MUSI 4519 (Topic: Trauma,Shame)

Course Name: 
Critical Studies in Music: Trauma, Shame, and Mourning

The course, “Trauma, Shame, and Mourning,” addresses relations between music and concepts drawn from psychology and sociology. We often associate music with pleasure and entertainment, but many kinds of music have strong connections with painful, complicated psychological states and life events. Topics about trauma will include uses of music therapy to help traumatized clients, including children in wartime, survivors of sexual abuse, and a man dying of AIDS; the autobiography of a concert pianist who survived sexual abuse; the suppression and expression of trauma in feminist popular music; and music in relation to slavery, the Holocaust, and 9-11. In reading about shame, we will consider performance anxiety and the relations of music, stigma, and homosexuality. In thinking about mourning, we will consider whether responses to death have a transcultural musical style; we will consider the history of funeral music; and we will consider musical responses to AIDS.
Because the organization of the course is thematic, we will consider a wide range of musical material, including popular music, historical classical music, and large-scale recent compositions by John Corigliano, John Adams, and Steve Reich. We will read extensively from professional literatures in psychology, music therapy, and sociology as well as musicology.

Fred Maus