E-Term 2014 Bulletin - page 24

Twilight of the Idols: Led Zeppelin and Philosophy
Daniel Coyle
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Option
Max. Enrollment: 14
Meeting Times: M Tu WTh 12:30pm-3:30pm; 1 evening
Often called the last band of the Sixties and the first band of the Seventies,
Led Zeppelin continues to evoke competing valuations. Philosopher
Theodore Gracyk argues that Led Zeppelin demand a “distinctively musical
understanding” that enhances the education of taste and listening practice,
and, that a proper philosophy of (their) music must recognize musical
intelligence, diversity, and instrumental virtuosity (
Arguing About Art
2007). This project will use “the Apollinian and Dionysian,” both Plato and
Nietzsche’s perspectival metaphors of aesthetic interpretation, to explore the
music, life, reception, and influence of Led Zeppelin. We will critically trace
the roots and trajectory of the band, the light and shade, reason and emotion,
intellect and sex of the music. Our goal is to gain a better understanding
of the music, its reception, and the efficacy of select aesthetic theories.
Students will spend at least 35 hours per week reading, listening, watching,
and researching. Evaluations will be based on attendance, participation,
quizzes and either: (1) a ten-page research paper, or (2) a 20-minute oral
presentation, or (3) a 15-minute musical performance and analysis. Music
includes Complete Studio Recordings and live material. Readings include
selections from Plato’s Laws, Nietzsche’s
Birth of Tragedy
Twilight of the
Nietzsche Contra Wagner
, Lewis’
Led Zeppelin: from a Whisper to a
I haven’t liked a single thing that [Led Zeppelin]
have done. . . . I never, ever liked them.
– Pete Townshend
I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t
like Led Zeppelin.
– Jack White
Imagine No Religion
Steve Hendley
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 15
Meeting Times: T WTh 10:00am-11:30am; 12:30pm-2:00pm
According to a recent survey, atheists are Americans’ least trusted minority,
belowMuslims, recent immigrants and homosexuals. And yet, since the
9/11 attacks, atheist concerns with the potential dangers of religious belief
have received prominent public attention. Books such as Richard Dawkins’
The God Delusion
have been bestsellers. We appear to be curious about this
minority of which we are otherwise so wary. In this course, we will attempt
to satisfy some of that curiosity through a reading of Dawkins’
The God
, in which he argues that religious belief is both irrational and, as
Lights, Camera, Action….Music! – A Century of Movie Music
Lester Seigel
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
Max. Enrollment: 15
Meeting Times: Tu WTh 1:00pm-4:00pm
This project studies the role of motion-picture scores from the Silent Era
to the present, with a focus on originally-composed scores for feature-
length films (as opposed to source music, movie musicals, or films that
primarily utilize pre-existing songs). The project is organized more or less
chronologically, with emphasis on American films, the scores of which are
generally considered of significance by the American Film Institute as a
guide. Full-length screenings, documentaries on the music of film, assigned
readings and group discussion will comprise most of the daily activities. A
trip to the AlabamaTheater’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ will be one field trip.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation, and on the quality of
an online journal, in which they will respond to questions based on various
topics of the project, throughout the month-long term.
Lights, Camera, Action… Music! – A Century of Movie Music –
Senior Project
Lester Seigel
Instructor Consent
Open To:
Senior MU Majors
Grading System:
Max. Enrollment: 5
Meeting Times: Tu WTh 1:00pm-4:00pm
See above description. For Senior Project credit, a 10-15 page paper will be
due at the end of the term, in addition to the other work in the project.
Senior Project in Music
Jeff Kensmoe
Instructor Consent
Open To:
Senior MU Majors
Grading System:
Max. Enrollment: 8
Meeting Time:
An extensive paper, composition, or performance preparation.
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