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MUSC 65: First Year Seminar: Music on Stage and Screen

“On a gilded lyre the flowing-haired Iopas woke a song taught him by famous Atlas:Of the moon he sang, the wanderer,and what the sun’s vast labors be.”
(William Cunningham, The Cosmographicall Glasse, London 1559; Snake River, photgraph by Scott Bosse)

Professor Anne MacNeil

This seminar is designed to offer students the tools and techniques for understanding multi-media, staged musical works like opera, musical theater, and film. The goal of the seminar is to develop students’ analytical skills in verbal and non-verbal media and to encourage their visualization of the potential and implications of artistic forms and structures. No ability to read music is required. The class will discuss musical, visual, and textual narratives, source materials, and the various means by which such multi-media artworks are transmitted to modern audiences (e.g., written scores, LPs/CDs, staged performances, movies, etc.).

One of the big projects for the term will be utilizing the BeAM MakerSpace to create a Harmony of the Spheres Interactive Exhibition in the rotunda that will accompany UNC Opera’s production of Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione. MacNeil’s ArcGIS MapJournal about Cicero’s Dream of Scipio will be the guide for studying the story and principles of the Harmony of the Spheres to create the exhibition.


This course meets Tuesday & Thursdays from 3:35-4:50 pm. It earns 3 credit hours towards graduation and fulfills general education requirements for Visual and Performing Arts (VP) and North Atlantic World (NA).

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