von Webern

Wed, 4/10

Listening:

Reading:

Week 3 (4/15-4/17): Stravinsky

Petroushka

Mo, 4/15

Listening:

Reading:

Video screening:

Le Sacre du Printemps

Wed, 4/17

Introduction: Jane Wong

 

Listening:

Reading:

 

 

Week 4 (4/22-4/24): Theodor W. Adorno

Philosophy of New Music

Mo, 4/22

Reading:

Philosophy of New Music (cont.)

Wed, 4/24

 

 

Week 5 (4/29-5/1): Rock

The Beatles

Mo, 4/29

Listening:

Video:

Reading:

 

Frank Zappa

Wed, 5/1

Listening:

 

Reading:

Week 6 (5/6-5/8): Electronic Music

Edgar Varèse

Mo, 5/6

Listening:

Reading:

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Wed, 5/8

Listening:

Reading:

 

 

Week 7 (5/13-5/15): Soundscapes

György Ligeti

Mo, 5/13

Listening:

Reading:

Gérard Grisey

Wed, 5/15

Listening:

Reading:

 

 

Week 8 (5/20-5/22): Behind the Silverscreen

Korngold: The Sea Hawk

Mo, 5/20

Video:

Reading:

Takemitsu: Ran

Thu, 5/22

Video:

Reading:

 

 

Week 9 (5/29): Brian Ferneyhough

Two Flute Pieces

Wed, 5/29

Listening:

Reading:

 

 

Presentations (6/3-6/5)

Presentations I

Mo 6/3

Presentations II

Wed 6/5