Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rush the subject of new course at Tiffin University
10:11AM EST | comments (23) |

Tiffin UniversityTiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio will be offering a new course this fall titled Rush: Progressive Rock and Modern Society. From the Advertiser-Tribune:

... [the course will] explore the musical and cultural issues of the 1970s and '80s, according to course instructor and adjunct professor Nathan Santos. Santos proposed the course and is designing the curriculum for the 2014-15 academic year. He said students in the special topics course are to analyze progressive rock, along with its musical elements, lyrical themes, historical, social and cultural content and its significance within the development of popular music styles. The 15-week course, for three credit hours, already is filling up, he said. The course is centered on the music and styles of Rush ... Santos said students are to look at the style changes the band went through over the years and how bands withstand changes to continue to create music. "It is a good lesson for our students who are pursuing a career in the music field," he said. "The band played an important part in our culture and heritage and the commercial music industry." Rush is the focus of the course, but also a starting point, he said. Other topics include literature, philosophy, politics, technology, songwriting, biographys, life on the road and album covers. Santos has been teaching at TU since 1998, mostly music history. ... "I had always thought a course focused on (Rush) would be a neat idea, (but) never had the chance to do it," he said. ... "Rush is trying to communicate a message," he said. "We want to take that and look at where we are today and how we got there."

Thanks to RushFanForever and John at for the heads up.



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#23 - Posted 8/6/14 @11:47PM by NSmusic [contact]

The course is interdisciplinary in that it is an elective offered both as a music & a culture course. Non-majors and majors alike are enrolled. Therefore, I will not be getting too far into the musical/theoretical weeds for the benefit of the non-musicians. I will be using Rush as a case study to reflect on the state of culture from post-war to contemporary, and how a band has achieved longevity. This affords me the opportunity to put Rush's music, lyrics, suburban roots, middle-class appeal, Boomer outlook into cultural context. I'm keeping it relevant to the entrepreneurial dynamic that has been at the root of Tiffin University since its founding. Rest assured, I am a lifelong fan and do NOT wish to treat this subject frivolously. It is being thoroughly researched and carefully organized.
#22 - Posted 7/31/14 @9:40PM by drmike [contact]

Re: #21. Just re-read the description of the course and it looks like there will be more emphasis on the historical context of Rush's music. It actually sounds like there will be more emphasis on philosophy than the physics of sound. The Professor does sound like he is presenting it as a music history course, which still fits into a music major's curriculum.
#21 - Posted 7/31/14 @9:26PM by drmike [contact]

Denny Crane et al., chances are, the only students who would be allowed to take a special topics course like this would be music majors, or possibly music minors and those who have already taken introductory music courses. In terms of content, the course would not be permitted to be offered unless if covered important topics for music majors, such as key changes and harmonic progressions, polyrhythms, etc--in which Rush and other progressive rock bands offer plenty of real life examples. It may also include the physics of sound, timbre, harmonics, etc which would in fact be useful to certain engineering students as well as music majors. I think it would be a very worthwhile course for music majors. It's probably not fluff nor will it be a bird course, even for very knowledgeable Rush fans.

In terms of tuition, the course is 3 credit hours out of about 15 or more credit hours a full time student would take for a term. It's not like an entire term's tuition is going to fund this one course. Offering this type of course is not what is leading to increased tuition, there's a lot of things contributing to those increases (including a huge cutback in gov't funding) and general increases in pretty much everything.
#20 - Posted 7/31/14 @9:23PM by jiminseattle [contact]

All I know is that for my son's tuition at WSU, the increase was 25% two years ago and 10% a year ago. Extreme so I was probably underestimating big time. Thx
#19 - Posted 7/31/14 @8:56PM by The_king_will_Neil [contact]

#17 - Jim,

You do realize that, depending on whether you mean "3 times more" or "3 time as much" (not picking on you, just being an engineer - see #18), that amounts to 3% to 4% inflation over 29 years, don't you?

Of course that has to be compared to income change over the same time period. I'll leave that to the economists, or politicians. I don't disagree with your point.

Random quotes for the day:

Politician, n.: An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the
superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles, he
mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice.
As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being
alive. -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary" (1900 or so)

"politicians ... sworn companions of the polls and whose spines could be bent
by a generous contributor's fart" -- Robert Ludlum, The Scorpio Illusion (1993)
#18 - Posted 7/31/14 @7:18AM by Denny Crane [contact]

I don't have a problem with a class like this being necessary for a music major... but to see an electrical engineering student (or similar) spend 15 weeks in this type of course outside their specialty is very troubling, and rather expensive. The cost of school is out of hand nowadays and as a parent struggling to get my kids through college and on their life path is incredibly expensive as it is. To fork out BIG MONEY to a school for 15 weeks of 'Rush 101' leaves me in a bad mood.

The course itself seems very cool and one that I'd probably enjoy, but the larger blame lies with the colleges for making kids take 15 week classes at steep prices to milk the parental money tree for all its fruit. I get the entire 'whole person' concept of learning things across the educational spectrum, but this is a bit of a stretch.

Mr. Santos, your class looks incredibly interesting nonetheless.

#17 - Posted 7/30/14 @10:08PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Tuition at Washington State University is 3 TIMES more than it was in 1985.
#16 - Posted 7/30/14 @8:44PM by drmike [contact]

If the course is about Rush, then it's pretty lame. II suspect though that it will simply use Rush's career to teach various principles in music (and other topics) that would show up in other music courses, and probably go to areas beyond what is taught in a typical music history course. If so, this is pretty awesome.

Tuition at my University is actually not much more than I paid for tuition when I first started University in 1989. On the other hand, I interviewed at a University in NY state that charged $40,000 a year for tuition (although that includes room and meals).
#15 - Posted 7/30/14 @8:17PM by Lamb Saag [contact]

Ed, you're the closest; you'll have to sit in on this class for us. Should be an "easy A" for you.

#14 - Posted 7/30/14 @5:17PM by [contact]

Tiffin is also going to be the recipient of a new Tim Hortons the students will be able to study Rush and enjoy a double-double.

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