EGMT 1510: Virtuosity and Its Others

What do a urinal in a museum and a silent piece of music have in common? What’s wabi-sabi? How far behind the beat is not far enough? Why talk wrong? And who gets to? When is trying and failing more beautiful than trying and succeeding?  In this class, we’ll explore conceptions of virtuosity — where they come from, what they mean, and how we might like to re-form them. Engaging with ideas and exemplars found across all the arts, we’ll gain a more profound appreciation for scribbles and bad guitar solos, obsessive repetition, breathless oversharing and restraint. Some of the major projects in the class will be creative works (e.g., visual and music / sound), affording opportunities to play with critical perspectives on virtuosity through artistic expression. We’ll use computer applications for manipulation of sound and image, and some experience with DAWs, Photoshop, and video editing software, may be useful though not required.