Time is the medium in which music transpires. Form and rhythm are sonic articulations of time on the large and small level; and now computers enable us to study time with great objective precision, even on the microscopic level. However, time remains largely a mystery. We don't have a specific sense organ that perceives it (as we do for light and sound), we can't feel it or grasp it, and we perceive it differently in different contexts. Scientists and philosophers have written extensively on the elusive nature of time. Musicians and other time-based artists (e.g., filmmakers) have established many ways of contemplating, managing, and composing the passage of time. This course will study what time is, some of the many ways it is perceived, measured, and discussed, and how musicians "shape" time with sound. The course will be conducted as a graduate seminar, with assigned readings, student-led discussion, and individual research/writing/presentations on selected subtopics. Ability to read a musical score is highly recommended.
This page was last modified March 23, 2006.