Analyzing Contemporary Music

TH 481 (cross-listed for noncredit as WKS 481)
Analyzing Contemporary Music

As of June 24, 2021, this course has closed. We are no longer accepting registrations.

June 28–August 6, 2021 / Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. EDT (course times may be adjusted to accommodate students in different time zones)
Online course

Robert Hasegawa

This course offers a deep dive into the theory and analysis of contemporary music, drawing on a broad repertoire of recent works by composers of the European avant-garde (Jonathan Harvey, Gérard Grisey), American experimentalists (Julius Eastman, Henry Threadgill), and artists drawing inspiration from non-Western traditions (Liza Lim, Raven Chacon). The syllabus will include readings by composers and theorists as well as close analytical study of scores and recordings. Central topics will include serialism and post-serialism, improvisation and indeterminacy, spectral techniques, microtonality, timbre, and rhythm. In addition to assigned readings and analyses, students will complete a supervised analytical project on a contemporary work of their choice. .

The course is open to graduate students as well as undergraduates with a strong background in music theory. For Eastman DMA students, this course fulfills the post-tonal theory (TH 402) degree requirement; those who have already taken TH 402 can still register for the course using the cross-listed course number CMP 490.

Previous study of twentieth-century and/or post-tonal music theory is recommended but not required. Enrollment limited to 10 students.

Please note: Undergraduates and all students not matriculated at Eastman must obtain instructor permission before registering; this applies to both the noncredit and for-credit versions of the course. Contact Professor Hasegawa at for more information.  

$5,370 / 3 credits     TH 481-1
$900 / noncredit     WKS 481-1

Read our blog: Summer@Eastman 2021: Analyzing Contemporary Music