Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Description for new course: Sociology of Music/Sound/Noise

Description for new course: 
Sociology of Music/Sound/Noise (SS.490)
(Final syllabus to be come soon)

Brian Eno: 77 Million Paintings
Spring 2017
SS.490 Sociology of Music/Sound/Noise

B. Ricardo Brown, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies
Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies
Pratt Institute

Office: Dekalb 419 Hours: 12:30-2pm Tues/Weds
Phone: 1.718.636.3533

SS.490 Sociology of Music/Sound/Noise
This course examines how we understand everyday life through our experience of music, sound, and noise. Because the field of the sociology of music is as broad as the world of sound, we will focus on the production and meaning of just a few of the many styles of music around the world. We will use these musical studies to then delve into the use and construction of soundscapes and auditory environments. Finally, the course will study the social and environmental effects of noise, as well as the use of noise in music since John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhuasen. The course will require a good deal of listening to perhaps unfamiliar music and musical genres which will be accompanied by readings that together will provide students with a foundation in the sociological study of – and active critical listening to – music, sound, and noise. Students will also provide examples of music/sound/noise that we will listen to in each class.

***You do not need to be able to read music or play an instrument for this course.***

Emeka Ogboh’s Experimental Videos and Soundscapes of Lagos
Readings will include interviews and essays as well as critical texts. They will be drawn from a variety of sources, a sample includes:

Alex Ross. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.
Jacques Attali. Noise: the Political Economy of Music.
Leonard Bernstein. The Unanswered Question (lectures and performances).
Sun Ra. Lectures at Berkeley.
Ronald M. Radano. New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton’s Cultural Critique.
David Byrne. How Music Works.
Steve Reich. Writings on Music.
Brian Eno. Visual Music and Oblique Strategies.
John Cage. Silence.
Theodor Adorno. Selections from Essays on Music and Sound Figures. Noise Regulations.
US Environmental Protection Agency. Noise Pollution.
Bernie Krause. Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes.