On Monday March 7, Prof. George Lewis, Director of the Center for Jazz Studies and Case Professor of American Music, presented the University Lecture on the subject of "Improvisation as a Way of Life" to an overflow crowd in the Low Library Rotunda.
Improvisation as a Way of Life: Reflections on Human Interaction
Many musical improvisers have understood their sounds and practices as addressing larger questions of identity and social organization, as well as creating politically inflected, critically imbued aesthetic spaces. Following a 1964 suggestion by Alfred Schutz that a study of the social relationships connected with the musical process may lead to some insights valid for many other forms of social intercourse, the realization that improvisation is not limited to the artistic domain, but is a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life, can lead humanists and scientists toward new models of intelligibility, agency, ethics, technology, and social transformation.
Below: Prof. George Lewis delivers University Lecture, March 7, 2011 (Direct Link to Video)
Above: Slideshow of Photos from the Murails' Retirement Reception
On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, the Department of Music's faculty, student, staff, alumni, and invited guests held a reception at Maison Francaise to honor the contributions of Prof. Tristan Murail and his wife, Francoise Pellie-Murail, to our community. The Murails joined the Department in the fall of 1997, he as the Francis Goelet Professor of Composition and she as the Ear Training Coordinator. As the Murails prepare to retire from Columbia and return to their beloved home country of France, we gathered to express our deep gratitude for their dedicated service to the Department and to Columbia University over the past 13 years, and to wish them well as they move on with the next chapter in their lives. We have all benefited enormously from Tristan's eminence and passion for music and from Francoise's devotion to our students' musical development, and both have been wonderful colleagues.
Bon Voyage, Tristan and Francoise!
The Department of Music congratulates Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow Aaron Einbond, who has been awarded a 2010 Commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. He will compose a new work for Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente for soprano, ensemble, and live electronics exploring the timbre of sung and spoken voice as it is analyzed, amplified, and resynthesized with acoustic instruments and computer.
Composition and Cognition
Prof. Alfred Lerdahl
This seminar studies contemporary compositional practice from the perspective of the cognitive science of music. Particular reference is made to the instructor's theories. Issues include compositional vs. perceptual grammars; cognitive constraints on compositional systems; perceptual critiques of serialism, spectralism, and other recent compositional methods; the cognitive organization of rhythm, pitch, and timbre. The student develops a major research project, first as class presentation and then as a term paper.
Seminar in Historical Musicology: Music and Biography
What constitutes interpretive adequacy in a musical biography? The framing of lives and works says as much about writers as about their subjects. Negotiating the complexities of a representation of career, personality, and music, biographers both construct and are situated in intellectual history. Will the chronological narrative reveal the composer's voice, the musician's gift? In this seminar, we will examine the theory, practice, and limits of biography as well as autobiography. The initial focus will be on composers and musicians of the 18th and early 19th centuries, but topics for seminar reports and papers may be drawn from any period.
Approaches to Classical Form
Prof. Nathan Martin
This course provides an introduction to William Caplin's theory of formal functions and to James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy's Sonata Theory through readings and analytical assignments; some attention is given also to the antecedents to both approaches in the German Formenlehre tradition.
20TH CENTURY MUSIC
Call Number: 25089 Points: 3
Day/Time: MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Prof. George Lewis (bio)
A multicultural survey of composers, improvisers, sounds, practices and social issues in the music of "the long 20th century." Engages form, technique, genre, style, canon, media reception, constructions of gender and race, cultural nationalisms, and the impact of transnationalism and globalization. Reading knowledge of music is very helpful but not required.
NOTICE: THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED
The Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Department of Music at Columbia University are pleased to announce the following position:
The Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Department of Music at Columbia University seek to hire an Assistant Professor with a specialization in African-American Music. The responsibilities of the position include undergraduate and graduate teaching; research and publication; and institutional service. We seek candidates with specializations in musicology, ethnomusicology, or music-centered studies in arts, humanities or social science fields; whose research centers on global Afrodiasporic/circum-Atlantic positions, practices and discourses; and whose teaching and research are informed by critical race/ethnicity theory and postcolonial discourses. Candidates must have earned the doctoral degree by July 1, 2011.
To learn more or to begin the application process, please visit the following link:
Review of applications will begin JANUARY 1, 2011.
(Note correction from earlier posting, which had listed an earlier date.)
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
New York-based composer and artist, and Columbia DMA alumnus R. Luke Dubois is featured in the September 9 online edition of The New York Times. In "The Score," an occasional opinion series featuring American composers, Luke writes about his project of creating one .mp3 recording of a new music composition every day for a year, and recalls his time working in Columbia's Computer Music Center.
"So I decided to give myself a little creative challenge: to create a piece of music every day, for an entire year. I decided to call the project "a year in mp3s," and I put the pieces online as I made them, posting a notification on my Facebook page so that my friends could listen to them. I didn't give them titles, just numbers and dates, beginning with my 34th birthday last September 10th."
The Computer Music Center at Columbia University is an innovative and exciting music and arts technology facility with a long history of creative excellence. The center is housed in two separate facilities: one in Dodge Hall on the main Columbia campus (1 train to 116th St.), and another, larger facility on the third floor of Prentis Hall (1 train to 125th St.). For a map with directions to Prentis Hall, please click here.