Performers and Performances, Drew Edward Davies, Associate Professor, Musicology
This course focuses on what it means to be – or what it meant to be – a musician at different times of history and in different cultural contexts, with a specific focus on 20th- and 21st-century America. It will explore different types of musical performances, chart the legacies of diverse performers, look at the roles of specific performance spaces, and analyze what makes some artists and some performances successful. Case studies presented include the history of conductors, Western classical music in East Asia, jazz pianists and singers, issues of gender and race in opera, and the histories of wind bands and music conservatories, among others. We will also discuss how the pandemic has affected musical performance and explore emerging trends in livestream performance. How can we tell the history of music through performance rather than through composers and works?