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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Special History in Music: A Century of Rhythm (MUSI10071)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA survey of the main historical, technical and cultural developments in rhythmic practice in music from 1913 to the present day, including case studies of significant musical texts from a variety of musical styles including Western concert music, jazz, world and popular music.
Course description The course will investigate the variety of rhythmic practices found in music during the last one hundred years. It will consider the influence of rhythmic theories and practices from Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa, across a variety of musical genres, including Western concert music, jazz, and various styles of popular music. It will examine writings about rhythmic practice from a variety of perspectives, including those of ethnomusicology, Western music theory and cultural theory. The seminar topics will be as follows:

1 Introduction to the course: What is Rhythm?
2 Igor Stravinsky and the moving bar-line.
3 European tradition and the impact of Africa.
4 Folk music from Eastern Europe and rhythmic asymmetry.
5 'Ragtime' and the beginnings of jazz.
7 Jazz and 'Tin Pan Alley': a conflict of accents.
8 What is the drumbeat of popular music?
9 John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and 'how time passes'
10 Hip-hop and the beat of dance
11 Looping, glitching and the philosophy of the 'Refrain'.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least three Music courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will learn how to use primary and secondary texts in music scholarship.
  2. Students will gain knowledge of the principles and history of rhythmic theory and practice
  3. Students will gain knowledge of rhythmic practice across a variety of musical genres.
  4. Students will learn methods of practical engagement with musical texts in the form of listening, analysis and criticism.
Reading List
Albright, Daniel (ed.). Modernism and Music: an anthology of sources. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Chap. 9 ¿ Testing the Boundaries Between Popular and High Art.

Andriessen, Louis. The Apollonian clockwork : on Stravinsky. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1989.
¿Forma Formans¿; ¿(¿¿ I sing my song¿)¿; ¿On Montage Technique¿.

*Arom, Simha. (trans. M. Thom et al) African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: musical structure and methodology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1991.
Book V, Chaps. 1-3.

Bispham, John (2006). Rhythm in Music: What is it? Who has it? And why? in Music Perception, vol. 24, issue 2, pp. 125-134.

Blesh, Rudi & H. Janis. They all played ragtime : the true story of an American music. Rev. ed. New York : Grove Press, 1959.
Chap. 7

Cage, John. Silence. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press. 1973.
Goal: New Music, New Dance.

Chernoff, John M. African Rhythm and African Sensibility. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
Chap. 2 ¿ Music in Africa.

*Cooper, G.W. and L.B. Meyer. The Rhythmic Structure of Music. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960.

Dalton, Karen C. C. & Henry L. Gates, Jr. (1998). Josephine Baker and Paul Colin: African American Dance Seen through Parisian Eyes. Critical Inquiry, 24 (4), pp. 903-934.

Davis, Erik. ¿Roots and Wires¿ Remix: Polyrhythmic Tricks and the Black Electronic. In, Paul D. Miller. Sound Unbound. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2008.

Deleuze, Gilles & Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Athlone Press, 1988.
Chap. 11 - 1837: Of the Refrain.

*Denning, Michael. Noise Uprising: The audiopolitics of a world music revolution. London: Verso, 2015.
Chap. 5 ¿ Decolonizing the Ear: The cultural revolution of vernacular phonograph musics.
Chap. 6 ¿ ¿A Noisy Heaven and a Syncopated Earth¿: Remaking the Musical Ear.

Fogarty, Mary. The multiple legitimacies of Tentacle Tribe, a dance company. In, Paula Guerra & Tania Moreira (eds.) Keep it Simple, Make it Fast! An approach to underground music scenes, Vol. 1. Porto: Faculdade De Letras, Universidade Do Porto. 2014.

Fracile, N. (2003). The Aksak rhythm, a distinctive feature of the Balkan folklore. In Studium Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 44(1-2).

*Frith, S. Performing Rites: evaluating popular music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Chap. 6 ¿ Rhythm: Race, Sex and the Body.
Chap. 7 ¿ Rhythm: Time, Sex and the Mind.

Gann, Kyle. No such thing as silence : John Cage's 4'33". New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2010.

Goodwin, Andrew. ¿Drumming and Memory¿. In Swiss, T., J. Sloop & A. Herdman. Mapping the beat: popular music and contemporary theory. Malden, Mass.: Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

Hamm, Charles. Yesterdays. New York: Norton, 1979.
Chap. 14 ¿ ¿Its only a paper moon¿

Hentoff, Nat & N. Shapiro. Hear me talkin' to ya : the story of jazz as told by the men who made it. New York: Dover, 1966.

Keil, Charles M. H. Motion and feeling through music. In Frith, S. Popular Music: Critical concepts in media and cultural studies. London: Routledge, 2004.

Longuet-Higgins, Christopher & C. S. Lee (1982). The Perception of Musical Rhythms in Perception, vol. 11, pps. 115-128.

Mitchell, Donald. The language of modern music [Rev. ed.]. London : Faber, 1966. Chapter 2: Cross-currents with Cubism.

Reich, Steve. An Introduction, or My (Ambiguous) Life With Technology. In, Paul D. Miller. Sound Unbound. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2008.

*Sachs, C. Rhythm and Tempo: a study in music history. London: Dent, 1953.

Salamone, Frank A. (2005). Jazz and Its Impact on European Classical Music. The Journal of Popular Culture, 38 (4), pp. 732¿743.

*Schloss, J.G. Making Beats: the art of sample-based hip hop. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 2004.

Schuller, Gunther. Early Jazz. New York : Oxford University Press, 1968.
Chap. 4 ¿ The first great composer: Jelly Roll Morton

Trevarthen, Colwyn (1999). Musicality and the intrinsic motive pulse: evidence from human psychobiology and infant communication. Musicae Scientiae (Special Issue 1999-2000), pps. 155-215.

Stockhausen, Karlheinz. ¿ how time passes ¿ Die Reihe (English Edition) 3. Vienna: Universal Edition, 1959.

van den Toorn, Pieter. The Music of Igor Stravinsky. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
Chapter 8: Rhythmic (Or Metric) Invention.

Vanhanen, Janne. Virtual Sound: Examining Glitch and Production. In, K. Cascone, ed., Contemporary Music Review, Vol.22/4, pps. 45-52, 2003.

[*Core texts]

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Peter Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2428
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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