MUSIC HISTORY AND SYSTEMS OF COMMUNICATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the students - who do not require a previous disciplinary competence - will have acquired knowledge and awareness in the field of communication processes related to the linguistic and performative nature of music and its promotional and information strategies.
Knowledge and understanding:
students will develop knowledge and understanding skills through the constant use of different sources (sound and multimedia materials, books and articles of scientific, educational and informative nature, conferences, seminars, guided tours, etc.) and during the exercises dedicated to analysis of communication products (paper, audiovisual and IT).
Applying knowledge and understanding:
students will be able to exploit their knowledge and understanding to critically consider their experience as music users both live and reproduced and televised, to reflect in depth on the historical roots and evolution of musical language, to consciously investigate the information, dissemination, promotion and marketing system. The application of such knowledge and skills will benefit both the students professionally addressed to the areas of journalism and communication in general, and literary students who can enrich their disciplinary training by studying the deeply rooted phenomenon of musical and theatrical criticism exerted by professional writers from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day.
students will develop the ability to collect and interpret data useful to formulate independent judgments, critically reflecting on the current reality and on the historical reasons that have determined it. In particular, they will be able to critically consider their personal experience, evaluate the reliability of sources and information, and integrate the acquired knowledge in a conscious way.
since the teaching is specifically dedicated to the analysis of communication processes and products, the student will put to good use the work done on the contents together with the teacher and the other students to develop the ability to communicate in a clear and well-founded way personal experience and his reflections both during the lessons and during the exam and in non-educational context toward specialists and non-specialist interlocutors.
thanks to the approach to the subject, which tends to problematic reflection and aims at developing a critical sense with respect to the current reality, the student will develop the stimuli and skills needed to increase their knowledge through further non-occasional studies and even independently conducted.
The course aims to delve into the main aspects of the history of Western music from the seventeenth century to the present day in terms of communication both as regards the linguistic and performative nature of musical expression as well as its promotional and informative strategies. The intention is to encourage the student to analyse critically musical experience and to reflect on the modality and means of communication adopted by the music industry for the purposes of promotion and marketing. The critical awareness developed during the course is applied to tasks dedicated to the analysis of printed and audiovisual products of communication strategies. The usefulness of the ensuing method is explored also in various sectors beyond those of strictly musical relevance.
Course contents summary
The course is dedicated to peculiar aspects of the musical language both in general and with specific reference to the theory and practices of communication:
1) The peculiarities of musical language and the relationship with other languages: a) "pure" music; b) music and word; c) music and image
2) The methods of execution: a) the ritual; b) the feast; c) the show; d) places of music; e) the relationship between the author/performer and the public
3) Reproduction: a) the musical text (manuscript, printed, electronic); b) the recorded and televised execution
4) Information: a) promotion and diffusion; b) news and criticism (periodical press, radio and television, internet, etc.)
The course examines three characteristic aspects of musical communication:
1) Performance a) the ritual and the feast (actors/spectators), b) the show (actors/spectators)
2) Technological reproduction a) the text (manuscript, printed, electronic), b) performance (recorded and televised)
3) The information a) promotion and dissemination; b) commentary and criticism (magazines, radio and television, internet, etc.)
The Bibliography contains general reference texts. The final list for the preparation of the exam is provided at the beginning of the lessons on paper and on the Elly online teaching portal.
- M. Capra, Dispensa di testi e immagini (1. “Stampa periodica e critica musicale”; 2. “Il suono ‘tecnologico’: ricerca, caratteri e implicazioni”; 3. “Verdi, da gloria musicale a padre della patria. Tappe di un percorso mediatico”)
- J. Le Goff, “Documento/Monumento”, in “Enciclopedia Einaudi”, Torino, Einaudi, 1978, vol. 5, pp. 39-47
- M. Capra, “Criticism - Italy: 1890-1945”, in “The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians”, ed. S. Sadie, London, Macmillan, 2001, vol. 6, pp. 685-686
- AA. VV., “La divulgazione musicale in Italia”, cur. A. Rigolli, Torino, Edt, 2005
- AA. VV., “Il suono riprodotto. Storia, tecnica e cultura di una rivoluzione del Novecento”, cur. A. Rigolli e P. Russo, Torino, Edt, 2007
- AA. VV., “Arturo Toscanini: il direttore e l’artista mediatico”, cur. M. Capra e I. Cavallini, Lucca, LIM, 2011
- AA. VV., “La critica musicale in Italia nella prima metà del Novecento”, cur. M. Capra e F. Nicolodi, Venezia, Marsilio, 2012
- M. Capra, “Verdi in prima pagina. Nascita, sviluppo e affermazione della figura di Verdi nella stampa italiana dal XIX al XXI secolo”, Lucca, LIM, 2014
- AA. VV., “Verdi e Wagner nel cinema e nei media”, cur. S. Miceli e M. Capra, Venezia, Marsilio, 2014
- "Annuario della critica musicale italiana - 2019", Lucca, LIM, 2019
REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY. FOR THE DEFINITIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY SEE ELLY.
• Marco Capra, voce "Criticism - Italy: 1890-1945", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition, ed. by Stanley Sadie, London, Macmillan, 2001, vol. 6, pp. 685-686.
• Alessandro Rigolli (a cura di), La divulgazione musicale in Italia, Edt, Torino, 2005
• Alessandro Rigolli e Paolo Russo (a cura di), Il suono riprodotto. Storia, tecnica e cultura di una rivoluzione del Novecento, Edt, Torino, 2007
• Marco Capra e Fiamma Nicolodi (a cura di), La critica musicale in Italia nella prima metà del Novecento, Marsilio Editori, Venezia, 2012
Due to the evolution of the health emergency, educational activities take place IN PRESENCE (if the limitations on their implementation have been removed) or REMOTE through the Microsoft Teams platform (if these limitations persist).
Lectures (with constant use of slides, audio and audiovisual aids); listening sessions; meetings with sector operators; guided tours; participation in seminars and conferences.
These activities take place in telepresence through the use of Microsoft Teams and Elly platforms. In particular, the lessons take place both in synchronous (through Teams) and asynchronous mode (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). During the lessons in synchronous mode (direct), mainly frontal moments (with constant use of slides and audiovisual aids) alternate with interactive moments with students (including meetings with sector operators). To promote active participation in the course, individual or small group activities are also proposed to be agreed with the students (including visits to theatrical buildings and to museums and archives, if the health situation allows it).
The exam preparation program (in the versions for attending and non-attending students) is available on paper and on the Elly portal at the beginning of the lessons. The program for non-attending students provides additional bibliography that make up for the lack of attendance to the lessons. All the texts indicated for the preparation of the exam can be consulted at the Library of Musicology at Casa della Musica (p.le San Francesco 1). Texts and images are available at the beginning of the lessons on the Elly portal or can be requested directly from the teacher. The teaching materials used during the lessons (diagrams, lists and slides in particular) or support for guided tours, seminars and conferences are available on the Elly portal after their use in class or during the aforementioned events.
Oral lesson, seminars, exercises devoted to listening.
Assessment methods and criteria
Due to the evolution of the health emergency, the exam takes place IN PRESENCE (if the limitations to its execution have been removed) or REMOTE through the Microsoft Teams platform (if these limitations persist).
The exam consists of several questions aimed at verifying the degree of knowledge and awareness achieved by the student. For attending students 50% of the test focuses on the content of the lessons (including slides, multimedia aids, guided tours), the remainder on the contents of the texts (including images contained in them) indicated in the exam program. For non-attending students the test focuses on the contents of the texts (including images) indicated in the program.
In particular, the following are evaluated:
- basic methodological awareness through the analysis of the different sources for research
- the knowledge of the presuppositions, of the characteristics, of the evolution of the musical language and of its modalities of expression and diffusion, with special reference to the aspects related to the theory and practice of communication
- the ability to establish relationships and identify differences between the musical language and the languages of other artistic expressions
- awareness and critical sense in relation to the current reality and to the historical roots (in its artistic and cultural aspects and in those related to production and information)
- the capacity for rationalization on specific topics and the correct presentation of the related results.
An insufficient evaluation is determined by the ignorance of the minimum contents of the course; the inability to formulate judgments in an autonomous and founded way, and to relate concepts and events between them; from the inability to express themselves adequately. A sufficient assessment (18-23 / 30) is determined by an acceptable level with respect to the aforementioned evaluation indicators; an average rating (24-27 / 30) reflects a level that is more than sufficient to good; a high rating (28-30 / 30 ‘e lode’) attests a very good to excellent level.
Oral exam. The particular criteria for evaluation include:
— Knowledge and critical awareness in relationship to current practices and their underlying historical roots
— The capacity to examine and discuss specific themes, and the appropriate exposition of the relative results
— The acquisition of an informed methodology of analysis of the different historical sources
— The capacity to connect the music on the stage with other artistic disciplines, such as literary and figuratives arts.
If the health situation allows it, lessons and exams are held at the Casa della Musica (p.le San Francesco n. 1).