Final week of classes

Dear Students,

The final week is here!  I must say that I have enjoyed our seminar tremendously. I was very pleased with the presentations, and will collect my notes and those of your colleagues before you finish your writing.
As you begin to write, do take a look at the handouts on the site about writing a paper.  They are simple reminders of guidelines you surely have received earlier in your career.
The schedule remains as follows. Please try to stay within the 20-minute time frame, so we have a chance for the colleagues to ask questions and suggest useful  additions or insights. Unfortunately, on Friday I may be 10 minutes late.  The Internationalization Committee has added a last minute meeting at 9 am.  I will try to leave early. Please ask Robert Simon to open the room for you. Erin should begin setting her computer to avoid issues.  Please feel free to send me any materials you would prefer for me to add to my computer. Cheers, Carmen
Thurs. 12/6 (room 304)

2 pm James: 5-10 minute closing statement to summarize his three interdisciplinary conjectural concepts for Pärt’s Passio.
2:10 pm Dan
2:30 pm Brandon
2: 40 pm Katrina
3:10 pm  comments and questions
3:15 end of session
Friday 12/7 (Library seminar room)
10.00 or 10:10 Erin
10:20 or 10:30  Howard
10:40 or 10:50 Zen
11:10 or 11:20 Open discussion of all paper topics and Carmen’s summary (if there is time)
12- depart for lunch at Evil Czech

Invitation to attend rehearsals of the SBSO

Dear Students,

We have received an invitation by Maestro Alastair Willis, music director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, to observe his rehearsals for the next Masterworks Concert of the SBSO next Saturday November 3.

This is a great opportunity for us to examine some orchestral scores together, and discuss how the orchestra works in the works by Tchaikovsky included in the program. This repertoire is ideal, because Tchaikovsky was a tremendous orchestrator. Maestro Willis will also want our reactions–we can be his ears in the hall.

Tomorrow in seminar I will survey you all to see who is available to join, and when. We can plan for pizza or lunch together, to debrief about the experience.

Here is the schedule.  In the meantime, I will check on the exact repertoire.

THUR 1-NOV REH 7:30p-10p MPAC
FRI 2-NOV REH 7:30p-10p MPAC
SAT 3-NOV DREH 11a-1:30p MPAC




Seminar reminders, week of September 27-28

Dear Seminar Members,

Once more, thanks for the spirited conversation. Next week, as I said, you are assigned only to listen to at least one piece by the each of the composers listed in the tab SCORES AND RECORDINGS in the seminar site for weeks 5 and 6, that is Schoenberg, Webern, late Stravinsky, Messiaen, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Berio, and Schnittke. Please use a score, if available. (Regrettably, our library does not yet own many of these avant-garde scores, but Robert Simon has been working hard to obtain them. The publishers rarely help.)
It will be a presentational week.  We will listen to fragments and I will point to the representative innovations for each composer. As I mentioned earlier, this will serve to open your mind to what can termed “choral” music.  Many of these pieces and their techniques have been the domain of advanced professional ensembles, but they have been also subsumed eclectically by composers of the next generation, as we will see. It will help also design strategies to teach these techniques or request them in your commissions, if the circumstances align.
We will start by listening a little bit to Poulenc’s Stabat Mater., which we did not listen at all.

Monday September 17

Dear Seminar Members,

This was a busy weekend. Thank you for your committed collaboration with Ryan. It is such a beautiful combination of masterpieces!
I am sorry for the waste of time caused by the malfunctioning of our room’s media console. As you recall,  I did not announce the assignments as usual. Next week we will continue with the presentations on the inter-war period that we could not finish this week.  Then, I will showcase some specific achievements and presentation issues of the Second Viennese School and  the European avant-garde after 1945.  Try to listen ahead of time as much as you can from the links on the site.
Also, please proceed to read the following articles, as assigned.  You will NOT present on these articles below.  Just read your assigned article, and be prepared to  comment on MY discussion from the perspective of what you read.  Some of these articles are quite involved. They are meant to expand your minds. Clearly, some articles address a specific composer, and I might call you for an opinion on that specific composer and specific author, but you might be inspired to extrapolate to another composer all the same.  As you know, conductors must develop the ability of associate  a wide variety of ideas.
Here are the articles and assignments (you can also find the articles on the site)

Announcements and Discussion

Monday, September 3

Dear Seminar Members,

This is a note to remind us of the assignments for this week’s discussion.
1. Those of you who are responsible for article reports (Katrina, Brandon), please summarize the important points for about 5 minutes.  There will be no required discussion, although I will encourage a question or two.  Please be ready to answer.
2. All of us will engage in discussion of Zen’s assigned article: Cone’s “Progress of a Method”.  We are all required to read this article.
3. For those of you responsible for  discussing a post 1920 piece based on folklore, I am attaching the list of points you might consider. This list is also in the seminar site.  The list is designed to identify modernist nationalism in the 20s and 30s, but the points can apply throughout the century. You are welcome to select the most salient and applicable points for your piece. You will state your points and allow us to listen to a fragment, all in  5 minutes. Choose your fragment wisely, for utmost persuasion.  Most likely this fragment will be the beginning of the piece, but not always. You can send me a scanned score and/or music link to share, so I can post them in the website and avoid waste of paper and time. Otherwise, be prepared to share the piece in some manner.
4. We will listen together to Symphony of Psalms.
Let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Thanks for your exciting conversation in seminar so far!


Monday, August 20

Dear Seminar Members,


Welcome to the site.  I will soon greet you all in class.  One recommendation: If you have an Ipad, bring it to class, get the ForScore app,  and plan to use it regularly. It will be a quick way to trade scores and articles for easy access during our discussions.

This site is unlisted and will not be found on a google search. Please bookmark its url,


See you all soon!