Course Details

MUSC 219: The Musical Avant-Garde

“Piano Piece for David Tudor #3: most of them were very old grasshoppers.” –La Monte Young (1960). What is an avant-garde? How can music be “ahead of its time”? In this class, students will explore the histories, aesthetics, and socio-cultural contexts of musical avant-gardes and musical experimentalism post-WWII. While the course focuses on art music of the 1950s-1970s (from concert pieces by Stockhausen and Cage, to the “intermedial” art forms promoted by Fluxus, to the avant-jazz of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane), students will also consider what a musical avant-garde in 2020 might sound like, look like, or act like.
6 credits; LA, WR2; Not offered 2021-2022