Music Theory


T658 Scales, Modes, Tunings

Prof. Lewis Rowell

1:00-2:15 PM TR Room M263

The M.M. and Ph.D. seminars in music theory will meet together, with course requirements proportionate to the number of credits. The seminar will focus on the history, theory, and practice of dividing and organizing the pitch spectrum, in Western and non-Western musics. Course requirements include class presentations and a major seminar paper. The selection of individual topics will depend on the background and interests of the participants, but might include the following: the scales of ancient Greece Pythagorean, just, meantone, and equal-tempered tunings multiple divisions of the octave the raga systems of North and South India Yasser's theory of evolving tonality the Schillinger system of musical composition pentatonicism octatonicism diatonicism chromaticism modal systems of the European Middle Ages comparative study of Asian scales and modal systems (e.g., Arabic, Persian, Thai, Indonesian) Szabolcsi's history of melody and melodic archetypes diatonic set theory (Clough and others) Boulez and Stockhausen on scales the musical scale as metaphor in the mythology of music sol-fa systems