• MUTH 6680: Phenomenology and Music
  • Monday, Wednesday 2:00 to 3:20 (MU 290)
  • Instructor: Dr. David Bard-Schwarz
  • Office: MU 104
  • E-mail: david.schwarz@unt.edu
  • Office Hours: TBA

Phenomenology is literally the study of phenomena, the study not of things, not of essences, but the world as it appears to us through our senses. In this course we will bring readings in phenomenology together with analyses of a wide variety of musical works. We will read classical works in phenomenology, including writings by Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, John-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau Ponty. We will also read more recent works in phenomenology, particularly those that apply its rigor to music including Itzhak Miller, David Lewin, Thomas Clifton, Brian Kane, and others. Each student will write a seminar paper to be submitted for publication and / or presentation at a regional, national, or international venue.

There is one text required for the course (it is expensive): The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology. Edited by Sebastian Luft and Søren Overgaard. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

Grades will be determined as follows: Daily one-page responses to readings / listenings = 50%; Seminar Paper = 50%

The very short papers will be probing responses to the readings / listenings assigned for that day. I will return these, graded, at the beginning of the next class and reserve the right to post some on-line to generate discussion.

We will speak more of the seminar paper as the course gets underway. For samples of good, graduate writing see the section of this site indicated by "Graduate Students".

  • 01.01.2012

    Young, Drift Study

    Merleau Ponty Review Day

    Varela, "The Specious Present: A Neurophenomenology of Time Consciousness": pdf

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (entire): pdf

  • 01.18.2012
    Chopin, Prelude Opus 28, no. 2: pdf Question: What does this sign and the Chopin Prelude in A minor, Opus 28 no. 2 have in common? Answer: watch the video that introduces the class to find out!

    RCP "Introduction": pdf

    N. Katherine Hayles "Boundary Disputes: Homeostasis, Reflexivity, and the Foundations of Cybernetics: pdf"

  • 01.23.2012

    the first person perspective, the third person perspective, (anecdotal) subjectivity, phenomenological (intersubjective) subjectivity, pure description, intentionality, bare life (Agamben), machine time (Varela)

    RCP "Introduction".

    One-Page #1 due

  • 01.25.2012

    empty intention, fullfillment, evidence, psychological ego, transcendental ego, time (objective, inner, of consciousness), retention, protention, the present, natural attitude, phenomenological attitude, epoché, phenomenological reduction, apophantic domain,ontological domain, noematic analysis (object), noetic analysis (subject), eidetic intuition

    Lennon / McCartney, "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" (Josh Harris): pdf

    RCP "Franz Brentano", "Edmund Husserl"

    One-Page #2 due

    "Intentionality" (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy): pdf (a very ugly scan with an old machine)

    "Husserl" (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy): pdf (a very ugly scan with an old machine)

  • 01.30.2012

    presentations, physical objects, sense qualities, inner presentations, outer presentations, "intentional object", intentional object, noema, noematic Sinn, Gegebenheitsweise, thetic character of an act, noesis / noema, noema / act, directedness

    RCP "Maurice Merleau-Ponty", "Martin Heidegger", "Jean-Paul Sartre"

    One-Page #3 due

    The Walking Dead (Charles Wu)

    Izchak Miller, Husserl, Perception, and Temporal Awareness (Introduction, Chapter 1): pdf

  • 02.01.2012
    Webern, Opus 3 (Michael Schnitzius): pdf

    RCP "Jacques Derrida"

    One-Page #4 due

    Izchak Miller, Husserl, Perception, and Temporal Awareness (Chapter 2): pdf

  • 02.06.2012
    Satie, Trois Gymnopédies (Jordan Moore): pdf

    RCP "Intentionality," "Hannah Arendt"

    One-Page #5 due

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness (Introduction and Section One): pdf

  • 02.08.2012
    Brahms, Intermezzo Opus 119, no. 1 (Sarah McConnell): pdf

    RCP "Evidence"

    One-Page #6 due

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness (Section Two, paragraphs 7 through 17): pdf

  • 02.13.2012
    "In and Out of Love" Armin van Buuren (Devin Iler)

    RCP "Perception," "Simone du Beauvoir"

    One-Page #7 due

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness (Section Two, paragraphs 18 through 27): pdf

  • 02.15.2012
    Schuetz, "Saul": pdf (Benjamin Dobbs) | Schuetz, "Saul" (translation): pdf

    RCP "Truth"

    One-Page #8 due

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness: pdf

    Redacted One Pages of Michael S, Charles W, and Mark O: pdf

  • 02.20.2012

    You Tube Video of the Berg Quartet Playing the Second Movement of Berg's Lyric Suite for String Quartet; listen to the unison C-naturals in the viola, beginning at 2'57"

    Berg, Lyric Suite: pdf The unison C-naturals mentioned above occur on pages 18-19 of the Second Movement.

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness: pdf

  • 02.22.2012

    Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time Consciousness: pdf

  • 02.27.2012
    Schubert, Morgengruß(music): pdf | Müller, Morgengruß": pdf

    David Lewin's Morgengruß (original): pdf

    Limbo Soundtrack (Dan Tramte) YOUTUBE

    Limbo (walkthrough): YOUTUBE

    One-Page #9 due Settle on a piece and an approach to that piece (musical-theoretical and phenomenological) and formulate a thesis statement.

  • 02.29.2012
    Morton Feldman, "Why Patterns?" (Wayla Chambo)

    David Lewin, "Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception": pdf

    A Sketch of Retrospective Reinterpretation in the Chopin Prelude Opus 28, no. 2: pdf

    "A recursive process is one in which objects are defined in terms of other objects of the same type. Using some sort of recurrence relation, the entire class of objects can then be built up from a few initial values and a small number of rules. The Fibonacci numbers are most commonly defined recursively. Care, however, must be taken to avoid self-recursion, in which an object is defined in terms of itself, leading to an infinite nesting." Wolfram Mathworld.

  • 03.05.2012
    Berg, "Hier ist Friede": pdf (Cara Stroud)

    RCP "Intersubjectivity"

    One-Page #10 due

    Brian Kane, "Excavating David Lewin's Phenomenology": pdf

  • 03.07.2012
    Dallapiccola (Stephen Lucas)

    RCP "The Body"

    Jean-Luc Nancy, "Listening" (excerpt): pdf

    A Sketch of an articulation of the body in Chopin's Prelude no. 2 in A minor: pdf

  • 03.12.2012
    Emily Howell: From Darkess, Light: pdf (Schwarz)

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, the body: pdf

  • 03.14.2012
    Steve Reich: Drumming: pdf (Andrew Blanton)

    RCP "Husserl's Method of Reduction"

    One-Page #11 due

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, the body (1: experience and objective thought): pdf

  • 03.26.2012
    Rochberg, Caprices (see no. 35): pdf
    "Love like a Sunset" (part two)(Patrick Peringer)
    "Love like a Sunset" (part one)(Patrick Peringer)

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, the body (2: "the experience of the body and classical psychology"): pdf

  • 03.28.2012
    Lachenmann: Filter-Schaukel:pdf (Josh Harris)

    One-Page #12 due

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, the body (3: "the spatiality of one's own body and motility" (to page 140 roughly)): pdf

  • 04.02.2012

    Class Notes on the Body: pdf

    Venetian Snares: pdf (Mark Oliveiro)

    YouTube Video "Venetian Snares"

  • 04.04.2012

    Beethoven, Symphony no. 7, Allegretto:pdf and Liszt, after Beethoven, Symphony no. 7, Allegretto:pdf (E Justin Simone)

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, the body (3: "the spatiality of one's own body and motility" (from page 140 roughly to the end of the section)): pdf

  • 04.09.2012
    adequate perception of the temporal objectH; 60
    primary remembrance / secondary remembranceH; 57
    sich abstufenH; 38
    A - B and (A - B)'H; 65-67
    memoryH; 56; 81RCP; 192
    motion / flow of timeH; 88-89; 98-99; 113N; 13
    just having beenH; 53-54
    last tone as full stopH; 41
    zurückgeschobenesH; 30
    emptinessH; 46
    expirednessH; 103
    p-modelL; 335
    intentional threadsMP; 121
    presentation / contentM; 10-11
    intentionalityM; chapter 1RCP; 125
    echoH; 53
    sinking downH; 49-50
    now H; 34; 44; 48; 62-63; 70; 92; 95
    retentionH; 44; 51
    protensionH; 33' 76
    phantasyH; 33; 74
    horizonMP; 78-79; 80-81
    objective thought (Kierkegaard) MP; 82
    accuracy / completednessM; 39-41
    single intentionalityH; 109
    double intentionalityH; 106; 109
    determinable XK/L; 29; 31M; 60-61;RCP; 127; 130;
    noemaM; 16-21
    noesesK/L; 29
    noematic SinnK/L; 29M; 19
    AI and phenomenology K/L; 31-33
    resonanceN; 20
    mode of givenessM; 21
    bodyMP; 104; 115; 162; (organist's); 168
    ears always openN; 14
    anasognosiaMP; 88; 93
    cogitoMP; 144; 170RCP; 64-67
    repetitionL; 355nMorgen; 137MP; 86
    reproductionH; 115
    repressionMP; 95-96
    abstract / concreteMP; 127-128
    in-itself / for-itselfRCP; 239 cf. 66-67MP; 101; 143
    acousmaticsN; 3
    differanceRCP; 118
    listening / hearing N; 5-9; 14
    the cryN; 17-18
    tendre d'oreilleN; 5
    selfN; 8; 12
    recursionL; 330-333
    false dichotomiesL; 357Morgen; 48;
    implication / realization
    gestaltRCP; 105-106; 154-155
    Euclidean planeN; 13L; 360
  • 04.11.2012

    Brian Kane Residency


    • What is your phenomenological approach to silence or rests in music? (Charles Wu)
    • In Husserl's terms, is musical structure a constituent of the noema (an attribute-meaning belonging to the noematic Sinn) on account of which our perceptual acts are directed toward (actual) musical objects as we constitute them, or is musical structure to be considered as an object in and of itself that we can direct our intentional acts toward, or can musical structure be thought of in either sense depending on whether we engage with it in higher- or lower-order mental acts? (Michael Schnitzius)
    • How can visual, tactile, and/or kinesthetic modes of a piece of music (i.e., not the aural mode) inform our aural perceptions of the same piece? (Cara Stroud)
    • How might we begin to develop a phenomenological approach that deals specifically with acts of musical creation (performance and composition)? (Expanding on the suggestion in Kane's "Excavating Lewin's 'Phenomenology'" that this could be done through applying post-Husserlian phenomenology.) (Wayla Chambo)
    • Are there any passages in Husserl that describe protention in great depth, or if not, what is your understanding of protention, specifically in relation to music? Are ideas of expectation or implication important to it? (Devin Iler)
    • How might a phenomenological approach identify "negative space" in music? (Joshua Harris)
    • What effect, if any, does tempo have on the horizons of retention and protention? (...especially regarding differing interpretations/performances of the same piece...) Can tempo alter our experience of these horizons? (Ben Dobbs)
    • Is it possible that part of the problem between Schaeffer's use of the French verb, 'entendre,' and Nancy's is that Schaeffer applies it towards a specific genre of music (i.e., musique concrète)? Perhaps sound objects, in the electroacoustic sense, have a special quality that fails to lend itself with other genres of music or sound in general(?) (Dan Tramte)
    • When writing about a musical text, how can one justify the phenomenological integration of the writer's ideas into the reader's perception of the music? Wouldn't even an inaccurate/illogical statement about the text potentially change the sense of the music? (I'm more interested in the subtle examples of the situation) (Stephen Lucas)
    • As we all progress in our lives, we learn what we know (and do not know), how we act, and that which we are capable. Actions are comprised of routines, habits, and kinesthetic recollections, i.e. responses to rituals of a given moment. Actions are, however, prone to the nuances and regularities of the world around us. We are inherently reactive (and somewhat subservient) creatures to the world. Is there anything innate about playing/practicing music?(E. Justin Simone)
    • Within formal music and sound art, can our listening experience go beyond that of auditory perception? In other words do we limit our understanding of our sense perception of sound by only focusing on the cognitive understanding of sound events that we hear, rather then what we hear plus what we physically feel plus what we see and how our focus of our attention can move within a experience to shape our perception. (Andrew Blanton)
    • In your article "Excavating Lewin's 'Phenomenology'", you describe Lewin's emphasis on the "interconnectedness between the acquisition of skills and the development of our musical capacities" and suggest the possibility of other ear-training aids similar to Lewin's Stockhausen essay. How have you/can you see these concepts in phenomenology informing the pedagogy of music theory and aural skills? How do you see a music department being able to connect "competence", "performing", and "understanding" as Lewin suggests? (Jordan Moore)
    • Can the perceptive listener (i.e. someone who has been exposed to phenomenology) consciously expand their "now" by an understanding of how retention can alter protention? (Patrick Peringer)
    • Do you think listening to and thinking about music from a phenomenological perspective can and should inform our pedagogical approach in the undergraduate theory core classrooms? If so, do you have suggestions on basic, tangible ways we can help our students actively listen to and participate in any given musical experience? (Sarah McConnell)

    Brian Kane: "On Reading Listening

    Brian Kane: "Jean-Luc Nancy and the listening subject"

  • 04.16.2012

    Yuasa's White Noise

    RCP "Eidetics and its Methodology (review focusing on eidetic variation)"

    Thomas Clifton, "Music as Constituted Object: pdf

    Brahms, Violin Concerto, approach to cadenza (full score): jpg

    Brahms, Violin Concerto, approach to cadenza (reduction): jpg

  • 04.18.2012

    Plague Mass (excerpt) | Diamanda Galás

    Roland Barthes, "The Grain of the Voice": pdf

  • 04.23.2012

    Risset, Mutations

    Husserl Review Day

    Lacan, "Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty": pdf

    Husserl, Seefelder excerpt: pdf

  • 04.25.2012

    Young, Drift Study

    Merleau Ponty Review Day

    Varela, "The Specious Present: A Neurophenomenology of Time Consciousness": pdf

    Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (entire): pdf

  • 04.30.2012

    Extended Office Hours / Research / Writing Day

  • 05.02.2012

    Extended Office Hours / Research / Writing Day

  • 05.11.2012

    Seminar Paper Due in my office (MU 104) by noon

    Writing Guidelines: pdf

    Grading Criteria:

    • 1) degree to which the writing reflects the "Writing Guidelines" above
    • 2) precision of manifest or latent phenomenological approach
    • 3) degree to which the paper addresses its audience (a reader of Music Perception)
    • 4) precision of musical evidence presented in support of a thesis