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MUS 504

MUSIC 504: Analysis of 20th- and 21st-Century Music
Dr. Margaret Schedel


This course will examine a selection of seven analytical case studies representing significant trends of the last one hundred years. Repertory includes a range of works from short piano pieces, to full operas by Stravinsky, Seeger, Feldman, Saariaho, and others. The selection, while not comprehensive with respect to the range of movements in this period, is meant to provide some diversity while allowing for extended treatment of a network of interrelated theoretical issues. Special attention will be devoted to questions of continuity and discontinuity, novelty and repetition, phrase, gesture, and musical time, but traditional approaches to pitch and rhythm will be integral.

In addition to weekly reading/listening, short exercises with focused analytical goals are due at two-week intervals. A formal final presentation is required, from which you will develop a cohesive, well-argued analytical paper (10-15 pages). This paper may be developed into a Doctoral Essay.

Requirements and Grading:

NOTE: Timely attendance is MANDATORY. Any unexcused absence will count against you. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of all classes and is required. Your FINAL grade will be dropped ONE LETTER GRADE for every three (3) absences. Any two (2) of either late arrivals or early departures will count as one absence. I strongly urge you to hand assignments in on time as late assignments will be dropped ONE LETTER GRADE for each 24 hour delay.

A Excellent work exceeding expectations. Outstanding participation, attendance, and assignments. A student producing work in the top 20 % of her or his class.

B Above average assignments and mastery of tools and concepts, participation and attendance.

C Average execution of assignments, participation and attendance.

D Well below average work, participation and attendance.

F Unsatisfactory work, participation and attendance.


Class Participation 20 %
Assignments 20 %
Short Papers 20 %
Annotated Bibliography 10 %
Final Paper 30 %

The assigned readings are REQUIRED. The class will be much better if we can have animated discussions; therefore, I reserve the right to assign response papers if I feel the class is not doing the reading.

If you know you will be absent on the day that a reading assignment is due, you MUST send me a response paper: 5-6 paragraphs about what you believe to be the main point of the reading.

You need to get a final grade of B or higher in both the CLASS and the FINAL PAPER for the final paper to be developed into your Doctoral Essay.

Required Text:

Understanding Post-Tonal Music by Miguel A. Roig-Francolí

Required Writing Guide:

Writing About Music: An Introductory Guide, 4th edition by Richard J. Wingell,


Week 1

  • Introduction to the class and 12-tone music
  • READ: Introduction and Chapter 7
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website

Week 2

  • READ: Chapter 8
  • Short paper on  Dallapicoola Contrapuntus secundus 

Week 3

  • READ: Chapter 9
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website

Week 4

  • READ: Chapter 1
  • Short paper on Webern Piano Variations 

Week 5

  • READ: Chapter 2
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website

Week 6

  • READ: Chapter 3
  • Short paper on Bartok Viola Concerto

Week 7

  • READ: Chapter 4
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website
  • ***CHOOSE paper topic from the seven pieces listed

Week 8

  • READ: Chapter 5
  • Short paper on Seeger String Quartet third movement

Week 9

  • READ: Chapter 6
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website
  • ***Annotated Bibliography

Week 10

  • READ: Chapter 13
  • Short paper on Stravinsky Chorus from Rake’s Progress

Week 11

  • READ: Chapter 14
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website
  • ***Rough Draft of Paper

Week 12

  • READ: Chapter 10
  • Short paper on Feldman Why Patterns

Week 13

  • READ: Chapter 11
  • ASSIGNMENT: See website

Week 14

  • READ: Chapter 12
  • Short paper on Saariaho Pres
Other Reading
Musical Form and Transformation: Four Analytic Essays by David Lewin
Uncertainty, Disorientation, and Loss as Responses to Musical Structure by Joe Dubiel
Feldman, Analysis, Experience by Dora Hanninen
Spectral Music by Joshua Fineberg
Tempus ex Machina: A composer’s reflections on musical time by Grisey
Engaging Music, ed. by Deborah Stein
Assignments http://schedel.net/classes/mus-504/assignments/

Final Final Papers 10-15p Due by 5pm Dec. 18 2012

Statement on Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is an extremely serious offense and will not be tolerated in any form. Academic dishonesty in general is the presentation of intellectual work that is not originally yours. Examples include, but are not limited to , copying or plagiarizing class assignments including homework, reports, designs, computer programs, and other submitted materials; copying or otherwise communicating answers on exams with other students; bringing unapproved aids, either in physical (written) or electronic form to an exam; obtaining copies of an exam prior to its administration, etc. Academic dishonesty violates both the ethical and moral standards of the Engineering profession and all infractions related to academic dishonesty will be prosecuted to the fullest via the CEAS CASA committee. For you, the honest student, academic dishonesty results in lower class curves, hence a depression in your GPA and class standing, while cheapening the degree you earn.

Statement on Personal Integrity

Stony Brook University expects students to maintain standards of personal integrity that are in harmony with the educational goals of the institution; to observe national, state, and local laws and University regulations; and to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people.”

Statement of Disability

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, 128 ECC Building (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following web site: http://www.ehs.sunysb.edu and search Fire Safety and Evacuation and Disabilities.