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Course Offerings

FIRST YEAR REQUIREMENTS

During the first year of study, you will be introduced to the art and business of creating and selling recorded music. You will receive introductory music business training and will learn about the history and culture of creative entrepreneurs in recorded music. You will also be introduced to the tools and techniques of recording and will begin to use the recording studio as their creative laboratory.

REMU-UT 0001 Creativity in Context

This course is required, 0 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

This course will contextualize the holistic core curriculum of the Clive Davis Institute. By linking the Institutes academic disciplines, philosophy and culture to creativity and discovery in practice, a more tangible frame of reference will emerge. The course will offer several colloquium conversations with senior faculty, working artists in music, fine arts, architecture, journalism, fashion, and technology. This exposure will lead students to a better understanding of the relationship between academics and artistic and commercial achievement.

REMU-UT 1201 Creative Music Entrepreneurs in Historical Context (FALL OR SPRING)

This course is required, 4 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

This 14-week course introduces students to the history of innovative entrepreneurs and institutions in American recorded music. We look at famous executives, managers, producers, performers DJs, and journalists/publishers like Les Paul, Berry Gordy, Florence Greenberg, Phil Spector, George Martin, Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Clive Davis, Sylvia Robinson, Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons, Jay-Z and Steve Jobs. We study how and why the fiefdoms and empires built by these impressive and sometimes controversial icons have transformed the course of popular music. Along the way, students become well versed in the history of 20th and 21st century recorded music, and about various music genres and styles; and we place the art and business of creating and selling recorded music in historical, political, cultural and social context. Throughout, we look at approaches to crafting successful essays on popular music with clear, compelling writing about sound.

REMU-UT 1020 Fundamentals of Audio Workstations I (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

In this course, you will acquire an in-depth, theoretical, and practical knowledge of Digital Audio Workstations using the industry standard ProTools software through a weekly, lab-based workshop. Each class will be a combination of lecture and immediate application. An emphasis will be placed on getting to know ProTools, creating sessions, working with media in sessions, audio recording, audio editing, file management techniques, MIDI recording, editing techniques, mixing techniques, backups, and stereo mix-down. 

REMU-UT 1040 Engineering the Record I (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

In recent years, access to affordable audio recording equipment and software has given rise to a new breed of recording engineer and producer. While embracing new technology, this course challenges you to understand and apply the fundamental principles that form the basis of tried and true recording techniques, and to make informed decisions in each stage of the recording process. Through a series of discussions, hands-on exercises, and recording sessions, you will learn about the propagation of sound, microphone design and implementation, signal flow, basic signal processing, and contemporary recording and mixing techniques. Emphasis is placed on critical listening, preparation, class participation, and teamwork. 

REMU-UT 1106 Musicianship: Theory & Construction (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

This course emphasizes a no-nonsense and demystifying presentation of the three elements of music — rhythm, melody, and harmony. You will review and analyze a variety of musical examples — written and recorded — to demonstrate these concepts with a focus on contemporary western music (everything from the Beatles and Stevie Wonder to Wilco, Radiohead, and Katy Perry). The second half of the course is a practical application of the tools. You will learn how to transcribe rhythms, hear chord progressions, and arrange and compose at a basic level. The goal of the course is to enable you to break down a song competently and have a fuller appreciation of what producers/arrangers/composers/songwriters do — skills you will undoubtedly need for a career in the music industry. 

REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

This course provides an introduction to business principles such as entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, branding, marketing, and finance that underpin music industry activities across different business segments. Other topics include music industry structure, synergies between business segments, marketplace trends and developments, revenue streams, and deals and key players. By the end, you will be imbued with a foundation of knowledge, practical real-world understanding, and strategic direction to take your career to the next level. 

REMU-UT 1021 Fundamentals of Audio Workstations II (SPRING ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1020 Fundamentals of Audio Workstations I, with a grade of C or better.

In this course, you will acquire an in-depth, theoretical and practical knowledge of Digital Audio Workstations using the industry standard LogicPro software through a weekly, lab-based workshop. Each class meeting will be a combination of lecture and immediate application. An emphasis will be placed on getting to know Logic, creating sessions, working with media in sessions, audio recording, audio editing, file management techniques, MIDI recording, editing techniques, mixing techniques, backups and stereo mix-down. 

REMU-UT 1041 Engineering the Record II (SPRING ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1040 Engineering the Record I, with a grade of C or better.

This course builds upon the fundamentals of sound recording established in Engineering the Record I. Through a series of discussions, hands-on exercises, and recording sessions, you will refine your skills in the recording studio from the organizational, technical, and creative/artistic points of view. Integrating skills from Audio Ear Training and Songwriting for Producers, student teams will reverse-engineer a well-known recording and reproduce it as a “sound-alike.” Emphasis will be placed on critical listening, preparation, class participation, and teamwork. 

REMU-UT 1102 Critical Listening for the Recording Studio (SPRING ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

In order for aspiring music producers to realize their potential in the studio, the ability to accurately describe what is being heard, and the skill to articulate possible audio issues, is a crucial necessity. Critical listening skills can take years to develop — this course is designed to speed the process of creating a pair of “Golden Ears” and give you a head start in developing their listening. Through theoretical and practical listening exercises, students will develop this expertise. 

REMU-UT 1216 The Business of Music: Creativity, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship (SPRING ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials, with a grade of C or better.

The broad aims of this course are to introduce students to the practical aspects of entrepreneurship in the music industry, the skills and innovative thinking that empower music entrepreneurs, and the processes and strategies that contribute to entrepreneurial success. Strong emphasis is placed on the development and reinforcement of business knowledge and applied skills through group project work, in-class and out-of-class assignments, interactive class discussions, and self and peer assessments. Students engage with successful music entrepreneurs and gain valuable insights and inspiration to help them pursue their entrepreneurial ideas. Key course themes include: learning to forge music-based ideas in to workable business concepts, failure as an essential prerequisite for learning.

SECOND YEAR REQUIREMENTS

In the second year, you will deepen your understanding of the art and business of creating and selling recorded music. You will have the opportunity to study the “artist,” how musical talent is identified and cultivated, how material is selected and arranged, how a complete album is constructed in the studio, and how the audience and artist have historically influenced each other. Upon completion of a sophomore year review, you will work closely with your faculty advisor to develop a personalized course of study focusing on your area of interest.

REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 4 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1041 Engineering the Record II, with a grade of C or better.

The purpose of this course is to teach technical proficiency, self-sufficiency, and creative methodology in the area of studio-based music production, better stated as realization. You will be exposed to a variety of complimentary realization methods through case study, traditional lectures, and hands-on experiential training. The curricular approach is holistic and immersive, with lessons presenting musicianship, technical and engineering skills, project management and logistics, historical reference, entrepreneurship, and ethical business and creative conduct. 

REMU-UT 1022 Producing Music with Software & Midi (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 2 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1021 Fundamentals of Audio Workstations II, with a grade of C or better.

We live in an age of digital production where so much of today's music is produced with comparatively few tools and at the heart of the modern production set up, whether in the bedroom of the studio, is software that uses MIDI.  One of the most versatile of todays platforms which can be used in production, live performance and even as a visual platform is Ableton Live.  Live is unique amongst the contemporary software programs making music in that it is the only one that was created by working musicians who were looking for a tool that allowed for both the seamless creation of ideas and could also serve as a performance platform. In the past 15 years it has played an important in creating countless tracks and records in numerous genres and the go-to software for live performance, whether for vocalists and bands or massive spectacles like Cirque du Soleil.   In this course, Ableton Certified Trainer Dan Freeman will cover the fundamentals of the the software and then techniques on using MIDI to program beats, chordal and melodic ideas.  The course will cover Ableton's unique abilities to manipulate audio which make it the preferred platform for remixing and mash-ups.  We will also cover creative workflow - how to use Ableton to quickly generate ideas for producers and songwriters.  Finally, we will discuss its use as a live performance tool for use with live instrumentalists and vocalists, as a DJ tool and even as a VJing tool. 

REMU-UT 1105 Writing the Hit Song (FALL ONLY)

This course is required, 4 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: None.

Tens of thousands of songs are written every year, yet only a handful of them will live on in the minds of the general public. In three magical minutes, a song can touch millions of people, completely transform the life of the writer, and become the soundtrack of a generation. These are what we call hit songs. In this course, you will explore what differentiates these rare creatures of music from the rest, and most importantly, try to write them. You will creatively and critically discuss songwriting, arrangement, and the logistics of writing a song. This class will draw parallels of successful songs from every generation and genre by treating songwriting as a reliable, learnable craft that emphasizes musical and textual clarity, economy and depth. You will write, co-write, and analyze songs in order to establish and engage your own unique songwriting voice. Class activities include discussion, listening, analysis, creative exploration, collaboration, peer evaluation, arranging, and lots of practice. 

REMU-UT 1004 Producing the Record: Side B (SPRING ONLY)

This course is required, 4 credits.

There is a lab fee for this course. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A, with a grade of C or better.

The purpose of Producing the Record: Side B is to teach technical proficiency, business self-sufficiency, and creative methodology in the area of studio music production — better stated as realization. A continuation of Side A, you will continue to be exposed to a variety of complimentary realization methodologies through case studies, traditional lectures, and hands-on exercises. The curricular approach is holistic, with lessons presenting pure music, technical and engineering skills, project management, and historical reference in equal parts. 

REMU-UT 1203 Artists & Audiences in Historical Context (FALL OR SPRING)

This course is required, 4 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1201 Creative Music Entrepreneurs in Historical Context, with a grade of C or better.

Building on the freshman core class, which focuses on creative entrepreneurs in popular music history, this sophomore-level course serves a triple function. First, it helps you think about the artist in popular music — what a musical artist is and can be, and how the artist interacts with fans. Second, it focuses briefly on crucial artists in popular music history, thus providing a rough overview of that history. Third, it introduces you to some excellent writing about popular music, and helps you figure out how to describe music in works themselves. 

REMU-UT 1217 The Business of Music: Creative Marketing Strategies (Fall Only)

This course is required, 2 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1216, with a grade of C or better.

This course introduces music marketing concepts, principles and approaches that musicians, songwriters, record producers, executives and music companies use to optimize their visibility, analyze, target and sell directly to customers and fans. Traditional and nontraditional marketing approaches for retail, distribution, radio, touring and publicity will be examined with an emphasis placed on online tools and strategies, including website and mobile optimization, smartphone and desktop apps, seo, crowdsourcing, live streaming and crowd funding, and their applications. Topics covered include customer behavior, segmentation, research design, market strategy, and branding. Through case studies, discussions, research, lectures, guest speakers and individual/group assignments, students develop industry-focused knowledge and skills that will assist them in formulating a winning go-to market plan for tan entrepreneurial music venture of choice.  

REMU-UT 1218 The Business of Music: Incubation & Launch (Spring Only)

This course is required, 2 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1217, with a grade of C or better.

This course provides students with essential knowledge, a framework, the inspiration, and courage to translate their ideas involving music into new business opportunities and startup ventures.

Through case studies, project work, reading, research, self-reflection, and interactions with guest speakers, students learn and experience entrepreneurship as a way of thinking and acting, and as a process that leads to new venture creation. The principal focus of this class is on the start-up process and the creation of new ventures that produce value. Students learn key factors associated with venture success and critically evaluate their own prospects for entrepreneurship. Emphasis is given to design thinking approaches, methodologies and tools that can be used to help accelerate ideas and opportunities that students are most passionate about. 

Topics covered include: Creativity and Vision, Opportunity Recognition, Defining Your Personal Philosophy, Taking Risk, Competitive Advantage, Being Original and Different, Ethics and Principles, Determination and Hustle, Optimism, Serving Others, Psychology of Success.

The different elements of a business plan are learned in class and through skill-building exercises and writing assignments. Working alone and in collaboration with others, students take their ideas from concept to launch. By the end, students gain the skills and confidence to effectively communicate, present, and defend their ideas, and a solid methodology to put their ideas into action. 

THIRD YEAR REQUIREMENTS

During the third year, you will begin to pursue advanced-level study in business, production, writing, history and emergent media, or musicianship and performance via courses offered through the Clive Davis Institute, as well as through the Stern School of Business; Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; and the College of Arts & Sciences.

As a third-year student, you will also have the opportunity to participate in the Institute’s required internship program and become a better citizen of the world by participating in either Recorded Music's mandatory study abroad program in Berlin or one of many study abroad opportunities offered through NYU Global and Tisch Special Programs. If you study abroad in the Fall semester of your third year, you should plan to take the below courses in Spring of your third year, or vice versa.

REMU-UT 1196 Writing About Popular Music (FALL OR SPRING)

This course is required, 4 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1203 Artists & Audiences in Historical Context, with a grade of C or better.

Communicating effectively about music is a crucial skill for all professionals in the industry — whether you're writing emails, bios, press releases, criticism, or expansive essays about the effect of your own or others' music. As the internet expands the ways people learn about and discuss it (and a never-ending stream of music is increasingly available) it behooves everyone, from performer to producer to publicist to professional writer, to know how to rise above the din. Similarly, as the internet morphs and grows almost daily, writing about music takes on myriad and ever-varying forms. Where music journalists and critics write about music by trade and assert their expertise, there is always value to be found in music writing all over the internet and through independent publishing, through an increasing availability of publishing platforms ranging from Tumblr to Twitter. This course will explore various forms of writing about music and its infinitely expanding vagaries, and provide a base to communicate effectively about music, whether you are a professional writer, musician, fan, publicist, executive, etc. It is not exclusively aimed towards those who aspire to a career in music writing; all students concentrating on aspects of recorded music and the industry benefit from writing and thinking critically about it. Students will write prolifically in this course, with the express goal of developing and sharpening their individual perspectives and voices for a practical application. 

Clive Davis Institute x Berlin: Future Pop Music Studies (Fall or Spring)

Currently experiencing a major renaissance, Berlin is a historic world capital and an electrifying cultural center for artistic creativity. The city has long been an inspirational haven for artists from all over the world, and in the aftermath of its 20th century political turbulence and upheaval, Berlin boasts inexpensive rent and a vibrant nightlife scene featuring world-class clubs like Berghain and Tresor. Having long attracted and inspired American musicians like Lou Reed and British artists like David Bowie, Berlin has a distinct and mythic musical history.

Drawing on the strengths of Berlin as a multicultural world capital and a preeminent destination for a wide range of musical and sonic innovation, the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music has created a unique and groundbreaking study abroad program that focuses on pop music experimentalism and the avant-garde. We push the envelope to consider the future of music production, business, technology and emergent media, performance, songwriting and journalism.

You will be able to learn about the fascinating past, present and future of music making in Germany and Europe at large, and you’ll be able to practice your craft and learn about the arts and emergent media scene while meeting and working with influential Berlin-based industry professionals. 

Students must enroll in core program courses, as well as additional complementary general education or elective courses, in order to complete a full-time, ~16-credit semester.

Recorded Music majors are required to take: 

  1. German Language (4 units)
  2. REMU-UT 9810 Conversations in the Global Music Business: From Cryptocurrency to Big Data to the Future of Copyright (2 units)
  3. REMU-UT 9811 Popular Music in Germany: History, Culture, Politics (2 units)

PLUS, ~8 additional units that may be fulfilled with any of the below elective courses or other general education or elective courses offered via NYU-Berlin.

More information can be found online.

REMU-UT 1210 Conversations in the Global Music Business: From Cryptocurrency to Big Data to Surviving the Future

2 Credits; This course is the same as REMU-UT 9810, required for all majors unable to study abroad in Berlin.

With sales of more than 1.3 billion, the German recorded music market is the third largest in the world: it is larger than the UK music market and behind only the USA and Japan. Beyond just numbers, the Berlin music business is unique: it’s home to hundreds of powerful independent and D.I.Y. record labels; it’s historically been ground zero for innovative electronic and dance music; and it’s a burgeoning tech hub for innovative software/hardware companies like Native Instruments, Ableton and Soundcloud. In this colloquium series, students will meet and hear each week from key creative entrepreneurial figures and innovators in the German and European music business.

 

This course has several purposes. First, students will consider how ongoing economic and technological changes might be impacting the worldwide music business, as speakers discuss controversial trends like the rise of cryptocurrency, block chain and cashless systems, customization technologies like 3D printing and developments in robotics, and radical, disruptive approaches to copyright. Second, students will develop a greater understanding of the chief similarities and differences between the traditional European and US music business operations, particularly with regard to label operations, publishing and copyright, touring and festivals, and nightlife promotion.

 

Third, students will become more informed about the D.I.Y.  music business in Berlin itself, as they hear from speakers about the promises and challenges one faces in launching innovative music start ups in Germany. And finally, students will get to meet and network with key movers and shakers in the Berlin scene, past and present. In anticipation for a guest class visit, students may be required to investigate websites, read biographical or contextual material, or attend events outside of class time. Students will be expected to ask informed questions of the guests and to develop responses throughout the course of the class.

Students should leave the class with a greater understanding of how the European and German music businesses work and how they themselves might make a business or sales impact on a global scale. 

FOURTH YEAR REQUIREMENTS

The fourth year culminates with the capstone project in which you will professionally develop a full creative plan to launch yourself as an entrepreneur. Projects have included launching a record label, creating a production company, developing a new media company, and starting an innovative music venue, to name a few. You may also use the fourth year to intern or find a job in the music industry, complete liberal arts requirements, or concentrate on your advanced studies in production, writing, history & emergent media, business, or musicianship and performance in order to complete your capstone professional development project.

REMU-UT 1401 Capstone Professional Development (FALL OR SPRING)

This course is required, 3 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: Senior-level status.

The colloquium course, in conjunction with individualized recitation sections, is designed to help you complete your senior Capsote project and prepare for post-graduate life. 

The business plan, panel presentation, media deliverables, and any final performances will be workshopped and completed as appropriate to each student’s goals. The small class sizes are designed to allow for highly focused meetings wherein mentoring and advising are enhanced through individualized group discussion and collaboration. Advisors will set agendas based upon your area of expertise and may focus on specific themes from week to week as appropriate and based upon assessment of your specific goals and needs. Those graduating seniors with the final tools to properly articulate and present their projects will do so to a panel of full-time faculty members and are invited to pitch their capstone project to industry professionals their final semester. 

Students completing production-based projects or desiring studio time must also enroll in REMU-UT 1010 Capstone Professional Development: Content Creation. Students who are performers or desiring more one-on-one instruction on stage presence and performance skills must also enroll in REMU-UT 1312 Creating a Compelling Live Performance. You will also have the opportunity to meet with special industry advisors for additional help outside of class, as well as your regular advisors. 

REMU-UT 1402 Capstone Professional Development Mentorship (FALL OR SPRING)

This course is required for all seniors who take REMU-UT 1401 in their penultimate semester, 0 credits.

Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: Senior-level status, and successful completion of REMU-UT 1401 Capstone, with a grade of C or better.

This 0-credit colloquium course is required for all seniors who completed REMU-UT 1401 Capstone in their penultimate semester and is designed to help students complete their senior Capstone project and prepare for post-graduate life. 

The business plan, panel presentation, media deliverables, and any final performances will be workshopped and completed as appropriate to each student’s goals. The small class sizes are designed to allow for highly focused meetings wherein mentoring and advising are enhanced through individualized group discussion and collaboration. Advisors will set agendas based upon your area of expertise and may focus on specific themes from week to week as appropriate and based upon assessment of your specific goals and needs. Those graduating seniors with the final tools to properly articulate and pitch their capstone project to industry professionals in their final semester. 

Students completing production-based projects or desiring studio time must also enroll in REMU-UT 1010 Capstone Studio Production: Directed Study. Students who are performers or desiring more one-on-one instruction on stage presence and performance skills must also enroll in REMU-UT 1312 Capstone Live Performance: Directed Study. You will also have the opportunity to meet with special industry advisors for additional help outside of class, as well as your regular advisors. 

BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY ELECTIVES

REMU-UT 1170 Women as Entrepreneurs in Popular Music

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This course will examine women entrepreneurs in different music industry fields and the strategies they use to launch and grow entrepreneurial opportunities and business ventures. The overarching aim is to inspire students to think about entrepreneurial careers in music beyond traditional job pathways. As a class, students will explore the question of why women entrepreneurs in music are outnumbered by men and what can be done to change the current status quo. Through readings, class collaboration, discussion and conversations with leading women entrepreneurs in music, you will leave with an expanded awareness of  entrepreneurial opportunities in music and concrete strategies they can apply to move closer towards their goals.

REMU-UT 1221 Legal & Business Essentials for the Performing Artist

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This practical hands-on workshop is geared to anyone aspiring to a career in the performing arts, whether on stage or behind the scenes. Through lectures, focused workshops,  interactive group discussions, and projects and discussions with notable industry guests, this course will provide a thorough overview of the legal and business issues and multifaceted  challenges that impact the careers of performing artists. This course is dedicated to helping you address and successfully resolve problems you are facing. Practical advice and strategies are offered for you to implement immediately to move your career, and the careers of performing artists they represent, ahead. By the end, you will be empowered with a framework of knowledge and tools you can leverage to maximize your chances for success.

REMU-UT 1223 Music Contracts & Dealmaking

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This course provides a core understanding of the contracts and deals that every aspiring music industry professional is likely to encounter. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever to understand the implications of agreements that you are presented with, and to stay informed about legal trends and developments that are likely to impact your career. By the end, students will walk away knowing how to effectively protect their interests and enforce their rights in the event a problem arises.

REMU-UT 1225 Leadership in the Music Industry

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

The intention of this course is to expand students’ knowledge about leadership and their leadership skills in preparation for their assumption of music industry leadership roles. It is geared to all students who aspire to lead, whether as musician, performer, critic, fan, influencer, entrepreneur or within an organizational context.  This course focuses on the skills and competencies necessary for effective leadership and how they can be developed and applied to the pursuit of students’ personal and professional goals in music. Students will meet successful leaders across the music industry, learn about the complex moral, ethical challenges they face, and distill important lessons that they can be apply to leadership challenges they may confront in the future. By the end, students are equipped with increased self-confidence, and an understanding of their leadership strengths that will better prepare them when presented with the first opportunity to lead. 

REMU-UT 1226 Funding Your Music Venture

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or equivalent, with a grade of C or better.

This course targets all students who are serious about, and ready, to fund a project. Together, we will learn about different funding types and sources, as well as demystify how the funding process works. Through a blend of readings, class discussions, practical assignments, and guest speakers; you will have the knowledge, practical understanding, and an actionable plan to bring your project to life, now or in the future.

REMU-UT 1230 Understanding Digital Media

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

If you are planning a career in the music industry — whether as an artist, producer, record label executive, new media executive, or entrepreneur, this course will help you understand and grasp with greater depth the impact of convergent digital media platforms on the music industry. Topics will include digital distribution models, mobility’s impact on end user consumer access, social network-based marketing and promotion, music discovery and filtering, user-generated content, video, piracy, gaming, and the global effects of mobile and online music sales. From the real-time perspective of current digital music industry trends, students will discuss the in-depth evolution of these developments and the psychological motivations of music consumers that have led to the rise of internet, apps, and mobile technology platforms as a critical force in the future of music consumption — and the music industry as a whole.

REMU-UT 1231 The Future of Streaming

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Streaming Economy represents a great paradigm shift in the music industry and its monetization. In 2013, digital streaming of music replaced the CD as the main source of music sales and has provided economic hope to a – commercially speaking - weakening industry. However, with artists such as Thom Yorke, The Black Keys, David Byrne and many others speaking out against the royalty of streaming services like Spotify, streaming, in its current structure, as a permanent replacement for CD and digital download sales remains a controversial subject.

Through this course the student will be guided through the history of streaming, the controversies surrounding its business model, and the technology that made it possible. Students will be introduced to the new storefront of online music and be shown how the digital marketplace is changing music marketing and artist development. Streaming offers exciting new opportunities along with serious and complex challenges. This course will examine the pros and cons of the current streaming status quo.

The student will practice techniques of releasing music online through a hands-on workshop, which will lead them through the beginning steps of registering, and releasing their own project via Phonofile and WiMP on all major platforms and services. 

REMU-UT 1235 The Business of Music Publishing

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This course focuses on the business of music publishing, which has served as a powerful engine fueling the growth of the music business since the first decade of the 20th century. Song copyrights are among the most important and valuable assets that musicians and songwriters have. Knowing how to protect, manage, and monetize these rights is more critical than ever. This course is targeted to students who aspire to careers as recording artists, songwriters, record producers, artist managers, and music executives, among others. Course topics include: roles and responsibilities of music publishers identifying new markets for songs, structure of the music publishing companies, different music publishing deals and their terms, music publishing revenue flow, practical aspects of music publishing administration and licensing, and music publishing as an investment. You will leave with a practical understanding of music publishing as a business and with tools and strategies for turning songs into sustainable sources of income.

REMU-UT 1239 The Business of Electronic & Dance Music

4 credits, open to non-majors.

The explosion of “EDM” has brought electronic and dance music further into the mainstream than ever before.  But the history of this segment of the music industry extends over many decades, growing from a specialist and social art form to a worldwide sound impacting all sectors of the music economy. This course will look at the careers and evolution of both past and current major players and will also examine the driving forces of the current economy, including DJing, live events, festivals and music distribution. Whether you’re a budding artist, DJ, manager, producer, music supervisor or journalist, we will study, discuss and analyze the historical and modern factors and skills that can create a career and/or a business venture in electronic and dance music. We will also examine current trends and technologies and try to predict what’s next musically and professionally.

REMU-UT 1240 Music Supervision & Licensing

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Music supervision and music licensing are two of the hottest topics in the music business. This class will focus on both and help you understand the ins and outs of music supervision and the nuts and bolts of music licensing. We will look at how music supervision can benefit the artist, the manager, the label, the publisher, as well as study all possible players in the music supervision and licensing worlds. We will learn the rules of music licensing, which is the business side of music supervision. We will understand topics like music publishing, clearances, budgets, and the art of pitching music for licensing opportunities. We will look at all of the platforms where music is supervised and licensed, including film, television, advertising, video games, and more. We will also discuss the impact of music supervision from a creative perspective by looking at case studies such as Lorde curating the Hunger Games Soundtrack, the music side of The Tonight Show, Apple using Hudson Mohawke's music in their advertisement campaign, and how DJ Hero changed the landscape of music in video games forever. The final class project will involve supervising and licensing music in real time, using all of the knowledge gained in class, and applying it to the real world.

REMU-UT 1241 Music Licensing Lab

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Music supervision and music licensing are two of the hottest topics in the music business. This class will introduce you to the creative, financial, legal, and technical sides of music supervision as well as teach you the nuts and bolts of music clearance and licensing. We will look at the many different facets of a music supervisor’s job, and the services they provide for all types of media projects, including film, television, advertising, video games, online/apps, and more. If you aspire to have a career as a music supervisor, licensor, publisher, artist, songwriter, composer, producer, and/or creative entrepreneur, this course is for you. Some of the topics include: breaking into the field, opportunities for music placement, how to pitch and get your music placed, different parties involved in all sides of the licensing transaction. You will be exposed to complex business challenges that music supervisors face and learn the mindset and strategies needed to successfully overcome. Through readings, discussions, lab assignments, and case studies like Straight Outta Compton and Broad City, as well interactions with special guests, you will gain a real-world understanding of the music supervision field as well as the many opportunities that music creators, and rights owners can leverage to take their career to the next level by understanding music licensing.

REMU-UT 1250 Branding: Sponsorships, Endorsements, Cross-Promotion, & Beyond

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Brands generate loyalty, trust and familiarity with consumers. Those well versed in branding have the ability to successfully capture the attention of their customers or audiences and speak to them in clear and persuasive terms. Creative branding is the key to understanding what makes audiences/consumers tick and to increasing sales performance. Before a brand becomes a household name it is a tried a true product that has been through several critical steps of research and development, consumer segmentation, positioning and distribution. This hands-on course will introduce you to the world of brand development, cross-promotions, endorsements, sponsorships, and more as it relates to today’s ever-evolving music industry. You’ll do exercises in analyzing and developing brands, and you’ll study why some brands succeed where others fail by reading key books and articles, studying branding theory and talking to guest speakers. You'll work to demonstrate your understanding of the course concepts through dialogue with brand professionals, class discussion assignments and a final project and presentation.

REMU-UT 1260 The Business of Artist Management

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This course is specifically designed for students who aspire to a career in personal artist management, are looking for proven strategies for their current management practices, or are planning to manage themselves. The course will help you take control of the creative and business aspects of your career as artists, record producers, musicians, and songwriters. A manager’s job is to oversee all aspects of creative careers in music and is charged with the responsibility of furthering that career — from independent DIY artists to multi-platinum superstars. You will learn about different career trajectories and gain hands-on experience developing management strategies that can be applied to different creative careers in the music industry. You will also learn about the timeline and participate first-hand in the management of a well-known worldwide artist. Through the use of guest speakers, case studies, and artist/manager panels and think tanks, you will have the opportunity to interact directly with some of the music industry’s most successful advisors.

REMU-UT 1261 Artist Management Lab

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Artist managers are the central focus of the music business, the dealmakers behind the latest industry developments, and the brokers of power, influence, and revenue streams for not only recording artists, but creative entrepreneurs and technology startups as well. The role of the artist manager is to help creative talent find commercial success. We will study the basics and fundamentals of artist management, and its many different functions. We will learn about the different roles that artist managers play as well as understand how artist managers build and develop their teams, and the different kinds of leadership positions that they assume. We will look at different styles of artist management, and discuss best practices by reviewing case studies, and speaking with special guests. Through a class lab, we will analyze various potential problems and scenarios, and develop techniques and skills for forming solutions, simulating the artist management experience. We will hypothetically take over the management duties for an existing artist and help them re-organize his/her career in a comprehensive final project. Artist managers now serve as the gatekeepers of commercial and brand value in the talent food chain, and they not only help grow careers, they create many new ones along the way. From Troy Carter and Scooter Braun, to Amy Thomson and Kelly Clancy, artist managers are the thought leaders of this business and catalysts for industry change.

REMU-UT 1269 BASICS OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or equivalent, with a grade of C or better.

This introductory course is targeted to all students who have a strong sense of their individual purpose and are motivated to change the world through music.  In this course, students learn about social entrepreneurs, how they think, the problems they address, the business tools they leverage and the strategies they employ to create social change.  Through readings, participatory class discussions, class activities, self- reflection and occasional guest speakers, students examine current issues, opportunities and challenges that social entrepreneurs and their ventures face.  In addition, they acquire skills, actionable tools, and practical approaches to help advance their social change agenda now and in the future.  Ultimately, the aim is to inspire and empower students to put their ideas for social change into action and to start manifesting the change they wish to see in the world.

REMU-UT 1270 Social Entrepreneurship in the Music Industry

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Learn how music can be used to promote social change in new and effective ways, whether by producing a benefit concert, releasing a socially conscious song, or launching a new music co-op. Join a growing community of music industry professionals who are combining their passion for music with activism to further environmental sustainability, domestic and wild animal preservation, human rights, amnesty, rural development, and marriage equality, among other causes. The broad aims of this course are to introduce you to the field of social entrepreneurship, the opportunities and challenges that social entrepreneurs face, and the tools and skill sets needed to address them. By the end, you will have a framework for transforming your ideas for social change into action, inspiring others to support your work and vision.

REMU-UT 1207 Independent Project Management, Product Launching, & Breaking the Artist

2 Credits

This practicum course is for students to continue the development of projects as well as for live-testing marketing and launch plans and caters equally to aspiring executives, tech and social entrepreneurs, performers, producers, songwriters, and journalists. Utilizing project management techniques, students will be responsible for accomplishing weekly milestones that will move them towards product-market-fit and building an audience. Lessons from Creative Marketing and Incubation & Launch will move student projects from theoretical to applied, with the professor available to reiterate any difficult concepts and provide regular individualized guidance. 

REMU-UT 1320 Curating Live Music Events

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This highly practical course is designed to introduce you to the creative and business aspects of planning, marketing, programming, and producing live music events, and to position the act of curating musical experiences as a viable growing creative career option within the music industry. Considerations include the curation of talent, marketing, promotion, strategic corporate partnerships, and logistical elements of producing effective events. You will apply marketing principles and knowledge to assess different kinds of music events across varying genres and formats, ranging from festivals, pop-up/branded events, one-off concerts, and beyond. You will read and analyze selections from key texts, articles and trade publications to assess the successes and/or challenges of events such as CMJ, SXSW, globalFEST, Coachella, and more. Guest speakers, who are leaders in the field of live music curation, will discuss their experiences about different aspects of live event production and share key findings in their individual areas of expertise. You will walk away with a critical understanding of the skills and knowledge required to ideate, develop, and execute a live multimedia event. The coursework will include written assignments and developing two full-scale live music events.

REMU-UT 1321 Producing Live Music Events

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

This course is geared to all students interested in live music event production and the technical and business aspects involved in planning, developing, and producing a live music event. Topics include talent and venue contracts and negotiations, primary and secondary revenue streams, budgeting, marketing, best practices for promotion, and more. Coursework includes lectures, interactive class discussion, peer and self-assessments, short answer analytical responses and hands-on collaboration on the production of one live music event. By the end, you will have the skills and a framework to book and oversee all aspects of a live music event — whether for yourself or for any artists with whom you work.

REMU-UT 1234 3D Printing and the Evolution of the Music Industry

2 Credits

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts of 3D design and capture through the use of apps and other tools. Through examination and discussion of the current state of 3D printing technology we will explore current and future implications for music and the music business, including but not limited to, live and recorded music, music publishing, innovative tools, part and instrument fabrication, licensing, management, touring, copyright, distribution and marketing. Extra focus will be given to existing and potential merchandise platforms, as well as how 3D can lead to the growth of new industries and new opportunities for cross-pollination with a variety of sectors. Students will be encouraged to pursue both practical and abstract concepts in the furtherance of dynamic and newly inventive ideas - and will be required to develop and submit a concept and plan for their final project.  

PRODUCTION ELECTIVES

REMU-UT 1010 Content Development for Performers, Producers, & Songwriters

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Formerly "Capstone Studio Production: Directed Study"

For a student to enroll in this course, he or she must be working on a senior production Capstone project. Email Nick Sansano for permission to register. There is a lab fee for this course.

This course will provide artistic and technical guidance to students pursuing production-based Capstone projects. The course will assist you in creating a cohesive and comprehensive recording and production plan, and provide ongoing feedback regarding works in progress. Course instructors will advise and monitor your production progress and keep you focused on the task at hand: successful realization of your Capstone graduation requirement.

 

REMU-UT 1011 Advanced Music Production: Studio Production for Singers/Songwriters

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

Defining record production requires both broad definitions of the art itself as well as specific identification and analysis of the component parts. Although the defining attributes of production can be vague in nature, production personnel customarily have mastered one or many of the following components: knowledge and expertise in instrumental and theoretical musicianship, music arranging, recording engineering, MIDI and DAW programming, mixing, listening (musically and interpersonally), the record business, record label/radio promotion, artist management, less-than-formal cultural studies, personal and group psychology, megalomaniacal drive and powers of persuasion, budgetary management, personal wealth…and the list goes on. While the description above might indicate that mastery of any one of these skills is sufficient to produce records, our goal is to realize a reasonable degree of proficiency in all of them. In music production, the more one knows about more things, the better-equipped one is to navigate successfully. As this is an advanced course, the objective is a fluid, professional-level working knowledge and the ability to utilize the myriad technical, musical, business management, and psychological facets of music production in the rapidly changing landscape of both technology and the mainstream record label operational paradigm. All that said — the great wonder of record making is that the fundamental value at its core remains the same as it has been since the beginning of popular recording — a compelling performance of a great song.

REMU-UT 1013 Advanced Engineering

4 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

This course builds upon the techniques of the recording studio and the techniques of producing recorded music begun in Recording the Record I, II and Producing the Record Side A and B, and will explore advanced techniques used in large ensemble recording, surround sound recording and mixing, and remote recording. By using the Institute's studio facilities, you will further learn to operate the API Vision recording console, ancillary outboard equipment, and record in the live room of Studio 510.

REMU-UT 1016 The Virtual Producer: Beats & Beatmaking

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

This course will cover various professional music production techniques and strategies such as: sampling (and sample chopping), drum programming/drum design, synthesis and sound Design, music theory (in the context of music production), MIDI editing, as well as numerous mixing techniques. Over the course of the class, through the utilization and knowledge of these various skills, you will learn how to create original music compositions and productions. The primary DAW platform for the course is ProTools. While a beatmaker/composer/producer must be well versed in the application of various software and hardware tools (as well as the many production skills and techniques), he or she must also have artistic vision and creative efficacy. So while the course is about music/beat construction and the tools involved, there will also be a strong emphasis on innovative vision, inventive mobility, and how to think/strategize like a music producer.

REMU-UT 1017 The Virtual Producer: Live Performance with Laptops & Software

We are currently in the midst of a generational shift in the fundamental instrumentation of the live performance of many styles of music. As in the 1950’s when live groups shifted from woodwind and brass lead instruments to the electric guitar, today live groups are increasingly moving away from electric guitars and other traditional rock/pop instruments toward digital instruments. Today’s performer in many styles of music will often find themselves either performing with or alongside a laptop/computer, usually running Ableton Live. The “laptop” person in a band has become an integral part of live groups and having the skills to fill this increasingly important role will make our graduates more in demand in live performance roles, particularly if they are also accomplished instrumentalists and/or vocalists.

People who know and understand techniques for synching computers with live performers and visuals are also in demand as designers and engineers for large scale concert tours and spectacles like Cirque du Soleil. Having visited the set of Broadway musicals, it is clear that programming and running laptops to coordinate music, visuals and lights is becoming integral to musical theater performances as well.

This course will teach some of the techniques required to utilize laptops in live performance, integrate the technology into bands with live instruments and vocalists, as well as multi media applications (i.e sync to visuals, lighting, etc.). It will focus on using the Ableton Live software which has become the industry standard for live performance tasks. 

This course will culminate in a live performance at the end of the semester in which students will be required to do a performance incorporating live instruments and vocalists, laptops, MIDI controllers and visuals. 

REMU-UT 1023 The Virtual Producer: Software, Instruments & FX

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

This advanced-level production class is designed for students to take their digital production skills set to the next level. You will be given instructor driven guidance, directing workflow, software choices and setup, and artistic production techniques. If you are a pop music producer, EDM producer / artist, DJ, remixer, or self-produced artist looking for detail-oriented, pragmatic advanced in-the-box production instruction, this class is for you.

REMU-UT 1051 Mixing the Record

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

Mixing is one of the most difficult things to get right within the music production discipline, not to mention one of the most important. The final mix represents the finished record as the world will hear it. While every producer and engineer will approach a mix differently, attention to detail remains the constant. One needs to master the focus, technique, and discipline necessary to consistently create mixes that will satisfy the producer, artist, label - and most importantly - the general public. Without them, after all, there is no hit record. In addition to technique, the course will touch upon the “politics” and personal interactions that developing students may face on a day-to-day basis working as professional mixers or producers. Each week, the instructor will offer a comprehensive element -by-element explanation as to how he arrived at the finished product. The students will then apply these same methods to their own projects under the mentorship and tutelage of the instructor.

REMU-UT 1052 Mix Intensive

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

Mixing is one of the most difficult things to get right within the music production discipline, not to mention one of the most important. The final mix represents the finished record as the world will hear it. While every producer and engineer will approach a mix differently, attention to detail remains the constant. One needs to master the focus, technique, and discipline necessary to consistently create mixes that will satisfy the producer, artist, label - and most importantly - the general public. Without them, after all, there is no hit record.

In addition to technique, the course will touch upon the “politics” and personal interactions that developing students may face on a day-to-day basis working as professional mixers or producers.

Each week, students will be introduced to a new element taken from one of the instructor’s own mixes. and will be offered a comprehensive element -by-element explanation of how he arrived at the finished product. The students will then apply these same methods to their own projects under the mentorship and tutelage of the instructor.

REMU-UT 1061 Mastering the Record

4 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

Mastering is the last creative step of production and the first technical step of manufacturing, broadcast, or distribution. Artists, producers, and record labels demand proper mastering to insure that their product holds its own in the marketplace and insist that none but the most qualified ears master their music. Now, with the rise of music downloads, Internet radio, high-resolution discs, streaming and many other forms of distribution, a solid understanding of mastering techniques and new media is vital to the music professional. This course will provide an in-depth exploration of the tools and techniques involved in professional mastering.  This course will endeavor to illustrate the powers of mastering as well as its limitations. A wide range of processing techniques and advanced editing methods will be demonstrated and compared. Tools of the trade will be surveyed with emphasis on what distinguishes hardware and software as truly "mastering grade." Critical listening and the psycho-acoustics of decision-making will be explored. Students will be taught how to better master their own productions, as well as to recognize when to turn to a mastering professional.

REMU-UT 1300 Arranging the Record

4 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-requisite: REMU-UT 1003 Producing the Record: Side A and Producing Music with Software & Midi, both with a grade of C or better. There is a lab fee for this course.

The introduction of the modern recording process necessitates changes in the way we approach musical arrangement, often traditionally referred to as orchestration. On the most basic level, arranging can be referred to as who plays what, and when they do it. Although the need for cogent arrangements exists in modern record production, there is often no one person designated as “arranger.” Moreover, different genres of popular music require quite different approaches toward orchestration. That said, even the most basic four piece (bass, drums, two guitars) “thrash band” can benefit, and make more musically compelling and sonically interesting recordings when attention is paid to the music’s arrangement. Moreover, in the world of contemporary recording, the rhythm section’s choice of instruments and their timbres becomes an important part of “the arrangement.” This course will study the different musical instrument families, the functional elements of music arranging, the stylistic usage in different popular music genres, and techniques for effective arranging for both MIDI and live instrumentation.

WRITING, HISTORY & EMERGENT MEDIA ELECTIVES

REMU-UT 1107 Topics in Recorded Music: Punk

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In this course we'll look at how punk exploded in both London and New York in the 1970s, and how the two scenes, though widely divergent in ideals and sound, nonetheless helped shape one another. Discover the tactics that shook up a complacent music industry, overthrowing 1960s rock gods with the raucous, amphetamine punk revolution that still resonates in the sound and style of bands today. The proliferation of independent labels, spearheaded by Rough Trade, became a DIY (do it yourself) model that would be followed round the world and is particularly relevant today as musicians increasingly turn to the Internet as the most immediately effective outlet. Music we'll listen to may include The Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Slits; film screenings may include The Great Rock 'n Roll Swindle and Rude Boy; and readings may be culled from books by Steve Blush and others.

REMU-UT 1199 Music, Politics, & Culture in the 1960s

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Fifty years after 1960s, the tumultuous events of that decade haunt our consciousness. Music is the most obvious example of how the “spirit of the 60s” still fascinates us. But no one can grasp the power of ‘60s music without understanding its political and aesthetic context. The style and substance of rock are intimately related to broader social currents of the time. This course will help you to understand those connections, and the logic that informed the music.

We will explore major movements associated with the ‘60s, including the counterculture, the sexual revolution, the New Left, Black Power, Second-Wave Feminism, and Pop Art. We will consider the roots of 60s sensibility, from the Beats, hipsters, and existentialists of the postwar era to the folk revival of the early part of that decade. We will examine the philosophical currents of the ‘60s through some of its leading literary figures, including James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Marshall McLuhan, Herbert Marcuse, Susan Sontag, Ellen Willis, and Tom Wolfe. In addition, we will discuss the aesthetic strategies of Andy Warhol, who influenced everything from rock music to cinema and art. We will discover how the rebellion against distinctions between “highbrow” and “lowbrow” culture produced a new aesthetic sensibility central to the rise of rock. These artifacts will be examined alongside music with a similar spirit, so that they can be experienced contrapuntally. Iconic songs will be presented against material from other media so that their congruencies are evident. I will use my own experiences as a prominent rock critic in the ‘60s, and my personal interactions with important rock creators—such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison—to bring the era alive, leaving you with a new perspective on how the music and the values of that generation were related to your life. And hopefully it will be groovy.

REMU-UT 1111 Topics in Recorded Music: Miles Davis

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Miles Davis—legendary trumpeter and bandleader, pioneer of multiple musical pathways, and enduring icon of all that is hip—stands as one of the most influential and revered musicians of the 20th Century. His career figures as an historical roadmap of modern improvised music: with an unerring ear, he drew freely from jazz, classical, R&B, rock, funk, hip hop, electronic and other sources, creating singular sonic fusions, effectively changing the course of an entire musical community seven times.

 

Every aspiring performer, producer, songwriter, composer and creative entrepreneur searching for success in today’s popular music industry can learn from the genius of Miles. Some of the greatest pop musicians of the last 50 years, from Joni Mitchell to Fela Kuti to D’Angelo, have enriched their music by engaging with the profound musical innovations that Miles helped bring to the fore.

 

Offered to students in what would have been Miles’s 90th year, each class in this ambitious seven-class course is divided into two components: the first half of each session focuses on historical-critical studies. While completing focused readings, and undertaking listening and viewing assignments, students investigate the social, cultural, musical and business aspects of Miles’s monumental accomplishments. The second half focuses on musicianship, performance, composition and production. Listening closely to Davis’ music and completing in-class and out-of-class assignments under careful mentorship, students deconstruct Miles’s compositional and studio choices, and work collaboratively to create, refine and produce their own original musical works.

REMU-UT 1115 Topics in Recorded Music: Led Zeppelin

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In name alone, Led Zeppelin carries mountains of meaning: the most successful and arguably the most influential rock band of all time. The creators of a mythic, mystical, guitar-based style that gave birth to the sounds and iconography of heavy metal. Song-crafters whose studio mastery, utilizing recording technology of the day, generated some of the most enduring rock recordings of their era, establishing standards that still define a stylistic and emotional extreme of popular music. The four British musicians who came out of the electric blues scene of the late ‘60s, recording and touring as a unit for a mere twelve years, together achieved a legendary stature that requires much study to fully appreciate more than thirty years after their demise.

This course will consider the history of Led Zeppelin from a variety of perspectives: social and stylistic context; the nuts and bolts of their music—live and in the studio; the hows and whys of the band as a business. Using books, articles, videos, and a generous sampling of music, the course will follow their arrival in the final, psychedelic heyday of swingin’ London of the ‘60s; through their roots in folk and acoustic blues and later experimentation with Indian and North African music, and their rise in an era that was hungry for a heavier, more bombastic sound. The course will include special focus on the group’s technical leader and visionary, guitarist Jimmy Page, who came with prior credits as a sessionman and guitarist in the blues-rock band the Yardbirds, as well as other major players in the Zeppelin story—engineer Glyn Johns, manager Pater Grant—who helped build the sonic and popular juggernaut that the band became. In-class guest speakers will be featured, many who participated or witnessed the Led Zeppelin phenomenon, as well as a screening of the group’s concert film The Song Remains The Same.

REMU-UT 1116 Topics in Recorded Music: Aretha Franklin & Soul Music

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In the world of popular music, the word “soul” has come to mean so many things – a style, a sound, an attitude, a way of singing, a way of belonging. And a way of categorizing music for the sake of bringing it to market. Yet, there was a time that “soul” referred to a very specific kind of music in a very specific time and place.

This course will trace the exciting history of soul music and the enduring culture that sprang from it, beginning with the rise of rhythm and blues in the ‘50s, through the turbulent ‘60s, to its crowning moment in 1967 with the arrival of its best-known avatar, the Queen of Soul -- Aretha Franklin. Through reading, discussion, listening sessions, guest speakers and video presentations, we will consider: the various definitions of “soul”, the roots of soul music and the stars of the style. How the music reflected the social and political spirit of the ‘60s, and predicted the triumphant future of black music in America. How the consideration of soul music necessarily raises issues of racial identity, conflict, and dialogue. How the continuing dialogue between white and black America takes place in a musical arena that we still label “soul”. We will also trace the gospel birth, “pop” musical development, and explosive arrival of Aretha Franklin – the “Natural Woman” whose voice delivered Soul into mainstream popularity and brought African American authenticity into the popular realm. We will look at the many ways that soul music morphed after the ‘60s,giving rise to  black musical styles like funk, disco, and hip hop, and focus on the evolving relationship of soul music and American race relations as well. This path of inquiry will offer a means to understanding the continuing impact of the music and culture of the soul era, as well as Ms. Franklin’s continuing reign.

REMU-UT 1119 Topics in Recorded Music: Bob Marley & Postcolonial Music

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Often described as “a prophet,” the pioneer Bob Marley transcended the genre he helped develop, Jamaican reggae, to become a musical and revolutionary leader of the 20th Century.  On the way, the bi-racial Marley smashed restrictions of race and class imposed on his generation by the colonial system. How did Marley, an effectively fatherless child from a tiny village, achieve his rise to global authority and influence, musically, socio-politically, spiritually, personally and in terms of the industry?

Vivien Goldman was Bob Marley’s trusted chronicler and has written two books about him. We will examine the history of Jamaica, its  culture and connection with Britain; Marley’s evolution as a writer and musician; his creative partnerships with artists like The Wailers and dubmaster Lee Perry; his lifelong battle to control the business of his music; and his commitment to pan-Africanism and Rasta as a way of life. There will be Special Guests and Screenings. Experience this rare opportunity to learn about Bob Marley from someone who first worked with him at his record company, Island, then wrote about him at home, on the road and in the studio.

REMU-UT 1122 Topics in Recorded Music: Diasporic Sounds

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In the early modern era, the movement, migration, and dispossession of Europeans and Africans to the “New World” encouraged the transmission of diverse cultural practices within new contexts. In particular, the “African Diaspora” was forged, as multiple tribes and ethnicities were forcibly transported throughout the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade. In the Americas, varied forms of traditional African life and culture were both preserved and transformed within the confines of enslavement, while distinct ethnic practices converged in newly formed communities and settings, as well as in relation to (ethnic) European Diasporic practices. The topics of this course will travel across the Atlantic and three centuries, as we explore how the sounds of the African Diaspora have been (per)formed, transmitted, circulated, and commodified within the development of popular sounds in the Americas.Diasporic Sound will begin by engaging the spiritual, improvisatory, rhythmic, and corporeal aspects of how sounds of the African Diaspora were (re)created throughout the New World. Focusing on the United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil, this course will continue to explore the ways in which these diasporic sounds both related and differed across regions and contexts, reflecting the diversity implicit within how we investigate (Africa’s) Diaspora. While the course considers the specific contexts of Africans throughout the Americas, students will gain an understanding of the relationship between identity and popular sound by considering how sounds of the African Diaspora became thematized, commodified, and circulated in the context of an increasingly industrial and globalized world economy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As we explore the range, singularity, and hybridity of (African) Diasporic sounds, we will also cover a number of genres and their performers, including (but not limited to) the folk spiritual of the U.S., Haitian Compas, blackface minstrelsy, samba, Hip Hop, Bomba, Cuban jazz, and reggaeton, in addition to styles such as bluegrass, techno, and British soul.    

REMU-UT 1123 Topics in Recorded Music: Paul Simon & Graceland

2 credits, open to non-majors.

No single album engendered more debate in the 1980s than singer-songwriter-producer Paul Simon's culture-crossing Graceland. Controversially recorded in 1985 (and released in 1986) in a collaborative format in South Africa in defiance of the UN cultural boycott, the album is a highly complex amalgam of Simon's trademark cerebral, interior lyrics super-imposed upon pulsating Africa rhythms played by South Africa's top instrumental musicians; Louisiana zydeco; and special cameos by artists ranging from Linda Ronstadt to the Everly Brothers. Gracelandwon the Grammy for album of the year, bolstering Simon's career in the process but serious questions were raised about the nature of the cross-cultural/cross-national project. Was it a genuine collaboration that benefited both Simon and his African colleagues, or was this the latest form of musical exploitation and colonialism? 

As the album that inaugurated the world music debated that still remain with us, Graceland - now celebrating its 25th anniversary - is worthy of in-depth academic scrutiny. This class proposes to put the album and its associated debates in full cultural, political and musical context. We will look at Simon's prolific pre-Graceland career and the rise of world music and globalization in the 1980s - also paying some attention to the volatile cultural politics of south Africa in the 1980s. We will then study Graceland itself and delve into the controversy. And finally we will look at world music, culture and politics in the aftermath of Graceland. Students should expect to leave the class with an enriched understanding of the role that Western musicians play in an increasingly complex trans-national world system, where forms of collaboration and artistic exchange are fraught with as much promise as they are with challenge.

REMU-UT 1124 Topics in Recorded Music: Coltrane

Fifty years after his death at the age of 40, John Coltrane still stands as one of the most legendary and celebrated cultural heroes of the 20th century. He’s revered as a patron saint of creative discipline and artistic commitment far beyond the realm of modern jazz, the musical arena in which he excelled. His compositions are widely known and his saxophone sound often imitated, and instantly recognizable: brittle, dark, and deeply searching—a sonic signature that has become a standard for the ideals of musical freedom, personal expression, and spiritual priority in popular music. Today, Coltrane’s influence stretches throughout the musical sphere—from rock and hip hop to classical and electronica—pushing a sense of individual identity and political stance. Yet, despite universal adoration, Coltrane’s life and music remain an enigma: more praised than examined, more acknowledged than fully understood.

Offered to NYU students as a means to understanding and learning from John Coltrane’ story—and applying those lessons of his career to their own music—each session in this ambitious seven-class course offers twin components. One part focuses on historical-critical studies: while completing focused readings, and undertaking listening and viewing assignments, students investigate the social, cultural, musical and business aspects of Coltrane’s recordings and other accomplishments. The other portion of the course deals with musicianship, performance, composition, and production: listening closely to Coltrane’s music and completing in-class and out-of-class assignments under careful mentorship, deconstructing Coltrane’s compositional and studio choices, and working collaboratively to create, refine and produce original musical works.

REMU-UT 1125 Topics in Recorded Music: Stevie Wonder

2 credits, open to non-majors.

One of the great recording artists of the 20th century, Michigan-born Stevie Wonder started as a child prodigy on Motown in the 1960s before emerging as a visionary and socially conscious performer-producer-songwriter. Merging r&b, jazz, rock, classical and pop sounds in innovative and melodious ways, Wonder – who today boasts 22 Grammy® Awards to his name – released in the 1970s an acclaimed string of albums (Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fullfillingness’ First Finale, Songs In The Key Of Life) that set the bar for artistic achievement in recorded music. This course introduces students to the life and work of Stevie Wonder, giving students insight into the artistic, business and technological forces that inform his creative output. In learning about Stevie Wonder, students will discover the under-researched black singer-songwriter movement of the ’60s and ’70s. Running parallel to the widening of the album rock market in the early 1970s, which inspired the rise of such artists-songwriters as James Taylor, Carole King, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and Laura Nyro, was the rise of the black singer-songwriter-auteur, keyed by the success of Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and others.

It’s a story overlooked by most chroniclers of the era, as R&B and soul music historically has been deemed dance and/or party music; yet the contributions made by these “triple-threat” artists opened the door for a whole new sound – sometimes without leaving the dance floor behind. Students will also learn of the technological advances in recorded music that allowed Stevie Wonder a forum for his singular vision. In specifically looking at Wonder, and the range of issues surrounding the creation and release of his 1973 album Innervisions, the class will document this movement, incorporate the artists of this movement into the larger pop music history, and illuminate their contributions as vital to the work of those who followed – Prince, Rick James, El DeBarge, Babyface, Sade, Maxwell, D’Angelo, India.Arie, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Jay-Z and more.

REMU-UT 1128 Topics in Recorded Music: James Brown

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Variously referred to by such luminous titles as “the hardest working man in show business” and “soul brother number one,” James Brown may well be the most important figure in 20th century recorded music. His thrilling stage and recorded performances starting in the late 1950s helped elevate expectations for soul music. And in the 1960s he became the chief innovator behind funk music, creating the singing‐and‐dancing template that inspired later‐day luminaries like Michael Jackson, Usher and Justin Timberlake. In addition to his multi‐decade chart successes and his major contributions to the soundtrack of the civil rights movement (“Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” for instance), Brown excelled as an entrepreneur, emerging as one of the first African‐Americans to own his own record label and retain control of his publishing income. This unique course will investigate the early career of James Brown and the changing musical and sociopolitical context of the 1950s and early 1960s that informed his celebrity. Students should walk away from the course with a more sophisticated understanding of one of the great musical innovators in the history of recorded music and a greater sense of how those innovations tied into changing musical field and identity politics of the latter half of the century.

REMU-UT 1129 Topics in Recorded Music: The Motown Legacy

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Started in 1959 in Detroit by the songwriter and budding entrepreneur Berry Gordy, Motown Records was boldly named “Hitsville USA," and through Gordy’s leadership it lived up it its name, serving as home to such artists as Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Mary Wells, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Martha & the Vandellas, the Jackson 5, the Four Tops, and many others. Motown literally changed the concept of the record label and redefined the very idea of entrepreneurship in recorded music, serving as core inspiration to artists from the Beatles to Beyonce. Motown's success served a crucial role in helping to integrate popular music and thereby helped to rewrite the narrative of race and class in America.

One of the greatest examples of an artist expanding the boundaries of his art, of his company’s limitations, of the public’s expectations, and subsequently of what it meant to be a pop artist, is the album What’s Going Onby Marvin Gaye, issued by Motown in spring 1971. As we narrow our focus to study this album – its roots, its creation, the difficulty with its release, its triumph – students will be introduced to the legacy of Motown Records. Readings, class lectures, guest speakers, video and audio clips will answer the questions, What was Motown Records? How did it operate? Who was Marvin Gaye? How did he get to a place where felt he needed to create this album? Why was it difficult for him to get the song and the album released? What was company policy that created an issue around the album content? What did it mean to be an artist and a producer at Motown – or not?

REMU-UT 1130 Topics in Recorded Music: Nirvana

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Nirvana's Nevermind is often listed alongside The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as one of the most important albums in rock history. Spearheaded by the late Kurt Cobain, Nirvana also helped shape the development of alternative independent rock in the 1990s. This unique course will consider the music and culture that shaped the rise of Nirvana, and the music and culture that Nirvana gave rise to. We'll examine the development of semi-popular music in the 1970s and its relationship to popular music; the development of the self-sufficient independent rock underground of the 1980s and its rejection of popular music; and Nirvana’s explosion into the mainstream in 1991 and popular music’s embrace of the rock underground. As we read texts like Michael Azzerad's Come as You Are and watch documentaries and music videos, we’ll investigate broader issues of subculture and bohemia, and their relationship to each other as well as to the pop mainstream. Students will consider why punk values triumphed in America in 1991, why Nirvana were the band that made it happen, and how the repercussions still shape the ambitions of bands and their audiences today.

REMU-UT 1136 Topics in Recorded Music: Freddie Mercury

2 credits, open to non-majors.

As the lead singer and songwriter of of rock group Queen - and famous for songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Killer Queen," "Somebody to Love," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and "We are the Champions" - Freddie Mercury is arguably the most gifted and flamboyant of 20th century rock stars. As a musical auteur, frontman and visual genius, Freddie Mercury found creative ways to merge the avant-garde and the mainstream in pop, to the tune of 300 million in album sales. Often neglected in discussions of Mercury's stardom, however, are his Asian heritage and African roots (he was born Farrokh Pluto Bulsara to parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara in Zanzibar, Tanzania), his interest and work with black and Asian musicians, and his bisexuality. The multiple (open) closets in which he worked and his subversive musical and visual content demand a total re-examination of the assumed whiteness, Western-ness and straight-ness of the rock front "man" mythology. But the often fraught journeys of contemporary queer pop stars like George Michael, Mika, Adam Lambert, and Lady Gaga suggests how far and not so far the music industry has come. 

This course proposes to deconstruct Freddie Mercury's impact on popular music, with a special focus on issues of race, gender, celebrity, post-coloniality, globalization and the hidden aspects of his public image. Among topics for consideration: Freddie Mercury's early Bollywood and Hendrix influences; Tanzanian and Bombay pop culture of the 50s; the politics of flamboyancy (Liberace to Elton to Morrissey and Mika); post-colonial super-stardom; Mercury's impact on contemporary artists like Lady Gaga; his influence on glam rock and the ways that his trans-national identifications complicate our notions of "white" male rock singing; Queen's '70s multi-tracked vocal excess; revisiting Queen's critical reception by the rock press. 

REMU-UT 1141 Topics in Recorded Music: Classic Albums

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

The concept of what gets constituted as “classic” or “canonical” is a vexed issue in popular music, as it is in literature and other fields. On one hand, “classic” suggests pre-eminent status, high standards, top quality. A classic album is one that has been deemed by many – or even just a select, influential few – as a standard bearer. On the other hand, the term classic can infer elitism and exclusion, and can signal a sort of inflexible members’ only club: too often, the work of American and British white male rock artists is often venerated in this tradition at the expense of women and people of color and non-first world subjects among others.

Taking this ongoing debate around the idea of classic as a starting point for discussion rather than an impasse, this unique course investigates the concept of the "seminal” album. For our purposes we can define a seminal album as one that has managed to further influence, in a groundbreaking way, the development of future forms of artistic expression.

During the class, students will take a subjective look at one or several "classic" albums, and deconstruct how and why a particular album has come to be considered as seminal in the trajectory of popular music. In particular, students will deconstruct the music, the production and the marketing, putting the album in full social and political context and exploring the range of reasons why it has garnered classic status. We do this, of course, at a time in which the very meaning and future of the album is up for grabs given the ubiquity of digital retail formats that put an inordinate emphasis on the value of the single.

REMU-UT 1142 Topics in Recorded Music: Funk

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Funk can be described as an African-derived aesthetic, an approach to embodied rhythm. By the late 1960s, it evolved from early roots in styles like jazz to become a powerful and influential standalone genre and culture popularized by figures like James Brown and Sly Stone. In many ways, funk has become the dominant sound of popular music in the 21st century. In this course, students will study the history, culture and politics of funk, as we track its crossover rise in the 1960s and 1970s, its relationship to disco and sampling in hip-hop, its ability to engage protest and subversive politics, and the way the music continues to be informed by issues of race, nationalism, class, gender and sexuality. This particular iteration of the funk class will focus primarily on the cultural contributions of two of funk's greatest visionaries: George Clinton, bandleader of musical group/army Parliament-Funkadelic, and Maurice White, the under-recognized architect of multi-format crossover band Earth, Wind & Fire. As we listen to audio and watch video clips, read scholarly and journalistic writing on funk, and conduct original research projects about the music, we'll see how the turbulent politics of the 1970s found unique expression in EWF and P-Funk's respective recordings, lyrics, artwork and stage shows.

REMU-UT 1143 Topics in Recorded Music: David Bowie

2 credits, open to non-majors.

David Bowie’s life and work offer a template for how to survive and continue to evolve as a musical artist. David Bowie has kept the music industry, his fans and the world guessing throughout a career that spans over four decades. Bowie himself put his secret best in his prophetic 1972 song, “Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes”; a multi-talented performer, writer and visual artist, Bowie has played his career like an instrument, selecting trends of every generation to process, absorb and adapt into successive phases of his ever-evolving chameleon persona. In this day of ceaseless multiple media, Bowie’s most recent, and typically perverse, coup was keeping secret the recording of his 2013 album, The Next Day, over a two-year recording period. The manipulative bravado of knowing when and how to keep a star’s inaccessibility and mystery, or to expose oneself, as Bowie did on TV in his own darkest days, has given David Bowie a singular, enduring mystique, glamour and respect. 

Examining the arc of his work is a window into significant scenes of every decade since the 1950s, and offers insight into: the British Blues scene that produced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; the hippy free festival counter-culture; r’n’b; futurism; electronica;glam and gender games, improvisation; soul; funk; dance; disco; minimalism; ambient; avant-garde theater; and above all, the endlessly evolving sound of US and UK young clubland, including recent jungle and garage, to which Bowie consistently returns to recharge and find a new direction to make his own. 

REMU-UT 1144 Topics in Recorded Music: Talking Heads

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Rarely does one group capture the sound and spirit of an era, then expand their original music concept—through songs, film, and even the business of music itself—to a degree that their echoes can be clearly heard forty years later. The Talking Heads, the New York foursome that were born in the cultural maelstrom of New York’s punk scene of the 1970s, achieved all of that and much more in their fifteen year history. Led by forward-thinking frontman David Byrne, the group were the apotheosis of what an “art band” should sound like, driven by musical curiosity while rocking hard and maintaining popular embrace. The band’s timeline encompasses the musical development of popular American music from the ‘70s until now, touching upon groundbreaking trends (punk, disco, World Music and hip-hop), technologies (synthesizers, sampling), musical approaches (song constructionism, lateral thinking), themes and arguments (artist-as-producer, musical imperialism.) That Byrne’s own career continues to produce singular music is further proof that the enduring impact of the Talking Heads is due for serious academic study. 

The course will cover the Head’s history from the heyday of punk and New Wave; to their experimentations with funk, African music, and side projects that delved into disco and hip-hop (Tom Tom Club) and ambient, electronica and musique concrete (Byrne’s groundbreaking collaboration with Brian Eno, My Life In The Bush of Ghosts). Also meriting focus is: the band’s impressionistic songwriting and constructionist approach to recording (as on the album Fear of Music); the group’s role as a harbinger of World Music (Remain In Light); Byrne’s extracurricular projects in the worlds of film (Stop Making Sense with Jonathan Demme, his own full-length feature True Stories), literature (Bicycle Diaries), theater (Knee Plays, CIVIL warS with Robert Wilson and Phillip Glass), photography (Arboretum), dance (The Catherine Wheel with Twyla Tharp) and the establishment of the music label, Luaka Bop. Byrne’s views on the role of music and current state of the music business are expressed in his latest book How Music Works; it will serve as a primer to this course, along with a wealth of other readings, music and documentaries that relate to the world the Talking Heads and David Byrne have created.

REMU-UT 1145 Topics in Recorded Music: Prince

2 credits, open to non-majors.

One of the top-selling and most gifted and musically versatile artists in the history of popular music, Prince remains an enigmatic and visionary multi-talented performer, songwriter and producer. Prince’s unique history is worth deconstructing: when the 19-year-old shopped his music to recording companies in 1977, he demanded creative control. In a striking move Warner Brothers Records, with no precedent, gave it to him, kicking off a longstanding, groundbreaking, genre-straddling career that continues to this day. To this day, Prince’s music addresses sexuality, politics, social issues and personal identity in a way unseen in previous generations of popular music. He confounded his core R&B audience with New Wave experiments; angered his rock following with gender-bending displays; caused the government to force the recording industry into parental advisory labeling; frustrated his label with non-commercial choices, challenging the notion of what is commercial; established his own label; melded the live and recording business with unique delivery systems of his output, and much more.
 
Prince’s trailblazing path was a prime example of the strength of a new generation of Midwestern, baby boomer performers who carried a bold “Gen X” attitude: Prince (from Minnesota) was born in the same three-month period as Madonna (Michigan) and Michael Jackson (Indiana).

This class, through readings, music listening, video clips, film screenings, special guests and performances, will explore the joys and contradictions of Prince’s music and business practices.

REMU-UT 1147 Topics in Recorded Music: Sound Studies & Pop Music

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In the past few decades, “sound studies” has emerged as an official field of critical inquiry: it is best defined as the study of the production, circulation, and materiality of sound and its historical, social, cultural and political effects. Investigating sound — beyond investigating music alone — is a fascinating and rich way to engage in the power and politics of pop music performed by artists as wide ranging as the The Velvet Underground, The Smiths, Nina Simone, Sun Ra, Kendrick Lamar, and FKA twigs, and to delve into the powerful writing of scholars like Daphne A. Brooks, Alexandra T. Vazquez, Gayle Wald, and Alexander G. Weheliye. This course offers an overview of the sound studies with a focus on how the burgeoning interdisciplinary field’s diverse range of issues and methodological questions contribute to ways of writing music criticism on popular music.  Students will specifically consider how becoming more aware of our relationship to sound in its various forms creates new ways of understanding how race, gender, and sexuality are heard, felt, and experienced in popular music. 

Topics and approaches to sound studies discussed in the course include the following: how theories and concepts of listening, of the voice, of noise, and of affect and/or emotion relate to the formation and production of racial, gender, and sexual difference and vice versa; understanding sound reproduction in relation to technology and audiovisual media; and how sound or soundscapes structure everyday life. Students will be asked to experiment with their writing in weekly response papers on music that both students and the instructor will share with the class as well as with critical karaoke presentations.  At the end of the course, weekly response papers will be collected into a portfolio, which will include an introduction by students that summarizes their writing for the course. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to create their own experimental sound pieces as well as attend a music performance in New York City, for which students will write reviews that incorporate sound studies theories and concepts.

REMU-UT 1148 Topics in Recorded Music: Failure

2 credits, open to non-majors.

The dictum says that you have to learn to fail before you can truly succeed. And so failure has recently become a buzzword with regard to contemporary creative endeavors in the arts, humanities, business and science. In 2014, the New York Times announced the rise of “The Failure Age:” the flipside of our relentless push toward entrepreneurial achievement and innovation is the tragic reality of companies that have gone bust and seemingly bright ideas that have imploded or ended in catastrophe. 

 

We live in an age dominated by reality television winners and losers; by television shows like Flight of the Conchords, Girls, Bunheads and Shameless, and films like Birdman, that delve into personal failure in unprecedented and sometimes hilarious ways; and by social media videos and memes laced with hashtags like #fail and #epicfail that promote people’s embarrassing mistakes and failures, whether staged or otherwise. Yet, we hold fast to the belief that there is an art to failure: we’re routinely encouraged to fail as long as we glean inspirational lessons from our mistakes, gaffes and foibles and self-correct toward ultimate success. Every high-achieving artist and entrepreneur has some sort of relationship to failure; in fact, fear of failure is a chief driver that underwrites creative success.

 

This class considers failure as it relates to the contemporary popular arts. What is it exactly that we think we can learn from failure? And more to the point, what does our amplified 21st century interest and obsession with failure say about us? We take a deeper look at case studies of failures in popular music, movies, theater and beyond as a way to further our understanding of the complexity of the creative process, especially as it comes into tension with pressures of industry and commerce.

 

As we do so, we’ll take a look at Lauren Berlant’s theory of cruel optimism as well as Jack Halberstam’s work on the queer art of failure. George Lipsitz’s ideas about creative miscommunication in popular music come into play, as do Sara Jane Bailes’ studies of failure in theater and performance art. We branch out from there to focus on feature films about the deeper recesses of artistic failure like The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, documentary features like Jodorowsky’s Dune, and sour mockumentaries like I’m Still Here. We look at under-researched areas in popular music like one-hit wonders, sophomore slumps, also-rans, bankrupted record labels and tech start-ups, and more. Among the case studies we may tackle: Milli Vanilli, Rebecca Black, “American Idol’s” William Hung, Brian Wilson’s collapsed Smile, Britney Spears’ mid 2000s meltdown, and Kanye West’s award-show speeches. Along the way, we’ll consider our culture’s changing ideas about ambition, hubris, excess, disappointment, resentment, self-destruction, burn-outs, interruptions, misunderstandings, communication breakdowns, industry obstructions and creative blocks. We stop to consider how failure is not a static concept but gets articulated diversely in different cultures, nations and time periods; and we think about the rise of racialized concepts of failure like “ratchet” in popular culture and television shows like Empire.

 

Students should leave the class with greater understanding of changing definitions of success and achievement in a downturned 21st creative economy, and richer ways to consider the varies of artistic ambition and achievement in a culture that valorizes winning while both trashing and fetishizing failure. 

REMU-UT 1149 Topics in Recorded Music: Music + Robots

2 credits, open to non-majors.

You’ve already made use of ‘artificial intelligence’ if you’ve ever received a recommendation from a service like Pandora or Spotify or Netflix, or if you’ve asked Siri for directions. These streaming services are virtual agents designed to make our lives more efficient and pleasurable. Still, most of us don’t stop to deeply consider how much we make use of algorithms on a daily basis.

 

Presently, drones can autonomously perform music, algorithms can write, produce and recommend songs, and we live among a range of other interactive multi-modal systems, bots and human-machine hybrids and interfaces. In the coming years, these innovations will exponentially develop. The future of how we make and consume art and entertainment is sure to be impacted by our controversial relationship to increasingly intelligent — and potentially sentient — bots and machines. Though it may take time to fully accept, humans are not necessarily the only beings that can spontaneously create music.

 

This ambitious course provides students with a sweeping introduction to robotics especially as it relates to popular music. We investigate the history and present of robotics, and we take a special interest in how metaphors of humanoid robots, cyborgs, and androids in 20th century science fiction have deeply influenced our thinking about these matters (not to mention dystopian ideas of the coming ‘robocalypse’). Beyond the work of writers like Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick and film directors like Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott, robot tropes show up the work of musicians like Kraftwerk, Devo, Gary Numan, Rammelzee, Daft Punk, Janelle Monae, Squarepusher and Roger & Zapp. Electronic music inventor Ray Kurzweil’s ideas about the Singularity — that future moment when machines think for themselves— are a reminder that innovators working in the music space have long been at the pioneering forefront of questions about robot intelligence.

 

As we consider the differing development of robots in Japan, the US and the African continent, we’ll touch on how innovations in the field are impacting labor; war and the military; spirituality and ethics; and ideas about transhumanism related to race, class, sexuality and gender. PLEASE NOTE: This is not a ‘making’ class; it is a theoretical course in which students are expected to think deeply and intellectually about the past, present and future of robotics in relationship to changing ideas about art, entertainment and technology.

REMU-UT 1150 Music Recommendation and Discovery: History, Criticism & Culture

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Because the storage capacity of the web has made a seemingly infinite amount of recorded music products available and accessible, the “problem” of how everyday people find out about music — and how they spread the word to others — has become more important than ever. Music discovery and recommendation refers to the formal and informal processes through which audiences learn about new and existing songs, artists, styles, and events, sometimes through suggestion and influence. This course will focus on the history, future, and culture of music discovery and recommendation: how consumers become exposed to music through criticism, retail, fanzines, gossip rags and blogs, radio, live music festivals, social networking sites, and online radio and recommendation engines, to name a few. This course will explore the social theories of crowds and networking science as well as “old school” (or pre-digital) processes of discovery, and will through the lens of markers like class, race, gender, and age, to consider the taste-making function of well-connected and knowledgeable “influentials” like journalists, bloggers, and curators as well as the often surreal existences of enthusiastic music connoisseurs, vinyl record collectors, mixtape- and playlist-makers.

REMU-UT 1152 Conversations with Technology Entrepreneurs

2 credits, open to non-majors

Pre-requisite for majors: REMU-UT 1215 The Business of Music: Industry Essentials or REMU-UT 1202 Introduction to Music Business, with a grade of C or better.

Terms like “techpreneur,” “technopreneur” and “e-preneur” all refer to the same subject: entrepeneurs who specialize in work in new or emergent media or entrepreneurs who have created pioneering ventures for mobile or the Internet or beyond. In this weekly discussion series, students will meet and hear from key entrepreneurial figures and innovators in music technology, with a focus on New York based tech figures who have launched recognized or profitable music-focused startups. The idea is for students, many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs, to hear directly from, and ask questions directly to, established tech entrepreneurs, in moderated conversation. In anticipation for a guest class visit, students may be required to investigate websites, read biographical or contextual material, or attend events outside of class time. Students will be expected to ask informed questions of the guests and to develop responses throughout the course of the class. All events and speakers are subject to change. 

REMU-UT 1153 Race in American Popular Music: From Blackface Minstrelsy to Hip-Hop

4 credits, open to non-majors.

Contrary to the suggested notion of a “post-racial” U.S., unrest and protests against racial profiling and policing in places such as Florida, Ferguson, and New York highlight the persistent impact race has upon contemporary society. This impact is furthered by how racial identity is portrayed, performed, and understood by the masses through popular media, both historically and at present. In an effort to highlight the more covert ways that race continues to shape identity and society, we will explore its construction in the development of global popular music and the culture of sound in and before the 20th century in the United States. We will focus on music of the global African diaspora, produced primarily in the U.S., from the late nineteenth century until the civil rights era. Beginning with the sounds and performance of blackface minstrelsy, you will learn how racial identity has been constructed through the development of popular American music, ranging from Tin Pan Alley to blues and jazz, as well as to country and rock and roll. Irving Berlin, Big Momma Thornton, Elvis Presley, The Supremes, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, and Jimi Hendrix are but a few of the many artists who will be considered in relation to the history of American popular music and (racialized) sound.

REMU-UT 1154 Revisiting 1950s Rock and Roll

4 credits, open to non-majors.

The 1950s are widely known as a time of unprecedented prosperity and stifling cultural conservatism. But they were also a time of intense racial strife, rising youth consciousness, rampant consumerism, and rapidly expanding concepts and industries of leisure — all of which meshed with the birth of rock and roll and the countless popular music styles that followed directly or indirectly in its wake. This course will contextualize the '50s by focusing on rock and roll and the music that fed into it and examine seminal artists from Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry to Ray Charles, James Brown, and Johnny Cash. It will consist of lectures, group discussions, guest speakers, and numerous audio and video clips. You will walk away with a much richer understanding of a defining decade that shaped the lives of their parents and grandparents and continues to inform the contemporary moment.

REMU-UT 1156 Topics in Recorded Music: DubNation

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Created in the early 1970s, Dub is an often overlooked Jamaican music genre (and an off-shoot of reggae) that was among the first to use the recording studio itself as an instrument; and the DJ’s who “toasted” atop the re-imagined, deconstructed tracks became the inspiration for America’s first hiphop DJ’s, many of whom were of Jamaican extraction. Dub, spearheaded by iconic figures like King Tubby and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, has grown from an experimental eco-minded recording strategy to become the source, inspiration and foundation of generations of global music, such as punk, hip hop, ambient, techno, rave, drum ‘n bass, grime, dubstep and today’s EDM and dubstep. 

 

Part of this course will look at the unique and undiscovered connections between punk, dub and the start of hip hop, all of which began within the same few late 1970s-early 80s years. All three genres were shaped by greater availability to recording equipment and shared an enterprising, activist attitude that the punks called D.I.Y. As we’ll come to discover through readings, lectures, and guest visits, the idea of Dub Nation is to envision how the music became a powerful unifying force for various sub-cultures and communities all over the world. Just as it did in beleaguered 1970s downtown Kingston, dub music became integral in defining a sense of place and identity for cities reeling from urban blight, such as Chicago and Detroit, homes of House and Techno. It fulfilled a parallel function for tribes such as the gay community, for whom music has long been a rallying-flag.  Students should expect to walk away from the course with mastery of the transnational history and culture of dub music, greater knowledge of the music’s key players and a greater understanding of how dub culture, technology and aesthetics inform contemporary music scenes and industries.

 

REMU-UT 1157 POPULAR MUSIC AND PROTEST IN THE 21ST CENTURY

2 credits, open to non-majors.

The aim of this course is to explore how popular music has been used as an instrument of protest, with a special focus on twenty-first century developments. Although the 1960s is often regarded as the “golden era” of protest music in the United States, many events that have occurred in and outside the nation since 9/11 have led contemporary pop musicians to accept the charge left by musician and activist, Nina Simone: “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” Thinking through significant American events—including, but not limited to, September 11th 2001 (“9/11”), the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 financial crisis, same-sex marriage debates, global warming debates, the Presidential election(s) of Barack Obama, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the nomination of Donald Trump as the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, and—this course will consider the following questions: What constitutes “protest music” in contemporary popular culture? How do artists create music that inspires others to resist, exist within, or even recognize structures and systems that limit the freedoms of individuals and communities throughout society? How are “isms” and “phobias,” such as racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc., addressed in popular music, and what are the aesthetic, lyrical, and performative characteristics that contribute to the creation and reception of that music? How have technological developments (i.e., the Internet, social media, streaming music, etc.) impacted the way in which artists, producers, and consumers use music as a tool for social activism and protest? What are the possibilities and limitations of protest music within the global capitalist economy in which popular music circulates?

REMU-UT 1158 TOPICS IN RECORDED MUSIC: J DILLA

2 credits, open to non-majors.

This 7-week course explores the career, impact, and legacy of music producer/composer James Dewitt Yancey. Known variously as “Jay Dee,” “J. Dilla” or simply “Dilla,” Yancey’s professional music career was short, spanning a dozen years before his death from a rare blood disease in 2006. But his influence in that period shifted the sound of popular music; and in the decade since the passing of the Detroit-born artist, his ideas have compelled a new generation of musicians — both in the electronic and traditional realms — who have drawn inspiration from Yancey’s music and seized upon his rhythmic and compositional ideas, chief among them a unique conception of time. As part of our journey to understand the context and contributions of Dilla, the class will take a three-day trip to his hometown, Detroit.

REMU-UT 1159 Recycling Pop Music: Innovation, Imitation & Originality

4 credits, open to non-majors.

In music, is anything really original? The cry of “All music sounds the same these days!” is not just a contemporary critique; it has been a perennial complaint throughout the history of pop music. This class – a collaboration between the History, Writing & Emergent Media and Performance and Songwriting areas of the Clive Davis Institute – will grapple with the vital role that recycling plays in the creation of music, and thus offer divergent and often counterintuitive perspectives on creativity and originality. Through the course of 14 weeks, we'll look at the nature of creation and creativity, and also the way that ideas are reused and renewed; from classical interpolation of folk songs; to basic chord progressions; to cover songs; to the rise of remix; to the cultural thunderclap of digital sampling and its legal implications; to technological trends and fads. Each class will work through a pertinent cultural case study. Part history, part songwriting and production course, the work will be both mental and physical, philosophical and creative, as students will be asked to not only read, write, and debate, but also to complete several music and media composition and production exercises. By exploring the real nature of musical influence and innovation from historical example and through personal practice, students will discover liberating notions of authorship and artistry, enabling them to relinquish the quest for the new, and empowered with techniques to create the good and the vital. 

REMU-UT 1160 Queer/Popular/Music

Queer theory is a scholarly field that might be applied to the study of popular music to illuminate how queerness shapes and is shaped by popular culture. This scholarly field emerged out of LBTQ and queer studies to destabilize normative categories of gender (male/female), sexuality (heterosexual/homosexual), and their power relations that have structured American society. Even though queer identities, experiences, and lives have become more accepted in contemporary culture, queer performers still remain largely marginalized in popular music. However, queer performers and queer performances have always been central to popular music and culture, contributing to the destabilization of systematic gender and sexuality norms.

This course will explore the relationship between queer theory and popular music, as we consider ways that the spectrum of queer identities has been articulated, constructed, performed, and consumed within popular music and society at large. In addition to introducing students to foundational texts in queer theory and identity studies, we will critically consider how the lives, performance, music, and reception of selected musical figures have contributed to the conversation of queer identity and sexuality in popular culture—from the blues of the 1920s to trap music of the contemporary era. While the class will focus on specific eras of popular music and selected artists, each class will concentrate on a topic that considers queer theories, reading practices, and performances to explore the myriad ways queer identities are central to and impacted by popular culture and society at large. We will also consider how queer identities in and out of popular music are mediated by culture and societal norms, and how these identities are further impacted by race, class, gender, and religion. Bessie Smith, Rosetta Tharpe, Billy Strayhorn, Little Richard, Fanny, Sylvester, Annie Lenox, George Michael, Prince, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ru Paul, Frank Ocean, Lady Gaga, Young Thug, Azalea Banks, and Tyler the Creator are but a few of the artists and cases we will consider within our application of queer theory to the analysis of popular music, sound, and culture in this course.  

REMU-UT 1162 TOPICS IN RECORDED MUSIC: JONI MITCHELL

2 credits, open to non-majors.

Joni Mitchell looms as one of the most adventurous, literary and iconic songwriters of the last century. Though reductively known for hippie-era, folk-pop touchstones like the starry-eyed anthem “Woodstock,” the ecology-theme’d “Big Yellow Taxi” and the broadly philosophical “Both Sides Now,” Mitchell’s work far transcended any quaint ‘60s ideologies or styles.  As a musician, and songwriter, she is regarded by her peers as second only to Dylan in influence and awe.

REMU-UT 1163 TOPICS IN RECORDED MUSIC: The 1980s

2 credits, open to non-majors.

This class will analyze how specific changes in the way popular music was produced, distributed, promoted and categorized during the 1980s led to the economic and legal challenges which began to erode existing business models within the entire multinational music industry from the 1990s on. We will often look beyond major label hits to see the profound influence underground dance clubs and emerging trends had on the mainstream. As we listen to songs like Blondie's "Rapture"(1981), The Clash's "The Magnificent Dance," (1981), "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics (1982), Talking Heads's "Slippery People" (1983), Run DMC's " It's Like That" (1983), Shannon's "Let the Music Play" (1983), Dhar Braxton's "Jump Back" (1986) and Keith Sweat's "I Want Her" (1986), students are expected to become familiar with the pivotal changes in musical taste and production techniques that occurred during that landmark decade. This will include the innovative role that specific digital drum machines and sampling keyboards (Linn, Juno, Casio, Roland) played on breakthrough singles like Devo's "Whip It" (1980), D Train's "You’re the One for Me" (1981), Soul Sonic Force's "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (1983),) and Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done for Me Lately" (1986). Digital instrumentation and storage mediums comprehensively transformed the dominant sound of '80s studio recordings and remixes. 

Students are expected to assess how bedroom MIDI studios, affordable sampling technology, and the cost of commercial CDs vs. rampant bootlegging would later bring troubling new legal concerns to bear upon record companies during the 1990s. We’ll consider how these intellectual property issues culminated in battles over the paradigm-shifting file sharing software that prefigured today's music streaming systems. From a business perspective, students will also learn about the significance of shifting regional and national trends in music radio through the 1980s (as measured by “R&R” magazine ratings and ad rates). This will lead to a better understanding of how music video outlets, major label promotion strategies, and multiple recording formats (vinyl, cassette, CD,) popularized new artists. (Hello, mixtape culture!) 

 A major aim of the class — which will focus on changes in R&B and rap music due to dance clubs and remix culture— is for students to develop a greater understanding of the impact of socioeconomic factors on '80s pop music trends. By the end of the class, students should also have a greater general recognition of the volatile dynamic of systemic racism on national chart position, radio formats, and record sales. Feminist initiatives will be viewed through a more culturally inclusive Post-Colonial Womanist lens. The rising popularity of reggae and other “world music” will see us discuss issues of cultural imperialism, authenticity and appropriation. We’ll also look at the impact British post-punk and new wave artists like The Clash, The Specials, Joy Division, Art of Noise, Soft Cell and Adam Ant had on both classic and college rock radio in the U.S., as well as how AIDS and multiple drug epidemics reshaped the American dance music market. Students should be able to trace how multimedia documentation and corporate sponsorship by companies like Swatch Watches (Fresh Fest) and Budwiser (Superfest) helped mainstream the hip hop underground. Students will recognize and appreciate how a sudden pivotal influx of black music executives facilitated more artist-owned imprints and more artist rights.

REMU-UT 1164 Advanced Workshop for Music Journalists, Writers, & Curators

2 credits, open to non-majors.

In this intimate upper-level workshop, students with a demonstrated interest in music writing, journalism and/or curation will have the opportunity to draft, write and rewrite clips (reviews, blog posts, artist profiles, interviews, etc.) and have those clips routinely edited by a professional instructor. The objectives of the class are for students to: improve their own writing via detailed professorial line editing and thematic guidance; to learn how to incorporate negative critique and line edits to produce more robust writing samples; and to professionalize their writing by developing a portfolio of competitive writing samples (or a longer, sustained work) that can be pitched and submitted for publication. The workshop is also relevant for entrepreneurial writers, journalists and curators who are in the process of launching writing-centric business ventures (including, but not limited to: ad-supported blogs, online music hubs, documentary video projects or album box sets with a strong written / liner notes component).

REMU-UT 1165 Topics in Recorded Music: The Clash

2 Credits

Emerging from the bohemian pubs and squats of mid-1970s West London, The Clash went on to define the political face of punk worldwide with world-famous, genre-defining songs like “White Riot,” “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” “London Calling,” “Rock the Cashbah” and “The Call-Up.” Though the band employed various drummers and guitarists, the core trio of Strummer, co-writer Mick Jones on guitar, and bass player Paul Simonon, became as familiar to fans as individual Beatles had been in the previous decade. With two former art students in the band, their agit-prop aesthetic, extended from their early flyers to their DIY style, rooted in combat or utilitarian clothes. Musically, their aesthetic was also inclusionary, and the band allied themselves with fellow rebel musics, reggae and early hip-hop. Positioning themselves on the front line, The Clash was also pro-female, championing peer band The Slits, and they were always eager to promote an anti-racist, rebel culture agenda which remains instructive in today’s fraught political climate.

 

In this unique course, students will consider the first wave of UK and US punk at the dawn of multiculturalism; how The Clash became such defining figures within it as they confronted social and political issues plucked live from the streets. Amid the seeming collapse of hippy dreams, the traditional class structure, and the privileges of colonialism, first wave UK punk was the soundtrack for a fractured time that arguably reflects our own: IRA bombs, anti-police street riots, anti-Fascist/racist demonstrations and festivals, strikes, power cuts. Plus, we’ll examine the contradictions of the band’s role as radicals in the American charts and the internal conflicts that tore apart the group. Their choices and legacy as activist artists will be considered in terms of its meaning in today’s fractured and fractious political climate.

REMU-UT 1191 Sound, Copyright, & Intellectual Property

4 Credits

Music copyright laws were developed in the 19th century to protect sheet music, and continued to protect the “legible” aspects of music in the wake of developing recording technologies at the turn of the twentieth century. Thus, sound is often one of the most contentious aspects of music copyright cases, as copyright laws have historically been based upon a score, lyrics, or specific aspects of a recording.

 

This class will study significant cases of copyright infringement in the history of American popular music. After an introduction to the history of copyright laws developed in the 19th century, each week will be devoted to deconstructing the songs in question and their production, the specifics of the legal case/trial, and both the impact and meaning of the verdict within the history of copyright law in the U.S.  Cases that we will cover include disputes around songs such as “Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay” from turn-of-the-twentieth century, to “Hound Dog” (Big Momma Thornton vs. Elvis Presley) and “Come Together” (Chuck Berry vs. The Beatles) of the rock and roll era, to Vanilla Ice (vs. Queen and David Bowie) and De La Soul (vs. The Turtles) in 1990s hip hop, to Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” (Armour vs. Knowles) and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (Marvin Gaye vs. Robin Thicke) of the twenty-first century. We will study the legal cases themselves, along with invited (legal) scholars and guests, to investigate how copyright law and ideas of intellectual property in music and sound within popular culture have developed through these cases. We will also deconstruct the relationship between the original and contested recorded sounds, as well as how this relationship was considered within each case.

MUSICIANSHIP & PERFORMANCE ELECTIVES

REMU-UT 1090 ADVANCED MUSICIANSHIP: PRIVATE INSTRUMENTAL

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-req; Musicianship: Music Theory & Construction

This course is the “hands on” continuation of Musicianship: Music Theory & Construction REMU-UT 1106 001-4.  It is designed to guide students through the process of applying all of the concepts taught in the classroom to their particular instrument.  Students will work with the instructor to design a personal program that will focus on one or more of the following six areas of study; Performance Guitar Lessons, Advanced Guitar Lessons, Piano Lessons, Theory Application: Performance Focus, Theory Application: Songwriting & Composition Focus and Theory Application: Production Focus.

REMU-UT 1091 ADVANCED MUSICIANSHIP: SMALL GROUP

2 credits, Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pre-req; Musicianship: Music Theory & Construction

This course is the “hands on” continuation of Musicianship: Music Theory & Construction REMU-UT 1106 001-4.  It is designed to guide students through a sonic exploration of all of the concepts taught in the Musicianship: Theory and Construction classroom.  Students will work in a small group setting exploring the following two areas of study; Songwriting & Digital Production and Composition.

REMU-UT 1092 Advanced Musicianship: Classic Songs of the 30s & 40s

4 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only.

The 1930’s and 1940’s are widely considered to be the seminal era of popular music.  The harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic architecture along with the lyric writing of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, the Gershwin brothers, Victor Young, Rodgers and Hart as well as Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein have become the foundational language upon which all popular music is built. Additional areas of focus include the post Depression era folk music of the time period as archived by music historian Alan Lomax, and the growing influence of Latin rhythm, harmonic cadences, and song structures. 

This course addresses both the scholarship of this musical era and the music itself. The music portion of the class has students transcribing, dissecting and analyzing songs from the most influential writers, musical protagonists, and arrangers, of the time. It will explore the differences and similarities of compositional approach as well as the cultural relevance of each. Students will gain valuable in-depth insight into how the music was crafted as well as how each style, composer, and movement influenced most of, if not all of the sounds we hear today.  Focus will be on analysis and performance of over 100 songs from the 1930’s and 1940’s culminating in a period specific “Speakeasy-style” live performance in collaboration with The Clive Davis Institute’s Stage Presence and the Art of Performance class, taught and directed by Nora York.  This performance will explore depression era style protest songs as well as uptown “Cotton Club” style Night Club repertoire. 

Classes will alternate between two specific formats:  “Discussion + Lecture” one week followed by “Analysis + Performance”  the next.  Discussion + Lecture sessions will focus on the cultural importance of the artists, composers and arrangers being examined. Each lecture section will begin with a discussion of the previous week’s assigned reading/listening/viewing material. Specific pieces of music will be assigned during these sessions to be learned and analyzed for the following week’s“Analysis + Performance” sessions.

REMU-UT 1096 Advanced Musicianship: Classic Tracks of the 1960s & 1970s

2 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only.

The 1960’s and 1970’s are widely considered to be the formative era of popular music. The harmonic, rhythmic and melodic architecture of Phil Spector, The Beatles, Tamla/Motown records and Satellite/Stax records (the “Big Four”) has become the common language used in all of popular music today. This course will focus on transcribing, dissecting, and analyzing songs from each of the big four as well as other major contributors of the time. It will explore the differences and similarities of compositional approach as well as the cultural relevance of each. You will gain valuable in-depth insight into how the music was crafted as well as how each influenced most of if not all of the sounds we hear today.

REMU-UT 1097 Critical Listening: Acoustic Instruments & Orchestration

2 credits. 

This course offers students an introduction to the world of acoustic instruments and their place in recorded music. In order to reach the full potential in producing, arranging and recording instruments in the studio (and elsewhere) the aspiring music producer and arranger needs to be able identify acoustic instruments, learn about the instruments’ ranges, intonation, coloration and placement in an ensemble and recording environment. This course is designed to further the development of a pair of “Golden Ears” by sharpening listening and producing skills. It is designed to interact with arranging, musicianship and technical ear training classes. Through theoretical and practical listening exercises, students will get a head-start in developing this expertise. 

REMU-UT 1100 Advanced Songwriting Workshop

4 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Building on the concepts and techniques introduced in Writing the Hit Song, this course will provide students with a platform to write, co-write, and exchange constructive feedback on songs in a more advanced, workshop setting with opportunities  to discuss the instructor’s personal perspective on songwriting method, theory, and motivation. Small class size will enable the instructor to provide individualized and in-depth critical analysis, and lead a free exchange of creative ideas among the student writers in the class. Through group meetings and one-on-one consultations, this course will impel you both to find and hone your own voice as songwriter and to move well beyond your familiar topical and stylistic approaches. You will fine-tune your skills through creative experimentation, individually designed assignments, analytic discussions, and intensive workshopping in a supportive critical environment.

REMU-UT 1301 Studio Performance Workshop

2 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Performing on the stage and for recordings share many similar attributes and both rely on proficient musicianship and listening skills — but the art of performance in the recording studio requires a unique skill set that at times runs counter to the logic that dictates live performance on stage. In order to create a timeless, memorialized performance that the listener will desire to hear repeatedly requires a specific set of talents. This course addresses those talents and, through practical application, teaches those talents. This course is primarily for two types of students: the performance musician and the studio arranger producer/engineer. Both will develop their craft, in a studio setting, simultaneously. While production courses teach students how to distill and refine a song down to its most functional and aesthetically please rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic construction, this course focuses on developing the performance skills, listening skills, musical and technical vocabulary, as well as the hard-to-define improvisational skill set of musicians in a recording studio setting. Through practice, this course will cultivate instinct and professional etiquette, as well as technique. In a musical production, producers, performers, and engineers have a symbiotic relationship and rely upon each other’s individual talents and artistic contributions. Each is highly dependent upon the other throughout the production process, and positive interaction can insure a project’s success.

REMU-UT 1310 Creating a Compelling Live Concert Experience

2 Credits; This course is Seniors only.

This course will provide students an all-encompassing look at what it means to both perform and create as a performer and caters equally to vocalists, DJs, bands, and multi-media performance artists - anybody who performs on a stage in front of an audience or anybody who is listed as the chief artist or one of the chief artists on a distributed recording. Within pop music performance, the more you personalize and strategize the development of your holistic performance, the more opportunity you will have to build and maintain an upward artistic trajectory. The course will cover a combination of repertoire, vocal technique, theatrics, production, instrumentation, and staging of live performance, as well as (both in practice and via historic overview) choreography, narrative storyline, fashion, lighting, and set design, performance art, and most importantly, the intention of the artist. The goal of the course is to guide students towards a better understanding of who they are as stage performers, and assist in realizing their chosen aesthetic in the context of a live show. The course culminates in an open to the public live performance.

REMU-UT 1312 Artist Development, A&R, & Personal Branding

2 Credits. This course is open to all Recorded Music majors.

Formerly Capstone Live Performance: Directed Study

2 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1310 Stage Presence & The Art of Performance, with a grade of C or better.

A&R divisions at record labels were historically responsible for finding, signing, developing and cultivating performing talent (especially singers that did not write or produce for themselves) to become competitive in the music marketplace. The transformative rise of the Internet in the 1990s—as well as the rise of ‘social’ media in the ‘00s, and the resulting changes in music distribution—has meant that artist development is increasingly left up to artists themselves (and sometimes their managers). 

 

This class is a practical, “get on your feet and do it” workshop designed to put aspiring performers and recording artists through a compressed development workshop. Students will be performing in and out of the class and brainstorming attention-grabbing musical and visual content as they develop customized and comprehensive ‘public identity’ workbooks. These workbooks are blueprints for how you will craft and construct a transcendent public identity or personal brand. We also take lessons from product development and packaging in corporate branding, and apply them, where and when they fit, to artist development. The ultimate objective of the class is that each student performer fully conceptualizes and inhabits a powerfully compelling audio-visual public image that can command visibility in today’s bustling marketplace. Every student should be able to leave the final week of the course able to confidently answer the following two questions: “who am I?” (what is my dramatic storyline with which my fans/the public can connect) and “what do I have to say?” (how can I position my public image to emerge as different/unique/transcendent/impactful). Students will meet with/network with/ receive constructive criticism from successful A&R executives at top labels and management companies.

REMU-UT 1326 Performance Essentials: Pop Singing Techniques

2 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only.

Pop Singing Essentials is an introductory course designed to guide the developing singer through the essential physical elements of singing. Methods taught will include a balance of muscular engagement with a careful study of breath support and release. This course will introduce the basics of practice and warm up, along with established methods to achieve vocal health through proper physical maintenance. By observing and listening to others, you will learn the importance of proper physical placement and adjustment. Each student will develop a daily warm up, based on the content of each class, and will be expected to practice these warm up routines between class meetings. You will also be expected to prepare material to sing for each class, allowing the practical application of techniques to be experienced in class, in real time. This course will serve as a prerequisite for all advanced level musicianship & performance course study, as well as all private vocal coaching.

REMU-UT 1327 Stage Performance Essentials: Introduction to Stagecraft

2 credits. Recorded Music majors only.

This class introduces the essential skills required for a performing artist to take stage and be effective in a professional setting. For the first five weeks of the semester the instructor will teach rudimentary skills every two weeks to give the student ample opportunity practice and implement the material covered. Week six the class begins to build on the work covered introducing more complex skills and concepts. Each week, every student will be assigned to prepare a song for the following class, and the performances will be discussed as opportunities for learning.

REMU-UT 1327 Performance Essentials: Introduction to Stagecraft

2 credits. Clive Davis Institute majors only. Prerequisite: REMU-UT 1326 Pop Singing Essentials, with a grade of C or better.

Through one-on-one private vocal coaching, this course will emphasize technical approaches to the singing voice. Singing is a measured combination of body alignment, breath support, and muscular involvement that combines with emotion and intention to make an authentic “sound.” Voice is a movement form. It is not static or forced, but a mindful coordination that is practiced and implemented. Training of the voice is similar to the way an athlete trains by repeating sets of exercises that help to develop positive habits. The athlete (or the singer) can then play the game (the gig/session) with all of her/his assets marshaled. The class hour is divided between individualized attention to technique and song performance. Through technique the performer will discover new ways to approach songs and material through improving timbre and focus, as well as improving stamina by promoting vocal health. The goal is to develop a daily regimen, developing a daily practice is essential to being a professional performer.