Music 8/Music 85: Music of Today
(and "here")

Dartmouth College
Spring, 2007

Instructor: Larry Polansky
Hallgarten Hall

Class meets MWF, 12:30-1:45 (occasionally use the x-hour)

Class Description
Student Work
Class Schedule
Required Concerts
Links to things mentioned in class
Notes for the class concert (working, in progress)

Class Description
This class will offer students an opportunity to explore the music of today, through projects, concerts, guests, in-class discussions, and performance, and a variety of other activities. Senior music majors (Music 85) and the general student population (Music 8) will have slightly different workloads, do different kinds of final projects

Student Work

Concert Attendance
Each student must attend at least (Music 8: 4; Music 85: 3) of the required concerts, and write five interesting questions about the music and the concert.

Additionally, each Music 8 student must turn in one set of questions for one of the in-class guests (we'll post these on the web). That means, Music 8 students must write 5 sets of questions over the course of the term, Music 85 students, 3.

(We will discuss the form of these questions, as well as the questions themselves,  in class, and I'll post these to the class website)

All students must perform as an integral part of the class. This will include activities we do in class as a group, but also sa public performance at the end of the term.

Students may choose to participate in the class concert (fully), or in one of several external performance labs offered by the Music Dept. These can be either the Contemporary Performance Ensemble, directed by Doug Perkins; or the Gamelan Ensemble, directed by Jody Diamond (which will focus on contemporary music for gamelan this term). The instructor will work with each student individually to determine a good fit for them to meet the performance requirment for this class. The schedules will be announced in the first week or so of class.

The performance  component of this class aims to provide direct, collaborative  experiences playing contemporary music.

Attendance is mandatory and important. A great deal of the work (discussion, performance, listening, trying out ideas) will take place in class. Attendance constitutes a significant part of the grade.

Term-length/Final Projects


Grading for the class will be based on:

Class Schedule
(subject to change)

(In general, the class times will consist of group performance, special in-class projects, listening, discussions of concerts, and various other topics in response to the class' direction. Fridays will, in general, be devoted to student presentations. There will be a number of guests as well.)

Wednesday, March 28: Introduction to class, work, structure, introductions
Friday, March 30: Talking about music: how?

Monday, April 2:
More on discourse of music, some performance
Wednesday, April 4: Guest, Tim Eriksen
Friday, April 6: No class (Easter break)

Monday, April 9: Guest composer, Ron Nagorcka, from Tasmania, Australia (talking about music and natural sounds, tuning, didjeridu, and other things).
Wednesday, April 11:
Talking about final projects, scheduling labs, concerts
Friday, April 13: (no class, or guest, LP playing a concert at Williams College)

Monday, April 16: Guest composer, Newton Armstrong (live computer music/improvisation)
Wednesday, April 18: Vaughan concert, Keith Rowe
Friday, April 20: (Andrew leads round). Progress reports on student presentations

Monday, April 23:
TBA. Starting to work on pieces for concert, more on listening, learning, and thinking about a piece of music. (Also, talking about deadlines for projects)
Wednesday, April 25: TBA. Starting to work on pieces for concert
Friday, April 27: TBA

Monday, April 30: No class, we will use our x-hour this week

Tuesday, May 1: x-hour: Barton Workshop
Wednesday, May 2:
(NMF Vaughan Concert during class time)
Friday, May 4: Student presentations or TBA

Monday, May 7: First presentations due: resources, rough outlines, progress reports.

Tuesday, May 8: X-hour, guest Paul Tai, artistic director, New World Records.
Wednesday, May 9: Continued presentations
Friday, May 11:
Guest composer, Charles Dodge

Monday, May 14:  Guest composer Andrea Clearfield, commissioned by Handel society for a new premiere at Dartmouth.
Tuesday, May 15: Rehearsals (Eine Kleine, Cobra, general shape of concert)
Wednesday, May 16: Rehearsals  (rounds, Song, Coming Together)
Friday, May 18: Rehearsals (Clapping Music, Exercises #16/18)

Monday, May 21: Rehearsal
Tuesday, May 22:
Final presentations (Tim/Lindsey; Andrew/Santi)
Wednesday, May 23: Guest, Patrick Handler, Senior Fellow in Composition (talking about his new string quartets)
Patrick Handler Concert in evening
Friday, May 25: Final presentations (Alex/Liz; Dan/Mike/Eric; Andrew/Santi)

Monday, May 28 (Memorial day, no class)
Tuesday, May 29: "Dress rehearsal" run-thru
Wednesday, May 30
: Final class concert (Vaughan)

All other final presentations in final period for class. (Music 85 students, one of the teams from Music 8)
    Friday, June 1, 2:50-6:15 (8 presentations in 3 hours, app. 20 minutes each)
Music 8: Liz/Alex; Jon/Brita: Art/Ali: Phil/Martin
Music 85: Kim, Scott, Christian, Thomas

Required Concerts