Developing an original musical composition inspired by visual artworks: The student chooses a collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, etc. from an art museum as inspiration to create an original instrumental or song cycle composition. In the project paper, the student analyzes how specific elements of the artworks such as line, color, form, emotional themes, etc. influenced their musical composition. They discuss the compositional process and how they tried to translate visual elements into musical elements. Musical excerpts and digital photographs of the artworks would be included. The total length of the paper would be between 15,000-20,000 characters including spaces.
Creating musical arrangements and sound design for a theatrical production: The student works closely with a theatre department to compose and arrange new musical pieces and create sound designs for an upcoming play or dance production. They research the time period and cultural influences on the work being staged. Original compositions, arrangements of public domain music, and sound effects are included. In the paper, the student discusses their artistic process, challenges faced, collaborative efforts with the directors and other designers. They analyze how the music and sounds helped enhance specific dramatic moments and achieved the overall artistic vision. Audio and video excerpts would be included.
Curating and producing an interdisciplinary performance showcase: The student serves as the curator and producer for a live event featuring choreography, musical performances, poetry readings, and visual art displays all themed around a particular concept or historical era. They work with students and faculty across disciplines to commission new works. logistical and promotional responsibilities. The paper describes the selection process for works, production of promotional materials, securing of a performance venue, and discusses artistic themes that emerged. It analyzes audience reception and critical reviews. Photos, programs, and recordings of select performances supplement the paper.
Creating a musical composition inspired by data sonification: The student works with a computer science student to sonify real-world datasets from sources like astronomy, biology, economics, social media, etc. They analyze the data to determine important patterns and trends that could be translated into musical elements like rhythm, melody, timbre, harmony, and form. An original scored composition is created that aims to convey insights about the dataset to listeners. In the paper, they discuss the dataset, sonification process, compositional decisions, and how well non-music listeners grasped understandings about the data from listening. Audio excerpts would bring the composition to life.
Designing musical interventions for arts-based therapy programs: The student researches the benefits of music therapy for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, autism, trauma recovery, etc. They then work with a psychology professor and local care facilities to design and implement original music-based therapeutic programs and evaluate their outcomes. Components could include personalized playlists, group singing/playing, music and movement, reminiscence playlists for Alzheimer’s patients. The paper analyzes relevant literature on music therapy, the intervention designs, lessons learned, responses from clients and caregivers. It discusses how music can be used as a non-verbal form of expression and communication to achieve therapeutic goals.
Curating an interdisciplinary exhibit on the relationships between music and another domain: The student researches and curates an on-campus pop-up exhibition exploring the connections between music and another subject area like history, science, visual art, dance, film, etc. Physical and digital display elements include descriptive text, images, audio/video clips, interactive demos, and guest lectures that bring to life the themes. In the accompanying paper, they provide an extensive literature review on the topic, describe the exhibit components and layout, and analyze visitor feedback/reviews. The project demonstrates cross-disciplinary understanding and skills in research, curation, and public programming.
Those are just a few examples of innovative capstone projects students could undertake that integrate music with other fields of study. The level of research, collaboration, hands-on work, and analytical writing involved in projects on this scale provide rich opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning and skill-building. Let me know if any part of this response needs further elaboration or clarification.