This course takes the view that our experience of music is mediated by biology, society and culture. As such it tells us a lot about who we are in relation to our cultural and physical environment. Like other forms of communication, music can be studied in terms of its texts, institutions, and audiences. Unlike other forms of communication, music is best understood from an interdisciplinary perspective that deals with the physics of sound, human biology, and musicology. In addition to asking the question, "What does the music mean?" I urge you to ask: What is the chain of biological, physical, social, and cultural events that render music meaningful and popular? What sorts of networks and emotional affiliations make musical performance/consumption possible, whether it be a concert, film, public transport, shopping mall, Walkman, funeral, file sharing, etc.? How do the modes of listening vary across these fields? How do boundaries shift with the globalization of music, especially with the advent of digital distribution on the Internet?
Prerequisite: Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only. This course was formerly numbered COMM 497O. If you have already taken COMM 497O you cannot take this course. This course serves as an Integrative Experience (IE) requirement for BA-COMM majors.