Seminar in Musicology: Music in New York City: Between Wars (1918-1941)
MUS 86300 CRN 3CR
Professor Jeffrey Taylor
One of the benefits of studying at the CUNY Graduate Center is the ability to examine the rich cultural history of New York while being physically immersed in the city. This course investigates music in NYC from the end of WWI, through the “Roaring” 1920s, through the beginnings of the Depression, to the build up to war in Europe finally catalyzed by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The course crosses boundaries of musical style and tradition, focusing on both “popular music” and “art music” traditions and the interactions between these traditions. Topics of race, class, gender, and sexuality will be frequent touchstones. Composers and musicians as diverse as Dane Rudhyar, Henry Cowell, George Gershwin, George Antheil, Edgard Varèse, Duke Ellington, Ruth Crawford Seeger, James P. Johnson, William Grant Still, Benny Goodman, Aaron Copland, Jerome Kern, and many others will be examined. The period’s obsession with technology (player pianos, radio, recording, film) will provide a central focus.