Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Geography as a Factor of Diversity

Why does it matter?
  • Our Identities as people are tied to it
  • It provided a cultural context for living
  • It impacts our economic life
  • It determines how we relax and enjoy life
North America
  • Three out of four people live in the northern hemisphere
  • North America is culturally diverse due to immigration
  • Resource rich
  • Great deal of economic development
  • Technology rich
  • Oriented to a global economy
The South
  • 12 Southeastern states
  • Historically cultivated subtropical crops
  • Slaver, plantation economy
  • many subregions
  • Creolization culture - mixing many
  • Higher numbers of African-American heritage
  • Income lower
  • Schools poorer
  • Religion important
  • Parts of many states along the Appalachian Mountain chain
  • Historically impoverished area
  • Twentieth century government projects brought some change to the area
  • Coal an essential resource
  • People stereotyped as hillbillies d
  • Primarily rural
  • Predominantly white
  • Education historically poor - few exceptions Berea College
New England & Mid Atlantic
  • Earliest site of European immigrants
  • Inhabited by political and relifious dissidents
  • Protestant work ethic
  • Fishing logging, industries, some mixed agricultural systems
  • Less racially diverse
  • Atlantic coast important for commerce and tourism
  • High educational statistics, colonial colleges
Great Plains and Midwest
  • The Breadbasket
  • Some of the flattest land on earth
  • German, English, Scottish and Irish immigrants from East
  • Great seasonal changes and extreme weather
  • Very rural with few large cities
  • This huge area holds less than 6% of the nations population
  • Midwest has greater diversity
  • Education, solid- highest high school graduation rate
  • Mexican and American Indian cultural influence
  • Formerly part of Mexico
  • Continual border issues
  • Large percentage of the population has noneuropean heritage
  • Younger population
  • Most live in metropolitan areas
  • Bilingual education is an ongoing debate
  • Mexicans, Catholics, American Indians as original inhabitants
  • Gold rush brought in Chinese laborers
  • One in five Americans live here
  • California has largest population overall, second larges city, LA
  • Most divers part of the US
  • Catholic mission schools established by Spanish priests
Geography and Educational Issues
  • Half the world's population lives in megacities with greatcontradictions
  • Great worldwide migrations and immigrations
  • Migration in the US from city to rural
  • by 2010 60% of US population lives in the South and West (California, Florida, Texas)
  • Population in Northeast and Midwest is getting older
  • The world economic structure is intricately linked
  • Environmental concerns are a growing issue - the US is a major culprit
  • Indigenous people currently live on some richest natural resource areas - they face extinction
Incorporating Global Perspectives
  • Understand how global connections impact their lives
  • How can you integrate world events?
  • Lessons on manufacturing - child labor laws
  • Influence of music
  • Perspectives of other people, classes
  • Indigenous people and the environment
  • Email pen pals around the world
  • Travel

Age as a Factor of Diversity

Age is...
  • An interaction with ethnicity, gender, social status and culture
  • Influences perceptions, attitudes, values and behavior
Childhood & Adolescence
  • Social Class % Poverty - 1 in 6
  • Prejudice
  • Child Abuse
  • Relationship with parents
  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Suicide
  • Violence
  • Ages 20 - 64 ... HUGE life decisions
  • Baby Boomers - 1946-1964
  • Education for adults
  • Generation X - 1965 - 1976
  • Generation Y - 1980 - 1994 1/3 of the US population
Old Age
  • Age 65 and up
  • in US, value is placed on production
  • by 2030 we shall have 70 million elderly
  • Pensions & health care are major issues
  • Elderly make up a strong political force - THEY VOTE (AARP)
  • Socioeconomic factors present difficulties

Educational Implications
  • Perception of various age groups
  • Understanding age-group characteristics
  • Child abuse reporting responsibilities
  • Health issues and risky behaviors
  • Education will continue to compete for scarce resources

Religion in Schools

1st Amendment
Separation of Church & State
  • Separation or a schizophrenic experience?
  • Oaths on the Bible
  • Coins with religious exhortations
  • the Pledge
  • Military Chaplains
  • Congressional prayer breakfast
Assumes religion as a natural part of the human experience - a HEALTHY perspective

The Facts
  • In 2003, 80% identify themselves as belonging to one of the six main religions (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Islam, Eastern Orthodox)
  • In 2003, 41% of adults attend church, which has increased since the 1950's
  • Numbers:
  • 49% Protestant
  • 24% Catholic
  • 10% No religious affiliation
  • 4% Buddhism or Hinduism
  • 2% Muslim of Mormon
  • 1% Orthodox

Controversial Issues
  • Prayer in schools - (1961, 1963) Abington Township v. Schempp - outlawed school-sponsored Bible reading in public school... private prayer is permissible
  • Homosexuality - a choice v. sinfulness
  • Gender - in some cases the roles of women and men are defined and polarized
  • Curriculum - tricky standards for subjects like biology (sex ed, evolution,... etc)

Guidelines for Teachers
  1. The function of the public school is to educate about religions, not to convert to any one religion
  2. The public school may expose students to all religious views, but may not impose any particular view
  3. The public school should study what all people believe, but should not teach a student what to believe
  4. The public school's approach to religion is one of instruction not one of indoctrination

Multicultural Education

What is it?
  1. Placing the student at the center of the teaching and learning process
  2. Promoting human rights and respect for cultural differences
  3. Believing that all students can learn
  4. Acknowledging and building on the life histories and experiences of students' cultural group memberships
  5. Critically analyzing oppression and power relationships to understand all the "isms"
  6. Critiquing society in the interest of social justice and equality.
  7. Participating in collective social action to ensure a democratic society

Creating a Multicultural Curriculum
  • Supports and Celebrates diversity in the broadest sense using student histories, experiences, traditions, and cultures
  • Students should be able to see themselves and their experiences in the curriculum
  • Connect their curriculum to the special diversity that may exist in their area of the country
  • Help students understand and respect another person's perspective, EVEN if they don't agree with it
What Else?
  1. Always hold high expectations, regardless of whatever!
  2. They won't care about what you teach until they know you care about them!
  3. Work to understand their life experiences and begin teaching from that perspective
  4. Practice with high student engagement!
  5. Teach students fairness and justice by your example
  6. Critically examine the practices done in your school
  7. Don't be afraid or get too tired to "intrude" in their lives

A Constructivist Approach to Learning

  • Learning is best conceived as a process. To improve learning, the focus should be on engaging students in a process that best enhances their learning
  • All learning is relearning, drawing out the students' beliefs and ideas so that they can be examined, tested, and integrated
  • Learning often requires the resolution of conflicts between reflection, action, feeling and experience
  • Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world
  • Learning results from synergistic transactions between the person and environment, assimilating new experiences into existing concepts
  • Learning is the process of creating knowledge, in a constructivist fashion where social knowledge is created and recreated into the personal knowledge of the learner.

Monday, November 21, 2011


  • An original American  genre of experimental or "Downtown music" named in the 1960's. It demonstrates a tendency towards a simple and more direct music
  • Minimalism is based mostly in consonant harmony, steady pulse, static tonal structures, additive rhythms, and slow transformation
  • Typically it is characterized by constant thematic repetition and reiteration of musical phrases

In C ~ Terry Riley 
  • semi-aleatory work
  • "a group of 35 is desired if possible but smaller or larger groups will work"
  • Response to the academic abstract serialist techniques used by composers in the mid-twentieth century
  • consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats
  • Each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times
  • players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase
  • The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other
  • the Phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped
  • It is customary for one musician "traditionally a beautiful girl" to play the note c in octaves in repeated eighth notes. This is referred to as the "pulse"

  • all voices amplified
  • vibraphone is the conductor
  • violin, cello, 4 voices, 4 pianos, 5 marimbas, 3 zylaphones, metallophone, clarinets/ 2 bass clarinets, 2 maracas
  • Rhythmically: two basic times are occurring simultaneously: a regularly rhythmic pulse in the piano and mallet instruments that continues  throughout the piece; the rhythm of the human voice on vocals and winds
  • "The combination of one breath after another gradually washing up like waves against the constant rhythm of the pianos and mallet instruments is something I have not heard before and would like to investigate further"
  • structure: cycle of 11  chords played at the very beginning of the piece and repeated at the end
Phrygian Gates ~ John Adams
  • The Gates in the title is an allusion from the electronic music gates, a term from rapidly shifting modes
  • The work is written in a minimalist style and based on a repetitive cell structure but Adams decisively moves away from the conventional techniques of minimalism
  • The work is set in the phrygian mode and cycles through half the keys, modulating in the circle of 5ths
  • there is a constant shifting between modules in Phrygian mode and lydian mode
  • Adams explained that working with synthesizers caused a "diatonic conversion" - a reversion to the belief that tonality is a force of nature

Indeterminacy/ Chance/ Aleatory Music

  • Music in which the composer introduces elements of chance or unpredictably with regards to the composition and/ or its performance
  • the terms aleatory, chance music, indeterminacy, have been applied to many works created since 1945 by composers who differ widely as to the concepts, methods, and rigor with which they employ procedures of random selection
  • European: Meyer-Eppler, Darmstadt (1957) ~ "its course is determined in general but depends on chance in detail"
  • American: Cage, early Ives, Cowell ~ an aesthetic that strives for a fluid process that eliminates traditional control of the composer over the material
In the composition process:
  • pitches, durations, degrees of intensity and other elements may be chosen or distributed in time by dice throwing, interpretation of abstract designs, or according to certain mathematical laws of chance (Xenakis, stochastic music)
In Performance
  • Chance is allowed to operated by leaving the choice or order of appearance of some elements to the performer's discretion (Earl Brown, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Pousseur)


Projections for Solo Cello ~ Morton Feldman
  • timbre indicated
  • relative pitch is indicated as a square or oblong written in one of three boxes which represent either high, medium of low registers
  • Duration is indicated by the amount of space taken up by the square or rectangle within the dotted lines
  • dotted lines represent four pulses at tempo 72 "or therabouts"
  • Indeterminate parameters
  1. pitch within each of the three registers
  2. dynamics
  3. expression

Zeitmasze ~ Stockhausen
  • Wind Quintet
  • Indeterminacy in time - flute and bassoon playing in exact time quarter note 112, set against oboe playing "as slow as possible", english horn "slow quickening"; clarinet begins after a pause of imprecise duration
  • Imprecision is made part of the structure in the overall tempo and in the relative tempos of the five players. The tempos are dependent less on notational precision than on limitations of techniques and feasibility
  • "is an elastic play of five time-strands, each of which mixes passages in strict tempo with others whose speed is determined by the musician's capacity to play as fast as possible or as slow as possible

Music of Changes ~ John Cage
  • solo piano
  • Based off the I-Ching, a chinese classical text used to identify order in chance events
  • four "books" of music
  • Chart system used with 8x8 cells to accommodate the 64 hexagrams
  • charts for sounds, durations and dynamics
Folio "December 1952" ~ Earle Brown
  • Expansive palate of cultural influences, especially abstract-expressionism and jazz
  • immediacy of what comes next
  • single notes
  • "music is my material but art is my subject"

Corroboree ~ Earle Brown
  • for 3 pianos

Four Instruments ~ Morton Feldman
  • A sound world where coordinates are staked out by extremely reduced dynamics and "glassy" timbres
  • piano, tubular bells, string harmonics
  • slow tempos
  • minimal density of events
  • Indeterminate parameters
  1. duration open (typically 12 minutes)
  2. coordination of parts
  3. Some coordinated vertical events
  4. player must enter before the previous event from another performer has died away - forming a continuity of surface
  • silence used to anticipate events

Electronic Music

  • Genres of music that use electronic oscillators and other analog equipment to create, modify and transform acoustic waves
  • sound that is synthetically generated by an oscillator and enhanced through electronic means
Early Electronic instruments
  • Telharmonium
  • Theremin
  • Ondes Martenot

Composition for Synthesizer
~ Milton Babbit
  • Mark II Synthesizer

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Musique Concrete and early electronic music

Early Electronic Instruments
  • Telharmonium
  • Theremin
  • Ondes Martenot

Music Concrete
  • Music produced from recorded sounds of all Kinds
  • Concept and term introduced in 1948 by Pierre Schaeffer on the basis of his work at the French Radio in Paris
  • Schaeffer's view: The concept excludes sounds that are electronically synthesized
Capabilities of Tape Technology
  1. altered playback
  2. reversed direction
  3. cutting and splicing of tape
  4. creation of a tape loop
  5. tape delay

The Rise of the Radio Stations
  1. French Radio - Pierre Schaeffer, Herbert Eimert
  2. German Radio - Loenig, Stockhausen (first electronic music studio 1952)
  3. Italian Radio - Berio, Maderna, Pousseur
  4. USA - Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center - Ussachevsky, Luening, Babbit

  • First large music center in the USA
  • Ussachevsky collaborated with Mauser to experiment
  • Summer of 1952, recorded Sonic Contours
  • October 28th, 1952, first electronic composition presentation at the Museum of Modern Art
  • 1954-55 - small studio in the gatehouse of an asylum
  • 1957 - permanent studio, but too small for teaching
  • 1959 - music center founded


Etude aux chemis de fer
~ Pierre Schaeffer
  • recorded sounds of locomotives
Etude Noire ~ Pierre Schaeffer

Sonic Contours ~ Vladimir Ussachevsky
  • superimposed tape loops of piano
Inventions in 12 Tones ~ Otto Luening
  • flute
Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) ~ Luciano Berio
  • Spoken/ sung text from Ulysses

Electroacoustic Music

  1. Music that is produced, modified or reproduced by electronic means, including computer hardware and software, and that makes creative use of those technologies
  2. Any music in which electricity has had some involvement in registration/ Production
  3. More recently, much electroacoustic music has combined the use of such "concrete" sounds with wholly synthesized sounds as will as with live performance

Gesange der Jungling ~ Karlheinz Stockhausen
  • utilized both synthesized and vocal sounds
  • speech sounds of children
  • Song of the Youths in the Fiery Furnace from the Biblical passage of Daniel
Poeme Electronique ~ Edgar Varese
  • Written especially for the Brussels World Fair
  • 400 speakers surrounding the audience
  • uses both concrete and synthesized sounds
  • Extremely sophisticated work
Imaginary Landscapes I ~ John Cage
  • important for being one of the first examples of electroacoustic pieces
  • for performers
  • muted piano, cymbal, two variable-speed turntables with amplifiers and frequency recorders
  • all of the imaginary landscape works include instruments requiring electricity
  • "It's not a physical landscape, it's a term reserved for the new technologies. It's a landscape in the future."

Textural Music/ Sound Mass

  • a Trend of the later 1950's
  • shaping music through its larger sonic attributes rather than as an accumulation of individual elements
  • Sound Mass composition minimizes the importance of pitches in preference for texture, timbre, and dynamics as primary shapers of gesture and impact
  • developed from the modernist tone clusters and spread to orchestral writing by the late 1950's
  • Sound Mass obscures the line between sound and noise


Makrokosmos I by George Crumb
  • Crumb combines conventional piano techniques to form a synthesis
  • Each piece is associated with a sign of the zodiac
  • Makrokosmos requires special techniques: pizzicato using both the finger nail and the finger tip, muted tones, production of harmonics on strings
  • Strings should be clearly marked with bits of tape. Modal parts for harmonics should be indicated with tiny slivers of tape on the string
  • mystic, surreal
  • full range of piano, inside and outside, tried to use all possible techniques
  • innovative, extended techniques combined with conventional techniques
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima ~ Krzysztof Penderecki
  • String ensemble not organized in the normal five part groupings, each instrument has its own part
  • traditional textural components such as melody and harmony absent
  • chromatic bands/clusters - listener perceives undifferentiated mass of certain width and dynamic level
  • form is thus primarily determined by the transformation and development of generalized shapes
  • Penderecki ignores the distinctions between pitch and noise, drawing from a wide spectrum of available sounds
  • Proportional Notation = the temporal placement of musical events is approximate
  • Graphic Notation = nontraditional symbols represent musical information
  • Extended Techniques = between the bridge and tailpiece, playing behind the bridge, striking sounding board with fingertips
Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments Part I ~ Gyorgy Ligeti
  • four woodwinds, two brass, five strings, two keyboard instruments
  • "micropolyphony" - a simultaneity of different lines, rhythms and timbers
  • 4 movement work
  1. cluster micropolyphony - polyphonic and contains "micropolyphonically interwoven lines that merge together to form a homogeneous texture"
  2. homophonic and static
  3. mechanical in the manner of clockwork
  4. insainly virtuosic presto
  • imperceptible entrances and exits
Atmosphere ~ Gyorgy Ligeti
  • 52 individual parts
  • Formed clusters from separate components that changed constantly to produce subtly transforming internal patterns - micropolyphony
  • Opening cluster chord that spans 5 octaves
  • Slow changes in dynamics

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Left My Heart in a Cardboard Box

My encounter with those living with poverty or exceptionalities through my experience delivering lunches with the Hunger Coalition at Benedictine College struck a chord in me that I did not realize was so out of tune. I did not experience very closely during this time a great connection to persons with exceptionalities, but the reality which confronted me as I stepped into the homes of those whom I encountered filled me with a kind of sickeningly sorrowful sense of helplessness.

To perfectly amplify and clarify what I was feeling, at one of the houses where we stopped there was a box of very young kittens, beautiful and delicately small. I knelt and picked one of them up, petting its fur gently and feeling like I was in heaven they were so beautiful. Never mind that they were dirty, never mind that they looked desperately hungry, they were the most beautiful kittens in the world to me. The lady of the house looked at me and said “if you want em, take em! I can't care for em.” If there was a policy that let me take stray kittens into my dorm, I would have snatched that box up in an instant, but alas, it was with a sigh of dejection that I extracted the kitten from my sweater, where he had latched his claws as if to say “don't leave me!”and walked away.

I felt as though I were leaving part of my heart behind as we drove away, and as I reflected upon the rest of my day, I felt for the persons I met in a similar manner. I felt as though I were giving them something for a day, but who would be there tomorrow? I held that kitten for a minute, but what it needed was more than a minute, it needed a family to love and take care of it. I am not infinitely wealthy and I can not bi-locate, so I can not solve all of the world's problems through my presence and monetary support, but maybe that's the point. All I have to give in my own student poverty are my prayers, my time, and one meal a week. The potency of my prayers I leave in the hands of the Lord, but after witnessing the joy my time gave to Gloria, the excited faces of children who held my dinner in their hands, I could not possibly bring myself to do anything less than giving everything I can possibly give. It's intoxicatingly beautiful, and a much better feeling than walking away, feeling like you've left your heart behind in a cardboard box to starve.