Each work would serve as a hub for a course investigating a diversity of contexts. Thus, close critical and analytical readings of the musical work itself would lead to investigations of related issues in music theory and analysis. Explorations of the work's musical style would lead to examining its place in music history: its relationship to past music, to the idioms and genres of its own time, and to upcoming musical developments. Each piece would serve as a springboard for discussions of a wealth of relevant cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts and connotations. We shall explore threads linking the piece to non-musical artistic media of its own time
The project is a three-year undergraduate curriculum, that centres around about 20-30 musical works, including both Western masterpieces from Machaut to Ligeti, contemporary non-Western works like Um Kulthum's Inta Omri, and masterpieces of Jazz, pop, and rock music, such as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul. While acknowledging the deep aesthetic, historical, and pedagogical values of the musical canon, the program recognizes the need to renew and expand both its contents and its range of connotations and interpretations. The project re-contextualizes western art music within a wider notion of music and repositions music at large within contemporary modes of thought.