21M.542 | January IAP 2010 | Undergraduate

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Musical Time

Classroom Sessions

This page presents resources associated with the classroom sessions: related listening, readings, scores, Web sites and videos.

C1 Martin Marks Overview, getting acquainted, the syllabus, concerts, student projects Excerpts from Eliot, T. S. Four Quartets.
C2 Marcus Thompson Class discussion  

Forum 1: Time as Shape

Michael Cuthbert, Robert Jaffe, Libby Larson and Sara Brown

Concert 1

Imbrie, Larsen, Crumb and Ravel

 See Forums and Concerts page
C3 Michael Cuthbert (Professor of Music) Repeating time: minimalism and the structure of Reich’s Four Organs Reich, Steve. “Music as a Gradual Process” (1968). In Writings on Music, 1965-2000. Edited by Hillier. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780195111712.
C4 Paul Schechter (Professor of Astrophysics) A physicist’s understanding of the concept of spacetime Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. New York, NY: Vintage, 2005. ISBN: 9780375727207. [Preview in Google Books]
C5 Michael Ouellette (Lecturer in Theater Arts) On Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen Frayn, Michael. Copenhagen. New York, NY: Anchor, 2000. ISBN: 9780385720793.
C6 Donald Sadoway (Professor of Materials Science and Engineering) ‘Everything I needed to know I learned in 3.091’ - using art, literature, music, and film to teach chemistry This talk was similar to one given at the MIT Alumni Association’s 2010 Technology Day; see this MIT World video starting at ~15:00, after the discussion about energy and batteries.

Forum 2: Time as Memory

Bruce Brubaker, Peter Child and Deborah Stein

Concert 2

Beethoven, Child and Dvořák

 See Forums and Concerts page
C7 George Ruckert (Senior Lecturer in Music) Measuring time: meters, cycles, and patterns in Hindustani music  
C8 Christopher Ariza (Visiting Professor of Music) Events per unit of time: density as a compositional parameter in the music and synthesis techniques of Iannis Xenakis (PDF - 1.1MB) (Courtesy of Christopher Ariza. Used with permission.)

Recordings played in class

———. “ST/48” (1962). On Xenakis: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5. Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Tamayo. Tympani, 2008.

Roads, Curtis. “Now.” Point Line Cloud. Asphodel Ltd., 2004. (Courtesy of Curtis Roads. Used with permission.)

Xenakis, Iannis. “Free Stochastic Music From the Computer.” In Cybernetics, Art and, Ideas. Edited by J. Reichardt. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1971, pp. 124-142. ISBN: 9780821204313.

C9 Stephen Tapscott (Professor of Literature) Deeper into Muybridge: a poet’s view

Two poems from Muybridge (PDF)

Wikipedia: Eadweard Muybridge


Forum 3: Time as the Subject and Substance

Ellen Harris, Lewis Lockwood, Paul Matisse and Stephen Tapscott

Concert 3

Mozart, Loeffler, Still and Foss

 See Forums and Concerts page
 C10 Charles Shadle (Senior Lecturer in Music) Time and structure in a film score for D. W. Griffith’s Ramona (1910) 

Watch the Class 10 video

This film with Shadle’s score is released on
Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934. DVD. National Film Preservation Foundation/Image Entertainment, 2007.

Booklet notes from this DVD release, by Martin Marks. “Ramona (1910) – About the Music.” (PDF) (Courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation. Used with permission.)

 C11 Mark Harvey (Lecturer in Music) In the moment: jazz time and improvisation

Recordings played in class

Time as defined, steady, organizing principle: Duke Ellington. “Satin Doll.” 70th Birthday Concert. Blue Note, 1995.

Time as more free, elastic: Miles Davis Quartet. “My Funny Valentine.” The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine + Four & More. Columbia, 1992 reissue.

Time as a medium in which composition / improvisation happens: Harvey, Mark. “Rapt at Rappaport’s.” Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. Paintings for Jazz Orchestra. Leo Records, 1993.

Time in several senses,used simultaneously, steady + multi-meter + conducted improvisation: “The Seeker.” Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. Recorded live at Regattabar, Cambridge MA, March 21, 2001. (Courtesy of Mark Harvey. Used with permission.)

Kahn, Ashley. Kind of Blue: The Making of Miles Davis Masterpiece. New York, NY: DaCapo Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780306810671.

Harvey, Mark. “Jazz Time and Our Time.” In This is How We Flow: Rhythm in Black Cultures. Edited by Angela M.S. Nelson. Columbia, SC: Univeristy of South Carolina Press, 1999, pp. 15-31. ISBN: 9781570031908.

 C12   Student projects & performances

Watch the Class 12 video

See Assignments page


Student projects & performances


See Assignments page

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2010
Learning Resource Types
Other Video
Lecture Videos
Written Assignments with Examples
Presentation Assignments with Examples