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Sample, Remix, Reuse, and Replay: Approaches to Musical Adaptation in Audiovisual Culture
MUSC 122
Spring 2018
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: AMST 122

Many of the musics we listen to and encounter are palimpsests, collages, and assemblages. Texts are layered upon and juxtaposed against pre-existing texts, creating polyvocal dialogues and contrasting and complementary systems of meaning. This class introduces students to questions and controversies of adapted and remixed musical media in 20th and 21st century society, analyzing the ways music and other texts and materials (e.g., paintings, plays, places, novels, technologies, genres, historical events, preexisting music) are adapted through processes of revision, remix, remediation, sampling, restaging, and reinterpretation to create new layers of meaning. The course will consider the roles of film, television, video games, music video, digital audiovisual formats and technologies, and related audiovisual media. We will journey from the recycling of preexisting classical music in video games to the remediation and transmission of live operas to the movie theater screen in the MET Live in HD series, from compositions that translate the visuality of iconic paintings into sound to the practice of remix and sampling in hip hop culture, from the digital adaptation of operatic conventions in Final Fantasy VI to cover versions that complicate listeners' expectations of gender performance, from the live performance of video game soundtracks by a symphony orchestra in Video Games Live and Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions to the compilation mixtape scores of Hollywood films, and from Tan Dun's Internet Symphony for the YouTube Orchestra to how the urban neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City is repurposed, staged, and cast as a central character in In the Heights or how American political history is adapted and revitalized in Hamilton. Themes in the course include, among others, the changing roles and responsibilities of musicians in an age of digital globalization; the power of musical media and referential texts to structure human experience; and the role of the composer and listener as manipulators and interpreters of musical meaning across comparative audiovisual texts. This seminar draws on the classroom community's interdisciplinary backgrounds and interests as well as readings and case studies that cross and challenge disciplinary boundaries. Students can achieve success in this course without previous musical knowledge.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on SEP-19-2017
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