Music 3: Postmodernism

Teacher: Andrew Frankhouse --
Extra Help: Fridays 3-4:30 or by appointment

Course Overview

Music 3: Postmodernism picks up at the end of World War II, as artists are only beginning to respond to the shock of a bombed-out Europe, a horrific genocide, and the dawn of a terrifying nuclear age.  Students will explore the musical results of this tumult, including the contrived chaos of total Serialism, the absurd poignancy of Indeterminacy, the streams of pure expression in free jazz, and the unsettling calm of Minimalism.  Students will also perform research to make connections between prominent Postmodernist musicians and other artistic figures of their time, and to explore the relationship between music and the rapidly changing social, political, and technological realities of the 20th century.  

Major works to be addressed in this course include:

Benjamin Britten - War Requiem
Olivier Messiaen - Quatuor pour la fin du temps
Krzystof Penderecki - Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima
Dmitri Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 8 in C-minor (Op. 110)
Milton Babbitt - Semi Simple Variations, Philomel
Pierre Boulez - Le marteau sans maître
John Cage - 4'33", Imaginary Landscape No. 4
Morton Feldman - Various works
John Coltrane - Interstellar Space, Live in Japan
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
Conlon Nancarrow - Etudes for Player Piano
Philip Glass - Koyaanisquatsi
Steve Reich - Music for Pieces of Wood, Pendulum Music, WTC 9/11

Music 3: Postmodernism Student Document Collection

Students taking this course will find class documents (syllabus, assignments, handouts, etc.) in the Google Drive collection below.  

Music 3: Postmodernism Student Collection