The Catholic University of America

The Chamber Music of George Crumb

Dr. Stephen Gorbos


In this seminar we will be studying the chamber music of George Crumb.  While the goal of this course is to gaze at Crumb’s music with an analytical eye, the term analysis is applied broadly: we will encounter many different ways to understand this music throughout our study.  The semester will begin with a review of standard post-tonal analytical techniques and some of Crumb’s most important musical influences, followed by a listening survey of Crumb’s chamber music and a survey of analytical literature specific to issues around Crumb’s music (containing, but not limited to:  harmonic/motivic/formal analysis, quotation/allusion, performance practice/notation, ritual/mysticism, timbre, Crumb’s use of text).  Your work for the semester will culminate in one of the following analytical projects:  either a 15 - 20 page seminar paper on some aspect of Crumb’s music or a performance/analytical lecture on a piece of music by Crumb. 

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