An exciting new course is being offered this summer for non music-majors with any level of experience in playing or studying music. Using analytical methods employed in understanding classical music, students will gain the opportunity to see rock music in a whole new light.

stratford-brandeis-summer-2015Charles Stratford is a PhD candidate in musicology who has been a teaching fellow at Brandeis for the past 2 years. His interest in rock music began at the early age of 4, inspired by music of The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. He is trained as a classical bassoonist and has played on PBS, national radio, and in Hollywood recording studios. He also played the bassoon and analog synthesizer in a rock band for two years. Most recently Stratford conducted his doctoral research in Vienna, Austria at the Arnold Schoenberg Center.

“One of the things I love about teaching popular music is the opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of music one might already be familiar with” he says.

See the full course description:

MUS 35a – History of Rock

Summer Session II: July 6 to August 7, 2015
This undergraduate survey course examines the historical context, stylistic development, and cultural significance of rock and roll from the early twentieth century to the present. Some questions shall be posed: what are the origins of this art form, and how did the styles, technology, and business strategies of early rock and roll artists like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and others pave the way for more contemporary forms of popular music such as indie rock and electronic dance music? This course also addresses how instruments, technology, mainstream media, and popular culture affect how rock music is created, marketed, and celebrated worldwide. Designed as listening intensive, this course aims at developing listening skills and the ability to reflect on the music through weekly writing assignments, with the goal of being able to discuss and think about rock intelligently. While some musical knowledge is beneficial, this course is intended for non music-majors with any level of experience in playing or studying music.

We hope you’ll be tuned in this summer for this great new opportunity.