Is MIT brimming with composers, musicians, ethnomusicologists, and related species? It’s certainly brimming with people invested in music. According to one faculty musician, Evan Ziporyn, about 1800 of MIT’s 4,000+ undergraduates are taking a course in music or theater. You can hear music everywhere on campus, he says, but if you are not on campus, there is still a solution: The Listening Room, a newly curated selection of more than 60 recordings of music composed and performed by faculty and students.
The selections offer the vitality of student performers and the depth of experienced creators. The pieces are grouped into four categories: Classical including chamber, solo, choral, and large ensemble works; Jazz; World; and Faculty Opus, which offers compositions and performances by a dozen professors.
Ziporyn says music making exemplifies core MIT values.
“We have tried to design our courses and our program around MIT’s model of learning by doing,” says Ziporyn, in an online video. “So in music making, music is design, music is form, music is structure, music is beauty, music is elegance. These are all things that are important to any kind of design you do, whether it is music or otherwise. By doing music, [students] …. are using a different part of their mind, a different part of their body, and a different part of their being to think about the same issues. What makes something beautiful? What makes something have coherence? What makes something have meaning or shape? And then they go back to coding or industrial design, and they think about it in a slightly different way.”
Now it’s your turn at the Listening Room.