The college’s Connections program provides an exciting way to explore different areas of academic knowledge and multiple approaches to problems. The concept is simple but powerful and unique to Wheaton: organizing courses around a common theme. For example, “African Diaspora in the New World” (Connection 23007) includes Music 272, “African American Originals I: Spirituals, Blues, and All That Jazz,” connecting the tradition of African American music to important aspects of African American history and culture as studied from the perspectives of history and/or sociology.

And Connection 20043, “Music: The Medium and the Message,” links our 100 level music theory courses with Physics 107, “The Physics of Music and Sound.” Our experience of music, whether by Beethoven, Billie Holiday, the Beatles, or the Bad Plus, consists of the emotions and subjective impressions communicated and inspired by the arrangement of sounds. As in verbal communication, both the sounds themselves and the particular method of organizing them determine these effects. In MUSC 114, the focus is on the vocabulary, grammar and syntax of this language of sound (the “message”). In PHYS 107, the focus is on the actual sounds themselves, in terms of their mathematical and physical relationships (the “medium”). Studying musical material from both these perspectives deepens our understanding and appreciation of this essentially mysterious phenomenon.

Music Connections

  • CONX 20023 Global Music
  • CONX 20032 Cultural Flows in South Asia
  • CONX 20034 The Historical Context of Contemporary American Culture
  • CONX 20043 Music: The Medium and the Message
  • CONX 23001 African Worlds
  • CONX 23003 Modern Latin America
  • CONX 23007 African Diaspora in New World
  • CONX 23010 Black Aesthetics