Music and Society

Course description Music and Society
Year: 2015-2016
Catalog number: 7600HCMUSY
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. M.A. Cobussen
  • Drs. H. Ismaili M'hamdi
  • Dr. R. Herbert
  • Dr. J. Wynne
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5
Level: 400
Period: Semester 1
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • Yes Honours Class

!! This course is an Honours Class and therefore only available for students of an honours college !!

Because of the early start of this class, make sure you enroll between 20 and 31 August (instead of 10 September)!

Description

Music. It surrounds us, every day and everywhere. Many people cannot live without it. What makes music so important in our contemporary society? What is the role, the function, and the position of music in our everyday lives? These and other questions will be subject of reflection in this class.

Recent research on listening attitudes has revealed that at any randomly sampled moment between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. there was a roughly 50 percent likelihood that people would have heard music in the preceding two hours. However there was only a 2 percent chance that music was the main focus of their attention. Hence, music may play an important role in everyday life, even if it is hardly listened to. A nice paradox!

This course settles scores with the prevailing idea that music is an autonomous art form, functioning independently from social, political, economic, technological, and ethical developments. However, this does not mean that music merely passively represents society; music does much more than “depict” or embody values. Music is active and dynamic, constitutive not merely of values but of trajectories and styles of conduct. It plays an important role in shaping society and identities. The scope of music reaches far beyond the concert hall. It accompanies our traveling, sports, shopping, and working activities. It speaks to us and silences us. It sways and soothes us. Music provides parameters that can be used to frame experiences, perceptions, feelings, and comportments.

This course introduces students through a close reading of sociological and philosophical texts to think on different roles, positions and functions of music: an aesthetic, a political, an ethical, and an emancipatory function.

Programme

Lesson 1 (23-09-15) – Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi + Dr. M.A. Cobussen
General Introduction on Music and Society: Zizek/Pussy Riot, Janet Wolff.
Lecture

Lesson 2 (30-09-2015) – Dr. M.A. Cobussen + Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Ubiquitous Musics 1 – On Muzak, Sonic Branding, Shopping Malls and Car Radios: Michael Bull, Brandon LaBelle, Steve Goodman
Lecture and Seminar

Lesson 3 (07-10-15) – Dr. Ruth Herbert (Oxford University) + Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Ubiquitous Musics 2
Guest Lecture

Lesson 4 (14-10-2015) – Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Social Stratification 1: Rousseau, Bourdieu

Lesson 5 (28-10-15) – Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Social Stratification 2: Bourdieu, Adorno

Lesson 6 (04-11-15) – Dr. M.A. Cobussen + Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Politics 1: Attali, Cusick, Goodman
Lecture and Seminar

Lesson 7 (11-11-15) – Dr. John Wynne (sound artist / researcher, London College of Communication, CRiSAP) + Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Politics 2
Guest Lecture

Lesson 8 (18-11-15) – Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Ethics 1: Plato, Aristotle, Scruton

Lesson 9 (25-11-15) – Dr. M.A. Cobussen + Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi
Music and Ethics 2: Cobussen & Nielsen
Lecture and Seminar

Lesson 10 (02-12-15) – Drs. H. Ismaili-m’Hamdi + Dr. M.A. Cobussen
Music and Society – Conclusion
Lecture and Seminar

Period

Wednesday 23, 30 September, 7, 14,21, 28 October, 4, 11, 18, 25 November, 2 December; 16:00 – 18:00 hrs

Location

De Oude Sterrewacht / Old Observatory, Sterrenwachtlaan 11, Leiden

Assessment method

Essay and weekly written assignment

Maximum number of students

22

Registration

Because of the early start, enrolling in this course is possible from 20 and 31 August instead of 10 September, via this link .

Contact

Ir. Rogier Schneemann

Languages