Major Works of 20th Century Music (HUM 324)

2021 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Fulya Çelikel,
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HUM201 HUM202 HUM207 SPS101 SPS102
Formal lecture,On-line task/distance
Learner centered
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The aim of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the 20th century western music and its conceptual progression throughout the century. The course concentrates on contemporary musical trends in relation with the changing social, political and economic issues of 20th century. The course emphasizes representative works from avant-garde to mainstream. The content of the course is not limited with the art music but also focuses on different aspects of popular traditions. These popular trends will be examined in relation to social and cultural context.


The aim of Major Works of 20th Century Music course is to navigate the turbulent 20th Century
and figure out why the music of the past millennia of the human experience is dramatically
different from the music of the 21st century.


  • to provide a narrative of the 20th Century regarding music, within sociopolitical context and technological development.
  • to understand the "turning points" in music and art by relating to high impact events such as the world wars.
  • to develop a causal sense of "genre" and "style" in Western art and popular music.
  • Upon completion of this course, students should be able to distinguish the major 20th Century "-ism"s and their musical counterparts. They should also be able to identify mainstream popular music genres of the 20th Century.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 4

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 4

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 3

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 2

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 3

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 3


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 20
Assignment 12
Term-Paper 20
Participation 8



Course reader (Excerpts from the books and below and selected articles):
- Attali, J. (1985). Noise: The political economy of music. Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press.
- Ross, A. (2007). The rest is noise: Listening to the twentieth century. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
- Starr, L., & Waterman, C. A. (2007). American popular music: From minstrelsy to
MP3. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Griffiths, Paul. (2006). A concise history of western music. Cambridge, UK ;
New York : Cambridge University Press
Powerpoint slides, lecture videos, YouTube videos and documentaries.