Mamlok on Day One: Strategies for Incorporating Recent Music Into the Early Undergraduate Music Theory Curriculum

Neal P. Endicott

This research offers concrete solutions to two challenges that face music theory instructors seeking better coverage of post-tonal music in their undergraduate music theory curricula. The first of these challenges is the lack of curricular time dedicated to music composed since 1900, particularly given the typical course structure in which such topics are left for last. The second of the two challenges is the attitudes frequently held by students towards this music, which they may prejudge to be difficult, unfamiliar, aesthetically unappealing, or entirely divorced from previous topics. Instructors can at least partially overcome both of these challenges by frequently incorporating examples of art music from the post-tonal era into the early semesters of the undergraduate music theory curriculum (focusing in this paper primarily on demonstrating the applicability of this concept to topics generally covered in units on fundamentals).