Musical cultures and practices in the age of mass media

A.Y. 2020/2021
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
L-ART/07
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course develops historical-cultural and theoretical-interpretive competences concerning the interactions between music and mass media in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The course aims to enable students to relate their musicological knowledge with a theoretical and methodological apparatus derived from media and cultural studies. The ability to read and interpret complex intermedia processes informing contemporary musical practices is the main learning goal of the course.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students will have acquired theoretical-methodological and historiographical awareness regarding some cultural processes which underpin musical practices in the age of mass media. This will be achieved with particular reference to the different monographic theme constituting the main focus of the course every year.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
In the event that the health emergency should protract, classes will take place in live presence, while being streamed online.
Students will be able to find all the information regarding classroom access (live or online), potential changes in the programme and variation in the reference material (bibliography, etc.) in the course's website on the Ariel platform (https://mcorbellacpmemm.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/Home/ ) at the beginning of the 2nd semester.
In the event that performing exams in the way described in the Syllabus should turn out to be not manageable, the exams may take place online, with modalities that will be communicated on the Ariel teaching platform at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
The first part of the course (PART A) will have an introductory character and will deal with methodological issues of the interrelationship between music and media, adopting a cultural perspective. The second part of the course (PART B) will be structure as a workshop and have a monographic character: we will deal with the interlinked subjects of reuse, remediation and retromania in current musical practices. Drawing on the famed notion of "retromania" by British music critic Simon Reynolds, we will attempt to interweave themes and case studies which exemplify and problematize the practices of reuse, citation, replicability and remediation of music in the domain of multimedia. The reflections presented during the classes aim at providing students with a theoretical-critical framework within which to propose and develop their own pertinent case study.

PART A: Music and media in pop culture: methodological framework

1. Introducing the cultural study of music
2. Studying popular music
3. Music, technology and material culture
4. Performance, recording, liveness and mediatization of musical experience

PART B: (Not only) Retromania: reuse, citationism, replicability, and remediation in contemporary musical practices
Prerequisites for admission
Important prerequisites are a discrete knowledge of the history of twentieth-century music and the history of media. The course presupposes the knowledge of basic elements of musical theory and grammar. It is advisable to pair this course with the attendance of the workshop "Analysing Popular Music".
Teaching methods
Class lectures
Group discussions
Comment of musical and audiovisual clips
Teaching Resources
Classes will be supported by slides and multimedia contents, which will be uploaded to the course's website on the Ariel platform (https://mcorbellacpmemm.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/Home/).
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to get in touch with the course instructor as soon as possible to define personalised assignments.
The study materials for students with physical and/or learning disabilities will need to be arranged with the course instructor, according to the guidelines of the competent Helpdesk.

PART A: Music and media in pop culture: methodological framework

1. Introducing the cultural study of music

References:

· RICHARD MIDDLETON, "Introduction: Music Studies and the Idea of Culture". In: The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction, Second Edition, ed. by Martin Clayton, Trevor Hebbert, and Richard Middleton, New York/London: Routledge, 2012 pp. 1-14.

2. Studying popular music

References:

· ALLAN MOORE, "Come si ascolta la popular music". In: Enciclopedia della musica, a cura di Jean-Jacques Nattiez, vol. I, Torino, Einaudi, 2001, pp. 701-718.
· FRANCO FABBRI, "La canzone". In: Enciclopedia della musica, a cura di Jean-Jacques Nattiez, vol. I, Torino: Einaudi, 2001, pp. 551-576.
· RICHARD MIDDLETON, "Lo studio della popular music". In: Enciclopedia della musica, a cura di Jean-Jacques Nattiez, vol. II, Torino: Einaudi, 2001, pp. 718-737.

3. Music, technology and material culture

References:

· WILL STRAW, "Music and Material Culture". In: The Cultural Study of Music, Second Edition, ed. by Martin Clayton, Trevor Hebbert, and Richard Middleton, New York/London: Routledge, 2012, pp. 227-236.
· ALESSANDRO CECCHI, "Live, streaming, fonolatria, schizofonia". In: Il contributo italiano nella storia del pensiero - Musica, a cura di Sandro Cappelletto, Roma: Istituto Italiano dell'Enciclopedia, 2016, pp. 746-755.
· MARTIN SCHERZINGER, "Toward a History of Digital Music: New Technologies, Business Practices and Intellectual Property Regimes". In: The Cambridge Companion to Music in Digital Culture, ed. by Nicholas Cook, Monique M. Ingalls and David Trippett, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 33-57.
· TAMAS TOFALVY, "Continuity and Change in the Relationship Between Popular Music, Culture, and Technology: An Introduction". In: Popular Music, Technology, and the Changing Media Ecosystem: From Cassettes to Stream, ed. by T. Tofalvy and Emília Barna, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 1-19.

4. Performance, recording, liveness and mediatization of musical experience

References:

· PAUL SANDEN, Liveness in Modern Music: Musicians, Technology, and the Perception of Performance, New York/London: Routledge, 2019, pp. 19-45 (Cap. 2: "A Theory of Liveness in Mediatized Music").
· ALESSANDRO BRATUS, Mediatization in Popular Music Recorded Artifacts, London: Lexington Books, 2019, pp. 1-29 (Introduction: "Theoretically Live: Performance and Mediation between Experience, Intermediality, and Authenticity").

PART B: Retromania e non solo: riuso, citazionismo, replicabilità e rimediazione nelle pratiche musicali contemporanee

Reference text:

· SIMON REYNOLDS, Retromania. Musica, cultura pop e la nostra ossessione per il passato, Roma: Mimimum Fax, 2017 (or. ed. Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction with Its Own Past, London: Faber&Faber, 2011)

Further references:

· Remix-remake: pratiche di replicabilità, a cura di Nicola Dusi e Lucio Spaziante, Roma: Meltemi, 2006, pp. 9-44 (NICOLA DUSI, LUCIO SPAZIANTE, "Introduzione. Pratiche di replicabilità"); pp. 65- (LUCIO SPAZIANTE, "Replicabilità sonora"); pp. 209-227 (LUCA MARCONI, "Per una tipologia e una storia delle cover").
· MAURIZIO CORBELLA, "Live to Tell: Remediating Historical Musical Performance in the Popular Music Biopic", «IASPM@Journal», VII/1 (2017), pp. 29-54.
· NICHOLAS COOK, "Beyond Music: Mashup, Multimedia Mentality, and Intellectual Property". In: The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics, ed. by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 53-76.
· JASON STANYEK, BENJAMIN PIEKUT, "Deadness: Technologies of the Intermundane", «TDR: The Drama Review», LIV/1 (Spring 2010), pp. 14-38.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The students are expected to write a final paper (approximately 4.500-5.000 words in length), on a subject of their choice approved by the course instructor. The assessment criteria for the paper will be: 1. Pertinence with the monographic subject of the course; 2. Originality of the chosen topic/approach; 3. Analytical competence and interpretive depth; 4. Ability to integrate the perspectives and notions drawn from the classes and the bibliography (by recurring to extra bibliography, if required by the topic) within a personal critical framework; 5. Formal quality of writing (terminological appropriateness, precision, fluidity, coherence, accuracy of the critical apparatus).
The paper must be submitted with a minimum 15-day advance on the date selected for the exam. The oral examination will consist in a discussion of the programme's study materials, peeking on the submitted paper.

The modes of examination for students with physical and/or learning disabilities will need to be agreed with the course instructor, according with the guidelines of the competent Helpdesk.
Unita' didattica A
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
During the health care emergency, and for the entire period in which in-person meetings are not allowed, I am available for online meetings via Teams or Skype. Email me to schedule a meeting.