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Course Details

Spring 2016-2017
* ENG 221 / MUS 222 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Words vs. Music: The Song in Modern Times

Nigel Smith

Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Literature Prize, finally affirming that song lyrics matter. This course interrogates the collaboration between words and music, but entertains the notion that each is potentially a threat to the other. We will consider popular song in many modes and some art song since 1945, as well as the broader relationship between literature and music in these years, and the role of song in historic events. We will investigate recording technology and will be visited by songwriters, recording engineers, electronic musicians, and the odd rock star.

Sample reading list:
Jonathan Wells, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock 'n' Roll
Paul Simon, The Little Black Songbook of Paul Simon
Charlotte Pence, ed., The Poetics of American Song Lyrics
Christopher Ricks, Dylan's Visions of Sin
Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes
Paul Muldoon, The Word on the Street
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 25pp. of reading weekly. Two papers--one 5-7pp., second 10-12pp.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Mid term Exam - 15%
Take Home Final Exam - 20%
Papers - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 25%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40073 L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am T Th   McCosh Hall   10   Enrolled:236 Limit:250 Closed
43995 P01 11:00 am - 11:50 am T   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:15 Limit:13 Closed
43996 P02 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm T   McCosh Hall   48   Enrolled:17 Limit:13 Closed
43997 P03 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:17 Limit:13 Closed
43998 P04 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm T   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:18 Limit:13 Closed
43999 P05 9:00 am - 9:50 am W   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:13 Limit:13 Closed
44000 P06 11:00 am - 11:50 am W   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44001 P07 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm W   McCosh Hall   B11   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44002 P08 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm W   McCosh Hall   B11   Enrolled:17 Limit:13 Closed
44003 P09 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm W   McCosh Hall   26   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44004 P10 9:00 am - 9:50 am Th   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:13 Limit:13 Closed
44005 P11 11:00 am - 11:50 am Th   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44006 P12 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm Th   McCosh Hall   B11   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44007 P13 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th   McCosh Hall   B11   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44446 P13A 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th   East Pyne Building   235   Enrolled:16 Limit:13 Closed
44120 P14 10:00 am - 10:50 am W   McCosh Hall   B45   Enrolled:14 Limit:13 Closed
40074 P99 TBA        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled