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S P O T L I G H T O N G A L L AT I N C O U R S E S

CONTEXTS OF MUSICAL MEANING WHAT AND HOW DOES MUSIC MEAN?

© NYU Photo Bureau: Meyer

“We looked at a wide range of music—from classical to Bon Jovi, in one class—and considered the philosophy of music, but Professor Erickson always put it in context for us. He asked us to think of music in terms of politics, race, gender, or philosophy, and each session we would use this as the way to approach the music.” —Anna Waterman (BA ’16)

“Professor Erickson introduced me to several important texts which inspired my fascination with ‘the groove,’ or the internal aural mechanisms in music that inspire the sensation to dance. In a broader sense, though, this course gave me the tools to apply critical theory to music, to think on a deeper, more involved level about how we think about music and the interesting ways it works on us.” —Angel Faden (BA ’15)

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N Y U G A L L AT I N

Professor Gregory Erickson has taught at Gallatin since 2004, specializing in courses on modern literature, particularly the work of James Joyce, as well as popular culture, religion, and music. Before taking Professor Erickson’s interdisciplinary seminar Contexts of Musical Meaning: What and How Does Music Mean? singersongwriter Anna Waterman (BA ’16) had taken other Gallatin interdisciplinary seminars in music and feminist theory. This course, however, helped her formulate her concentration around literature, music, and performance. Angel Faden (BA ’15) describes his decision to study with Professor Erickson as “one of the best moves I’ve made in my academic career.” The Making of the Course “When I first taught the course,” says Professor Erickson, “it was based on a class I had taken in graduate school, and it was pretty firmly rooted in late 20th century philosophical writings about classical music. So while I was leading a discussion about drama in a Beethoven string quartet or a feminist reading of Carmen, students responded by quoting Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield on popular music and memory, proposing Hip Hop sampling as an alternative way of representing history, or deconstructing perceptions of Bruce Springsteen’s authenticity. The combination was electric and fascinating and changed the future structure of the course completely.”

Parents Update Fall 2014  
Parents Update Fall 2014  

Read the latest on student funding opportunities, a feature on three Gallatin courses, and meet our new Director of Advising.

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