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This is a Zero Textbook Cost course built with Open Educational Resources (OER): all readings will be available online for free and linked through the course site. Listed below are the textbooks, chapters, articles, and web pages that we will read throughout the semester. Visit the Schedule tab to view reading assignments for each unit.

Course Textbooks

Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context, edited by Esther Morgan-Ellis (primary textbook)

Understanding Music: Past and Present (secondary textbook)

Music: its Language, History, and Culture, by Douglas Cohen (secondary textbook)

Reading Packets

These are PDF packets that combine different passages of our course textbooks and online articles; they are assigned for the first few units of the semester (see Schedule for more).

Reading Packet #1 (What Is Music?)

Reading Packet #2 (Elements of Sound and Music)

Reading Packet #3 (Instruments and Music Technology)

Articles and Other Resources

This list will be updated gradually throughout the semester.

Georg Predota, “Stockhausen: Gesang Der Jünglinge Premiered Today in 1956,” Interlude (blog), May 29, 2018, https://interlude.hk/stockhausen-gesang-der-junglinge-premiered-today-1956/.

James Bennet II, “How Was Musical Notation Invented? A Brief History,” WQXR, June 15, 2017, https://www.wqxr.org/story/how-was-musical-notation-invented-brief-history.

Lakisha Odlum, “Blackface Minstrelsy in Modern America | Primary Source Set”, Digital Public Library of America, 2017, https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/blackface-minstrelsy-in-modern-america.

Michael Friedman, “Can’t Escape Stephen Foster,” The New Yorker, March 10, 2014, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/cant-escape-stephen-foster.


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July 2024

This course includes Open Educational Resources (OER), which are entirely cost-free and accessible online. Developed in the Open Knowledge Fellowship at The Graduate Center's Mina Rees Library, this work is made possible by state grant funding through the Office of Library Services.

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