Course Information

Listening to the twentieth century and beyond

(MUS 2501/4501)


Course leader: Tanja Orning



Do we listen differently to different kinds of music? Most people would agree that we do. But why, and why do we seek out new listening experiences? Is it possible to like both Schubert and Radiohead? How do different listening experiences affect one another other?

Music from the 20th century and up to the present day has challenged and changed the way we listen to music. It has also transformed how musicians and composers draw on the listening experience in the creative process. This course explores these issues through listening to a wide variety of genres, from Ligeti to the The Beatles, Mahler to Nordheim, James Brown and jazz standards to Maja Ratkje and Nordic folk music.

The listening experiences will provide points of departure for deeper theoretical discussions from a number of perspectives. Central questions will be how past experiences and associations to music inform new experiences and how the creation of music and its performance might be considered contingent on the experiences of the composer, artist, or performer. At the same time, this course provides critical insight into how modes of listening are in continual flux in response to the cultural, sociological and historical conditions of today. It also examines how different approaches to creating music challenge our listening experiences in new ways.


(The exam for this course is in the form of a conference. See course information)

Publisert 23. mai 2014 11:18 - Sist endret 23. mai 2014 11:21