NEW SEMINAR: Jazz and Film (MUSI G6200, Fall 2012)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Jazz and Film
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI G6200
Prof. John Szwed

Fall 2012 Music G6200
Section 001 Call Number: 27323 Points: 3
Day/Time: R 4:10pm-6:00pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: John Szwed (bio)


Proseminar in Historical Musicology (MUSI G6105, Fall 2012)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Proseminar in Historical Musicology
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI G6105
Prof. Karen Henson

Fall 2012 Music G6105
Section 001 Call Number: 76924 Points: 3
Day/Time: M 4:10pm-6:00pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Prof. Karen Henson (bio)

Introduction to historical musicology; the history of the discipline, major areas of research, source materials, and methodological problems. Priority given to graduate students in Music. Permission of instructor required.



African American Music (AFAS W3030/MUSI 83030, Fall 2012)

Course Information

Course Title: 
African-American Music
CU Directory Course Number: 
AFAS W3030 (MUSI 83030 crosslisted)
Prof. Kevin Fellezs

Call Number: 14597 Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 2:40pm-3:55pm Location: To be announced
Instructor: Prof. Kevin Fellezs (bio)


What is "black music"? What do we mean when we say we like black music? We'll take a look at four important themes that have shaped what we mean when we say "black music" and may help us understand more deeply why we enjoy it and find it such a powerful reservoir of bodily pleasure, intellectual sophistication, and spiritual sustenance. What draws us to this music? In attempting to answer this question, we will be thinking through a number of keywords such as authenticity, representation, recognition, cultural ownership, appropriation, and origin(s). These concepts have structured the ways in which critics, musicians and audiences have addressed the various social, political and aesthetic contexts in which African American music has been composed (produced), performed (re-produced) and heard (consumed). In exploring the diversity of African American musical expression, we will question our assumptions about race, about music, and the links between the two. By taking a thematic approach, we will see how African American music has both shaped and been shaped by the social contexts in which it is created and performed. Our readings and discussions will encompass African American music from spirituals and work songs to bebop and hip hop, from Duke Ellington to N.W.A., from Bessie Smith to Stevie Wonder, from James Reese Europe to Bob Marley, all of which will help us explore the rich set of meanings black music has held in the Americas for over four hundred years.


Jazz (MUSI V2016, Fall 2012)

Course Information

Course Title: 
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V2016
Prof Christopher Washburne

Fall 2012 Music V2016
Section 001 Call Number: 72766 Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Christopher J Washburne

A historical survey of the musical and cultural features of jazz, beginning in 1900.

The prerequisite for this course is C1123 or F1123 Masterpieces of Western Music or BC 1001x or 1002y Introduction to Music, or equivalent.

The New Republic: Columbia Musicians Honor the Legendary Nick Hathaway

The current blog of The New Republic features a story on the legendary songwriter and composer Nick Hathaway, described by his discoverer and Columbia Journalism Professor David Hajdu as "the genre- and taste-defying songsmith known for having the kind of talent that is truly not to be believed."

The blog post is in honor of the first anniversary of Hathaway's death at the piano in Chester, Pennsylvania, on April 1, 2011. It features a riveting video performance of Hathaway's best-loved unheard piece of work: the words and music he wrote for "Man in a Mousetrap," the conceptual production directed in 1953 by the avant-gardist Jeffrey Cordova. Here, in the piece's debut, Theo Bleckmann, the esteemed experimental vocalist, performs "Man in a Mousetrap" at Columbia University, with Jon Weber (pianist and host of the NPR radio series "Piano Jazz Rising Stars"), Chris Washburne (respected trombonist and director of the Jazz Performance Program at Columbia), and the violinist and scholar (and Columbia musicology PhD candidate) Matthew Morrison.  The performance also features a consideration of Hathaway's historical importance by Columbia's Edwin Case Professor of Music, George Lewis, who concludes that "in the history of the American avant-garde, Nick Hathaway stands out as a figure of rare conventionality."

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Awards Continuing Innovation Grant to the Center for Jazz Studies and American Composers Orchestra

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Awards Continuing Innovation Grant to the Center for Jazz Studies and American Composers Orchestra for the 2012-13 Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute

The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University has just received a $120,000 grant from The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Continuing Innovation program to present an expanded version of its innovative Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute. The Institute, a collaboration between the Center for Jazz Studies and American Composers Orchestra, engages jazz composers in seminars and workshops on composing for orchestra and professional development. During the first five-day Intensive in 2010 and two days of readings with the American Composers Orchestra in 2011, eight new works were rehearsed, performed and recorded.

"We are honored to support the work of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University," said Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. "This year's grant competition was especially strong, and this grant is a testament to the important work the Center has done and will do for the entire jazz field.  We look forward to the expansion of the program and to the new works that will be fostered through it."
For the 2012-13 JCOI, in addition to Columbia and American Composers Orchestra (ACO), UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music will serve as educational partner to present an expanded Intensive in both New York City and Los Angeles. Other project partners include the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (New York), Stockton Symphony and La Jolla Symphony (California).

MPP Weekly Announcements (Dec. 12, 2011)

Columbia Music Performance Program Weekly Newsletter for Dec. 12, 2011

Happy Holidays from the MPP! This will be our last newsletter of 2011. We will resume in late January of 2012.

December 17, 2011
Inharmonic/(X)enharmonic: A Conference and Concert Celebrating Microtonal Music
9:30AM - 3PM: Conference at Dodge Hall, room 622, with presentations by Anthony Cheung, Dean Drummond, Robert Hasegawa, Frank J. Oteri, Christopher Trapani, and Toby Twining
co-sponsored by the Columbia University Department of Music
8PM: Concert at Merkin Hall (67th and Broadway). Works by Cheung, Drummond, Murail, Poppe, Twining, and Wyschnegradsky
Talea Ensemble, conducted by James Baker
Tickets $10 and FREE for students (at the door)

The CU Music Performance Program

Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12:00 to 5:00PM in 618 Dodge
Phone: (212) 854-1257

Mpp-announce mailing list:

Welcome to Professors Kevin Fellezs and Benjamin Steege!

The Department of Music at Columbia University welcomes two new faculty members, both joining us officially as of the Spring 2012 semester.

Kevin Fellezs has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Music, in a joint appointment with the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia.  His book titled Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk and the Creation of Fusion (Duke University Press, 2011) is a study of fusion (jazz-rock-funk) music of the 1970s framed by insights drawn from critical race theory and jazz/popular music studies. He has published articles in Jazz Perspectives, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the Institute for Studies in American Music Newsletter. He has also published essays in a number of edited anthologies including Alien Encounters: Asian Americans and Popular Culture (Duke University), One World Periphery Reads the Other: Knowing the "Oriental" in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula (Cambridge Scholars), and Heavy Metal: Controversies and Countercultures (Equinox). His research interests extend further, to Asian American popular music, Asian music, and the musical cultures of the Pacific. Prof. Fellezs holds the  PhD in History of Consciousness/American Studies from The University of California at Santa Cruz, and previously taught at the University of California at Merced.

This spring, Prof. Fellezs will be teaching:

Spring 2012 African-American Studies W3030 section 001
Tuesday Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm 603 Hamilton Hall 


Benjamin Steege  has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Music. Prof. Steege comes to Columbia having previously taught at Stony Brook University. He specializes in the history of music theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on musical and scientific modernisms, the history of psychology, and the history of listening. His book, Helmholtz and the Modern Listener, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Other publications appear in Current Musicology, Journal of Music Theory, Zeitschrift fur die Gesellschaft der Musiktheorie, and Journal of the American Musicological Society (forthcoming). He is on the editorial board of Music Theory Spectrum, and has been a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010-11) and recipient of an Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship (2005-06).

This spring, Prof. Steege will be teaching:

Spring 2012 Music G6333 section 001
Wednesday 10:10am-12:00pm 701A Dodge Hall.
Spring 2012 Music G4360 section 001
Tuesday 3:10pm-5:00pm
Room TBA

Salsa, Soca, and Reggae: Popular Musics of the Caribbean

Course Information

Course Title: 
Popular Musics of the Americas: Salsa-Soca-Reggae
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V2020
Prof. Christopher Washburne

Spring 2012
Call Number: 72947 Points: 3  
Day/Time: TR 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: 622 Dodge Hall
Instructor: Christopher J Washburne

A survey of major syncretic urban popular music styles of the Caribbean, exploring their origins, development, and sociocultural context.

The prerequisite for this course is C1123 or F1123 Masterpieces of Western Music or BC 1001x or 1002y Introduction to Music, or equivalent.

Please note that this course is already over-enrolled.  Not all registrants may be accommodated.

Spring 2012 -- Courses in the Department of Music

Explore our course offerings for Spring 2012!

V2014 Popular Musics- Americas: Country Music    
Instructor: Aaron Fox Call #: 68348, 3 pts, TR 2:40pm-3:55pm, 405 Dodge
This is an undergraduate lecture/discussion survey course that combines a detailed musical and social history of "country" as an American and global popular music genre with an introduction to key issues in the academic study of popular music as exemplified by the growing scholarly literature on country. Inarguably, the genre (formerly known as "hillbilly" and "country and western" and sometimes "folk" music) constitutes a crucially important strand in the history of music in the 20th century, both in the United States and globally.

V3030 Asian American Music    
Instructor: Ellie Hisama Call #: 62292, 3 pts, MW 10:35am-11:50am, 404 Dodge
Examination of the diverse ways in which Asian Americans have understood and shaped their musical prac- tices. We will explore the ways in which Asians have been represented via sound, text, and image, and will consider Asian Americans' participation in composed music traditions, jazz, traditional/folk music, diasporic music, improvised music, and popular musics. The course will reflect on readings from musicology, ethnomu- sicology, and music theory as well as fields outside of music in order to consider Asian American music in relation to critical issues of diaspora, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, polyculturalism, and political activism.